Do you need something easy to practice reading on? You’re in luck, because I can only write easy things right now and decided I needed some writing practice. it isn’t exactly a literary masterpiece, but, here it is. After this had been posted for a few hours, I looked at all those characters and asked myself, “Can I really read that?” and started to read it back. The answer “Yes” but I found an error in the very first word! It’s fixed now, though.
The lack of space between words is an interesting feature of Japanese, as is the fact that a line break can occur at any point, even in the middle of a word, and that’s acceptable.
When I find a sentence that’s hard to read, step one is to try and break it down at the particles. Like so:
私は日本語をべんきょうします becomes 私は 日本語を 勉強します
Then I would try to break each part down separately. That way you are getting nibbles instead of big gulps, and nibbles are easier to swallow.
Anyway, here we go. Let’s break it down.
自転車に乗ります。I ride a bicycle. I would have liked to have said, “My hobby is bike riding,” but, while I know the word 趣味(hobby) I don’t know how to say “bike riding”.
ほぼ毎日自転茶に乗ります。I ride a bicycle nearly every day (a slight exaggeration…really it’s more like four days a week, but I’m not quite sure I want to try and figure out how to say that just yet!) Since this is “easy reading” mostly because it is written by someone still at a low level, there is, as always, a lot of repetition, but that’s a good way to learn Kanji that you don’t know yet, right? That’s me making a virtue out of my lack of knowledge.)
昨日は十二マイル乗りました。Yesterday I rode 12 miles. Of course you notice that マイル being a loan word is written in katakana. You really do have to know Kanji and hiragana and katakana in order to read stuff! If I’m honest, that’s kind of annoying. Challenging, which is good, but annoying.
今日は雨が降ります。Today it is raining. (Well, really, it will be raining by the time I get off work, according to the weather report, but that was also a little too hard to work out just yet.)
今日は強い風はあります。 Today there will be a strong wind. (Note the use of あります for an inanimate object.) Of course, it could just as easily be “today there is a strong wind”, so that’s okay too. And, yes, I know that I should got for “it is windy today” but I have to work with the words I know.
自転車に乗りません。I will not ride a bicycle. (After the number of times some variation of “ride a bicycle” has popped up in this thing, we really ought to recognize that phrase by now!)
明日は二十マイル乗ります。Tomorrow I will ride 20 miles.
自転車は大好きです。I really like the bicycle. I like the word大好き – big like. (I really wanted to say that I really like riding the bicycle, but I haven’t gotten to the point where I can say that in Japanese yet!)
一番好きです。It is my favorite thing to do. (Literally, or course, “it is my number one like”.)
あなたの趣味は何ですか。What is your hobby? (I know that Japanese tends to avoid the use of “you” (あなた) but I wasn’t really sure now else to phrase this.