🔉 🎙 Listen Every Day Challenge (Summer Edition) 🏖

Day: -21 :face_with_spiral_eyes:

So, I wanted to start with スマホを落としただけなのに, recommended by @pocketcat and handy for audio listening because the chapters seem to be small. But, I got an offer from audiobook.jp when I subscribed for a free 14 days all-you-can-listen trial, and this book wasn’t eligible for all-you-can-listen. So instead I chose 謎解きはディナーのあとで for now, which I can listen to for free. After the 14 days (probably much sooner), I guess I’ll know if it’s worth keeping at it or changing to スマホ. I don’t get why they can’t give you the book for free when you buy the audiobook. Why are you making me buy the book twice?

So far I’ve listened to the first chapter, 27 minutes worth of audio. I understood…that there’s a body. And it’s wearing brown boots indoors. That’s more or less it. :rofl: No okay, I got much more while I was listening, but not so that I can connect them to something I could reliably recount. Next step is to listen while reading (it will be interesting to see if my reading can keep up with the audio speed, probably not), then listen again, and see how it goes. Not sure I’ll manage all that today, but that’s okay.

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Sounds like a good idea to me! I gave some podcast recommendations in the reading thread, I’ll copy the message so that hopefully it’s useful to some:

The easier ones I recommend are YUYU, Let’s Talk in Japanese, Let’s learn Japanese from small talk! (love this one personally), and Teppei (has a beginner podcast too as it’s been mentioned). The rest are more advanced. I don’t have absolute beginner recommendations, sadly, sorry! I’m sure someone else can recommend easier resources. I just didn’t have the need for them because I covered the beginner levels in a language school, so I don’t know what’s out there and don’t have anything I can personally recommend.

On YouTube I also recommend Comprehensible Japanese (already mentioned), あかね的日本語教室 and もしもしゆうすけ (if you check his playlists it’s much easier to navigate) . Also for videos on grammar, obligatory mention to 日本語の森 and ゆみせんせいの日本語ch .

I think podcasts have boosted my listening comprehension by a lot. I treat listening differently from reading; extensive listening and intensive reading. I would go for something that you can understand a decent portion of but I wouldn’t worry about not understanding everything (e.g. understanding 10 or 15 minutes of a 20 minute podcast or whatever). As long as you listen to something that is around your level I’m sure you will improve over time. It just takes time and patience, like reading and anything else.

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If it makes you feel better that book butts right up against the edge of my listening abilities. I had to really focus to catch everything. It’s voiced pretty fast and there’s a bit of fancy talking as well (both in politeness level and also just how some things are talked about iirc).

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Not a very good choice for a first audiobook then :joy:
I’ll give it a few days, see how it goes, then I may switch to スマホ.

I’m finding that I really prefer audiobooks to other media for listening by the way. I get bored by podcasts and youtube videos, and anime may be okay depending on the specific anime, but the animation (like images in manga) is more distracting than helpful to me. I guess I don’t really want to go too far out of my comfort zone (books) for now. :grin:

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Oh nice, I’m in.
I’ve been super inconsistent with listening (raw listening without jp subs, especially) since I started learning Japanese, and it kind of shows - I recently did an N2 mock test and did by far the worst on listening :see_no_evil: I had already decided to dedicate June to listening & have temporarily banned books that don’t have an audiobook from my life :laughing: So I’m just gonna sneakily join the ‘track June already’ crowd’ :face_with_peeking_eye:

(will do the calendar thing later)

Current endeavours (from the beginning of June until now)

Audiobooks

I’m really more of an audiobook person than a podcast one so I really wanna get to a point where I can comfortably listen to them :durtle_love:

I’ve picked up a fantasy novel + accompanying audiobook that I’d been meaning to read anyway ( 最果てのパラディン). The audiobook unfortunately only covers the first ~third of the book but it’s a pretty nice one with several narrators and sound effects and everything so I’ll take it for now. This is a bit too hard as an audiobook on its own so I’m trying a ‘read first, (re)listen later’ kind of thing. Hope that’ll help :sweat_smile:

I’m also listening to また、同じ夢を見ていた. I’m using this as an audiobook only, without reading along, and it’s… actually decently comprehensible so far? :eyes: Would like to find more things around that level once I’m done - it’s level 23 on Natively, so pretty low and there aren’t many other books like that listed that also have an audiobook, so not sure how to find those things yet :see_no_evil:

I also signed up for Audible Japan (which has an all-you-can-listen model) and did some snack listening. I tried a bit of 天気の子 (really nice audiobook, but can probably only more or less follow what’s happening because I know the movie…), モモ (German children’s classic I read as a kid), and some other things I already forgot. Conclusion so far: everything is hard. :joy: Help. Still pretty fun to be able to try a bunch of different things though!

