Best Ways to Advance Listening Comprehension

I just tried doing some listening practice, and realized my listening skills are abysmal. Now I’m sad, and was wondering how you guys practice listening and what helped you improve.


I just found this page yesterday on the forums: SuperNative
Where you can listen to clips of movies/series and then be tested on recall, usually on simple particles and stuff, but I found that it should be at least a little useful in listening practice.

That, and a lot of watching stuff in Japanese. :slight_smile:


I’m personally not a fan of the “start with native material, you’ll get it eventually” method that some people use. To me it feels overwhelming trying to pick out words or follow the conversation and you end up getting discouraged. So far I’ve used the CDs that came with the Genki books (they each have a ton of dialogues on them), the CDs that came with my graded readers, and the audio that’s provided with each of the Satori Reader articles. I realize these are all paid, of course, but they’re also beginner level and make it easy to feel like you’re progressing.

Free resources - I listen to Japanese LPs because I find their language to be simpler/more broken up, as well as listen to the lessons on the channel 日本語の森 since they double as listening and grammar practice. There’s also a guy on YouTube (I forget his name, I’ll have to dig him up) who speaks English but has beginner-level conversations in Japanese with native Japanese folks via iTalki, and posts them afterwards. All of these resources make it easier to feel like you’re progressing because they don’t offer a completely overwhelming amount of material at once. That’s my opinion, anyway.


I’ll check this out, thanks for the suggestion.

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Yeah, I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately, I realize this isn’t a good way to learn Japanese really, but it does help get a grip on the flow of the language and the way it sounds. I listen to a lot of Japanese music, but seeing as I love death and black metal, this isn’t the best way to improve listening comprehension. I do have some bands with clean vocals that I can pick out a few words and phrases. Thanks for your suggestions.


My suggestion…

A lot. Like…a lot a lot. I did that by watching a bunch of shows and listening to podcasts and radio shows and stuff…right now though I am slacking. But yeah, just listen a ton while reading and learning new words. You will start to pick up things faster than you might think.

EDIT: The really hard part is talking…:upside_down_face:


I keep procrastinating on this one.
I’m scheduled for N4 this year, and I still have trouble getting my ideas across.


Haha yeah…I am probably somewhere around N2 in listening and reading…but…I sound like a 4 year old when I try to talk. Frustrating but…I do not practice it so that pretty much explains why.

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My speaking practice is pretty much zero. Need to really get on that as well. My reading and writing are my strongest points currently.

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This is what I have done and it’s worked very well for me. I passed the listening section of each JLPT (N3 and N2) without issue
I never actively studied listening comprehension.


Exactly, there are some people who it works fine for, and that’s great. But I’m not one of those. We all learn differently, after all.


I can only pick out a few words here and there really in anime, maybe it would be easier if I watched something that was more about everyday life, than dark fantasy and sci-fi type stuff. Also it’s hard to learn anything from a lot of the music I listen to, death and black metal are hard to understand in my native language, English. lol

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Very true. For example, I cannot manage textbooks. They put me to sleep. But I know people who cannot get anywhere without them. People need to kind of experiment as learners and find what works for themselves.

OH ALSO NIHONGONOMORI is an awesome resource. I second and third that.


I like this song because it has the Japanese on the screen, and the vocals are clean.

And I can sing this whole song in Japanese. It’s a 1970’s anime opening. lol

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I can remember lyrics easily, and that helps a lot with singing songs, but that’s still a long way from understanding them completely. :joy:


I could at least read pretty much all the lyrics off the Japanese subtitles in that video, but also when you watch the show with English subtitles it shows the meaning.

I’m basically with @TamanegiNoKame on this one, just listen a ton. A very useful thing if you’re proficient in reading is to watch something which has Japanese subtitles. Another resource is visual novels, but make sure it has voice acting or all you’re going to improve is your reading, not that that’s a bad thing but it’s clearly not your goal here :stuck_out_tongue:


Do you know a place to find stuff like that? Since Netflix in my country doesn’t have them. ;-;
And I’m too lazy and don’t want to spend on a VPN

Japanese blu rays have them, but I’m in America and am lucky enough to share the same region code with Japan.

I know of 3 separate websites, but they’re all primarily anime.