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それはそれは

Still sick, still proofing and editing, still thinking about how best to approach my bilingual learning stories. I think that I may have to target it towards English-speakers learning Japanese rather than Japanese-speakers learning English, although it’d still be interesting and useful for more advanced Japanese ESL peeps who want to start reading English fiction. In any case, I think I have the bones of a story–at first I was going to do more of a genre thing, but now I think it’d be better to make it as conventional as possible. Present day (ahaha), present time (ahahahaha). (Nobody is going to get that at ALL.) Classroom setting. Light relationship romance thing. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. Maybe a thousand words, maybe a little more than that. English, Japanese, and English AND Japanese with explanations of the differences and possibly a little light grammar. Possibly some vocab at the end, or maybe phrases rather than words. They won’t be textbooks but more like practise stories, stories with training wheels, the focus being on giving people who want to read fiction in the language they’re studying a starting point, of sorts. Of course, making the stories fun and easy to read is also a priority.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Japanese On The Kindle Part III: Tentative Success

After some fiddling and faddling and a touch of faffery, I’ve figured out what I was doing wrong re: displaying Japanese text on the Kindle. It’s really basic. It’s embarrassing to even admit, but here we go:

I forgot the UTF-8 meta tag.

I know! That’s a ridiculous thing to forget! But I’m sharing my error here so that others looking for guides on formatting HTML with Japanese text for the Kindle might learn from my silliness. So here we go:

A VERY BRIEF GUIDE TO FORMATTING JAPANESE HTML FOR THE KINDLE

1 – Don’t forget to add the proper UTF-8 meta tag like a big fule.
2 – THAT IS LITERALLY IT.

As long as your html file is in correct UTF-8 format (by which I mean you’ve got something very similar to <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ /> in your header and you haven’t saved it as shift-jis or something), the Kindle will display your mobi file without a word of complaint–and it looks brilliant, too. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is very exciting.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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Japanese On The Kindle Part II: A New Hope?

I’m allowing myself to get a little bit excited, because it seems that Japanese actually CAN be displayed on the Kindle. I’m still looking into encoding issues (I thought I’d tried everything but apparently not!) but my idea for bilingual ‘learning stories’ might work after all–fun, easy to read short stories of around two thousand words, first in English then in Japanese, with vocabulary and learning notes at the back. There’s nothing like this out there, and I think the idea could really take off with both Japanese students of English and with people learning Japanese–it can be really difficult finding reading material if you’re a beginner, or even intermediate student of the language. I’ve heard that ‘cell phone novels’ have been increasing in popularity in Japan recently, ‘amateurs’ writing and distributing stories cheaply. Certainly parallels there with the international indie authors community 🙂

Now I just have to figure out where Amazon’s hidden the relevant information I need on formatting Japanese HTML for the Kindle. UTF8 would seem obvious but I’m certain I tried that last time and it didn’t work. Oh well, seems like I’ve got some experimentation ahead of me.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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