Other

I’ve watched an episode each of things on viki (ミステリと言う勿れ and 僕はまだ君を愛さないことができる). I liked both but to be honest both of them felt too hard ;_; Will probably have to put them off till later or maybe try them with Japanese subs. Live action TV adds the difficulty of characters often speaking too fast/not clearly to all the other issues I already have with listening, that’s pretty frustrating :smile: One day.
I also watched a random sports anime (バクテン!!) - that was somewhat better, comprehension wise. Anime feels easier to me since the voice actors usually speak very clearly (and relatively slowly), so will probably try and go find some more things to watch.

Last but not least, I downloaded an app with N2 listening exercises and I’m doing a couple minutes of that here or there when I feel like it. Am hoping I’ll slowly get better at them :grimacing:


That feels familiar :sweat_smile:

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:tiger2: :sound: Summertime Listening :loud_sound: :raccoon:

六月
:mushroom: :moneybag: :raccoon: :zzz:
:zap: :thermometer: :fox_face: :bird: :fox_face:
七月
:guitar: :skull:
:mount_fuji: :bird: :flamingo: :dumpling: :japanese_ogre: :bathtub: :durtle:
:egg: :japanese_ogre: :boom: :framed_picture: :art: :cow2: :ramen:
:durtle_yellow_rodent: :octopus: :bamboo: :shinto_shrine: :fish: :durtle_yellow_rodent: :monkey:
:iphone: :mount_fuji: :volcano: :dog2: :bacon: :wolf: :bug:
:bubbles:
八月
:brick: :shopping_cart: :purple_square: :strawberry: :printer: :question:
:camera: :running_man: :doughnut: :rice: :pancakes: :diamonds: :cake:
:flatbread: :seedling: :o: :squid: :dog2: :dog2: :swan:
:durtle_yellow_rodent: :hocho: :boom: :zap: :earth_asia: :musical_score: :chopsticks:
:carrot: :canned_food: :rocket: :dog2:

@KJules, thanks for setting this up, this is a great idea! I was thinking about focusing more on listening this time for the summer reading challenge, but now I can do that here. Not sure if I’ll start before June is over or not, I’ll see if I can fit it in.

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ミステリと言う勿れ is pretty hard in parts. There were a few times during 整’s explanations when I had to pause to catch up. I remember that happening a lot less in the last few episodes, he’s mostly really verbose in the first couple I wanna say? There’s also a fast talking woman introduced later but her dialogue tends to not go on and on like his does.

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Since a few people are posting about what they’ve been listening to, just wanted to share a little success: so right about six months ago I watched this short film ( 100%の女の子, apparently based on a Murakami short story?). It’s free on Youtube at that link, and under 10 minutes! Unfortunately it has hard baked in English subtitles so I’m using a program to cover them with a big box heh. Anyway, 6 months ago I was picking out individual words I knew here and there and can’t say I really “got it,” especially the way the structure of the film works eluded me. Well I’m definitely not at perfect understanding now, but I followed most of it pretty well this time! Enough to actually get the point, haha. Considering how low my understanding was the first time, big gains.

There are actually quite a few little interesting short films on Youtube; I’ll try to keep posting them here and there.

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Pinging @sweetbeems to politely prod about my ask for audio accompaniments to be shown more prominently or searchably on the site :wink:

Added to my queue! :grin:

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Started listening to the 安達としまむら audio books recently, so I think I will just carry on with those. :slight_smile:
Great idea for a thread, I’m sure it will help keep people motivated.

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Progress Updates
  • 七月1日
    Mostly watched sol anime (xd),
    how ever listened to 1h of the 安達としまむら audio books!
  • 七月2日
    Some anime, listened to another ~1h20m of 安達としまむら
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:notes: :cat2: :notes: Greti’s Home post :notes: :cat2: :notes:

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Very excited for this challenge!!! I haven’t done much listening so far (I may or may not have been putting practicing this skill off out of laziness :eyes:) - and now with this thread I feel like I don’t have much of an excuse not to. Thanks for putting this together @KJules! :cat2:

I’ve put a little tenative calendar in for June even though I haven’t yet quite decided how I’ll be approaching this challenge or what I’ll be listening to. I think I’ll just lurk around for a while, see if some of the recommendations in this thread catch my interest :eyes:

Listening Materials

TBD :cat2:

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Ooooh nice, I have also just recently been starting to make listening more of a focus so good timing! I am not going to pretend that I will be organised and update a table because I am bad at that but popping in to share things I’m listening to and hear about what others are listening to sounds fun.

