スター・ウォーズ discussion (Advanced) April 2024

Hi Everyone!

This is the official thread for the book we will be reading as of the 1st of April 2024.

スター・ウォーズ エピソード4:新たなる希望, Volume 4, (Novel)


Pace :racing_car:

For this first book, we are going to set the pace at 5 pages per day to begin with, and then we will make adjustments as we go along based on the average level of everyone and how we all feel about the amount of time we have to understand the content, ask questions, get answers to those questions, etc.

Feel free to voice your opinion about this pace as we go along!


General Rules :spiral_notepad:

For a full list of rules, please refer to the book club rules post. However, we would like to reiterate a few things regarding individual books. Please keep the following in mind in this discussion thread.

Keep discussion related to the target series.

You may of course make comparisons between grammar or vocabulary usages between series, but for the most part try to keep discussion related to the unique challenges that each book or series of books presents.

Search the threads for users that have perhaps previously asked the same question as you.

Each book will have its own thread, so if you follow the same pacing as the group, it is likely that a simple search will result in finding someone having asked the same question as you are about to ask. In addition to this, if you jump into a book late, it is expected that you would search the thread history before asking questions about content most participants have already past.

When asking questions, give as much detail as possible.

For example, if you include the page number, who is speaking, which speech balloon (in the case of manga), and explain what you want to know more about, that will be far easier for other users to answer rather than just asking ‘What does てっきり mean?’
Taking a screenshot and highlighting the portion you’re asking about would also be suitable.

Be polite! Not everyone is the same level.

Just because something is easy for you does not mean that it is easy for someone else. Let’s be thankful to those that answer our questions, and thankful also for the opportunity to help others that aren’t quite at the same level as us yet.

Keep questions in line with the pacing.

We know that some of you may want to surge ahead of the group if you are really enjoying a book. However, this can result in confusion if you are asking questions about things that people haven’t read yet. If this applies to you. Make a note of the question you want to ask, wait until the group has caught up, then ask the question

Be mindful of spoilers.

If you are asking a question about something that includes spoilers to the story, please be aware of this and let users know with a ‘SPOILER’ tag at the beginning of your question. Hiding the question by utilizing the Hide Details function of the forums would also be appreciated. Let’s allow everyone to enjoy the experience of reading spoiler free.

Let’s all have fun and create a positive learning environment together! :grin:


Ongoing スター・ウォーズ :books: :books: :books: :books:

Once we have finished reading the first volume, this thread will act as a legacy thread for the スター・ウォーズ series as a whole. We will be taking this approach with all other series as well. One thread, one series.

After the main group has finished the first volume, feel free to continue discussing and reading through any further volumes together! Also, feel free to revive dormant threads at any time if you’re reading a book that the book clubs have already read, but that you want to read as well and ask people questions about.


Vocab Deck :writing_hand:

Click here for our - スター・ウォーズ エピソード4:新たなる希望 vocab deck!

Deck now available, please keep in mind that there may be a few missing words, as we are still currently adding them in. We will have all missing words in by Sunday at the latest, ready for our Monday start.

Please read here for info about our vocab decks and their future development.


Okay, hope you’re all set to go! Looking forward to seeing the interesting things that everybody finds as they go through the book! :partying_face:

2 Likes

Click here for our - スター・ウォーズ エピソード4:新たなる希望 vocab deck!

Deck now available, please keep in mind that there may be a few missing words, as we are still currently adding them in. We will have all missing words in by Sunday at the latest, ready for our Monday start.

Please read here for info about our vocab decks and their future development.

2 Likes

Feel free to start discussing the book now everyone! Please just keep in mind the general rules for posting at the top of this thread.

We will aim for a pace of 25 ~ pages per week (pages with dialogue), and then make adjustments if need be. If you read all 25 pages the first day, please be conscious of posting anything that may be spoliers for others! :checkered_flag:

As this is the advanced club, we have a bit more freedom with pace adjustment, so be sure to let me know your opinions on it.

