Active listening

Pff I haven’t been on wanikani for a while, duo loss of motivation. But it doesn’t mean I haven’t spent time learning Japanese.
I’m following weekly lessons now and also spend time on the lessons the school gave me. The lessons are highly focused on grammar and I learned a lot, It will continue until summer.

I also make my own deck based on the vocabulary in the textbook so I can use it duo the lessons. My reading is decent and speaking would be decent because we learn how to say the basic things and how to survive when you in Japan.

But my question is how can I put more focus on listening. Because you can talk in Japanese and the people will think that you can talk in Japanese, but I’m more worried about when they reply that I wouldn’t understand a single word, haha.


You can try watching some shows on Netflix or some other streaming service. If you want to focus just on listening turn the subtitles off. It can be very difficult or annoying at first but it will help a lot. If you really want to understand what is going on you can turn subtitles on in Japanese and focus on listening and have them as a fallback if you miss something. There are also books you can buy that come with a CD of someone reading the book and you can listen and follow along. What helped me the most was going to language exchanges and finding Japanese friends you can practice with.


You can try NHK News Web Easy because for every article you also get an audio recording. You can then listen to the recording and if you don’t understand something refer back to the text.

You can toggle furigana on and off. Also they colour-code person names, country names, company names etc.

It’s not the same speed as conversational Japanese, and the dialect is the vanilla standard one. Which can be a good thing because you don’t have to deal with the weird Kansai dialect :rofl:


Indeed in any conversation you’re most likely bound to be listening if you aren’t as fluent as the other person, so seems like something to take into consideration.

I would suggest start with real material, choose something somewhat easy of course. Rewatch some shows you know by heart only this time in japanese, no subs, no nothing… just your two ears and atention. Look for dubbed movies too… basically anything where the plot it’s not an issue.

there’re some genres that are more suitable to provide clear audio in my experience… slice of life in case of anime… and well basically dramas have turned to be better immersion in my case fro the same reason (but it’s probably more related to likings and such). Also Netflix originals in japanese have an audiotrack for visual impaired people… watch the shows with that track… it provides a super clear description of everything happening… so If you miss dialogues or the nuance of a given situation, it can clarify a lot. besides the narration voice it’s super clear.

I’m gonna make a suggestion somewhat uncommon, but get noise cancelling headphones if possible. I did this at the start of the year, and I realized the sounds are way clearer!! As if they were made for language learners :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: … seriously… If you’re care about hearing… well those are a great tool.

Overall, is like everything. start… repeat… do it again … make a routine out of it.

If you are compfortable with not understanding everything… then passive immersion (like playing and mp3 player with the audio of your shows or audiobook, or similar) also can be a great opportunity to fill some iddle moments… commuting and supermarket time :sweat_smile:

Lastly I will mention audiobooks, 'cause is something I’ve been using, and it’s turning into a great adition to my current reading.
Specially if you are reading something… of have read in the past. Look for the audiobook… make that your passive immersion. It’s great quality narration most of the time. Audible has a free trial, actually you can look for some of the books in the american Audible site (they give you 2 :wink:) in japanese, though with less options, AND then also in the Japanese Audible site… heck those are 3 audiobooks at zero cost.

Anyway… that’s all I can come up for now. But hey, there’re lots and lots of way to improve your listening. just pick one and make it into an habit.


Both of these are kinda DIY

I started out by using the core10k material as listening practice. Simply make flashcards with the spoken word on the front with no text, then you can have whatever you want on the back. (Nowadays I enjoy having a spoken word on the front, and a spoken context sentence on the back)

Also, you might check out Voracious. You can watch video with subtitles, but set it up to hide subs by default until you choose to show them. You can also use this to export the spoken sentence into anki for listening practice.

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To add my few cents Japanese pod 101 has audio blogs and stuff that you can listen to as well.

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You could also try SuperNative.


Why can’t I find any podcast with transcript in Japanese or a wordlist that I can put in anki.

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