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NowItsAngeTime

Reading Visual Novels in Japanese - A Demonstration Tutorial of the Experience

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Ugh... not the best of examples on how to start reading visual novels in Japanese.

One thing I noticed while watching this video till the end is that you didn't really learn Japanese grammar good enough. Yes, one can read VNs this way too and enjoy them, but that's only if you accept that your interpretation isn't accurate at least 30% of the time (the number can vary depending on the difficulty of the original JP text). Depending on the level of one's tolerance for ambiguity, this might not be the best way to start reading VNs in raw Japanese. Also... that parser seems to be making mistakes. At one instance, I saw 外 read as よぞ. Where the hell did it get that reading for it?! But yeah, this can still be fun if one accepts enjoying the story like this. I know I can't. That's why I am trying to really nail my comprehension of Japanese before reading VNs with text hookers, so that I can say that something means 100% this or that, not do guess work.

In any case, thank you for making this video. :) Ensemble VNs are interesting. I need to read some of them myself.

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8 hours ago, Infernoplex said:

Also... that parser seems to be making mistakes. At one instance, I saw 外 read as よぞ. Where the hell did it get that reading for it?! But yeah, this can still be fun if one accepts enjoying the story like this. I know I can't. That's why I am trying to really nail my comprehension of Japanese before reading VNs with text hookers, so that I can say that something means 100% this or that, not do guess work.

I cannot view this video now, however - because of such sometimes random parsing I decided to turn off words coloring and hiragana when using chiitrans as a parser - so weirdly parsed words wouldn't distract me. Now I just read, and when I encounter unknown word, I then hover the pointer over it to look it up - and if it turns out to be misparsed, I then use chiitrans' manual reparsing feature - highlight and press space.

But, like you say - that requires some basic grammar knowledge, and vocab as well. Chiitrans mostly trips up on slang (confusing particles, casual sentence endings, ない slurred as ねー etc) or when there's extensive kana usage. Haven't used other parsers, so cannot speak about them.

To clarify - I'm using only "show original text" option - I don't use translation features, beyond simple looking up of single words.

Edited by adamstan

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7 hours ago, adamstan said:

I cannot view this video now, however - because of such sometimes random parsing I decided to turn off words coloring and hiragana when using chiitrans as a parser - so weirdly parsed words wouldn't distract me. Now I just read, and when I encounter unknown word, I then hover the pointer over it to look it up - and if it turns out to be misparsed, I then use chiitrans' manual reparsing feature - highlight and press space.

But, like you say - that requires some basic grammar knowledge, and vocab as well. Chiitrans mostly trips up on slang (confusing particles, casual sentence endings, ない slurred as ねー etc) or when there's extensive kana usage. Haven't used other parsers, so cannot speak about them.

To clarify - I'm using only "show original text" option - I don't use translation features, beyond simple looking up of single words.

And that's exactly how you should be doing it. That's the right way to use this. I mean... you have many kanji with multiple readings where only the context is an answer on how it should be read. Say, a kanji liike 家 can be read both as いえ and うち (when it sits alone as a kanji, not speaking of the other usages), but only one of these is right depending on context. Parser doesn't know this stuff, so you can't use it for that. Same thing with what you mentioned - slang, confusing particles, sentence endings, nai forms, etc... Parser can't help you with that. Parser also can't help you with grammar. You need to really know grammar, and at least have some basic vocab knowledge to make reading VNs like this more fun. I see Ange is having trouble with one of the most common occurences in Japanese and that's どう. That only tells me he isn't really ready to read VNs this way, but at least he is having fun, which is the most important thing when you want to read VNs in Japanese. Sadly, my ambiguity tolerance level isn't that high, so I want to be better at Japanese before attempting something like this.

Edited by Infernoplex

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I think you'd get better much faster if you just bucked down and read instead of pursuing lesser ambiguity inferno, but whatever makes you feel good and keeps you learning. It's not like I aimed for maximum speed myself, I just had higher ambiguity tolerance. I do however think that your advice for ange to study more vocab is misguided. Grammar idk I only saw him do 3 lines but if he read all of tae kim and is referring to it that seems fine to me.

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4 hours ago, Zakamutt said:

I do however think that your advice for ange to study more vocab is misguided. Grammar idk I only saw him do 3 lines but if he read all of tae kim and is referring to it that seems fine to me.

The reason I argue for vocab learning is because ever since I started doing it, I feel less intimidated by looking at Japanese text. and it's the same reason I keep learning kanji, even though theoretically I don't need to know them if I'm gonna be using text hookers. I am not saying one should know every single word or kanji in Japanese before trying to read VNs like this, but I believe one should have at least a basic vocab knowledge level for it. I've seen so many common Japanese words in Ange's video that I honestly feel like he could read faster and with better comprehension if he knew those words beforehand. I mean, the very first line has a simple 失礼, which is a common word that also has a common expression associated with it. I honestly wonder how he didn't see it in Kanojo to Ore to Koibito to. And many other words too. Also... he wasted like 10 minutes or more of his video just figuring out the names of characters. And he had to use VNDB to confirm his suspicions on top of it! What would he do if the VN he picked up didn't have any info about it on VNDB (obscure VNs often contain no tags and information on characters). What's worse, if someone on VNDB inputted wrong romanization for the characters' names, he would be reading them wrongly the whole time! Not really the best way to go about it. And most of the time, you're given the furigana on how to read those names anyway, so I see no point in relying on VNDB for that info.

Also, the reason I mentioned that he should study grammar a bit more is because I feel like he didn't really put his mind into it just yet. I don't know if he really read Tae Kim or not, but I find it hard to believe that some of the more simple grammar expressions that I've seen in his video weren't covered by Tae Kim. He wouldn't need to say "I guess this means this or that" if he really understood the grammar behind these simple sentences. I honestly believe that if he felt more confident about his grammar skills and his interpretations, he would have even more fun reading VNs like this. I know that for me, whenever I learn a new piece of grammar and suddenly understand something I didn't understand before, it feels amazing. My Japanese is still shit, but at least I have fun and feel like I'm making progress with every new kanji/word/grammar that I learn. Blind text hooking and guesslating stuff like this definitely wouldn't be fun to me.

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