Honestly pretty difficult for me. Sometimes I was understanding everything and other times there’d be multiple words in a sentence that were ??? for me. He also spoke fast enough that attempting to read the words on the screen (あらすじ mostly) while listening was hopeless.
I added a couple of the books he mentioned to my wish list - we seem to have similar tastes. I think I might put this channel into my regular rotation as it’d just past where my comfort level is so would be a good growth opportunity.
Side note: I was kind of giggling how he kept calling 異邦の騎士 a 古い作品 because it was written in…the 1980s.
Thank you, Beyond Sleepy for telling us about Sakura Tips. Her writing in Japanese is very good for me! Edit: huh… I had listened to the mp4 off her website, but her Sakura Tips TouTube videos are even better, because they show the text as she is speaking, karaoke style. I subscribed to her You Tube channel. This week be good for my
2… Study the transcript and
listen again until I catch all of it.
Plan that I follow for intensive listening. Yay!
As far as I can tell, these are the cities listed along the bottom in a video I watched
田島 Tajima (looks like a tool company?)。沼の沢 Numanosawa (is in Hokkaido?)。小宝島 Kodakarajima (an island in Kagoshima District)。島羽 Shimahane (May be an incomplete name)。渡嘉敷 tokashiki (in Shimajiri district of Okinawa)。北方 Hoppū (北方領 means Northern Territoryほっぽうりょう For islands located in East Hokkaido?)。本部 Honbu (is Motobu Okinawa 本部?)。
安次嶺 Ashimine (in Naha, Okinawa)。荒屋 Araya or Kōoku (? stone age site in Niigata, Hokoriku region??)。土別 Shibetsu (city in Hokkaido)。青ヶ島 Aogashima (an island with a population of 170)。佐喜浜 Sakihama。西興部 Nishiokoppe。那覇 Naha。小野新町 Ononiimachi。笠取山 Kasatoriyama。胡屋 Goya。
Crud! That’s annoying…I thought they might be cities “worth learning”…
These could be wrong, I didn’t check them; I hand wrote them into Google Translate.
Just another little update, besides my usual things, last night I watched half of the film スーパーの女. Normally I don’t split movies up much, but with Japanese they get tiring and sometimes it’s hard to find the full time block with all the other stuff I want to do. It was on the Criterion Channel (with their baked in English subs I have to block ) so I can’t share a way to watch unfortunately.
It’s a really charming movie! Just takes the small scale occurrences of a little grocery store trying to get by and blows them up for comedy. Yet another that I watched the very beginning of some months ago, but bailed on early cause I was annoyed at following basically nothing. This time I got through that portion better, but I’m still teetering on the edge of missing so many lines that it makes me dissatisfied with the viewing. Definitely progress, though. There are some real mumble-y men in this movie. I’ll probably try to continue it later? Certainly like the movie, just have this thing where the feeling that I’m missing out too much through the lines I don’t understand accumulates over time until I bail on movies early, heh. Not like this one is hard to follow what’s happening for what that’s worth, but there can be a big gap between knowing the literal events occurring and actually getting what you want from a movie, y’know?
That’s me at the moment. I can read a lot of Japanese subtitles, but they go by so fast, I seldom get all of them read.
Last night I tried watching and listening to different TV programs, ones I haven’t seen before. I watched “Chumi Dondon” (I think it was called), and it seemed to be about a girl who kept cooking different foods and trying them out on various people. I know I didn’t catch it all, but I got the main idea (I think). Also watched a few news programs and one on Japanese mountains.
Jun 12, Sun (A comtemplation for improving listening) calendar post
I don’t want to see sentences (subtitle), and audio follows; and it is probably impossible for a resource to make audio first, then writing follows, in real time.
Death Note EP.2-3 – No subtitle. Corresponding to first few chapters on the book. (Around up to Ch.3-4 I think.)
やがて君になる EP.2-3 – This one has subtitles, and vocabs not so hard. However, I don’t really follow along and rewind every sentences.
I also listened to Samurai Champloo (EP.1-2, no subtitles), which is quite gory to me. I planned to catch up to EP.4. Black Jack OVA (1993) is also planned.
Gotta admit, though. Watching without subtitle loses much of the messages, which I think is pretty bad. Gotta manage somehow. Subtitle directly on the image is also troublesome – which is pretty much the case of Visual Novels.
NHK News, perhaps involving Japanese politics, because why not?
Listening, although bad, might be easier than reading at this point (or perhaps reading not exceedingly difficult, but I haven’t tried yet.)
Basically a voiced over manga which is in turn explaining the main points of a book about how to ‘breathe better’. I like these videos because when it talks about science-y topics it’s usually at a high enough level where I can follow along but still strengthen some vocab like 二酸化炭素, 排泄, and the like which I otherwise only encounter rarely.
Because all the dialogue is in the speech bubbles and you can adjust the speed of playback in youtube I’d recommend these videos for anyone with intermediate grammar and a base in science words (or you can look them up as you go along, but I hate doing that while listening )
Setting the playback speed at 0.7 allowed me to more or less read along with my audiobook, but I still need to pause a lot to look things up. I’m not sure whether it’s better to let things go or look up everything when the goal is listening comprehension. More than a couple unknown words can cause me to lose the thread completely, and the fact that I tend to drift off while listening doesn’t help much either. However, these are still very low energy and low concentration days for me for unrelated reasons, so maybe it will get better.
