Comics is an art form combining graphics and text to tell attractive stories. Manga is the most influential type of comics in recent decades. Have you thought about learning Japanese by reading Manga?
It is recommended to start learning by following textbooks. After having a grasp of pronunciation, vocabulary and syntax, we can get on with Manga with the help of tools. After all, reading your favorite Manga is more fun than textbooks.
ImageTrans is a computer-aided comics translation tool. It can extract the text of Manga, analyse the syntax of the sentences and give the machine translation results. It also supports functions like TTS and term management. We can use it as a language learning tool to learn Japanese.
In the next part, we are going to illustrate how to use it to learn Japanese by reading a Manga image from Ranma 1/2.
OCR and Translation
Use OCR to extract the text and then translate the sentences by ourselves. This is a translation exercise to help us understand the source text and learn about the differences between English and Japanese.
Here is the table of the translation results.
|Akane, you are training again…
|It won’t help you with boys.
|It is none of your business.
|I am different from you…
|I hate boys.
|it has nothing to do with you.
Since we may have watched a lot of animes, our listening skill is better trained. We can use the text-to-speech function to help us understand the sentence.
Morphological Analysis and Marking of Pronunciation
ImageTrans can perform morphological analysis for the sentences to get the segmented words and their details like pronunciation. Although some Mangas have furiganas, they may not look clear on a screen. We can use this function to learn about the pronunciation.
We can look up words we don’t know in online dictionaries.
Machine Translation and Term Management
ImageTrans can call several machine translation engines to help us understand the sentence.
We can also use it to set unfamiliar words as terms to manage them.
Terms can be exported to a table. We can later import them into note-taking apps like Notion and Obsidian or flashcard apps like Anki.
Here is the table I created when translating the Manga.
Process Raw Manga Images
Raw Manga images may not be very clear. We can use tools like waifu2x to make them have a better resolution.