This doll is entering the Tadoku Read More or Die contest for June 2015
The idea is to read as more Japanese in the course of the month than the other contestants. This doll will lose. She is a very slow reader even in English. But of course it is really more of a self-challenge.
The contest takes place via Twitter so it would be fun to follow the other contestants, though as they all seem to tweet in English, I can’t. My Eigo circuits take a long time to recharge so I have to take them out and leave them on the charger except when they are absolutely necessary. Since my Japanese is poor, that might be considered taihen. But I reflect that most dolls can’t talk at all (or have those silly circuits that repeat the same few phrases). So I know that I am very lucky.
Fortunately the contest allows anime subtitles (Japanese of course) and visual novel style games. I am not sure if one could use a text-heavy rpg on the same basis. This is good as my access to books is currently a bit limited.
My reading isn’t as wide as it should be. One problem is that once one gets to high school stories the emotional level is a bit above me. I don’t mean the language, and I don’t mean the intellectual level. I mean that the material starts to deal with feelings and reactions/motivations that I can’t really process in any language.
It is probably an unusual problem among humans, but it is actually worth bearing in mind that if you can’t process something in English you won’t be able to process it in Japanese even if you can handle the language. Also you may have the semi-illusion of processing it in English just because the words are familiar, even though you don’t really know what they are talking about. In Japanese you very likely won’t have that illusion.
If you have a similar problem (possibly in other areas) I think the best advice is to look for exceptions. For example I can process most of Aria even though it is at a grown-up level. And – this is probably the only time you’ll ever hear me even half-recommending English subtitles – if you can understand the words but really can’t process the meaning, it might be worth using them just to find out. If you can’t process a story in English, you really are muri wo shite iru attempting it in Japanese. I don’t use English subtitles for this myself, but I have a fair idea of my own limitations, perhaps because they are rather glaring.
But I digress monsterly. I was talking about the Tadoku Read More or Die Contest (if I recall rightly). The rules are pretty complex (英語は難しいね）though they start making a bit more sense when you realize that they are codes to tweet on Twitter and the machine will then handle everything. Really very clever!
If you want to join in, take a look here.
You will need a Twitter account. If you don’t already have one (or want a different one for this), why not make it Japanese-only. If you do that I will follow you. Just tweet me (@CureDolly).
So when you put down your Japanese book, you don’t need to tweet about it in “normal language”. You can make Japanese your Normal Language.
You know it makes sense.
If you have questions about the Tadoku Read More or Die Contest you can use the comment form here. I don’t promise to know the answer but I’ll try to find out for you!