Everything is Oll Korrect!

An eclectic bibliophile's journal…

Tag: French

Maynguh Memories of Japanese Japanese Comics

clampSo, say you’ve started taking Japanese classes. What do you want to do, especially if you’re a bibliophile like me? Start reading, right? Novels and poetry are pretty tough, though, so you go to the next best thing – comics, which you’ve just discovered are not mayn-guhs but manga. I mean, hey, they’ve got pictures and stuff to help you out, so they’ll be easy, right?

I won’t say “wrong,” but they’re not really “easy,” either. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, it depends on which series you have the fortune (or misfortune) of picking out. My experience with Japanese comics in the original language started inauspiciously with the first two volumes of CLAMP’s X, which I found at a Half Price Books. It may as well have been printed in Mandalay, for all I could get out of it; a few years later I got an English edition, which only improved matters slightly but did show me that the density is not a bug but a feature, so I needn’t feel too bad about getting totally lost in the Japanese volume.

As a general point, though, already knowing the story does help immensely in following these comics. I fared much better with another CLAMP series, Cardcaptor Sakura, which I’d read in English not too long before. Being written at a generally lower level helps, too.…

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Analects of an Autodidact

Don’t you hate it when a blogger introduces a post by apologising for only being able to write up something short and quick, because he’s been busy with school?

*ahem*

Well, anyway, vocational training aside, it’s been an exciting week for me, because I’m in the home stretch of Sandberg and Tatham’s French for Reading, which I’ve mentioned before. All the main lessons are finished, I just need to get through a final section of reading passages, which I’ll probably finish this week. After that, I’ll start taking my newly-gained ability into the wild, starting off slow with Le Petit Prince, then parallel-text editions of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, all of which I already own. Once I’m reasonably confident, I’ll order Les Miserables.…

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Travails of a Language Autodidact

A couple months ago, I put my Japanese study on hiatus and bought a copy of French for Reading, by Carl Sandburg and Edison Tatham. I did so partly because four years of studying Japanese started beating me down. Though I’d made several strides with James Heisig’s book Remembering the Kanji, my progress with that slowed to a crawl. So, I decided to move to a textbook that could be completed relatively quickly, but still give me something to show for my efforts at the end.…

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