Audio Book Reading

Wondering if any of you found that reading with audio books helped you improve your reading skills? Right now I have been reading with the audio book and find I am getting roughly the same kind of practice I get out watching anime with Japanese subs and not sure if I am helping or hurting any given skill by mixing the two.

Secondly, obviously I am gonna be slower reading independently, but has anyone had experience where reading with the audio book helped them up their independent reading speed?

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I haven’t started doing this with Japanese yet, but reading along with audiobooks/plays really helped me figure out how a lot of words were supposed to be pronounced in English when I was first learning the language, but at the moment I need more time to digest grammar when reading in Japanese. I’m not sure it will help with anything beyond linking the pronunciations with the written form of the words tho🤷‍♂️

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I’m mostly fine doing grammar ambiguously at this stage in my learning. Granted the stuff I am reading is aimed at Middle Schoolers, so it’s not trying to be super complex.

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I’ve done it for two books now (in a series that I had already read three books in, so I knew what I was getting into) and it’s definitely improved my reading speed. Having someone else read out the pronunciation of kanji that I’ve forgotten can be quite helpful :sweat_smile: It’s helped me reinforce a few kanji readings (and shown me some that I’d been reading wrong…)

That aside, as I don’t do a lot of regular listening, I find that it does help with that as well. Occasionally I’ll have get distracted while reading and just listen to the audiobook and I’ll still perfectly understand what’s happening, which was a recent and surprising discovery.

Also, the series that I had the audiobooks for (ティアムーン帝国物語) has really well-narrated audiobooks, which makes listening and reading at the same time very fun. Overall, I would definitely recommend trying it out with a series whose grammar and vocabulary that you already know reasonably well, so that you don’t have to pause too much while listening.

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This has been happening to me too! Which is why I haven’t been sweating about watching shows as much and doing 1.5 hour sessions. It just seems like I am doing the same thing I do with Netflix but with more emphasis on the reading aspect.

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I’ve been doing this for a while, and personally I think whether reading or listening benefits the most depends on how you do it. If you’re reading slightly ahead of the audiobook, only using it to confirm the readings and make sure you don’t get stuck too long on any particular word, it’s still primarily your reading skills that’ll benefit. If you’re listening to the audiobook and following the text simultaneously, using the text to confirm what you’re hearing, it’ll be more of a listening exercise.

For me personally, I think it’s less efficient in terms of “pure reading practice”. If I spent an hour on pure reading, my reading would improve more than if I spent an hour reading and listening combined. Buut unless for some reason you want to improve your reading specifically, e.g. you’re prepping for the N1, I don’t think that’s an issue. It seems reasonable to me that book+audiobook combined do more for my overall Japanese abilities, because personally I’m faster, have higher comprehension and enjoy it more.

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I tried on one just now, but at 2x speed, and with listening ahead once before.

It appears that

  • I might be able to read faster than that. From what I have tried in English, speeding up on story-type can be done with good gaze direction. On textbook type, however, illustrations then keywords.
  • As expected, vocabulary clarity is sacrificed. Some parts may need looking up, or simply just pondering.
  • 2x speed makes the audio sound bad.

I might try again with 1.5x or 1.2x; and also in not-yet-listened part. Sacrificing possibly faster speed, for listenablity.

Also, anime with JP sub is different regarding speech clarity; and also non-spoken parts, then subsequent reading backlog volume.

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