English/Japanese bilingual comics

22 Apr

I happened to find some bilingual comics at a book store the other day.

I can see these comics are published for those who study English. Many of Japanese people are serious about learning English, but unfortunately it’s also true that many of us end up with failure and only the bitter experience remains. I like this way that is not very strict. It’s just a comic, just a manga. When I looked inside, everything was written both in English and Japanese. Thus they should be good for English speaking people who study Japanese. 🙂

My English at school when I first learned it was so terrible! It was such a bitter experience as I couldn’t understand the difference between “be” type of verb and “do” type of verb. I was sad, I wondered if there was anything in my life (except for math!) that I couldn’t understand at all no matter how many times I studied. Especially my Japanese grades were very good for a long time, I went panic. Now I think I was not the type of people who are good at studying from a textbook. It was when I started to listen to radio educational programs for beginner English that I finally got what my problems were! (lol) This experience changed my life. I started to like English classes as much as Japanese ones. I decided to go to the U.S college for 1 year exchange program when I graduated from high school. I would have given up if the radio didn’t work out for me either. Now I am thinking of learning 3rd language. Now my problem is how I can manage time for that. :p Manga looks good, but not for the beginner who don’t even know how to pronounce the words. ^ ^;

Looks like there are already various kind of English – Japanese bilingual comics available at amazon.co.jp. Have you tried any of them? Any recommends? (I personally don’t like Nodame Cantabile although it’s become so popular since it was on air in Japan and people were much influenced by classic music then. It was not only inside anime or manga, it’s become a movie.)


22 Responses to “English/Japanese bilingual comics”

  1. M Russell April 22, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I like the "OL: Survival in the Office" by Risa series of 4-panel comic strips. These are jokes about working in the office from the view of several young Office Ladies. Sort of like Dilbert, but funnier and from a female perspective.

  2. Lisa April 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I haven’t tried the bilingual series, but I wouldn’t mind checking it out. Actually, one was recommended to me the other day – My Darling is a Foreigner (ダーリンは外国人). It’s originally written in Japanese and the book on sale says it’s the English version, but in reality it has both English and Japanese inside. 🙂 I think it seems really fun since it’s based on true experiences of cultural/language clashes within a relationship. This one is also recently released as a movie!

    Although I enjoyed watching the Nodame Cantabile drama, I don’t think the manga would interest me as much. I was sometimes frustrated by it, so occasionally it felt like Tamaki Hiroshi was the one thing worth seeing it through to the end for ❤ hehe.

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

      "My Darling is a Foreigner" is now available as a movie, I know…it's like any TV dramas and movies these days are relying to manga or anime. I'm quite disappointed to find even Kaibutsukun turns live action on TV dramas the other day. (http://www.ntv.co.jp/kaibutsukun/) Anime is enough to me, especially when it comes to something like Kaibutsukun.

  3. Patty April 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    You know, for the longest time, I've watched Japanese TV drama w/ Chinese subtitles to learn Japanese. Alot of people I know learn another language that way. I remember constantly watching Long Vacation and News Lady(?), I ended up paying attention to the plot instead of learning the language. Haha

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      I think I should look for the way I can enjoy learning Chinese. I want to learn my 3rd language. But my problem is I don't have strong motivation. ^ ^;

  4. Emily April 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    That's cool 🙂 I know a few words in Japanese-I think lol. I also know a few words in several different languages. The classical piece in that movie was Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin.

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

      I think it's nice you know some greeting words you can speak to the local people. 🙂

  5. Rune April 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm #


    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm #


  6. dwayne2d3d April 23, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    hello Kirin!!! this comment is kinda off topic..

    but it would be crazy kool if you were to do a topic on how you learned English.
    It would be interesting to know what parts were easy for you and what parts were difficult.
    And what have you gained from it as well as what tips would you give to other japanese who wants to learned English.

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      Thank you for your comment, which sounds interesting to me. Are you curious about what points I found difficult when I learned English? Let me write a post on that soon. Thank you for pointing that out for me. ^ ^

  7. Miruku April 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    I have seen bilingual Doraemon, but the character doesn't interest me very much. I would like to read Nodame. I think these kinds of books are too expensive in Japan though :/

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

      You're right. They seem to be very expensive. I think they should be regarded as something educational and so we should be able to borrow from a public library… :p

      • smeraagda May 5, 2010 at 10:58 am #

        In Australia you can request your library purchase a book for the collection. You may be able to request your local library purchase some bilingual manga.

      • kirin May 6, 2010 at 12:27 am #

        Good idea! Yes, we can send them a request, too. Even though it's only manga, it's educational if we regard this can be an English book. 🙂

  8. Sparklewolfie April 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    that is pretty cool! I want Chinese/English bilingual manga now!! XD
    Languages are fun! What language would you learn if you learned a third language? I want to know a lot of languages too… I hope I can learn Taiwanese by moving to Taiwan :3 And then I want to learn Japanese, Korean, and French! Will probably be hard though… ^^;

    • kirin April 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

      I want to learn Chinese (Mandarin) because it'll be useful in some countries. But as a foreign language, I like Spanish. Is there Chinese/English bilingual manga? If so I want it, too. But that's when I at least know basic grammer and pronunciation of the words. haha… Anyhow as for me, I need strong motivation to start my 3rd language because I really don't have time for that. ^ ^; Unless otherwise, I may have to dive into a Chinese community and survive there…haha!

  9. Izzy April 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Well your English is amazing now! I study French and German and I really enjoy learning new languages, although I have been very lucky because my teachers have been so great, and taught us in many different ways, not simply out of textbooks but watching films and TV, reading magazines and listening to songs. Once you figure out how you learn best, languages become so much fun (for me at least), and I hope to study Japanese at university as well 🙂

    • kirin April 26, 2010 at 4:00 am #

      Thank you ^ ^; I am happy now I can communicate with people around the globe thanks to English.
      Wow~ you can speak French, German, English and then will be able to speak Japanese in the future! Cool~.
      I'm quite amazed how European people cope with a couple of different languages very well. I believe you enjoy Japanese, too! ^ ^ Thanks for your visit!

  10. Rhys Stevens July 5, 2016 at 5:08 am #

    I have a whole ton of these which I used to study Japanese at first.

    I really DON’T recommend Doraemon because the Japanese is horrible. It uses really, really childish Japanese, like teaching a foreigner to say “twuck” instead of “truck”, or “num num” instead of “delicious”. Plus, it’s all in hiragana which makes it VERY difficult to find the start and end of words, especially with は, as it can be read as either “ha” or “wa”, depending where it is in a sentence.

    One I DO recommend is Astro Boy (“Mighty Atom” in Japanese). It uses correct Japanese, kanji, and not to mention, a great story. He’s called the King of Manga for a reason.
    There are others like
    – Cardcaptor Sakura (be careful of girly Japanese),
    – Attack on Titan (which does use some old words),
    – Slam Dunk (uses teen/young people slang and abbreviated words)
    – Nodame Cantabile (lots of music words but is also teen romance/drama)
    – Sazae-san (this is a collection of short 2-4 panel comics usually with a play on words in there)

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