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  1. Like
    adamstan reacted to Clephas in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    The limit of dictionaries is in the lack of a connection to cultural knowledge.  One problem with becoming dictionary-reliant is that it becomes more difficult to learn common usages and more specific meanings of given words in given situations.  So much of the language is situational, especially idioms that are presented as simple verbs, adjectives, or nouns.  A great deal of it requires background knowledge of cultural minutiae and/or a lot of experience with the usage.  That's why you get a lot of seriously off-base results with even the best machine translations (which are essentially advanced dictionaries connected to a translating program).  
    I don't even want to get into kobun and VNs/books that use archaic forms of Japanese... the effort it takes to read that stuff even with external aids is ridiculous for non-native speakers (and even some native speakers).  
    Edit: Example of one such headache below.  
  2. Yes
    adamstan reacted to Dergonu in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    Back when I was studying at uni in Japan, one of my professors recommended a series of grammar dictionaries that came in handy. When it comes to grammar learning in these types of communities, I rarely see people mention anything other than Tae Kim's guide, which I'm personally not a huge fan of. Figured these could be helpful for people specifically only learning the bare minimum for reading, so they can look up grammar just as easily as vocab when reading. You can just keep it next to you while you read, and quickly flip through the pages for whatever piece of grammar you encounter and want to look up. (They are fantastic for people actually learning the language for more normal use too, of course!)
    Basic: Link
    Intermediate: Link
    Advanced: Link
    I only use Japanese amazon, but I'm sure these books are available in other countries as well. Just google the title.
  3. Like
    adamstan reacted to Clephas in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    Once you start dreaming in Japanese, it gets a bit weird, though.  I thought I was going crazy the first time that happened.
  4. Like
    adamstan reacted to Zalor in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    I've spent enough time learning Japanese, befriending lots of other people who were learning Japanese, and hanging out on otaku forums to know that at least half of what you hear is... misleading at the very least. Anyone genuinely interested in jumping the gun and learning Japanese should read this: A Friend of Mine Learned Japanese in 1 Year
    From what I've witnessed in my own irl observation (and I've met safe to 100 people that have studied Japanese), unless they grew up speaking Chinese or Korean it took them a minimum of 4 - 5 years to get good at the language. I'm talking JLPT N2  - N1 level. And pretty often, it took more than that. Because people learn at different paces.
    Now if your only concern is reading, and you genuinely have no interest to ever communicate (speak or write) in Japanese, then you can probably get to an N2 - N1 reading level in 3 years if you study grammar and vocab diligently, and after getting a solid foundation in those read Japanese nonstop. I have known a handful of people like this, but most normal people can't and shouldn't do this. Most people burn out if they go too intensive for too long. Language learning for most people is like the Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady wins the race. Please don't feel ashamed if you aren't N1 fluent in 3 years, or even 5 years. Because I feel in their push to encourage people to learn Japanese, sometimes Otaku communities unintentionally instill a sense of shame in people who don't learn super fast. Again, if you aren't Chinese or Korean, taking 5 - 10 years to get to JLPT N1 level is entirely normal.
    To specify, Koreans have an advantage because their grammatical system is relatively close to Japanese. And many words sound similar as well. If you know Chinese you already know the meanings of most Kanji, which is a huge advantage because this easily knocks out the hardest part of the language for many people. I should also add, anyone that is already multilingual, even if its not in Korean and/or Chinese also has an advantage because their brains are already more flexible when it comes to languages. 
  5. Like
    adamstan reacted to Mehnot in What VN do you wish you could play for the first time again?   
    Hmm well, the idea of forgetting something to be able to experience it for the first time again is definitely tempting, though I don't know how wise it'd be to actually take that offer even if it was possible. After all, there's always new things to experience.
    That being said, it's undeniable that first experiences are really powerful. I think that's the reason why as a child everything hits you so hard and you get so much enjoyment out of what you now as an adult would consider trivial or mediocre stuff.
    As for what VN or VNs I'd choose to re-experience anew... hmm... probably those that rely on crazy twists and shock factor as main components of the trip. After all, I can revisit my favorite emotional VNs any time I want, and even though it's not the first time my experience won't be dampened too much; in fact, it might even be stronger since I have the full context for everything. Meanwhile getting the full experience out of titles like Umineko and Ever17 is harder once you know the truth of it all. So yeah, that'd be the subset of VNs that, if I were to accept the offer, I would pick.
  6. Haha
    adamstan reacted to Stormwolf in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    And don't ask too many people because your learning workload will massively increase for each person you ask for tips
  7. Like
    adamstan reacted to Clephas in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    To be a bit clearer, I should say that without grammar and syntax, knowing vocab or kanji is pretty useless.  I don't recommend you even attempt to play an untranslated VN or watch raw anime without a complete knowledge of grammar and at least a working knowledge of syntax.  When I say the 'rest can be picked up along the way', I don't mean to be cavalier about it.  Vocab takes time and is a task of memorization combined with an understanding of usage.  The reason Japanese has so much pun humor is because so many phonetically-similar words in Japanese have drastically different meanings, even compared to English.  Every one of the elements you gain, whether kana, kanji, or new words will add to your understanding.  In addition, while I say that 'vocab takes second place', I mean that you will inevitably learn a large number of verbs and basic nouns in the process of mastering grammar.  
    Kanji is also useful in mastering syntax.  I say this because kanji is integral to telling the difference between phonetically-similar words if you don't have enough understanding to grasp the difference from context.  If grammar and syntax are the bones and organs, kanji is the skin and vocab is the veins, muscles and nerves.  
  8. Like
    adamstan reacted to Clephas in The Bare Minimum Required to Read Visual Novels in Japanese   
    Grammar and syntax.  Vocab can be filled in along the way, as can Kanji.  You'd go slowly, but if you are using a decent furigana parser with a text hooker it is possible to play untranslated (albeit difficult) with just a solid understanding of how Japanese grammar and syntax work along with a limited vocab.
  9. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from kumori_shimosa in Doukyuusei Remake Translation announced   
    I'm mildly interested - although it might be too dating-simey for my taste. Main thing that attracted me to this game was PC98 pixel-art, but that is obviously gone in the remake, just like with YU-NO.
  10. Haha
    adamstan got a reaction from Dreamysyu in What are you playing?   
    Yes, come to the dark side of all-ages versions (We have cookies expanded wholesome stories and sometimes even additional routes.)
  11. Like
    adamstan reacted to Stormwolf in What are you playing?   
    Just finished Nanairo Reincarnation.

