Obviously actively listening to a massive amount of comprehensible Japanese content is essential to developing listening fluency. And perhaps this raw osmosis is enough, if extremely laborious. I’m just trying to be as efficient as possible in my study.
My biggest issue always seems to be anticipating Japanese structure. I can hear the words. I can understand the grammar. But the word order, the emphasis of the sentence, and the structure bounce off me.
The most useful videos I have found on this subject are:
The tl;dr is (1) The core verb, adjective, or noun always comes at the end of the sentence; and (2) anything that modifies anything comes before that thing.
This sounds very useful and is very useful, but when I’m listening in real-time, I don’t know how to re-wire my brain to anticipate the structure. I comprehend English so quickly and automatically that I don’t know what it is that I’m anticipating while listening in English.
This is a typical scenario:
- I hear a long sentence.
modifier no modifier no modifier na subject ga modifier modifier modifier object wo verb.
A typical human can only comfortably keep about 7 “things” in their short-term memory. So, I brain dump somewhere around the seventh word / particle.
If I had some ability to anticipate the structure, however, then I could “package up” those seven words / particles into one or two “things” in my short-term memory in real-time (with enough practice) just like I do in English.
At the moment, however, I simply can’t comprehend sentences over a certain length when spoken in real-time. And I’m wondering if you have found any strategies that helped you with anticipating sentence structure (e.g. “When you hear structure X then structure Y or Z are most likely to follow.”) I’m currently at a lower intermediate level (just starting Tobira) with a few hundred hours of listening practice.