Home Forums The Japanese Language Do you think I'm ready to read Harry Potter when I'm through TF?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MisterM2402 [Michael] 10 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #44848


    Harry Potter is a child book so I don’t think it would be that bad to get through.
    When I was a child I didn’t know I needed glasses I just knew I read rotten so I never read anything, even though I were a huge Harry Potter fan so I think it would be very obvious for me to give a try.

    I know people who have completed TF isn’t on the forum much but if someone read this please tell if you think my TF knowledge will be enough to understand Harry Potter. And have any of you tried reading Harry Potter in Japanese? What do you think about it?
    I know I’m going to look up many words but I’m interested in how the grammatical level is. Fortunately I’ve found a memrise course based on understanding Harry Potter.

    If you think the TF level isn’t enough do you then have other suggestion for reading material?

    • This topic was modified 10 years, 1 month ago by  Cimmik.


    Unfortunately, the answer is no. The current content here on TextFugu won’t even be enough to pass N5 of the JLPT. A novel is going to be considerably harder. Once you’ve learnt all the grammar on say Tae Kim’s site or one of the mainstream textbooks, etc, then you might be ready to begin to tackle native material. Even then, it might not be enough. Having to constantly look up unfamiliar vocab and grammar will defeat the purpose.

    An easy manga like Yotsubato would be more suitable to begin with once you start to tackle native material.



    I see.
    It seems like I have to continue lang-8, etoeto, and Tae Kim a little more after TF.



    Yes, more exposure you have the better. Also try http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/


    Not even nearly. It’s been a few years since I finished TF and I still find trying to read Harry Potter hard. I listened to some of the audiobook too and had little clue what was going on. It does help if you know the story already, but still, it’s pretty tricky. It may be a “children’s book” but it’s written with adults in mind too. Also, I’ve heard that many Japanese readers are angry because the translation (of the first book, at least) is so garbage; even if you were to try reading a novel, maybe HP isn’t the best choice. Don’t let all that put you off trying though! Maybe the memrise course will help, but then it seems like it only includes the more difficult words (from the perspective of someone studying for N1) – I’ve got to assume there are many, many, many more common/simpler words that you won’t know yet either, so it will still be damn hard.

    While I’ve basically given up reading the book now, I did at least learn the words 魔法 and 魔法使い, “magic” and “witch/wizard/magic user” respectively :D



    There’s a Harry Potter group study thread over on the koohii forums that might interest you both.



    Hmm I wonder if Hermione would count as a 魔法少女 ^^

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 1 month ago by  Strangeluv.


    Can I ask you, what is your level MisterM2402? For how long have you studied and how? Have you read whole Tae Kim? and have you completed other materials e.g. Genki?
    Just so I can get an idea of what level is needed.



    I’ve been studying for three years, have completed Nakama, two-thirds of Tobira and Japanese for Busy People, and have passed JLPT N3, and though I’ve never tried reading Harry Potter, it took me literally hours to muck my way through just the first two-thirds of the prologue of Sydney by Murakami Haruki. Been playing 二の国 on my DS as well – not sure what the expected playtime is, or how far through the game I am, but I’m up to thirty eight and a half hours.

    Also been trying to make a translation of a drama series called てっぱん – episodes are fifteen minutes long, but it takes me hours to do each (whereas a Japanese speaker would take, you know, fifteen minutes). I can barely understand a word they’re saying – have been relying on the novelisation and a Chinese fansub – though admittedly I’m also having to give myself a crash-course in the Kansai and Hiroshima dialects. Mind you, my listening ability has always been terrible, so maybe don’t use that last one as a benchmark for your own abilities. =)

    Honestly, I find it incredibly demoralising. We’re not quite ready to be Pokemon masters just yet.


    I started Japanese some time in September 2010, I think. I’m nowhere near the level I should be, though; if I’d studied more consistently and in a smarter way, I’m sure I could be far better by now. I’d say I was maybe “lower-intermediate” in reading, “lower-beginner” in listening and writing, and “total noob” in speaking, but it really depends on how you want to define terms like that (plus I could be under-/over-estimating myself).

