Japanese: After how many books

After how many books you gained fluency in reading?
Where, for fluency, I intend an amount of words such that you are able to read further with a minimum amount of dictionary needed.
Obviously I know it depends much on what you are reading, so let’s say “light novels” like ゼロの使い魔 and キノの旅.
I’ve read the first volume of ゼロの使い魔 and now that I’m reading the second volume, it seems easier because now I know much more words (same author, same serie, shared vocabs and style).
However there are still many words I still encounter for the first time, (and, don’t misunderstand me, I see this as a good thing because it gives me the pleasure of learning new things) and I was wondering how this need to check new words will decrease as I’ll continue with the other volumes.
This question is specifically for the Japanese language, but feel free to share your experience in general, I appreciate all the answers! So, share your experience :slight_smile:

If you want some rough idea, i’ve read (when i say read i mean ‘stumbled through’) a few books in French and have imported over 250 articles. I’ve been doing this since around Mid-November.

I currently have a total of 68129 words, amongst which obviously are a lot of duplicates.

My actual saved word stats are 12402 unique words, 1916 of which are ignored (names and proper nouns), 7403 i’m learning and 3083 well known words.

So, i’ve learned 3083 words in 2 months, which is around about 50 words per day. The crux here is though, that a lot of those will be plurals and conjugations so don’t really count as ‘new’ words. And this is in French, an easy language.

I can currently read and get the jist of things, and some things i can read perfectly well without a dictionary at all, but when people speak to me it’s hard to understand still and my output isn’t there at all really yet outside of awful small talk with my 300 year old neighbour.

In another 6 months i’m aiming at comprehension fluency and then i will start to work heavily on my output. Going at my current rate, by July i will have around about 12000 words, of which maybe 3-5000 will be unique (these are just guesses). I do have a baby due in May though so that will slow things down!

While I would certainly not describe myself as fluent, I’ve been able to read Murakami novels (海辺のカフカ and 女のいない男たち so far) without having to use a dictionary, not understanding every word of course but enough to get by. I can’t really put a number on how many words it takes. I think it really depends on what and how you’re reading. I’ve been seriously studying for about 3 years now if that helps.

Here are my lingq stats for today in reading a 3620 word article (This might give you a better idea of where I’m coming from)

Total linqqs: 61
New lingqs: 19
Known/learned words: 38

With this amount of unknown words, I find I can generally understand around 90 percent or more of a given article.

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Thank you both for your answers! I want to read Murakami too but unfortunately I’ve found nothing in ebook format.
About words count here at LingQ, as I only read in my Kindle I’m not used to LingQ statistics so I don’t know how to interpret them, this is why I asked about the number of books you read before, but “3 years of hard study” Is also perfect to give me an idea of what I must expect!
Thank you again!!

I’m glad some of my comment was helpful! Yes, I don’t believe there are any Murakami ebooks/audio books available unfortunately.
I should also add that before I even attempted to read a full book I was reading articles and short stories on lingq. I feel I gained a basic proficiency through reading on lingq before I picked up a book. Therefore, I think my lingq stats are the clearest way to explain my current level and how I got there. :slight_smile:
In my case,
linqs=words I don’t know but have seen before
new lingqs=new words
known words= words I can recognize if I read them

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^ yeh same for me.

Saved words = total words given a definition.
Known words = total words i can read without ever looking up in a dictionary.
Learning words = total words given a definition but which i need to hover over to get the meaning of.

I’m constantly changing learning words to known words though as i keep seeing them and eventually i’ll just be able to go ‘oh yeah that means ‘never’’ and add it to known words.

As for me, I’m on my fourth book right now. There are about 12 unknown words per page. My goal is for there to be around 4 unknown words per page. At that stage I’ll start reading without the aid of LingQ. I anticipate that to happen at around book 20.

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Wow, thank you both! Now it’s all more clear!

Thank you Helmer for your answer! I did the same estimate of around 20 books, I cross-checked a frequency list of words and another list based on 20 books (of the serie I’m reading) and it seems that at around 20 books you’ll have encountered a great portion of the first 10k most frequent words.