3 Likes

I have a headache after only half of the first page. When you think you understand the Force日本語, you realize just how little you know.

2 Likes

Feel free to let us know what you’re struggling with. You might surprise yourself. Most of the time you usually know what is being said but just doubt yourself or go too fast :sweat_smile:.

4 Likes

honestly, its more the vocab that is making this a real pain. once I look up the meaning of a word I’m able to more or less understand the meaning of the sentence. Longer sentences are still a bit iffy though.

「そんな折、政権内部で飽くことなく権力を求める連中の手を借りるばかりか、大規模な企業連合の支援までとりつけた野心家の元老院議員パルパティーンは、自らを共和国の大統領に選出せしめた。」for example, had me double, triple and quadruple taking before i eventually reached a point where I thought I understood it.

2 Likes

Vocab is also an issue for me as it is my first time reading sci-fi in Japanese although on the side of grammar it gets easier once it actually gets into the story (I am only like 10k characters in). Currently I don’t rate the actual book too highly as it suffers from that kind of overwritten style that is really common in sci-fi and fantasy (or at least I feel like the start does - could be one of those cases where the author tones it down as things go on as they are no longer trying to show off). I know the story and liked Star Wars as a kid so I can’t complain too much without a tinge of hypocrisy but “world-building” and random lore dumps are my idea of a bad time. I liked sci-fi as a like 12-14 year old but more idea based stuff like Philip K. Dick or Asimov or things like Roadside Picnic. I can just about get on with a Kim Stanley Robinson novel as an adult but, for example, I had to give up on Dune halfway through.

Basically I am kind of scared the book is going to be written as a kind of “WOW look at all this STAR WARS™!!!” thing aimed at hardcore fans rather than a creative telling of the story…

3 Likes

I think this is the first time I’ve ever empathized with people who don’t like reading. I started reading bible sized books at around age 10 and could never understand people who found it tedious. This experience, however, has been quite eye opening. I’m gonna stick with it though as this is the only series in the book clubs that I am interested in. Don’t think I’ll be able to stick to the 25 page a week goal though. I’ll probably only be dedicating 2-3 hours a day/5 days a week to this endeavor.

3 Likes

To be fair this is a very, very long sentence.

When I first started reading novels in the open category of just ‘whatever seems good that natives also read’, I found that my biggest problem wasn’t actually grammar with long sentences, it was remembering what was at the start of the sentence by the time I got to the end of it. Probably sounds strange but I think it was honestly my biggest issue haha. Focus so much on following word for word that rather than absorbing the whole sentence, I was only absorbing a bunch of single words or phrases that I couldn’t then put back together at the conclusion of the sentence.

2 Likes

Japanese Dune is ridiculous. Having read a fair few sci-fi novels in Japanese, I would say the style of this book is pretty consistent. 2 to 3 sentences of painting the scene for every one sentence of a character actually doing something.

1 Like

This :100:. In this particular sentence, what we English speakers commonly consider to be the subject of the sentence, パルパティーンは, is in the last third quarter of the sentence. It feels like I’m overloading my RAM with the data of the scene before I’ve even rendered the actors.

2 Likes

Might sound counter intuitive, and feel free to call me out @CursedKitsune if you disagree, as I know you read a lot as well, but I would recommend reading faster than you’re usually comfortable with. When I struggle to understand stuff, usually I force myself to read the sentence again faster rather than slower. That often helps me get it all in quick enough to make sense of it.

Even if that means glossing over a word or two that you’re not confident with the meaning of.

1 Like

I’m not sure how much experience you have reading novels in Japanese but you are going to be finished pretty quickly at that pace!

I also had/have the same issue. As far as I can work out the cause is normally a sentence having too many new things in (vocab, grammar) or it being a contextual sentence and I actually didn’t understand the context properly.

