I read this blog article on manga, and the author listed a few ideas for Japanese learners at different levels. For beginner learners, she listed this manga called Orange. I actually remember seeing this manga at Kinokuniya on the weekend, so I thought I’d return today and buy it.
While I was there, remembering my massive challenge on the weekend browsing through the numerous shelves of Japanese and Chinese manga (and English manga, but that wasn’t a challenge in any way whatsoever 😂), I quickly realised that finding this particular manga again isn’t going to be that easy.
However, I also remembered that the manga seemed to be grouped into broad demographics: “boy” manga, “girl” manga, “quasi porn” manga 😂 etc. I would classify Orange as a “girl” manga, so I started my search in that area. Sure enough, I found it relatively quickly, omg!
Then I had this crazy thought: what if I could find this exact same manga in both the Chinese section and the English section?? The English version would act as my safety net, should I have difficulty understanding it in either (or both!) of the other two languages.
But then of course that meant that I had to go searching in the seemingly disordered Chinese manga section, which didn’t seem to talk to me in the same way that the Japanese manga section did (and the latter barely spoke to me as it was 😂). Looking at the spine of the Japanese book, I noticed that it had the word “Orange” written on it – in English! So all I needed to do was find the same word in the “girl” area of the Chinese manga section. I can find an English word among the thousands of Chinese comic books here, surely! 😂 It took me considerably longer to find than the Japanese version, but eventually I did. Omg x2!
Now for the easiest one of all. The English section is in alphabetical order, so I went straight to the O’s. And there it was. Omg x3.
[ But I’m still wondering how the Chinese and Japanese manga are ordered?! ]
I decided to buy all three 🤪 Crazy or ingenious?!?
I’ve actually started reading all three versions 😲 I’m mega slow: I’m only about ten odd pages in (and remember that these are comic books, so they’re full of pictures!), but it’s been good so far. One thing that I’ve discovered, which I didn’t think of when I first thought of this idea, was that reading the Japanese version can sometimes actually help with my Chinese, or vice versa. For example, if I know how something should be said in Japanese, and then I read the Chinese equivalent in the Chinese version, I can then see how you would convey the same thing in that language – which can sometimes be nothing like what you would normally say in English in that same situation! So it’s a good cultural learning opportunity too. Total amaze balls. I’m so impressed with this idea 👏
The story seems quite interesting too. It would be something that I would want to read, even if I didn’t have this overarching goal of improving my language skills. In fact, I’m refraining big time from just picking up the English version and reading it in one sitting! 😂
But I also suffer from the problem of being too bogged down with the “learning” aspect of it, and not just enjoying it as a light-hearted read. I don’t understand every single word of any book in English that I read, so I should try and do the same here. Of course if I can’t read more than half the sentence, then some learning is in order 😂 But if I can read the majority of it, then I should just try and get the gist of what they’re trying to say, rather than disrupting the flow of the reading to refer, once again, to the dictionary. If I try and do this some more, hopefully I can soon find a happy medium between learning and entertainment 😊
Exciting times ahead! (Hopefully!)