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Reading materials

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Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reading materials Reply with quote

It's a scope of links for reading materials posted by this forum members.
If you know any good materials of such kind please share them with all of us.
Also please inform about broken links.

Edo castle story for intermediate/advanced readers. Each text has some questions in the end to selfcheck your understanding of a material. Unfortunately there are just some first chapters avaliable. It seems like this site is either under reconstruction or abandoned.

Large set of reading materials about contemporary Japan's life for intermediate/advanced studens. Each text contains homework in japanese and pop-up hint for new unknown words and kanji. Also they say it has something to listen but I've never checked it. I can't decide if this link is broken or not. It doesn't show index of contents in any browser until you type your name into popup-window. But that popup isn't displayed by any browser except Internet Explorer. However you still may cheat around the system and reach any of 64 texts in your browser by typing a link manually. Example link is like this: http://www.all.co.nz/support/jpread/jpreadex64hr.htm - replace "64" with any number from 01 to 64.

The same site again. Here we have a list of lessons built in a form of dialogues for the very beginners. Includes commentaries and homeworks. That page also contains useful information on grammar and other language topics. It has the same problem as with previous reference so if we hate IE we should use similar trick. To reach any of 30 lessons type such a link in a browser: http://www.all.co.nz/support/lesson/lesson01hr.htm and replace "01" with any from 01 to 30.
However it's better to navigate this site with IE anyway since all useful features are supported only in IE version.

You may browse this on-line library on your own risk since it has neither furigana subscriptions nor any other tools. Texts are not of that easy level. You may read it either on-line or download PDF-version. Some PDFs seem to have no fonts embedded. At least my reader shows either bullets or white spaces. Some PDFs are formatted in traditional vertical style of japanese writing.

Aozorabunko is a really rich source for a reader however it's not something of a studying kind. It's just a good on-line library with books in japanese. Most of them are provided with furigana. There are also works of western authors translated into japanese. I've started there with Anderson's story tales, f.e. "oyayubihime" which means "Thumbelina" Smile

This is a site for japanese learners. It contains sections to work with your reading, writing and listening skills. Texts are all presented in PDF-format only. From what I've checked texts didn't look very difficult. It seems they revised navigation since I visited it some years ago.

Very good collection of texts to read regarding japanese daily life. It's useful not only for improving your reading skills because it also touches japanese language and culture specifics. At the right side of a page you have dictionary panel where it displays any blue-colored word you click in the text. At the end of a text you meet some questions for checking your understanding of a red story. Difficulty of each text is marked with stars. The more stars are present there in story title, the more difficult level it represents.

This resource seems to duplicate most of the content from previous one. And texts are not supplied with that vocabulary tool. I publish it for us just to have a mirror link. Its encoding is Shift-JIS. But you can turn on Autodetection -> Japanese in your browser.

It's a japanese educational site. Here we have collection of school children writings sorted by years and months of school period. What's the best is that it represents true live language and not adapted for foreign studens one. You can start with the earliest writings and move towards more advanced. Keep in mind that japanese school term begins in April.
That site also has many other sections I haven't explored yet.

Here we have a scope of short texts about Japan. Each text can be shown with romaji, kana-only or kana+kanji. There is an audio track for each part of a text. After a text there are vocabulary with audio, some grammar notes, exercises and a smal quiz. The site itself is dedicated to learning of Japanese.

Actually, it's not a link to reading materials but I guess it's very very useful for any Japanese learner because it explains usage of large number of japanese particles. Example sentences are supplied with audio in AIFF format. As for me I translated all those texts into Russian some years ago and that was hell amount of work Smile
Pages' encoding is Shift-JIS.

Very nice site. Many stories, farytales and other stuff with video and audio. Some materials are build in form of audio followed by text in Japanese with english translation. Some look like video in Japanese followed by written version. Despite japanese interface it's easy to navigate.

Stories in Japanese. Most of them are written with romaji, and only some are Kanji+romaji. I personally don't think it's the best solution. That may be useful to train spoken language skills but romaji (as well as pure kana) doesn't reflect stress so you may have problems with distinguishing some words unless you're a very advanced speaker.

For anime lovers. Here we can download scripts in Japanese for three famous fairytale anime of Hayao Miyazaki: "Naushika of the Valley of Wind", "Howl's Moving castle" and "Spirited away". They advice to print these texts and read them while watching original movies.

Last edited by Drex on Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:29 am; edited 45 times in total
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Site Admin

Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Drex for a very useful list.

I've made your post a sticky one so it will be always displayed first.
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Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Manila, PH

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ありがとう ね ^_^
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Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the list!

The 4. link (beginner lessons) only work with IE. At least it does not like my Firefox 3, and the 7. link appears broken at the moment.
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Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, z-one, that link really seems inactive now... If they don't bring it back to work after some time I will remove it.
Unfortunately I have nothing to enrich that list with for the moment.
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Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any enthusiast who wished to share a link to useful reading materials during passed 3 years...
I was absent too, and I wasn't interested in Japanese for long time... So, so far I have nothing to add here...
It also seems that some resources have gone dead - I'll remove dead links.
And it's pity that mori7.com seems like it finished posting updates since 2008... Everything indicates a global disaster we are heading to... Laughing
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Tom Hodgers

Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 253
Location: Valencia, Venezuela via Liverpool and Manchester, England

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Drex, nice to see you back.

There aren't many people active on the forums these days. As you know, we also had a thread on Easy Texts for Students, but nothing has been added for a number of years:

There doesn't seem to be much new material available on the web, but a search of the Reviewing the Kanji forum for "reading" will give you a list of a lot of material not contained in our threads:

Also take a look at "Buonaparte's audio and text links":


Just another
若人 WHACKO DOing his thing
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Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Tom.
I'll check through the links.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated 2011 Mar 5. Links are all checked for workability. Some new references are added and some descriptions are revised.
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