ハリー・ポッターが難しい or Reading is Hard

This weekend I read a 1/4 of harry potter in Japanese. Last semester, I had bought Eragon in Japanese, but that turned out to be a foolish endeavor. It was too hard, too many kanji, too little furigana(the small characters above kanji that tell the unenlightened how to read it). Harry is much much easier.

On the other hand, I still don’t understand about, oh, a third of the words the first time I see them. But, I can read the japanese because most of the kanji have furigana. And I have learned a few new words like mono-oki(物置) which means closet, more or less.

I borrowed this book from the library for the same reason that I read manga and the same reason I bought Eragon: to practice reading Japanese. I don’t care too much about the exact meaning of what I am reading, because I find that when I do, I end up looking up every word, even if I have a vague idea of its meaning. And, when I do that, it becomes boring, a chore.

Thinking back to elementary school, I remember when I first started reading books that were substantially above my reading level. I think I had the same approach then. I don’t remember looking up words I read in a book up in the dictionary, though I liked dictionaries.

When I read with a dictionary, words gain meaning, but the writing itself loses it. I lose my place in the story, the picture in my head, however vague, collapses and the practice becomes tortuous and alittle boring.

I should know, I tried to read harry potter like that for about 10 minutes-I couldn’t get through two pages.

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