If the issue is the one I mentioned above then I think I’d agree. Normally if a sentence feels that way I’ll make sure I understand the sentence before and after properly so I know am firm on the context (very often the next sentence or two will resolve the mystery of what’s being said) and then kind of pass through the section/sentence again seeing how it fits together taken as a whole but that time not stopping to look anything up as it should be in my short term memory still. In fact in an ideal world I would kind of hermeneutically read everything (first sweep through the whole text, then closely through each chapter, then closely through each paragraph, then closely through each sentence) but that would be incredibly boring so it’s never going to happen lol

1 Like

Ha! I haven’t even started reading this book. I’ve read a little bit of よつばと and スーパーカブ, but wasn’t able to get to Star Wars. It’s because I’ve been trying to study the vocabularies for all of them, with Star Wars having the greatest amount of unknown words (only about 51% according to the Star Wars deck), but I think I’m going to have to dial it down with the reading and just focus on Star Wars. I wished I had more time to read all of them :cry:.

Anyway, I’ll eventually catch up. Looking forward to more discussions of this book.

BTW, for the next books, it would be nice to have the vocabulary decks available ahead of time. Not sure how much ahead, but I think it would be helpful to tackle vocabulary before reading. Next time though.

3 Likes

This is the transition between level 1 and level 2 reading. Such a critical and underrated step.

My big thing (only read the first page) is grafting all the Star Wars words onto the Japanese ones. The word for Star Destroyer was really unintuitive but I could have been wrong.

If we are gonna rant about taste that is something else haha I tend to read insanely nerdy dense nonfiction, Japanese is my fiction outlet unless I’m prepping YA or lit for my students. Style is a strange things between the two languages one thing that id tropey in one feels novel in the other etc.

My goal is too get to level 3 reading in Japanese and eventually 4.

2 Likes

These first books are a trial by fire for our deck builder if you will. Once we figure it out, we have literally hundreds of books we can make decks from pretty much immediately, and will aim to get all future books out well ahead of time. Basically if it’s a title none of us on the team have yet, we’ll purchase it, then put it through our deck builder straight away so it’s there a week in advance.

Of those hundreds of books that we already have, we’ll probably just be processing one at a time in the background to further train the tool until we reliably get something that has very very few errors, then we can presumably start to do them a lot faster.

2 Likes

Probably the longest phase of stagnation in my experience. The mental fatigue from forcing yourself to just keep going as well is realllll. There was a time where 15 minutes of reading before bed made me feel like I just ran a half marathon.

I have the gift (or perhaps curse) of not being fussy at all when it comes to books :rofl:. If the author wants to paint the scene extravagantly, that’s completely fine by me. I enjoyed the way the author introduced 3-P0 and goes on to comment about R2-D2 actually being ahead in terms of technical ability and having to put up with 3-P0 using every opportunity possible to whine.

2 Likes

My only point of comparison for SciFi in Japanese is Stranger in a Strange Land, which was catastrophically boring to the extent that I didn’t finish the first chapter, so I much prefer the florid language so far.

3 Likes

OK, I just finished reading the first page (I know, lol. I spent most of my study time doing reviews), and this book is definitely harder than the other two. However, I feel it’s more lack of vocabulary that’s holding me back. The times I’m able to read the full sentence, actually made this book a fun read. I wished I knew all the words so that I can focus on reading, rather than constantly looking them up and trying to learn them as I go.

One thing that caught my eye was this word 騎士団 (lit. Knights Group), that is being pronounced as オーダー. Is this a stylistic choice by the author? It doesn’t seem to be an 当て字, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, I’ll try to at least finish the Prologue tonight, after coming home from work. I’ll do my best to keep up.

3 Likes

This is called gikun (義訓) and this article explains it quite well. Basically it is a stylistic thing that, in this context, allows the author to use made up jargon words but still the audience can understand the meaning by referring to the kanji. In manga it is very often used for jokes.

4 Likes