So if you're genuinely interested in improving your Japanese literacy at an intermediate-advanced level while enjoying authentic stories from Japan, keep on readin'! In this article, I will break down the Japanese Stories for Language Learners book and illustrate how it can improve your reading comprehension skills through fun stories and engaging features designed for learners.
There are five stories in total, each of which is listed later in this article. All the stories are based on the content from Aozora Bunko, which is an online library of Japanese copyright-free content available at no charge to the public. The first two stories are traditional Japanese folktales and use simplified versions of their source texts. They are easier than the rest of the book so intermediate and advanced learners can use them as a warm-up, and upper-beginners would probably be able to enjoy them as well. The rest of the stories are relatively newer, with the most recent published in 1934. They are short stories that represent Japanese modern literature from the 1910s to 1930s. These later stories are given in the original text, so readers who start with the easier folktales can transition to more challenging materials as they work through the book. Unlike other Japanese readers I've used before, such as Breaking into Japanese Literature, the stories in this book utilize modern kanji along with relatively common vocabulary. Overall, these selections are formatted well, packed with authentic Japanese writings, and open up many opportunities to learn new vocabulary and grammar structures.
And while we're discussing the stories themselves, I would also like to mention how each one is organized along with their features. Each story opens up with a short blurb either about the story's author or historical context. Then, the story is presented in both English and Japanese in a parallel fashion. The English translation appears on the left while its Japanese counterpart appears on the right. Since the authors are from a Japanese and translation studies program, the translations are excellent and beautifully done. After the story concludes, you can find a number of features in the following order: translation notes, a vocabulary and expression list, grammar exercises, and discussion questions. You will also be delighted by simple illustrations dotted throughout the book that serve as visual cues for each story. Pleasant additions as they are, they do not distract the reader from actually focusing on reading the content.
Japanese Stories for Language Learners can be used by learners of Japanese at intermediate and advanced levels: h ey can learn vocabulary and grammar while reading these stories using the glossaries, grammar notes, and exercises provided for each story. h is book can also be used by non-language learners: English speakers can read the English translation while Japanese speakers can read Japanese original text to appreciate Japanese literature and deepen their understanding of Japanese culture. We can learn interesting facts from history books and newspapers, but it is diificult to feel the raw emotions of people who lived at a dif erent time or in a different place. Reading literature and learning a new language opens doors to a new world.
Poetic diction treats the manner in which language is used, and refers not only to the sound but also to the underlying meaning and its interaction with sound and form. Many languages and poetic forms have very specific poetic dictions, to the point where distinct grammars and dialects are used specifically for poetry. Registers in poetry can range from strict employment of ordinary speech patterns, as favoured in much late-20th-century prosody, through to highly ornate uses of language, as in medieval and Renaissance poetry.
Allegorical stories are central to the poetic diction of many cultures, and were prominent in the West during classical times, the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Aesop's Fables, repeatedly rendered in both verse and prose since first being recorded about 500 BCE, are perhaps the richest single source of allegorical poetry through the ages. Other notables examples include the Roman de la Rose, a 13th-century French poem, William Langland's Piers Ploughman in the 14th century, and Jean de la Fontaine's Fables (influenced by Aesop's) in the 17th century. Rather than being fully allegorical, however, a poem may contain symbols or allusions that deepen the meaning or effect of its words without constructing a full allegory. 2b1af7f3a8