Well, first day completed! I went a bit further than expected today, haha, maybe because it’s exciting to start a new challenge.
Listening in Spanish
I ended up trying La Casa de las Flores, which is a Netflix original series. To my utmost surprise, I could actually pretty much follow it without pausing! I would’ve been pretty helpless without the Spanish subtitles, though.
I only watched one episode of the show, but the story is fascinating enough, I’m definitely planning on continuing. One thing that was helpful is that one of the characters only speaks English, haha, so his girlfriend will have to explain things to him in English, and it’s a convenient time for me to check my own understanding.
I did know there were other difficulties, but thanks for linking them again, because I ended up trying the easiest podcast, then an episode of Z right after it! I think I’m in a tricky spot where the easy podcast is too easy for me, but Z is a little too hard. The grammar and vocab seem to be more or less understandable, but my brain can’t quite keep up with the speed of the podcast, so I can’t put together the meaning of the sentences in time .
I ended up going back to the 童話 site. I think I’m not quite at a point where I can do transcript/subtitle-less Japanese (or, well, I could probably handle the easiest Teppei, but I’m not sure I find the content compelling enough to keep going haha). What I’ve been doing with the stories is listening to them once while reading along, then reading through the whole story with Yomichan with the intent of full comprehension, then listening to it again while reading along. I could probably benefit from a fourth pass where I just listen, but I’m not sure I have the stamina to repeat the same story that many times .
As a bonus of doing this challenge, I’m learning some Japanese folklore
I really don’t know. That’s why I’m not really listening to anything I tried in the past fashionsnap, where they geek about brands that I don’t know about, そこ:star:あに where they geek about anime I don’t know about, and gadgetouch where they geek about gadgets I don’t know about. I think I just live under a rock, which makes it hard to pick anything. When I look at the top charts, it’s always the news or “learn English” or something, none of which interest me
I’ll give rebuild a try, I guess
Long day today, but I still managed to get about 15 minutes of listening practice listening to an easy news article. I also went to an exercise class, and I was pleased I could mostly understand it! Granted it was mostly words like 足、腕、左、右, and I know the teacher tried to simplify her language for me, but still!
On another note, do y’all want me to compile a resources wiki on this thread also? We could add our recommendations there, and I could link to it from the top post? I want to try a bunch of the things you’re all doing, but they may get lost in the replies…
I started this challenge in June, and my listening skills were next to non-existent. They’re not much better now, but I decided to not stress too much about it, just try to put in some listening in whatever form every day and see how it goes. I think I’ll be marking the days with colours, ranging from red (passive listening, minimal comprehension) to green (active listening, adequate comprehension). Hopefully I’ll see more greens as the challenge progresses…
Okay, joining in. My listening level is, well, non-existent, so I think that instead of recording what I listen to in the calendar (as I did in the Read Every Day thread), I’ll record how well I did. So far, I listened to a bunch of stuff (anime and fairy tales mostly) yesterday and was utterly disheartened, then listened to the first chapter of an audiobook today and was also utterly disheartened, but maybe a bit less so? I’ll follow pocketcat’s advice of listening first, then reading+listening, then listening again. It’s time consuming, but 仕方がない.
So, here is the June calendar. June isn’t officially part of this challenge, but it will be my preparation course. I’ll add the calendars for July and August later, and hide this under a details tag.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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).
Not a very good choice for a first audiobook then
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.
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 I had already decided to dedicate June to listening & have temporarily banned books that don’t have an audiobook from my life So I’m just gonna sneakily join the ‘track June already’ crowd’
(will do the calendar thing later)
Current endeavours (from the beginning of June until now)
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
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
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? 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
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. Help. Still pretty fun to be able to try a bunch of different things though!
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 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
Like, I can understand a decent chunk of some things in Japanese. Other things, nothing at all. But because of that latter group it’s easy to hide away and not feel “ready” to get as much out of things as I want to
@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.
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
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.
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.
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 ) - and now with this thread I feel like I don’t have much of an excuse not to. Thanks for putting this together @KJules!
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
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 ” 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 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!
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 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.
politely prod about my ask for audio accompaniments to be shown more prominently or searchably on the site
Oh yeah, having something like ‘has audiobook available’ as a search filter would be amazing
I’ve also listened to about a half hour of 時をかける少女 today.
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.
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.