    I must say it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The game itself was marvelous, but it kind of felt rushed. . Not to mention it's a pretty short VN. 
  12. Like
    adamstan reacted to Seraphim in What are you playing?   
    Just FYI, I thought Himawari was kinda so-so and liked Island a whole lot more.
  13. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Infernoplex in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    So, as expected, now I'm progressing much faster with a TLC - even though I can't do it everyday, I already reached 42% (finished 7th chapter)
  14. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    So, as expected, now I'm progressing much faster with a TLC - even though I can't do it everyday, I already reached 42% (finished 7th chapter)
  15. Like
    adamstan reacted to Mr Poltroon in What are you playing?   
    Well, from what I'm hearing I guess Island should be on my list.
    I guess I skipped over it in my "I bet the romance sucks, not going to play it" phase.
  16. Like
    adamstan reacted to Eclipsed in What are you playing?   
    I'm enjoying Island a lot more than I thought it would. I think that's the particular VN formula I enjoy the most- charamoeges with beautiful scenery that more importantly ultimately builds up to a greater plot. Probably why Rewrite is one of my top VNs.
    Island really keeps you guessing though. Is all the scientific hypothesis jargon really true, or is it all just some grand delusions from a bunch of wishful islander kids?

    The heroines are all great. Going off of my 5yearold Grisaia memories, Frontwing was always good at making heroines with top-notch-common-route-bantering-prowess-but-with-fundamentally-flawed-personal-issues-that-will-be-explored-in-their-routes:


    Karen, who longs to leave the island and its outdated traditions.

    Sara, who longs to uphold tradition and save the island.

    Rinne, who believes she and Setsuna are the same Rinne and Setsuna of legend.
    Btw, devs were generous enough to give her a whopping 1 CG without her hat:


    Rinne is obviously my best gal, and so I bawled absolutely hard at her ending. Now, I would've been fine if things ended the way they did, but hoh boy, Island gains massive bonus points for:
  17. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Nandemonai in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    For me, Sakura no Kisetsu is a classic. However, it's a bit unapproachable now, with old engine and awkward adventure-gameplay system - which is much more annoying than, say, YU-NO. As I wrote recently in recommendations thread:
    Well, sometimes I do things on a whim, and shortly after writing the above, I decided to give it a try Actually it's quite fun for now - writing things in Ren'py is almost like directing your own puppet-show .
    The goal is to rewrite Sakura no Kisetsu into standard VN structure with branching choices system - getting rid of the "look/think/talk with everything to trigger next scene" system. I do this by arranging texts from various "think" "look" and "talk" sections into the order that gives the best flow (and inserting small connecting bits in between where absolutely neccessary). I also plan to re-edit it or partially retranslate the lines that annoy me too much 
    As I see, Brazilian Portugese translation uses similar approach, but they used assets (graphics and music) from the remake, which I'm not too fond of - they are very blurry, while the pixels from dithering are still very visible, so it's like the worst of both worlds . I'm working with assets from PC98 and DOS versions. I also plan to have switchable soundtrack, with all three versions available:  PC98 - original FM soundtrack, GS - PC98 MIDI music replayed with SoundCanvas soundfont and AdLib - PC DOS version FM soundtrack.
    While browsing graphic files extracted from both versions I was surprised. I expected Japanese PC98 version to have mosaics (and if such were the case, planned to have mosaics on/off switch in the options), however, the version that is floating around the net is uncensored. Probably somebody hacked files with HCGs from English PC version into it? Graphics and scripts formats are identical between two versions, only music files are different because of different sound hardware.
    I looked at files more closely and yes, it seems that some CG files were replaced - while all graphic files from PC98 have 1996-04 dates, HCGs have 1999-10.
    For now I have ported first two scenes - talk with parents in Shuuji's home and first meeting with Reiko on the way to school - complete with music and sprites with facial animations, just like in the original Some preliminary screenshots coming in ~12 hours.
    Of course for now it is all pretty basic - just full-screen background and standard ren'py textbox. I'm still not sure whether to go with that approach, or try something more like in the original, with borders etc, and the actual scenes taking just small portion of the screen? Also, I'm still not sure how much smoothing (if any) should I use while converting backgrounds and sprites. But we can discuss that when there are screenshots.
    *I'm not sure in which subforum should I place it. It's clearly not "Original Visual Novel", it's also not exactly "Translation Project" (although probably some translating will be involved). Well, I hope our mods will help me by moving it into most suited section.
  18. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Infernoplex in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    Today I reached 23% mark on TLC. I think that from now on, as I go on, I should be able to gradually go faster, because it was the beginning chapters that were the biggest mess.
  19. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    Today I reached 23% mark on TLC. I think that from now on, as I go on, I should be able to gradually go faster, because it was the beginning chapters that were the biggest mess.
  20. Like
    adamstan got a reaction from Infernoplex in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    Today I resumed my TLC work, pushing progress counter from 7 to 10%
  21. Like
    adamstan reacted to Eclipsed in What are you playing?   
    Ok so, good first impressions on Island
    You play as Setsuna, an above average decent looking 5.3 rating guy who wakes up amnesiac on an Island. That's as cliche as it gets huh.

    Whew. Unfortunately, buddy, you ain't got nothing on Grisaia's Yuuji. 
    Setsuna woke up feeling like he was in the middle of something important- a greater, save the world purpose perhaps- and there are immediate hints that this VN could be dealing with time travel and destiny and whatnot. 

    Oo la la, didn't really expect that. Of course, this could all be a big ol' red herring and all the talks of future and time travel is simply a result of Setsuna's delusions. Cuz yeah the guy seems a bit out of it. But he is indeed fairly entertaining, Frontwing delivers with their male protags, as usual.

    The poster heroine is Rinne. I think she'd look better without the hat, but whatever floats your boat. Setsuna immediately recognizes/knows her name upon "first" seeing her so maybe there really is some destiny shiz going on here. Rinne a rich gal, from one of the three elite families on the island (the other two heroines are naturally from the other two elite families). She hires Setsuna to be her servant.

    There is a built in flowchart and in general Frontwings' software development team got so pro at coding that you can literally skip or rewind the VN in realtime and jump to any particular scene no problemo. I wonder if they'll narratively make this a plot feature like YUNO's save points

