🔉 🎙 Listen Every Day Challenge (Summer Edition) 🏖

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 :joy: 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.


Jun 14, Tue :cherry_blossom: calendar post

Week 12 of pre-Summer 2022’s planning

Although, I can try lots, there are limits to how much I can try, for example 呼吸法 above is a little too much for me (new vocab density, and length).

  • Committed
    • 2 episodes of Death Note (EP.4-5)
    • 2 general Japanese YouTube (or other video/audio services), probably news
  • Try to commit
    • 3 episodes of Samurai Champloo (EP.3-5, to catch up)
    • 1 episode of やがて君になる (EP.3)
  • Considered
    • Black Jack OVA (1993)
    • キノの旅

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’ :sweat_smile:


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 :sweat: ), 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 :sweat_smile: 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! :upside_down_face: " but it was substantially faster to reach the level of native content aimed at younger audiences.

01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

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. :slight_smile:

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.




This was a confidence boost for sure :joy:
So apparently I can listen to some Japanese with nearly 100% comprehension on the first try! :sweat_smile:


I do much better with the children’s programming, and understand a lot more than on other shows. Some of the news reports are easier, too.


Yesterday I’ve relistened to episodes 195 – 263


When I was listening to the Harry Potter audiobook this morning, it was the end of Chapter 1 (that has my favorite title いきのこったおとこの子 “the boy who lived/survived” 生きlife残ったremained/survived男の子boy); and into the next Chapter, (きえたグラス “vanished glass” 消えたグラス).Both of these Chapters I have previously READ every word and STUDIED every sentence once. But I don’t do reviews, so I don’t remember all of those words that I’d had to look up. (which was a lot, essentially every.single.sentence.!!)

In trying to level up my listening comprehension, I believe that Cure Dolly was right when she described this optimal “Pincer Attack”. I can finally now distinctly hear the words in the sentences, for multiple sentences in a row. It’s still like someone relentlessly quickly throwing reviews at me, and I’m only able to correctly respond to 1/3 of them.

I have to squelch my desire to wonder (“Ah…I know とにかく… what was it, again?”), because it interferes with my listening to what else I’m being told! That alone is an advanced listening skill, IMHO.

But the exciting thing for me, that I feel a real difference as compared to last year. Last year, I couldn’t even really make out the words. Now I can hear them, even if I don’t recognize the meaning. And for the words I KNOW (or that are advancing toward that “don’t gotta think about it anymore”), the recognition is coming faster. At last! Larger and larger amounts of words are familiar to me. I still feel stumbly trying to create output (speak/write)… but I’m faster and much more confident than this time last year.

Admittedly, the advance is coming excruciatingly slowly. I would have hoped for these gains in a month which took me a year!! I’m working so hard isshoukenmei 一生懸命!! I’m smart… this should have happened faster! But…it is what it is, and it actually is happening!

I was really able to hear much more of each sentence in Chapter 2 this morning. I could tell (oh, they’re getting ice cream at the zoo; oh, they’re in the reptile house… here comes the talking snake) what was happening.

I believe that it is very helpful to intensively study material, and to listen and relisten to that material (to bring it into focus), in addition to the extensive listening to material that you haven’t previously been exposed to. It’s so exciting to grasp parts of material that I haven’t previously heard!! But also has been evolving so agonizingly slowly…

The good news is also that the advances do transfer to new material, previously unknown. Larger amounts of new material are “heard, if not understood” by me. So I will still continue extensive listening (“top down” in Cure Dolly) in addition to intensive listening (“bottom up”), even though my “day to day” or “month to month” improvement isn’t really noticeable.

I feel much closer to a breakthrough now that I’ve been doing both for 2 years. (The first year wasonly daily Duolingo)

Ganbarimshou ne? 頑張りましょうねぇぇ

If it was easy, everyone would do it

EDIT: I find it striking that encouraging “top down” (pure immersion) listening, “extensive listening” is a lot like “the Tadoku Method” to reading books (just read, don’t stop and look things up). LOL, I see now that I added the link that it’s called extensive reading.

I ended up watching Mika Real Japanese “Asking Someone Out”, since it came on next while I was writing… ミカビデオを見てしまった.


Day: -16 :slightly_smiling_face:

Slight smile today, just because I listened to much easier things. A kiddie pokemon episode and three youtube videos by Onomappu. I didn’t catch everything on the videos, but I caught way more than I expected - his very expressive gestures certainly helped!

