Why Wait For The Next Translation?

September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am 8 comments

Light Novels

If you’ve been a light novel fan, and perhaps even been on sites that have had discussions on light novels, then you’ve most certainly either heard or thought the following to yourself: “When will they hurry up with the translation of the next light novel?! I want to read it now!”

Sometimes, Light Novels are delayed for years, and even canceled, leaving translations scarce and far between. But the truest question is, why are you waiting several years to read the next volume of “GOSICK” or “Full Metal Panic!”, when you can technically start reading it before it’s released in the US.




*waits as readers laugh*

It’s funny, and even frightening to some, but it’s true. In this struggling industry, the best plan of action truly would be to learn Japanese. You would then be able to never have to wait on a “translation” to read your favorite novels, and you’d have the chance to read a bunch more that haven’t even been optioned for an English release yet.

But how? I know, the idea of learning another language is a daunting one, isn’t it? And READING another language seems ever harder! But I’m here to tell you, it ‘can’ be done.

Do you have a Nintendo DS? Buy the game “My Japanese Coach”. You should be able to find a copy for around $20. It’s a great way for BEGINNERS to start to learn to read, write, and speak the language.

Got $200-400 to blow? Try buying “Rossetta Stone” at your local Barnes & Noble or on TV. It’s a way to learn another language that NASA and others are using for their own employee’s with great success.

Pick up a Japanese Dictionary.

And pick up some books, maybe “Kana de Manga” from Manga University?

There’s lots of material to choose from when learning Japanese. Find the one that’s best for you.

Learning Japanese is by no means a quick and easy proccess.  It takes time, blood, sweat, and tears. Ok, well, the blood was only from a paper cut, but still, it was there none the less. lol

But once you begin to comprahend the language, and it slowly becomes engrained within you, a whole new world of literature and novels will open to you. And that is without a doubt, a beautiful dream.



Entry filed under: Articles.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rajikai  |  September 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I do agree with you, but those aren’t the only way you can learn Japanese… I haven’t taught myself the language, but I have used this program before, just for your information, and it was somewhat fun. But what does this have to do with Japanese, why thanks for waiting patiently… Knuckles in Chinaland is a RPG based game that allows you to actually learn some Japanese.

    I could only play this for limited time, thanks to issues in my life, but it temporary did store the information in my head (Cause I barely played for an hour)

    But this would be suitable for those who are like me, and don’t really want to read books, and rather just play games…

    But wait, It’s free. Though it might be complicating at first cause you NEED .net framework 1.1 installed on your pc, and it wouldn’t work if you have anything higher. But what’s this, you can install both of them? Now the hard part is removing the newer version, and installing the old one, then reinstalling the others…

    But in my option, it is worth it no?

  • 2. kafkafuura  |  September 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    It’s what I did 😡

    JwpCE is a good tool – especially for kanji lookup
    I would also suggest buying a kanji book and writing down a few of them everyday to help memorize them. Even if you don’t completely memorize them right away – they’ll start to stick.

    Honestly the best place to start for anyone at any level of beginner or medium level is

    http://www.jisho.org/ is a dictionary that uses the same sort of tools as jwpce and has forums for questions.

    if you’re at the point where you’re reading novels, it might be good to get the grammar study lists for JLPT2 and 1 – even though most of those aren’t even covered in university classrooms they’ll pop up and frustrate you in light novels.

    Oh and as for reading – start with manga aimed at younger age groups with furigana. If lightnovels even have furigana for un-stylistic purposes, it’s sparse.

  • 3. omgwtfbbq  |  September 10, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I have always been wanting to read a light novel in japanese but the problem is, where do we get raw light novels?

  • 4. kafkafuura  |  September 10, 2009 at 8:06 am

    The easiest way to do it is to order it from http://amazon.co.jp/ (can’t do it from the *.com) – it’s best to order a lot of them at a time as to minimize individual shipping costs. If you happen to be in a place like New York where they actually have a book store or two that carries them – you’ve got it there, but most of us aren’t that lucky. The novels themselves are usually very inexpensive, it’s just the shipping. if you order ~$100 worth of novels the shipping will be around $50, but you’ll have something like 11-14 books, so per book cheaper than the average novel. If you order one or two, shipping will probably cost more than the books.