    The BGMs are fantastic. I guess I have a thing for peaceful/tranquil/surreal/fantasy sounding types and Island would of course be stocked with plenty them. They really do enhance the reading experience indeed.
  22. Love
    adamstan got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    Sadly I got interrupted by life again... But I'll try to get back to it as soon as possible.
  23. Love
    adamstan got a reaction from Infernoplex in [project] Sakura no Kisetsu Ren'py remake project   
    Sadly I got interrupted by life again... But I'll try to get back to it as soon as possible.
  24. Thanks
    adamstan got a reaction from Larxe1 in What are you playing?   
    @Larxe1, you have wrong vndb link in your post - Rupekari is under v29383, not v16338 (16338 is Shirogane x Spirits).
  25. Like
    adamstan reacted to Larxe1 in What are you playing?   
    Finished Meikei no Lupercalia/Rupekari. It is a 9.5/10 and I rarely give that score. Even if I haven't read a lot of novels this year, this will be definitely on one of the top ten of what I read this year. It's that good.
    If you're looking for a focus on acting, something like act-age, it's not that. Their acting skills aren't the focus. The focus is on the theatre of the characters shroud their lives in. The lies they envelop themselves in just to live. How far should you go for theatre, how far did theatre ruin their lives. How deep the characters themselves shroud themselves in their own lives. This isn't a down to earth experience, expect something like Clannad where there is some sort of KEY magic going on.
    First, I'll discuss the more negative parts that I didn't like, and it's not that many.
    First, the art itself. While the character designs were fine, their poses are simply strange. The proportions feel off and for such a high quality story, such flaws become more and more apparent. While I'm not an expert in art and honestly, I really don't give much care for it, but it is much more noticeable in such a quality story. Some CG's were absolutely beautiful though and I saved it on my pc as it was just that good.
    The beginning is kind of weak. When they do plays, the voice-acting and atmosphere carries the scene through a whole new level but the SoL parts in the beginning were kind of standard fare. I was kinda sick of SoL at that time, so I barely played Rupekari like I only played an hour every day or whenever I remember. However, when they reach the point in which they start readying for theatre, it gets a lot better trust me.
    The flashbacks are a double-edged sword, It is also a positive for me in characterization, but sometimes it throws off the pacing of what's going on. And sometimes it can get a bit dreary reading too many flashbacks.
    Also, for an MC with that much of a personal history and since this is about theatre, it would have been better if he was voiced but its probably budget constraints or something and I understand that.
    That's it for the negative parts for me.
    Now for the positive parts.
    The music, they didn't have a lot of pieces to play like there were only 26 BGMs in total, but they actually used them quite well, and I never felt much need for more BGMs, what they had been perfect, and it always fit the scenes. I'm not an expert in music too, and I can't delve too much into it, but I know a well-executed sound design when I hear one.
    The story and the characters. I'll be discussing them both together as the story and the characters and intertwined. This is a story driven by its characters, not the other way around. All the characters are extensively developed. A certain scene will end up with you hating a certain character, but the more you get to know him through his interactions with others and his flashbacks, his personality, his motivations, all are warped, but you can still see where he is coming from. He is just a human, and I didn't expect the guy I hated at first to be one of the characters to make me cry at the end of his character arc. Moments like that are many in this novel, everyone is flawed just like real humans are. Those flaws will irritate you to no end. They will make mistakes but in the end, you will understand them. They have their virtues, all of them are trying to get want in their own way. However, their virtues don't cancel out their flaws, but that's just being human. All the characters are written well and by the end, you'll be loving them all. 
    The flashbacks form something like a third of the story and that's a lot but all of them contribute to the story and make you get to know all the characters. All the characters have their purpose in the story, and getting to know them immerses you more and more in the theatres they play, and their character arc becomes more and more tragic and beautiful. Every side character had their own life, their own mistakes, their regrets, their dreams. 
    All of them dream to stand in the theatre, however life is not that pretty, and it reflects well on the writing. Theatre isn't some all-encompassing good thing, it destroyed some actors themselves, the sacrifices they make that chip at their soul, the ugliness of reality is in full display, however whenever they perform on the theatre, you find yourself enchanted. Maybe all those sacrifices were worth it in the end for this piece of art, and the characters themselves often ask those questions to. 
    "Why do I love theatre? Did I really love theatre? Am I happy now?" All the characters have their own answers, all of them pursue theatre for their own reasons, some of them are just there because that's what they thought that they were born to do.
    As you get to know the characters, the more you will immerse yourself into the setting and get attached to the characters, and when despair hits them, you'll find yourself despairing as much as they do. The circumstances in which they are in are cruel. It isn't because of what they did or what they are, that's just how life is. This story is not pretty, and often you'll find yourself gripped by the despair of what's happening.
    There are a lot of separate character arcs happening on screen, and they're brought to their conclusion in their own arcs. In each arc, you'll get to know the character themselves, what lie are they living in, what are they trying to get away from, and how will stand against the ugly truth. The routes themselves are in a way bad ends, and it is obvious why it is. They are bad ends with a story that will let you get to know the characters. The format is branching routes, and it's hard to do a route because the choices you need to do is sometimes morally disgusting. You know it is wrong, but you do it because it's a comfortable lie, but a life built by lies will collapse on its own, and you can never be truly happy. While I liked Meguri's character the most, the choice to go into her route is... Well, I can't stomach it since it feels so wrong. But you know destroying her world of lies will thrust her into the despair of reality, and they show her despair when you make that choice to destroy her lies.
    Sewa Tamaki, the main character is as much as important as a character than everyone else. He is not the focus of the story, all of them are. While he maybe the main POV of the game, there will be a lot of moments where you play the VN as the POV of another character. I don't have much to say about him without being too spoiler-y.
    Also, while this is a title that will make you cry, it is not an Utsuge as I have previously mentioned. While the despair and hopelessness will make you feel sad, the ending itself is a hopeful one and an earned happy ending. It's a fitting conclusion although while I may hate open-ended endings, this novel did it good and it made me feel satisfied as this is not a story about romance, but how all of the characters move on from the painful reality and face tomorrow head-on. 
    I highly recommend people to try this. BTW MEGURI NO.1
    I wrote this on the fly after reading the VN's while my thoughts are fresh but not that organized. I'll probably edit this to add more and construct my thoughts better.
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