Happy July, everyone! ^o^/ Somehow June just flew by. o_o That means Tadoku is over, and I have lots of other things to do!
This round, I felt more like I was reading to read rather than reading just to be able to record it, which is different from how I felt in the half-round I tried before. Once I began following the “Golden Rules of Tadoku” I started to enjoy the reading; I stopped feeling like I needed to look up every single thing I didn’t understand.
What are the “Golden Rules of Tadoku”?
- Start from scratch.
Read easy books you can enjoy without translating. That way, you will understand better and so you will read more.
- Don’t use your dictionary
Don’t use your dictionary when you come across words you don’t know. Guess the meaning from the pictures and/or the story.
- Skip over difficult words, phrases and passages.
If guessing doesn’t work, skip over that word, phrase or passage and go on reading. You can often enjoy the book without understanding every small detail.
- When the going gets tough, quit the book and pick up another.
The going gets tough when the book is not suitable for your level or your interest. Simply throw the book away and start reading something else.
I actually didn’t find these four rules until halfway through, and I only found the last three at first; the fourth one I found after further clicking from page to related page.
Believe it or not, it makes such a huge difference not having a dictionary. Somehow it keeps you focused so you unconsciously search the surrounding text to try to grasp the meaning even when you don’t know the word. And I will admit that sometimes I broke the no-dictionary rule, but just when a certain word or kanji appeared many times in a paragraph and I didn’t know what it was and couldn’t guess from clues at all. In one such case, I looked up the word only to realize I already knew it! I just didn’t know the kanji it used! So that helped a lot and I was able to understand that paragraph.
So, how did I do this round of Tadoku?
Well, I set a goal of 175 pages and…I didn’t make it. However, I came pretty close considering how well (that is, how bad) I did on my first try. I finished up with a round reading average of 4.2 and a total of 130 pages, which is actually more than my mini-goal of 125 pages that I had set for myself after realizing I wouldn’t be able to hit 175. So in that sense it’s a small victory. Haha. ^o^
All in all, I enjoyed this round and coming to realization that I can actually make some sense of what to me was, at one point, just meaningless, pretty writing. 🙂 I still have a long way to go, but I’ve come a long way too. これからも、頑張ります！