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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by Shatin, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Shatin Junior Member

    Hong Kong
    I understand 夏目漱石 is still very famous in Japan. I just wonder if his books are easily understood by ordinary Japanese or you have to be pretty educated to read his books. Basically, what I want to know is if 夏目漱石's Japanese is already too old fashioned with a lot of outdated vocabulary and/or grammar. I am tempted to read his books which are supposed to be really good, and they can be downloaded for free from Aozora. It would be a major undertaking though. So in case the language in 夏目漱石's books is no longer contemporary, then maybe I should put off reading them till my Japanese gets a lot better.
  2. Tonky Senior Member

    His writing style was very contemporary when it was published, but now many words are outdated, or using different kanji or different usages. (e.g. 寛容て = くつろげて, 確と = しかと and so on.)
    However, I believe 青空文庫 texts have furigana with such words, so you may not find it too hard, if your Japanese is good enough, but note that his vocab is occasionally pretty tough.
    I cannot tell if you should try it or put off since i do not know how much you understand currently, but I would usually suggest to have translated works along while reading it in Japanese, many of his works have good translations available. Or, you could just try reading and see for yourself, as you are reading from 青空文庫, you have nothing to lose but time.
  3. Shatin Junior Member

    Hong Kong

    I have actually a few translated versions of 夏目漱石's books. Also, while vocabulary can be tough, since the ebook reader I intend to use has built-in dictionary, this difficulty is not insurmountable. After reading your comments, my main concern is I will be learning many outdated words. This can potentially be a great source of confusion. So perhaps I should just read the translations for the moment.

    Incidentally, are there authors in 青空文庫 who are more contemporary?
  4. shin1ro New Member

    > are there authors in 青空文庫 who are more contemporary?

    The woks marked 著作権存続 in the index have to be newer.
    They seem to be registered in 青空文庫 by the author's own intention.
    I found 片岡 義男 and some of his novels in the list.

    And I found サン=テグジュペリ アントワーヌ・ド (Saint-Exupery, Antoine de), very much popular even among Japanese.

  5. Shatin Junior Member

    Hong Kong
    Thanks for the very useful tip anin1ro! According to Wikipedia's entry on 片岡義男:

    ※ 著作権者自らの意思により、一部の作品が「青空文庫」より購読可能となっている。

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