Monday, April 12, 2010

Update on April's challenges

En français
So as I explained earlier I am participating to two contests for the month of April.
Now we are the 12 of April, already almost in the middle of the month so I think it's time to take a look at what I have actually been doing for those challenges. I probably should have written something about it a bit earlier, anyway, it's here now.

Script Frenzy

For Script Frenzy I am a bit behind at the moment. I was supposed to write 3.33 pages a day. Actually I went out a lot since the first of April and ended up with being 16 pages behind in the writing. However, I'm not the kind to let things get worse and worse and I manage to write 17 pages yesterday. So now I have a total of 33 pages. I'll surely reach 40 pages tonight to be right on tracks again.

As I promised in the announcement of this challenge, here is a little summary of the story so far : Vienna's Ghost

Arman has the particular ability to be able to travel in people's dreams. Some people like it as he can help them dream about what they want and some people don't. But Arman sleep really few at night and never dream himself.
Yurei is the family ghost. She is scaring people unwillingly until Arman finally manage to talk to her. What Arman doesn't know is that Yurei is secretly in love with her and that she is the girl who appeared in his very first dream the day before and that he is desperately trying to fine.

As I always slide some links to my next story in the one I'm writing, I hide a little wink to "Demon and fairy" in this one. I didn't write much on the novel.

International L2 Reading Contest

Here is the International L2 Reading Contest. I have seen some of the read pages number of some people and I was really impressed. I surely over estimated my abilities when I joined this contest. But the good point about it, even if I am sure that I will never make it to the top 5, is that it allows me to test my reading in Japanese and also to read different kind of material. I really intend to push the effort until the end of the month (never left anything half done.) and I'm also intending to continue reading as much as I can after the contest.

花ざかりの君たちへ (Hana Kimi)
 I read 20 pages of the manga. I don't really know how to count them though. Normally 10 pages read count for 1 page in the contest. But I read all pages three times (so maybe 6 pages).
The first time I just go with the knowledge of Japanese I have. That kind of give me a flavor. I'm almost done with Heisig's remembering the Kanji.

But if I can write the characters fine when I have the meaning and if I can recognize a kanji that I know, getting the meaning of it coming to my mind is not that easy.
So here is where the second reading of the page comes into place, I look up all the kanjis for which the meaning didn't strike me and sometimes write them down.
The third reading allows me to actually fix things with the hiragana and katakana and to make sure that I understand what I read.
That may seem a slow process and it's actually slow but that's also a lot of fun and that also showed me that I can understand more than I thought I was.

I read two chapters of the little prince with the audio (audio books list). That's about 7 pages. These I read several times too, that depends of the sentences really. I like to have the audio with me because the hiragana tend to really really kill me. It's way more difficult to understand than with the kanjis.

I also read the equivalent of five pages on wikipedia about different topics. Basically, when I'm looking for something I will check the Japanese pages as well. I find it very convenient as I spend a lot of time on the computer. So each time I need a small break I will end up there.

And I read 6 pages of pure kana for the Japanese test for registration and placement into Japanese classes. I was already laughing when the girl put the paper in front of me. I had learned the hiragana the night before and I had told her so. I asked for something written in Japanese but she told me that that was the test I was supposed to take. I failed at it 7/58. Hopefully my supervisor wasn't really happy with the time table and decided that I will take the classes in fall instead. I can't tell how happy I am. I live with people who actually took this class at beginner level last semester and my Japanese is not worse that theirs so I really think that 10.5 hours in this class would really be a waste of time for me. I know kanjis, I'll know kana better in no time and I'm listening to Japanese all the time, I don't think a class would do more than to force me to say something my brain refuse to say at the moment. I already noticed that I'm able to say some complicated things when something apparently simple is totally alien to me. People ask me how I can know something complicated when I don't know something easy. Or also how I can know kanjis if I don't know kana. I don't know that's just the way it is at the moment.


  1. Hey! I've been told also that by learning kanjis before kanas there is a mistake in the method :D
    Can't wait to know the kanas...

  2. Wah, lol. Who said that ?
    I bet that's someone who can speak and read and write Japanese really well. :D

  3. It sounds like you're doing great. I'm impressed by the number of times you're going back over the material. At most, I'll usually read back over something one more time to either confirm the meaning or to practice reading aloud.

    Looking forward to seeing what you go on to next...

  4. I'm really new at reading and I haven't learned the pronunciation yet so I'm going slowly. I'll probably build up the speed in few months after I learn the readings and get more practice.