Little Charo Episode 13

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

Shortly after arriving in Chicago, Charo prepares for a party at the Spencer estate. Perhaps by mingling with the guests, he may be able to find out how to meet Louisa? This episode is of a medium-long length, and has a bit of vocabulary that we haven’t encountered yet. Towards the end there is a fairly difficult puzzle where you have to help decide the seating arrangements for the other pets. It has a lot of clues written in Japanese, so I recommend trying to work out the solution on your own. But if you can’t get it, highlight the following text to see the solution: ★ Top: Nancy; Top-Right: Tony; Right: Joy; Bottom-Right: Mimi; Bottom: Paul; Bottom-Left: Stephen; Left: Rum; Top-Left: Keith

Frequently Used Vocabulary

Here are some frequently occurring words from this episode:

中庭    なかにわ    (n) courtyard; (P)
屋敷    やしき    (n) residence; estate; grounds; (P)
納屋    なや    (n) shed; barn;
花壇    かだん    (n) flower bed; (P)
噴水    ふんすい    (n) water fountain; (P)
金ぴか    きんぴか    (adj-na,n) gilded splendor;
輝く    かがやく    (v5k) to shine; to glitter; to sparkle; (P)
到着    とうちゃく    (n,vs,adj-no) arrival; (P)
席順    せきじゅん    (n) seating order
季節    きせつ    (n,adj-no) season; (P)
準備    じゅんび    (n,vs) preparation; setup; arrangements; (P)
金貨    きんか    (n) gold coin
伝言    でんごん    (n,vs) verbal message; word; (P)
招待    しょうたい    (n,vs,adj-no) invitation; (P)
広間    ひろま    (n) hall; saloon; spacious room; guest room
哀しみ    かなしみ    (n) sadness; sorrow; grief; (P)
優雅    ゆうが    (adj-na,n) elegance; grace; refinement
咲く    さく    (v5k,vi) to bloom; (P)
奥    おく    (n) interior; inner part; inside; (P)
生い茂る    おいしげる    (v5r,vi) to grow thickly; to be overgrown; to thrive; to grow in abundance
樹木    じゅもく    (n,adj-no) trees and shrubs; arbour; arbor; (P)
神秘的    しんぴてき    (adj-na) mysterious
毛並み    けなみ    (n,col) lie of a (dog’s) hair; type; sort; lineage; breeding
埋める    うずめる    (v1,vt) to cover; to bury (e.g. one’s face in hands); to submerge; to fill (completely); to stuff; to pack; to cram; to fill up; (P)
水筒    すいとう    (n) canteen; flask; water bottle; thermos; (P)
小型犬    こがたけん    (n) small-breed dog; toy dog
側面    そくめん    (n) side; flank; lateral; (P)
広告    こうこく    (n,vs,adj-no) advertisement; (P)
車体    しゃたい    (n) body (of car); frame

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!

 

Little Charo Episode 12

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

In this short episode, Charo takes a trip to Chicago with Candy. There, he hopes to meet Margherita’s friend, Louisa. Will Louisa really be able to help Charo get back to Japan?

Frequently Used Vocabulary

Here are some of the words that show up in this short episode:

食べ残し    たべのこし    (n) leftover food (esp. on one’s plate at the end of a meal)
捜す    さがす    (v5s,vt) to search (for something lost); to look for; (P)
交差点    こうさてん    (n) crossing; intersection; (P)
実際    じっさい    (adj-no,adv,n) practicality; reality; actual conditions; (P)
物音    ものおと    (n) sounds; (P)

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!

 

Little Charo Bonus Episode 3

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

In this third Bonus Episode, we find out why Candy’s ribbon is so important to her. It’s an extremely short and rather simple episode.

Bonus Episode 3 Requirements

For this episode to be unlocked, you have to have cleared episode 11, obtained 1300 points (through the various challenges and mini-games that appear in each episode), obtained all of the English coins from episode 11, and have correctly answered 3 questions from the へんな犬のクイズ(Strange Dog’s Quiz). The quiz game can be accessed from the episode select screen by clicking on the button in the bottom right, then selecting the image of the strange dog.

