How can I get better at understanding what I'm hearing? (Side note, any general learning tips for progressing in general?)

Weekly post about that site being against ToS, most likely.

Weekly post about that site being against ToS, most likely.

Edited the post. I totally forgot about the ToS. Sorry about that!

I haven’t read all the messages and I don’t know if someone suggested this, but what I’ve been doing I believe is an awesome way of improving listening comprehension, if not the best, and made wonders for me.

You start watching some audio content with subtitles. You break it down so that every grammar and sentences in general are completely clear, and after doing it you listen again to the full sentence and try to say it out loud. You keep going like this till you end the episode of the podcast or anime (don’t do movies because it’s too long to finish and is a slow process).
So next, you go all over again and this time you try to use as little support from subtitles as you can. You’ll still need to watch subtitles a lot and you will have also forgotten some grammar points but I promise that at the 3rd, 4th time you will have a lot sentences in your head floating and listening comprehension will start to become real to the point that you don’t need subtitles at all. I believe this is far superior to just listening to random content trying to focus on what’s being said because listening to something just once is simply not enough to acquire it, and furthermore you’re not working with single elements here but with full sentences said in a rush that change in intonation dependently of what’s before/after.

Just do this 30 mins a day and in less than a month you’ll be surprised of the amount of listening you can now comprehend.

I just suggest you begin doing it with some kind of content that has not a too complex context or grammar because this would need a lot of extra time.


I’m in a super similar situation, where I reckon I’m probably about N5 level otherwise but my listening (and speaking) are just not up to par. I’ve started watching Japanese gaming youtube - KoutetsuSteel is my favourite at the moment because he speaks slower than some of the others I’ve watched. It’s the same type of games I’d normally watch an English-speaking youtuber e.g Markiplier or Jacksepticeye play, and it helps keep my attention because there’s something interesting to look at on the screen. I’m trying to start listening to some of the articles on NHK Easy News as well, and will def be checking out the Nihongo Con Teppei for Beginners that someone mentioned above.

1 Like

for listening practice i am finding fluentu is excellent. it shows you fragments of yourtube video then breaks down the sentences so you can understand them, then tests you on the vocabulary and grammar

1 Like

My teacher at the language school told me, the most efficient way to get better with speaking and listening is to learn grammar. So i focused on that for a while and made some huge progress. You cant quite compare it to kanji study since it doesnt really help with it. Try to do some grammar lessons and train it through self made sentences. If you have someone like a teacher to get it corrected, it should boost your understanding after a few weeks.
Thats what my experience was. 3 years of study but in just a few weeks i was able to actually communicate :smiley:
Grammar is key


I would actually consider watching things with japanese subs. That way you reinforce the knowledge you have and you can practice listening as well. As for suited content, I would recommend watching grammar videos to start with, because it also seems you need to review the fundamentals a bit more. After that, pick something you’re interested in, like cooking, traveling, music, anime, etc. Only watch that for like a few weeks. The start will be rough either way, but you’ll notice progress eventually.

1 Like

Thank you so much! That sounds like a big help because the listening section was super hard for me as well. I think a lot of times I hear a familiar word and get really caught up in trying to remember it and then lose the whole rest of the dialogue haha. But this sounds great, thank you! And good luck on n3 and on!

1 Like

Ahh those are great ideas! Thank you for this, it helps me when I can see the steps others took to get to a certain point and it makes me realize it’s truly not impossible. I will for sure try the Japanese subtitles, I’ll have to pause a lot haha but I think that could help immensely. Thanks again!

1 Like

Thank you! I actually did buy the workbooks and I’m loving them so far. Unfortunately I don’t think I can afford a tutor yet but maybe in the future! At the moment I’m using Bunpro but I’d love to consider a tutor someday as I’ve heard that’s one of the best ways to learn. I tend to skip the partner sections for Genki but now that you say that I think I might try that out, thanks for the ideas!!

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.