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.
Maybe not worse, but more or less the same as what you describe.
It’s okay though, we all have to start somewhere!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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!
All set as a wiki now!
… it would be very nice.
I um…just started talking to people and forgot to make a home post at all.
I’ve been battling a headache all day so my listening was just a relisten of a section of an audiobook walking to-and-from the grocery store. I also have a vague feeling I watched a youtube video in Japanese earlier but I can’t remember anymore…
Generally though my listening practice of late has been watching 金田一少年 (that’s a trailer for a crime drama incase you don’t like that kind of thing). It’s a good level for me - I only have to flip on JP subs a bit to see the kanji for a word here and there that is new to me, but overall it’s an easy follow.
I have a few series I need to finish and some I’m planning to start. Also some movies to finish…
Oh and I’m planning to do a read/listen with 硝子の塔の殺人 as soon as I finish 心霊探偵八雲 and catch up to the book club with 糞尿譚.
Currently in the midst of Summer Social Life so my usual speed at completing any of those things is reduced.
Japanese Ammo with Misa recommends basically reading the sentence backwards if you want to try to learn from anime with English subs. Here’s a video where she shows how to do it. I haven’t tried this myself yet, haha, but it’s an interesting method that makes a lot of sense.
I have one recommendation, but it’s a little difficult for me to figure out where to put it because it’s technically advanced Japanese, but the listening part is supplemental to the media, so you can watch it at any level of Japanese knowledge and even if you understand literally nothing, it’s still enjoyable to watch.
(It’s Japanese pro-wrestling )
I’ve been compiling some links to free matches in the pro wrestling thread, because a lot of shows are only accessible through various different subscription services, but many companies post at least some matches on youtube, so there is quite a lot of stuff available for free (legally). It might not be to everyone’s taste, but for anyone who is looking for something a little different, it’s an option.
I’m so excited to be joining everyone for this challenge! 一緒に頑張りましょう！
moon_tofu summary post
Currently tuning into
- Shikimori-san is not just a cutie
- Let’s learn Japanese from small talk
- Random YouTube videos (that pique my interest)
Is it alright to edit directly on the post?
One recommendation I have are YouTube channels like this. They are manga that comes with voiceovers so you can practice both your reading and listening skills!
yesterday I’ve relistened to episodes 63 – 114.
Yeah, add the link right to the wiki! If I’ve got motivation this weekend I’ll try to add some of the other stuff people have linked here too
For this, I think it can be categorized by genres / interests as well; but perhaps a little hard for absolute beginner. Aligning with interests will make things fun.
After trying listening more for a few days, and thinking a little deeply about listening, it might be nice if I can find materials that speak clearly, and I can repeat – on the range of audiobooks, with accompanying texts, I guess.
- I’ve just found that audiobook.jp app can be installed on Android, easily in my region.
- I guess 昔話 and 童話 are also on this style.
- Bookwalker should have it? I don’t know how.
On more natural spoken materials, I am not sure if there should be guiding / distracting animations or not. After all, I want to really focus on listening. From a quick listen, I like 味な副音声.
Another non-priority worry
Although, I am also worried about conversations / dialogues, it’s not my priority right now.
If you need any help with spanish Im a native speaker シ (thats a smiley face)
Might join this after thinking about it some more. I don’t really tend to consume a lot of media like a lot of my peers do (neither in Japanese, English or my native language Dutch), but I do come across plenty of material to get my worth out of it. Like I wouldn’t be able to binge a show anymore, I don’t even tend to watch the same show over multiple days. I do like to have a dedicated day for netflix content which I can have JP subs for and a day for crunchyroll content with EN subs. The rest of the days I can fill with other content such as youtube or games. It’s different from my approach to reading, so this challenge I might just grab whatever I can find.
Examples of things I’m using for listening practice atm are:
- Netflix; Old Enough! (JP), Komi-san S2 (JP), Cowboy Bebop (no sub)
- Crunchyroll; Spy x Family (EN), Dai (EN), Digimon Ghost Game (EN)
- Youtube; Meshclass Japanese (JP), Onomappu (EN/JP), Japan Travel and weird apartment vids
- Spotify; Acidman, Ulfuls or just a mix of Japanese songs
- Games; Persona 4 Golden (JP)
Not an exhaustive list, I’ve also watched some vtubers stream on occassion or see game trailers in Japanese. I could maybe look at podcasts, news and audiobooks as well, although I’m not really into that to begin with so idk. For myself it is good to have a variety in platforms, difficulty, time and effort so I don’t get overstimulated. At the moment it’s mostly low effort because of how I like it. Watching a 90 minute movie would probably take me a few hours because of being distracted or losing focus, unless I’m able to tap into hyperfocus… pretty sure the listening portion of the jlpt exam will be a disaster
Okay, so reading a book while listening to it is too hard for me at the moment - I can’t read that fast, and there are always things I need to look up. It takes too much pausing for my liking. It’s been a hard day today in many respects, so maybe it will feel easier tomorrow. So what I did instead was listen to the first chapter multiple times. I did catch much more with each repetition, but again, I don’t think that’s something I can realistically keep doing for long. I still need to figure out what works for me.
For an easier challenge, I watched an episode of Shirokuma Cafe, and sure enough, my comprehension was at around 70%? Much better, but it doesn’t excite me as much as audiobooks do. I’ll keep it as an option for low energy days I guess.
I was watching a video by ひめねぃ様 today and realized it’d probably be good practice for intermediate learners? It has hard JP subs and while he sometimes talks a little fast, it mostly staying on the topic of what he’s immediately looking at. Topic: 女装男子 going through and talking about his clothing collection
I’ll probably listen to more this evening but no idea what. Wherever the wind takes me
If I didn’t already know you weren’t a fan of コーヒーが冷めないうちに I’d recommend that It’s read pretty slow and doesn’t have many unusual words scattered throughout.
I’m not sure what sort of controls 聞き放題 gives you (I buy books outright so I get the plain mp3s) but can you slow it down?
If you have any interest in visual novels at all, I think finding a voiced one that appeals to you could be super helpful for getting used to hearing and reading Japanese in tandem! Just the structure of like one line being shown and spoken at a time that you can take at your own pace without the pauses feeling unnatural is so helpful. I can only really speak to my own experiences obviously, but going through VNs like that increased my reading speed so much, like you’re encouraged to go faster by nature of it being read to you, but you don’t have to, you can still take your time and figure things out, it’s a great balance