Today I listened to this episode of the podcast 神ゲーREVIEW. It was a spoiler filled review of 13 sentinels (a game which I recently played and loved). I definitely don’t get 100% of this podcast but I love the vibes, it’s very much “let’s talk about things we love and why we love them :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:” and the hosts are very charming.

I’ve also listened to about a half hour of 時をかける少女 today. I’m about 80% in I think :thinking: Got half an hour of the audiobook to go. It’s very comprehensible so far - potentially a decent pick for you @Scylie - it’s level 26 on natively but tbh that seems higher than it should be. I’m not amazingly blown away by the book but it’s short and referenced in so many things (including 13 sentinels) that seemed worth a listen!

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Yeah, that was a bit disappointing to realize after the first section of episode 1 was actually pretty easy, I had hoped it would stay that way :laughing: It’s not even only the rambly monologue parts I find difficult so it’s probably just not the thing for me yet, at least not raw. Looks like a fun show though, I think I’m going to like it. I’ll probably try it with subs some time and if it’s still too hard I can always save it for later. :sweat_smile:

Oh yeah, having something like ‘has audiobook available’ as a search filter would be amazing :eyes:

Interesting :eyes: I’ll probably try that one next then!

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Your listening can’t be worse than mine. I hear words or grammar points I’ve learned, and that’s about it. Once in a very long while I catch a whole sentence, but that is usually on a children’s program.

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Maybe not worse, but more or less the same as what you describe. :sweat_smile:
It’s okay though, we all have to start somewhere!

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If I work harder at Grammar, I’m sure I’d do better. Also, I need to go back and get in some more work on RocketLanguages.com. That’s where a LOT of my understanding comes from. I’ve been neglecting that for a while.

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Many thanks to @KJules for formatting advice

Listening every day is a goal of mine. Preferably both extensive and intensive, but… real life.
muffling maniacal laughter

By the way for beginning listeners, I made flashcards to go along with Peppa Pig “O Kaimono” Shopping, so that’s a few minutes of listening that could be fully comprehensible to you with only a little work!

I will continue to update the “My listening sources” section below with links to flashcard sets to go along with audio for covering to “intensive listening”. Why re-invent the wheel, ねぇぇ?

My listening sources

I’ve been extensive listening to the Harry Potter audiobook in Japanese every day for a year plus now. I eagerly await the day that I will understand it all… but not really enough to stick to my goal of reading Harry Potter and learning the Vocabulary on SRS. So far, I’ve only done the “intensive listening” analysis on Chapters 1-5 and interesting parts of later chapters. If you want to start listening to the Harry Potter audiobook, here is a link to a slide show that I painstakingly made of the sentences from Harry Potter laid out with definitions for several minutes of the first part of Harry Potter Chapter !. It’s possible to follow along the written Japanese and instantly peek at meaning as you go because of the layout.

I’m in a group that meets on discord to study and listens to
Conversational Japanese Dialogues:, Over 100 Japanese Conversations and Short Stories, Conversational Japanese Dual Language Books. This is for intensive listening practice for me. Here is an invitation to the 日本の神々 discord server where I do the Thursday “lunch” sessions (noon in Chicago, 2am in Japan, 6pm in the UK).
Chapter1 Ordering Dinner
Chapter 2 Ice Cream
Chapter 4 I Found a Kitten
Chapter 9 Road Trip
Chapter 11 2nd First Date
Chapter 12 Who Do You Live With

I watch a lot of anime. Most of it, I can’t get Japanese subs for on Netflix, so I listen to the Japanese, but also peek at the subtitles.* Right now I’m doing this with “Bubble” a weird sci-fi thing that made Tokyo into a parcours park with weird gravitational effects. It sounds goofy and it’s light. I’m also doing this with a J-drama “Atelier” and other random stuff. I also just started One Piece…

I “pre-watched” “Little Witch Academia” in English and watch it in Japanese now. I like it because the language is overall pretty simple. I.am.almost.there to getting most of that. I’m toying with doing a Quizlet for Vocabulary by episode for that. groan It’s so much work, but really increases the comprehension absorption rate IMHO. I also find that I do better when I go over the same episode multiple times.

Language Learning with Netflix switched over to Language Tractor, which only works on PCs, and I usually use my phone for media. I haven’t been to Animelon etc in quite some time. Apparently, Yomichan is pretty awesome for translations

*The “Immersion” people say that it is “no bueno” to listen with English subtitles (JP audio, JP subs is ideal), and I sometimes totally turn off the subtitles, but find it helpful to “be on the lookout” (keep my ears pricked) for vocabulary that I know… Because the sentence order is opposite between the English and the Japanese, if you read the English subtitles, it’s really difficult to truly listen to the Japanese と思う.