For now I thought I’d try shorter texts and so I dug up my neglected Read Real Japanese book, bought back when I had no hope of reading real Japanese at all. It’s accompanied by an audio CD so I listened, read, read+listened, then just listened again to the first short essay by Haruki Murakami. Even after such intense study of this short text, I still tended to tune out after the first couple of minutes of listening. I wonder if I just need to accept that listening is just not my forte. I mean, I even prefer watching movies in my native language with subtitles on…
Yesterday and today I continued listening to Sakura Tips, as well as to あらB.fm (a hours long podcast about various things, one host + new guests every episode, but my jp is not strong enough to really parse what’s going on most of the time).
I listened to the first section (~30 min) of 終電の神様 - I bought it on a whim awhile ago and decided to try it out today. I’d say I understood 90% of the first chapter with 10% being lost because my attention slipped when there were unknown words. I’m going to relisten and see if I can get that up. I think this book should be within my range if I focus and don’t get hung up on unknown words here and there (most of them are reasonably guessable, just not known by me yet).
Ha, I also watch native language content with subs on And I struggle with not tuning out audio content, more so when it’s a smidge too hard or a smidge too boring. I don’t have any advice, just sympathy.
I definitely don’t recommend it if you don’t already have that vocab base. It’d probably be overwhelming, or require stopping constantly. How often does the mechanics of respiration come up in daily conversation, ya know? For me it was a ‘I know these words, but hear/read them infrequently, this is a good refresher’
I’ve been doing listening flash cards and listening to NHK easy news. I like that the speaking is slow, (definitely non native!) but that gives me time to focus on each word, i.e. intensive listening.
It really is odd to me how much better my reading is than my listening. NHK easy is too low level for my reading skill, but usually the first time I listen to an article I understand about 60%. I’ve been listening, then listening and reading along, then looking up the 1-2 words I don’t know after reading along, and then listening again on its own. Usually by the third listening run through I remember the content well enough to recognize the words as they’re said.
I hope one day I can get to the level where I can listen to things at native speed. Has anyone here made that jump successfully? How did you ramp up the speed at which you could understand?
Probably I just need to keep at it, and the speed will come eventually.
I really hope someone besides me starts chiming in (I don’t wanna sound arrogant ), but I made this jump! It was a couple things for me:
The blind listen / read along / blind listen again method I mentioned earlier, which sounds like you’re doing already with the NHK easy articles
I made audio flashcards from TV shows + movies with Subs2SRS (but there are premade decks out there as well…which I cannot link for copyright reasons Google will lead you).
Lots and lots of TV shows and movies. Watched with JP subs, then without. Somethings I couldn’t find JP subs for so I just focused as best as I could and let context guide the way.
Possibly also…reading a lot helped? If my vocabulary hadn’t been as big as it was I think the transition would have been a lot harder.
Also stuff aimed at learners, like 三本塾’s chatty videos and Onomappu are really good for this I think. It’s slower, but it’s not so slow as textbook exercises. I’m kind of sad Onomappu made his channel (or at least I found his channel) after I was already doing ok with native content cause his videos are really fun.
I should also emphasize it took me hundreds of hours to reach the level of "Yay, I can watch a crime drama without subs and not be hopelessly lost! " but it was substantially faster to reach the level of native content aimed at younger audiences.
June 14th: Today is my start date. I haven’t been doing any listening exercises so I’m glad for a challenge to fill in a gap in my learning. I am beginning w/ Yuki’s Comprehensible Japanese Input Youtube channel and aim to work thru the absolute beginner playlist before moving on to anything else.
June 15th: My calendar seems to be not working rn. This is just a note that I did listen to audio today. Will figure out calendar later, post-work.
June 19th: Listening daily got away from me this weekend. Though to be fair, this was my first real weekend in 2 weeks. Getting back to it starting today. Still have not figured how to fix the calendar. Might mark w emojis for now.
Finished my exercise today. Video 3 of Comprehensive Japanese (beginner) playlist. Also, figured out how to update my calendar.
June 27th: A lot more diligent this past week. Been slowly working through the beginner playlist of Comprehensive Japanese. There are a LOT of words I still don’t know. I’m doing my listening exercise with first watching the video, then just audio, and then watching the video again. I’m getting more familiar with hearing sentences and words even if I don’t know everything that’s being said. I’m definitely training my ear now, but I hope that I can have more comprehension (when just listening alone) within the next 3 or 4 weeks.
July 19th: Returning from vacation. Sadly no wifi connection so I’ve slipped far behind the last two weeks. Am ready to get back to it full force!
July 20th: Switched gears a tiny bit to focus on listening to grammar lessons. Today, watched an explanation of adjectives on YT by the Japan Society NYC.
August 2nd: At this point, I have been focusing only on the listening every day challenge and have dropped the ball on reading every day challenge. Oops! However, I am really enjoying the Japan Society video series. The lessons are clear with good visual aids and they build up sentences on each lesson, so by lesson 7, you can learn how to build complex sentences. Also, the lessons go well with Genki 1 book.