Is audio important?

Out of curiosity, I was wondering how important it is to have the audio of a Japanese native speaker when learning vocabulary. Does it affect you being able to recall the vocabulary word when listening and speaking as you are just reading rather than hearing the word or does it not really matter as you may to be recall the word just by reading it?

Well it’ll obviously help listening recall. But I think there’s two main reasons here.

1.) Language learners often have problems with vowel length and the Sokuon. The more you listen to it the better it gets, the difference between しょ and しょう is important.

2.) Getting used to pitch accent. Yes there is that script somewhere, but being able to identify it in speech is a different story.

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Yes. Some words can only be distinguished by the pitch in the hiragana/katakana. Look at the differences between rain and candy, both pronounced “ame” but they pronounce the “a” and the “me” differently.

Listening to someone speaking Japanese with a foreign accent and listening to someone with a Japanese one feels totally different, at least to me :slight_smile: I would much prefer someone speaking with a good accent and making some occasional mistakes here and there than someone with perfect vocab and grammar, but with a weird accent.

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The more senses you tickle, the better. The kanji/jukugo in itself and the mnemonics help create visuals, but hearing it/saying it out loud create sounds you may recall. You often see the lessons inviting you to say things out loud, because sounds create memories too, and that means more anchors to retrieve a reading/meaning.


It is important that you hear it as pitch accent will become very important to listening comprehension as the speech you listen to becomes more complex. If you don’t know the pitch accent of vocabulary words that you believe you know, you may not recognize that word in a spoken sentence and as it could become jumbled up with the other words around it. So, if you don’t listen to speech you could end up with a large vocabulary that you can use, while not being able to understand other people.

This reminds me of when my japanese teacher says しょう and I right しょ and then he repeats しょう as if the difference is obvious if he just repeats himself. I’ll get it though!

lol i remember those days. Ours was:
" 来てください ” (kite kudasai)
” 聞いてください ” (kiite kudasai)

kiiiiiiiiiite kudasai!

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There are different types of learning out there, and using several senses at once is definitely good advice. I’m a more “visual” learner, but have to find that out by yourself.

There is an inspiring TED talk from a “tactile” learner who discovered his real ability


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