    Depending on what you want to do – you might just order one and see how you like it, or jump in and order a bunch 🙂

    I’m sure you can get recommendations here – I’ve only started on my collection I’ve accumulated before I was able to read well enough.

  • 5. Sharillon  |  September 11, 2009 at 3:43 am

    I really tried to learn japanese by some books here in germany.
    Thought the books would be like my english-book from 5th grade starting with “My name is …. Nice to meet you.” “You are …”

    But somehow here its like: “I am lawyer. Lets talk about the economic situation!”

    The books to learn japanese here are more business-orientated… Kida sucks.

  • 6. taka_chan  |  September 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    haha, It’s true learning Japanese is the way to go if you love Japanese culture, you want to move to Japan or read/follow Japanese entertainment and media.

    All the sites and resources mentioned are AMAZING. I personally, use around five bookmarked sites that basically will make you be able to write emails to your Japanese friends like a pro..all grammatically correct and near perfect.

    The problem is, (sorry to shoot everyone down), it is near impossible understand the Japanese language (listening/reading) without a good five years of full time study. Kanji, if you are not chinese, is nearly impossible to learn to the point you can read a book in it. Most books have a ton of kanji, well, most reading material have a ton of kanji.

    Not to mention books like cellphone novels and light novels as well, use a more casual informal language, unlike traditional Japanese literature, therefore you are also dealing with all the intricate bits of Japanese culture, slang, mannerisms, nuances of the Japanese languages, and a billion of seemingly different verb forms/tenses in casual language. Which alone can be quite the daunting task to learn.

    I know some/alot of Japanese but struggle miserably with reading without proper dictionaries/translation resources. It is near impossible to read it straight from a book.

    Because you cannot copy and paste material from the hardcopy of a book onto a site that can translate it for you. Looking up kanji in a dictionary is tough for people not familiar with the system.

    Best bet is what I use, i use a pocket Japanese-English-Chinese dictionary. You have to actually through the writing screen, WRITE or TRY to write the kanji onto the dictionary and it will give you the meaning. (and many times you will fail to write it properly) And there are so many multiple meanings for a single kanji, you will most probably get confused. Better technique is write it onto the dictionary, and then get the hiragana reading of it, before inputting it onto your computer for further translation/look up of the entire sentence in context.

    But it is a difficult task. If you have the guts and perseverance to learn the Japanese language, spend 3-5 years studying it in a good university program or better yet go to Japan. If not, tough luck.


    • 7. Raji (@Cudgeon)  |  November 15, 2011 at 5:56 am

      How long do you think it takes to learn english on a passable level? Spending years to learn a language are the norm!
      But only the beginning is hard, the better you get the more fun things you can do to learn the language. While at the beginning it is frustatingly hard it gets easier by time.

      Besides all those overexaretion. Millions of casual forms? Every anime Fans is way more used to them than to the normal dictionary ones. Same goes for culture. In the end, most of it comes down to memorize vocabs and the basic kanji. Rarely used ones you can look up and you memorize them the more books / mangas / games you read.

  • 8. Running to the Ranobe Cafe at Otaku, No Video Blog  |  September 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    […] a particularly interesting post on learning the Japanese language so you can enjoy light novels in their original form.  Seems […]


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Welcome To Ranobe Cafe!

This marks the english speaking world's first dedicated light novel blog, bringing you news and views from the english perspective on light novels. We are more than just a blog about light novels though, we also stand in awe of the many other literary works crossing over to the West from Japan. So expect to also see articles that dabble from time to time in Cell Phone Novels and Japanese Sci-Fi works, to mention a few.

So come all you light novel enthusiasts! Come one and all! We may be a niche, and may represent one of the smallest markets in these economically troubled times, but we are also one of the most dedicated! So let us come together and support the industry we love and hold so dearly!



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