Reading manga can greatly help a Japanese learner to improve their language learning and get to know the culture of Japan. Mangas have an informal language, requiring a little care. They also have images and furigana that aid in reading and understanding the text.
In Japan it is very common to find people of all ages reading manga, there are thousands of stories, for all tastes. In this article I will give tips on how you can use manga reading to help you learn the Japanese language.
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Choosing and Familiarizing with Manga
You must read the entire manga without help! For this you need to choose a manga in your level. If you're a beginner, choose children's works like yotsubato!, Doraemon, and Sazae-san.
If you are already advanced in the language, you can pick up famous works, which have simple dialogue, no fiction, or complicated words. Mangas depicting life and everyday life in Japan, school life, culture, etc.
You can read the manga and make notes of some words within the manga, to help you understand unfamiliar words. Keep in mind that to enjoy learning with manga, you will need to read it several times, do searches with a dictionary, etc.
Do's and Don'ts when Studying with Manga
Don't read what you don't know – If you started a manga, and you are all the time chasing meanings in the dictionary. We recommend that you choose another manga at your level. You will only delay your learning, and you will not be able to memorize anything.
read again – If you come across a word or phrase that you know, read it again. The more you repeat, the harder it will be to forget, and the faster your reading will be.
Make reading short and fun – You will only benefit from reading the manga if you find it fun. Many have difficulty or lazy reading, for people like this, it is recommended to read a little so as not to get sick or strain the mind.
Copy Phrases – If you use anki or another memorization tool, copy the phrases and meanings you find interesting to the app. Also use a notebook to write the sentences if you intend to practice writing.
beware of informal – Manga is full of slang, dialects, abbreviations and informal words. So extra care is needed, avoid using manga expressions in inappropriate places. If you have trouble discerning these things, choose a more mature and formal work.
How to learn Japanese with manga?
To study a manga, you'll need some tools and books to keep you on your long journey. There are some good books that can help you study with mangas, see some below: In addition to the books, you will need some tools like:
Jisho – A complete online Japanese dictionary, it is in English but has translations into Portuguese. Perfect for finding the different meanings of words and kanji.
anki – If you don't use anki or another spaced repetition program, start using it now! As you read the manga, copy the sentences to put in the app and help with memorization.
Capture2Text – If you intend to read manga online, and if you come across any kanji without furigana, this tool can help. It allows you to capture the text from the image, so you can translate it easily.
Now all you have to do is have a notebook and pen, and preferably the manga in hand, and start your studies.