So I have been following along with Cure Dolly’s Japanese grammar videos (about 20/90~ish in so far) and i tried something that they recommend on their website. I tried watching Japanese Anime with Jap Subtitles (trying to translate in my head first, then looking at the English translation). It was quite the challenge. Took me an hour to watch 3 minutes of an episode. I think i picked a show thats too hard to start with, so I am trying to drop down to a simpler slice of life anime. (In case you are curious I started with Hyouka, and now i am going to try watching Teasing Takagi-san). It can be quite hard because I am an absolute beginner but i feel like this is just kinda the next step. To try and apply the grammar rules I have been learning and figure out the sentences. I might have to slow down the audio because normal talking speed if far too fast for me to comprehend at this point. I suppose it would also help for me to set up an anki deck and add cards to it as i come across new terms (which will be nearly every word) in the anime.
Just wanted to see if anyone had any pointers or suggestions. If you know a better way to take these first steps, i would love to hear it. Any and all help or encouragement is appreciated. Im not exactly sure what I am doing, I am just trying my best to Learn Japanese.
You might always want to consider checking out the manga. That makes it a lot easier to go slowly and take your time parsing through the sentences and looking up the grammar and vocabulary.
We have a running book club) for the series, which can help for building up vocabulary and (especially) grammar in a learning-oriented environment.
I’ve found that for me personally, no matter how much watching/listening I do, learning more grammar and vocabulary is what makes it slowly become easier. And even then, I only have partial luck “hearing” when watching something I’ve seen before and know fairly well.
I know many others have a much better experience than I have with watching lots, though.
I definitely recommend Takagi-san. I’ve been using the anime for immersion for about 9 months now and I’m now at episode 8. I’m going on a slow pace, with the first episode taking me more than 1 month to finish, but I can finish the recent episodes in a week if I’m diligent (which half the time I’m not ) My workflow is I watch the episode I’m learning every day with a sequence of: [no subs - japanese subs - english subs]. After that I learn 3 new Anki cards associated with the episode generated with Subs2Srs (if you haven’t, please try this app out). I only learned cards that are i+1 level, which means that there’s only one word I don’t understand in the sentence, and skip cards that I either understand 100% the words of or is i+2 (there’s two or more words I don’t understand).
As for the anime itself, it’s so fun and enjoyable to watch that you won’t get bored of it even when watching on repeat. Takagi’s speech is definitely more natural and similar to everyday speech compared to Nishikata’s, but I learn from all the dialogue. It is definitely rough when starting from the first episode. However, if you push through, it is very rewarding watching the episode after you’ve finished all the episode’s cards and understanding over 90% of it. It honestly felt like magic the first time I experienced it Still, if you find it too hard, you can always switch to reading the manga which may be a more simpler and convenient immersion experience.
animelon . com is a website literally designed for this activity. It has all the features you talked about like slowing down audio, and being able to quickly change subtitles, etc. Just give it a try and you’ll fall in love with it. It’s what I use for listening practice.
Sadly, this site is banned in Australia. However, if you happen to go through a different DNS, such as google or cloudflare you can access it. Although thats probably frowned upon? It was caught in our government’s attempt to combat piracy and it got named with a bunch of domains like Pirate Bay etc.
The first one I tried it with was Neon Genesis Evangelion, which I’ve never seen in English. That was a horrible mistake!
My advice: try to practice both translating every line as you did and watching at native speed and picking up what you can. I usually do the former with video games and the latter with anime. They each have benefits that will enrich the other.
Listen for vocab words and try to pick out as many as you can. If you hear them in context, they become much easier to remember in WaniKani. You’ll still struggle for a while, but that happens to every learner ever. It’s just a matter of putting in the time!
I have been watching anime in Japanese with Japanese subtitles at full speed with stopoing it to translate. I catch a word every few sentences. Watching tv is still a relaxing activity in my mind and not a hard effort to study. It’s a little frustrating but not too bad watching anime Ive seen before in English (albiet years ago.) I guess I’m doing this wrong? Haha
I had actually tried to do the book club before, but i didn’t have any grammar knowledge at the time, so it just felt like i wasn’t getting anything out of it, because I couldn’t even see how the sentences break down (ie into objects, verbs, adjectives, etc). Now that i know a little bit more about the Grammar thanks to Dolly’s videos, I think it might be fun to try again.
I think you’re doing it right, actually!
What might be limiting, though, is grammar, because translating with some helper tools you might not catch all of the nuances, unless you know all of the grammar structures well and possibly the setting of the show.
Do you know of any good places to find out how to use Anki and pair it with extensions to do that? I am still uncertain how to set up Anki correctly and i have not looked into how any of the other extensions fit into things. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.
I’m learning with Shirokuma Cafe on Animelon. At first, I went through each episode line by line and made sure I understood it all, then rewatched the episode at full (or nearly-full) speed over and over to reinforce and refresh my memory. For each line, I’d listen a few times with no subs and see if I could understand it, then turn on Japanese subs, and then if I still didn’t understand the meaning I’d resort to English. And yes, it can take a long time to get through one episode this way.
Lately I’ve been wanting to focus more on reading, so with Shirokuma I’ve just been watching episodes with no subs, and gleaning what I can as a side-activity.
I do think for me personally, the former approach was effective at helping me learn new words and improve my ability to understand spoken Japanese. Just listening seems to provide marginal benefit – I’m not really learning much; only reinforcing things I can already understand.