This is another post in my Read & Answer series of articles where I give a short passage in Japanese followed by one or more questions to test your understanding. You can see more about this series here, and a list of the other articles in it here.
This will be Level 2, which is the second easiest level and targets those who have studied Japanese for roughly 1-2 years.
I’ve given a list of Kanji words with their definitions below the answer choices, so you only need to be able to read hiragana and katakana for this exercise.
For more advanced students, I suggest trying to answer the questions without looking at the word readings and meanings.
What is the topic of the first sentence?
Answer Choices 1
a) One hour
b) A man
c) There is none
d) A bookstore
What does ずっと mean in this passage?
Answer Choices 2
a) Off and on
b) For a long, unspecified period of time
c) Doing something throughout a specified period of time
d) It adds a sense of politeness
What does ‘頃には’ mean in this passage?
Answer Choices 3
a) Sometime after
c) By the time
d) It refers to a rolling action
Where did the man end up going?
Answer Choices 4
a) He never decided where to go and stayed put
b) A bookstore
c) A library
d) A restaurant
Bonus question: Translate the passage into natural English.
Word readings and meanings
男: otoko (man)
本屋: honya (bookstore)
図書館: toshokan (library)
時間: jikan (time)
迷う: mayou (to be puzzled, to waver, to debate [with oneself])
決めた: kimeta (past tense of ‘kimeru’ [to decide])
頃: koro/goro (time, period)
お腹: onaka (stomach)
空く: suku (to become empty)
結局: kekkokyu (in the end)
行く: iku (to go)
羽目: hame (used in the pattern “~hame ni naru” to expess ending up doing something)
Bonus: For an entire hour, the man debated whether to go to the bookstore or the library. By the time he finally decided, he was already getting hungry so he ended up going to a restaurant.
(Note: There are many ways to translate the passage (and tradeoffs for literal meaning vs. natural phrasing). The above translation is just to give you one possibility. Feel free to post your translation as a comment for others to see)
If you enjoyed this exercise, please comment or like this post so I know to continue writing these. Also, please let me know if you want more or less difficult passages.
Thank you locksleyu, these are really helpful!
Very helpful. I’m getting closer to understanding this level but not quite there yet. (I understood that the first sentence was about a man who would go to a bookstore or a library.) Thanks for your postings!