Frequently Used Vocabulary

Here are some of the words that show up in this short episode:

大勢    おおぜい    (n,adj-no) many; crowd; great number of people; (P)
豪華    ごうか    (adj-na,n) wonderful; gorgeous; splendor; (P)
首輪    くびわ    (n) necklace; collar
不格好    ぶかっこう    (adj-na) unshapely; ill-formed; misshapen;
台無し    だいなし    (adj-na,n) mess; spoiled; spoilt; (come to) nothing; (P)
出来    しゅったい    (n,vs) occurrence; happening; taking place
後悔    こうかい    (n,vs,adj-no) regret; repentance; (P)
打ちひしがれる    うちひしがれる    (v1) to be stricken (e.g. with grief); to be battered (e.g. by disasters)
格闘    かくとう    (n,vs) hand-to-hand fighting; grappling; scuffling; (P)

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!

 

Manga

Intensive VS Extensive Reading – Is there a silver bullet for language learning?

I occasionally see arguments being made regarding language learning that extensive reading is better for you than intensive reading, or vice versa. Often it might be backed up by a personal anecdote, such as “I was doing intensive reading for AGES and I didn’t make any progress at all! Then when I switched to extensive reading, my reading ability shot through the roof!”

But this is not really an article about reading. It’s more about different study methods, and why you shouldn’t necessarily listen to anyone who tells you “you should do THIS and not THAT”. Let’s look at intensive and extensive reading as an example of this.

Intensive Reading – Involves carefully and methodically reading a passage for the purpose of comprehension. May involve looking up words or grammar. Is usually very slow and takes a long time to progress very far in the text.

Extensive Reading – Involves reading text quickly, with little concern for complete understanding. It doesn’t matter whether you know all the details as long as you can see the big picture. There is no time for things like looking up words in a dictionary, you just want to get to the end.

So, which of these reading methods do you think is better? It’s apples to oranges, isn’t it?! It’s not really possible for one to be “better” than the other, because they are fundamentally different things with different goals and objectives. Will intensive reading help you learn a language? YES! Will extensive reading help you learn a language? YES!

Okay, so some things will work better for some people, and some things will work better for other people. Article over, right? Nope, because that’s not my point here at all. I don’t believe that it’s simply a matter of “this works better for me, so I will just do this”. Rather, it’s a matter of cross-training. Being well-rounded and ensuring that you get plenty of practice and experience in ALL aspects of the language.

Thinking about intensive reading and extensive reading, it might seem that they are two completely different things. One of them can train certain skills, and the other can train other skills. But they aren’t actually completely separate. They are actually linked in certain ways that compliment each other. Doing a lot of extensive reading can be a big benefit to you when you are reading intensively, and intensive reading can also benefit you when you decide to do extensive reading. How is this?

Well, let’s imagine a scenario in which you have been focusing solely on intensive reading for a while. You are learning a lot of new words all the time, and you pride yourself on being able to fully understand the stories that you are reading. But, no matter how long you do this, you are still coming across a never-ending list of new words, like an insurmountable wall. Despite still learning new things, it feels like you aren’t making much progress, and your reading speed is really slow as well!

So now you switch to extensive reading. In a short time, you notice a massive improvement in your reading speed. You start to realize that some words just don’t really matter all that much, and probably aren’t worth your time to stop and look them up. You will probably come across them again at some point, after all. You make it through a book ten times faster than you ever would have before, and it feels great!

Now at this point, if you were the hypothetical person that I mentioned in the first paragraph, perhaps you have come to the conclusion that extensive reading is the way to go, and you were doing it wrong all along up until now, so you go on some forum and try to spread the gospel of extensive reading. But the only problem is, your extensive reading progress did not occur in a vacuum. You had built up a tremendous amount of knowledge through intensive reading, but had neglected certain skills. When you begin to practice through extensive reading, those skills would quickly be brought up to par because they are building upon what you already have. If you had originally started out purely with extensive reading, then you likely would not have made progress as quickly, and you would have run into other sorts of problems. For instance, most of the words that you encounter could go unlearned even after numerous encounters with them, or you might have feelings of being completely lost because you don’t comprehend a single thing you are reading.

It all contributes to your overall understanding of the language. If you focus on one area, then you are going to get better at that one thing, and you are still going to suck in other areas. But even training in just one area still increases your overall ability. So if you later go out and focus on an entirely different aspect of the language, you aren’t starting from scratch, you are starting from a solid foundation.