Now @Shannon-8 reminded me of Cure Dolly’s “top down” listening theory, which makes a lot of sense to me. It’s basically about listening without worrying about comprehension, just enjoying the content as a little kid would - kids always miss stuff, but never worry about it. This approach works best with anime because the visual clues make up for the lack of full understanding, but I can’t think of an anime I’d like to watch at the moment, so I thought I’d get an audiobook of a book I’ve read before (preferably in translation) and just listen, not worrying about a thing. Problem is, I can’t find a way to browse audiobook.jp in an effective way. I can only directly search for books (and I haven’t managed to find any that I’ve looked for so far), or get lost in a sea of business guides and classic literature. I could listen to a new book of course, but then I’m certain to understand almost nothing apart from one decisive spoiler near the end that will just kill all enjoyment when I listen/read again later. :joy:


It is truly terrible trying to search that site. I usually end up searching by clicking author names, narrator names, and publishing companies. I dunno what you’ve read before, but here are some translated works that qualify for 聞き放題:
エドガー・アラン・ポー「黒猫」 - actually a bunch by this publisher, mixed with classic jp authors - see here
ドストエフスキー カラマーゾフの兄弟 第一巻

Honestly not seeing much for modern works. I know audible has some, but whether or not they have it in the country you live in is another thing entirely :sweat_smile:


Thanks for the links! I actually meant Japanese novels that I have read in English, but failing that I see no reason why I couldn’t do the opposite: English or any other language translated into Japanese. Poe in Japanese could be interesting. :thinking:
I’ve looked for: Haruki Murakami, Ryu Murakami, Natsuo Kirino, Yoko Ogawa, Banana Yoshimoto, Keigo Higashino. Nothing. None of those have audiobooks? That’s so strange.

I didn’t think of that. Maybe that’s why I’m not finding them?


Only one of those authors have I seen an audiobook for any of their works and it’s still in the pre-order phase :sob: Higashino Keigo in particular seems to hate ebooks so I imagine that extends to audiobooks as well.

Audiobooks in Japan seem to be ~10 years behind the west in popularity. It’s just not that big yet :frowning:


Okay, so after a few hours of browsing I’m now between the following options for an audiobook I’ll just listen to without worrying about comprehension:

ある男 - A decent mystery, and the only book I’ve found that I’ve already read in English. That’s good because I already know (remember vaguely) what’s going on, but not the actual words used. If I remember correctly, there was quite a lot of introspection, which might make it more difficult to follow at times.

かがみの孤城 - Seems to be popular in this forum. I had no particular interest to read it in book form, but it might be fun as an ebook. Judging from the sample, it’s more acted out than narrated. Might be better for variety in listening then, although I do like an even narration.

神去なあなあ日常 - A book I would be interested in reading. I’ve read another book by this author in English (The Great Passage) and liked it a lot. This one is about an 18-year old moving to a remote village in the countryside, and about how he adjusts to the totally different life there. From the sample, it’s going to be hard, but the good thing is, it’s not the sort of book where spoilers matter, so it will be fine if I understand more from the ending than from the beginning.

配達あかずきん―成風堂書店事件メモ - I know nothing about this, I just clicked it because it takes place in a bookshop. From the sample, it’s definitely the easiest of the bunch. No idea if it’s going to be interesting or not though. It’s also on discount…

I’m not including スマホを落としただけなのに or 謎解きはディナーのあとで in this list because this is about listening and only half-understanding (at best), and as they are both mysteries, I wouldn’t want to understand a spoiler before I even understand what leads to it. I will keep these for listening+reading combined.

I don’t expect you all to decide for me, but polls are fun so I’m making one, feel free to vote or ignore it. I’ll make my decision in the morning, before my audiobook points (or whatever they’re called) expire.

  • ある男
  • かがみの孤城
  • 神去なあなあ日常
  • 配達あかずきん―成風堂書店事件メモ

0 voters

Oh, in 神去なあなあ日常’s details there’s this: 添付資料: あり(1). Does anyone know what kind of document is supposed to be attached? Not the book, surely?


I am curious about the way you set up your cards for Subs2SRS? I looked into premade ones and it looked like people showed the jp text and then played the audio that accompanied it but I was thinking it’d be reverse (ie play audio and then hit show answer to see the jp text to verify what you heard is correct). Is that how you set it up or was the premade decks I looking at maybe different?


Yep, that’s how mine are set up too. I play audio with an accompanying prompt picture and backside shows the text. When I started it was purely “can I pick up each and every sound being used here?” and moved somewhat quickly to “and also grasp the meaning”.

Are you familiar enough with anki to modify the premade decks to change the cards to be that way? If not can probably help there.


I am not too familiar with editing Anki (I usually just use other people’s templates/premade decks). Do you happen to know of a guide or something similar I could read to figure out how to change it to be like that?


I’m sure there’s guides online, but it’s probably quick enough to just screenshot and explain

Hidden for size

So from desktop (probably possible but painful on mobile):
Click Browse → Deck you want → Any card in that deck → Cards...
You’ll see radio buttons for Front Template and Back Template and fields which you can use are the words inside {{}}. You can use any field on either side of the card. Remove and add however you like. There is CSS available for styling if you want, but I personally don’t care a lot about the look of audio cards :sweat_smile:
If you’re not sure what fields you have available to you in that deck, exit out of the Cards... window and click Fields...
any of these words (case sensitive!) is fair game for me to use inside my cards.

This will modify the template of those cards, so every one using that setup will change at once.