I will post links to Vocabulary study sets here to go along with listening as I make them.

OK, WOW, I love “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (hence my profile picture of Impa from when she was a young warrior in “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”; recently re-released on modern platforms, I highly recommend this game). A 2 hour+ You Tube video by Game Gengo Breath of the Wild Vocabulary goes through every sentence, word by word plus grammar discussion for most of the isolated plateau storyline cut scenes. My flashcard deck (not yet finished) to go along with this video is here: BOTW flashcards for your intensive listening preparation. I’m not finished with the deck, yet, but as I update it, the link will remain the same.

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All you have to do is click reply to a message with a calendar you want, then click the little speech bubble. That will copy the code into your message, delete the non calendar things, and voila!

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Listening Recommendations, or What are we listening to?
Please add any recommendations you have here, with links if possible. It would also be useful to know if you have to pay to access the resource.

Absolute Beginner

Yuki’s YouTube channel of Comprehensible Japanese Input, free, organized by difficulty level.

Tadoku provides free books organized by difficulty level. Many books have a :musical_note: music note symbol which means that it has “read-aloud audio”. Tadoku has a learning philosophy that involves not looking up every word to build knowledge.

JapPeppa’s YouTube channel, with definitions and subtitles on Peppa Pig episodes. I made free flashcards to accompany some episodes.
・Shopping O Kaimono episode and O Kaimono flashcards

Beginner

Bite Size Japanese A daily slow spoken Japanese podcast about daily life in Japan. Subtitles with kanji and brief explanations of hard to understand words.

Satori Reader A website with free content of articles organized by difficulty with vocabulary and grammar explanations and audio sentence-by-sentence and entire article. Option of additional paid content.

Watanoc Has articles organized by difficulty with audio, definitions and grammar explanations, also with Vietnamese and Traditional Chinese translations of the Japanese.

An audiobook worth purchasing: Conversational Japanese Dialogues:, Over 100 Japanese Conversations and Short Stories, Conversational Japanese Dual Language Books. This is for intensive listening practice with vocabulary building of everyday Japanese. I’ve made some free flashcards linked below by chapter.
Chapter1 Ordering Dinner
Chapter 2 Ice Cream
Chapter 4 I Found a Kitten
Chapter 9 Road Trip
Chapter 11 2nd First Date
Chapter 12 Who Do You Live With

Intermediate

Buy the Harry Potter 1 written book and audiobook ハリー・ポッターと賢者の石 (はりーポッたーとけんじゃのいし). Here are my “read along” Translation notes that cover the first 7.5 minutes. The WK Forum Book Club is here

The Anime series Little Witch Academia リトルウィッチアカデミア has a lot of vocabulary overlap with Harry Potter. On Netflix US, it has JP subs.

The first kiss J-drama series イタズラなキス “Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo” had everday language. Here is a link to the 2013 series on Viki for free

ゆゆ日本語 YuYu’s Japanese-English channel often includes Japanese subtitles and tendd to use regular language.

ミク Real Japanese You Tube discusses grammar, focused on useful Japanese. I like Miku’s goofy sense of humor.
.
HARUKA - the real Japanese podcast
Very calm spoken podcast that naturally flows. I helped me learn a lot about Japanese holidays, education, dialects, and more. Pretty easy to listen to, I might recommend to beginners too.

Advanced

本好きの下剋上 (Ascendance of a Bookworm) Audiobooks
Light Novel series about a girl who tries to make books in a medieval fantasy world, and accidentally upsets the world’s social structure in the process. They’ve been keeping up with the audiobooks as the series releases so there are nearly 30 books already available!

もしもしゆうすけ
Very useful to understand how to order food, talk to store employees, or how daily discussions sound. Uses some more advanced vocabulary sometimes. Has English and Japanese (kanji, furikana) subtitles.

井上ジョーJAPAN
He’s Japanese American, but has spoken Japanese since birth and is often confused to be a Japanese person who speaks English. He uses a lot a variety of vocab and speaks expressively. Comments said he has a high level in Japanese, so I included it since I like listening to him.

NAKATA UNIVERSITY
Nakata is very fun, and expressive, and has “lectures” about so many freaking topics. These are not “japanese learning” videos. Talks fast, don’t worry if it’s hard at first!

Ok, here’s a place to compile some listening recommendations. At this point I’m not sure exactly how I’ll sort it, and I’ve got to go to work, so I’m not going to add anything yet. But, I’ll ask the @mods to make it a wiki, and link to it from the main post. Please add anything you’re interested in, once you can!

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All set as a wiki now!

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