I consider speed reading to be reading without thinking too deeply, especially if you already know the author's conclusion. To me speed reading is actually a different reading technique. Sure, some people brag about reading War and Peace in less than a week, but only if they use the speed reading technique.

So, I want to say:

To prevent people from speed reading English documents, you need to ..."

My sense is that 速読{そくどく} just means fast reading without any real change in technique.

I'd like to express speed reading, but I don't know how. This is a lame paraphrase that also sounds natural to me as well:


But, how do I express that speed reading as a different reading technique concept? Maybe you can't speed read Japanese text because of no word spacing (and kanji)???

  • By speed reading, do you mean skimming? At least in my dialect of English, speed reading is techniques to speed up your reading that are not supposed to mean you don't understand what you read whereas skimming does have such an impact. (though skimming is also the name for a technique used within speed reading).
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 0:25
  • @virmaior I think it is binary. One either carefully considers why the author chose each sentence and word in a document, or one is speed reading / skimming / etc. At least that is my opinion. If you can speed read / skim it, then the document is probably not worth reading. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 0:49
  • I think you might be misunderstanding me, I'm trying to debate the merits of speed reading, I'm saying that the term speed reading might be the wrong term to be looking for since it doesn't necessarily imply the loss of reading comprehension that seems to be the core of what you're looking for...
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 0:54
  • My context is: "I've written a pretty serious research document. I want to explain different English writing techniques that will make speed reading / skimming my document impossible. This writing style will force the reader to read each well thought-out sentence very deliberately." Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 0:59
  • There is a notion of speed reading that it reading for content and not skimming, but at a speed far above how you usually read. It's something you have to teach yourself to do, and it's a rather controversial approach to reading: ie., there are those who claim it's nothing more than skimming and fooling yourself that you've actually read the document.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Contrary to your expectation, 速読 in Japanese usually refers to a very special technique like this — to read and understand super fast. https://youtu.be/yBrmYDkubhI?t=35s

"Trained" 速読 readers claim that they can understand almost everything in the book at this speed. Naturally, most people regard 速読 as something you can never do, or something you will never need. It's almost pseudoscience to me.

急いで読む is a neutral expression which means "to read quickly." Whether the reader will fully understand the content depends on the context.

If you want to say "to read quickly without thinking deeply" or "to skim", you can say 流【なが】し読【よ】み (suru-verb). This is certainly something anyone can do. The verb 流す has such a nuance ("to ignore unimportant things and keep going anyway").


  • Actually, awhile ago I knew that word! I knew 流し読み! Thanks for bringing it back into my memory. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 2:25
  • In the video, I can't believe he is actually reading. At my very best I can read a no-brainer of 300 pages (in my native language) in one hour. It's still 12 seconds per page. Here he is just flipping through the book. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 9:03

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