Missed His Shot

Aug 21, 2021, 7:10:05 PM



~If you see him in the street

Walking by her side, talking by her side, have pity~



Helena-sama, do you like it up here? It's quiet up here...



He is going through the unimaginable~*


(not singing.)

Hamilton, it's a donut.


(droops head, mumbling, singing)

...I am going through the unimaginable...


(sighs, arms crossed, not singing)

I'll get you a Mister Donut later...

Kanji Helper Tools

So, you might recall, I've been studying Japanese on my own by reading a Japanese novel. It's really more reading and acquiring bits and pieces of the language as I go.

Usually it takes me about 7-8 hours to go through a page of the novel I'm reading. Part of that time is looking up all the kanji and vocabulary. It's mostly tedious work that I was doing manually, and last Sunday I realized that it might take around 3-4 hours of my actual "reading" time for a page.

I wrote some tools for use with Google Spreadsheets to help me with this. You can find the Github repo here if you're curious about using the tools yourself: Google Sheets Kanji Helper

Once you install the tools you'll have to get whatever you're reading into a digital format. I found using the Google Translate app's photo OCR is a good means of doing that. Sure sometimes it can't translate something and there's a string of 's's, but from the 4 pages I've used it against to read through, it finds most, if not all, of the kanji. And when I scan the pages the lighting isn't super great and the pages are a bit curved near the spine of the book.

The tools work like this:

  1. Put your text in a spreadsheet cell.
  2. In a different cell run the function to either build a kanji table or vocabulary table. For Kanji you'll get the kun/onyomi readings as well as the English definition and grade school level. I also have an additional tiny chart at the bottom of the kanji table that shows the school grade breakdown of the Kanji in your text. I did this mainly so I could get an approximate gauge on what might be worth familiarizing myself with kanji-wise based on school grade level.
  3. To get vocabulary, run that function in a different cell while referencing the input text. You'll only get a partial list. It tries to find the meaning of words that are derived from all kanji characters. It can also break down multiple kanji words that are next to one another. Yeah, not idea, but I haven't really given deeper thought as to how it would break down words that are a mix of kanji and kana or verbs with different endings.

So, for instance, with the novel I'm reading, Maria-sama ga Miteru, for the 4 pages I've tested this against and read, it seemed if I knew up to and including 3rd grade kanji inside/out I might be able to read 50-60% of those pages without having to resort to looking up things in the dictionary (kinda). According to a Kanji app I have, there's 80 kanji for first grade, 160 for second, and 200 for third grade, that's a total of 440 kanji to know. If I worked to familiarize myself with that I might have a slightly better chance at reading the words in the book. Granted knowing the meaning of vocabulary is a different thing.

For those few pages that I did read through, I was able to focus more on the text itself without having to look each and every character (and word) up in a dictionary. It's still about 3-4 hours of actual work to understand the sentences on the page, but I feel like I'm making progress and getting better at it. Kanji and words are sticking in my brain.

As for the Comic...

LOL, I have no buffer currently. I drew this four-panel comic this morning. It took me about three hours to finish, but it's light on backgrounds. I'm playing with tones in Clip Studio for shading these simpler comics too. I'm fine with this result for the time being.

Anyway, have a great rest of your Saturday where ever you are and a great Sunday too!