    Just as a run down of stuff I’ve done though, which is probably more helpful: completed TextFugu (not that TF is complete itself); completed James Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji Vol. 1; completed Japanese for Busy People Books 1-3; read everything up to section 6 on Tae Kim (plus a small bit of section 6); half-way through Tobira: Gateway to Intermediate Japanese; 4300 words from Core6k added to Anki; read a few of the stories in “Short Stories in Japanese: New Penguin Parallel Text” (stories with each left page Japanese and each right page its English translation); read a few of the stories in “Breaking into Japanese Literature” (same deal as previous but with “classic” authors and more complex, old-fashioned Japanese); a handful of articles on LingQ; half an episode of “Densha Otoko” plus lots of variety shows; countless articles on NHK News Easy; 100 trillion plays of every Perfume song ever made.

    That was a little more comprehensive than I meant it to be…

    There are a few things to note about that list, though. Where I say I’ve “completed” something, it doesn’t mean I have absolute mastery of everything in it – I forget stuff all the time and have to look back (especially at Tae Kim) to remind myself of what I’ve already read so often. There’s no way I could have read those short stories without the English translation to fall back on. RTK was a great foundation in kanji, making me somewhat comfortable with reading and dealing with it in general, but I forget proper stroke order frequently and am so bad at remembering how words are written.

    Edit: Oh, also, I’ve done pretty well at the practice reading questions for N3 on the JLPT website (not as well for the listening ones); haven’t actually taken the exam.


    “Honestly, I find it incredibly demoralising. We’re not quite ready to be Pokemon masters just yet.”

    I’m feel exactly the same :/
    What would the equivalent of the Elite 4 be in terms of Japanese? Passing N1? Passing KanKen 1? *Not* breaking down and crying any time a Japanese person tries to speak to you?



    One of my favourite Japan/Japanese related websites is Japanese Level Up. I regularly check their articles. The following links might be of interest to people here.

    1) A rough guide on what level you are

    2) Reading tests

    It’s not entirely accurate but is interesting nonetheless. Think of it as a guideline =)


    That “What level are you?” list is just reminding me I need to add more sentences to Anki. I started a deck but couldn’t be bothered doing any more at the time, so I’ve got about 10-15 sentences so far :P

    The first sentence is “Keeping track of your Japanese level is of great importance”. I’m not sure if he just means in the context of following the website, but in general it’s really *not* important to know what “level” you are. No one is really at a single level anyway: someone could be “Business” in one area but “Intermediate” in another and “Elementary” in another. I’m working on an intermediate textbook but no way in hell can I understand 15% of Japanese TV haha.

    I’ll definitely have a perusal of the site later when I have time though, even if I think the level guidelines page isn’t very helpful; I’m interested to see what their system is. I could have sworn I’d seen the site before, maybe linked from AJATT?



    I have to agree with the others.
    My history is almost exactly like Michael’s (except for the Japanese for Busy People) and I struggle through native material.

    For me, the holes are definitely in vocabulary. I can usually parse out the function of each part of a sentence grammatically, but have to look up half the words to actually understand anything. It is frustrating, but if I stick to a page per sitting and a few sitting a day, it’s manageable.

    But coming right, from Textfugu would be really rough. A friend of mine had a few of the graded readers from White Rabbit Press (link below). You could look into some of those. (They are very expensive.)




    Thank you for your help. Yes it frustrating but to get through it there’s only one way to go. Forward.

    I’ve heard of people who don’t know much Japanese but moved to Japan for a year and spoke it fluently when they came home. I wish it was possible to progress just half as fast in a situation like ours.



    @ Mister
    I think he means using the website. As there’s an RPG style levelling up system he’s created. I agree that it’s not really accurate nor important to grade yourself on a number, and as you say, someone could be at different levels in different areas, so an all round number isn’t particularly useful to judge yourself.

    Yes, it’s possible you might have seen it mentioned on AJATT before. I find JALUP to be an easier site to navigate than AJATT.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.