If you have followed some of the posts I have made on this blog, you might know that when I originally started this blog, I had real issues with my Japanese listening ability. I had done very little practice in this area, despite the fact that I had learned tons of words and grammar. So I began doing some extensive practice with Japanesepod101.com, and I saw huge noticeable changes in my listening ability. Some might look at this sort of progress and say “Wow! Japanesepod101.com must be the best way to learn Japanese! Look how fast I’m improving!” But honestly, Japanesepod101.com is not just some amazing resource that will take anyone from zero to hero. The fact is, I was already fairly decent at Japanese, but my listening ability just sucked donkey-butt. Because I had a strong foundation to work from, that’s why I was able to improve my listening ability rather quickly. By the time I started reaching more difficult lessons in Japanesepod101.com that are more in line with my actual overall ability, my listening gains started slowing down a lot.

I think a good analogy for this is the Olympic games. Michael Phelps set an amazing record of winning 8 gold medals during the 2008 summer Olympics! And he has won 22 Olympic medals in total! But… those medals were all for swimming. Because of the similarity between events, there is a very large amount of transferable skill from one event to another. What I mean is, getting a medal in both the 100m butterfly and the 200m butterfly is quite different than say, getting medals both in fencing and archery.

With learning a language, the different facets like input & output, speaking & reading, etc, are all interconnected. You aren’t going for gold medals in totally separate events, you are just training to be well-rounded in different facets of one overall thing. You can’t JUST read, or JUST have conversations, or JUST do Anki reviews. You’ve got to cross-train in everything, and each individual aspect that you get better at will simultaneously help you to get better at all the others.

And if you suddenly change up your study methods and you find that you are making much better progress, that doesn’t mean that you’ve found a better study method, it just means that you’ve found your weak spot.

 

Little Charo Episode 11

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

In this episode, that whiner Candy gets all upset because she loses her ribbon, and she sends Charo out to find it. Charo doesn’t have much luck initially, but by helping a diverse range of characters who are having problems of their own, perhaps that will somehow lead him to the ribbon?

This is a somewhat long episode, but it’s not too bad. Make sure you review the frequent vocabulary first through, or it might get a little frustrating. You NEED to find all of the English coins in this episode in order to access the next bonus episode, so be sure to check everything!

Frequently Used Vocabulary

The following words show up numerous times throughout this episode:

リス    りす    (n) squirrel
困る    こまる    (v5r,vi) to be troubled; to be worried; (P)
枝    えだ    (n) branch; bough; limb; (P)
森    もり    (n) forest; shrine grove; (P)
クルミ    くるみ    (n) walnut
お礼    おれい    (n) thanking; expression of gratitude; (P)
葉っぱ    はっぱ    (n) leaf; (P)
地面    じめん    (n,adj-no) ground; earth’s surface; (P)
木々    きぎ    (n) every tree; many trees; all kinds of trees
切れ端    きれはし    (n) scraps; cut end; cut-off piece
様子    ようす    (n) state of affairs; situation; circumstances; appearance; (P)
あっという間に    あっというまに    (exp) in the blink of an eye (lit: in the time it takes to say “Ah!”);
顔    かお    (n) face (person); (P)
舞台    ぶたい    (n) stage (theatre, theater); scene or setting (e.g. of novel, play, etc.); (P)
相談    そうだん    (n,vs) consultation; discussion; (P)
不思議    ふしぎ    (adj-na,n) wonder; miracle; strange; mystery; (P)
幹    みき    (n) (tree) trunk; (P)
会場    かいじょう    (n) meeting place; venue; grounds; (P)
踏む    ふむ    (v5m,vt,arch) to step on; to tread on; (P)
つぶやく    つぶやく    (v5k) to mutter; to murmur; (P)
低い    ひくい    (adj-i) low (height, tone, rank, degree, cost, etc.); short; (P)
立ち並ぶ    たちならぶ    (v5b) to stand up; to line in a row;
光    ひかり    (n) light; (P)
歌声    うたごえ    (n) singing voice; (P)
必要    ひつよう    (adj-na,n) necessary; needed; essential; indispensable; necessity; need; requirement; (P)
飾る    かざる    (v5r,vt) to decorate; to ornament; to adorn; (P)
変    へん    (adj-na,n,n-pref) strange; odd; peculiar; weird; (P)
引っかかる    ひっかかる    (v5r,vi) to be caught in; to be stuck in; (P)
頭上    ずじょう    (n) overhead; high in sky
ドングリ    どんぐり    (n) acorn
紙切れ    かみきれ    (n) scrap of paper
芝生    しばふ    (n,adj-no) lawn; (P)
自由の女神    じゆうのめがみ    (n) Statue of Liberty
輝き    かがやき    (n) radiance
巣    す    (n) nest; (P)

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!