🔊 🎙 Listen Every Day Challenge - Winter 2023 ❄ 🧤

Jan 16, Mon of Week 4 of Winter Q1 2023 :snowman::snowflake:

I visited Youtube. A pronunciation joke and Sora the joke.

So-matome N3 Listening Ch.3 [1/6]. Sound from various places in Japan. This certainly brings back memories, although I am not visiting Japan any time soon.

君の膵臓をたべたい Ch.6 [1/4].

かがみの孤城 March [6/10]. Perhaps,…


:headphones: :desktop_computer: :sound: :snowflake: January 14

Teppei for beginners #16 and watched the first episode of the new Nier:Automata anime (with ES subs though)

:headphones: :desktop_computer: :sound: :snowflake: January 15

Teppei for beginners #17, the second episode of the Nier:Automata anime (ES subs) and played BU$TAFELLOWS for 1h.


January 16 :film_strip:

I was idly browsing through the Netflix catalogue, about to rewatch Monster but curious if there was anything else new in Japanese, when my eye fell on a series called MIU404. The actors’ names were Japanese, there was no romance or fantasy in the content tags, so I thought, why not.

And it was so much fun! I was chuckling throughout the whole episode. There’s a new temporary mobile investigative unit, and instead of partnering the two people who had been partners before, one gets the son of one of the top brass, an over-serious guy who looks like he has never left the office, and the other a hot-headed, impulsive (but ultimately loveable) guy who seems more dangerous and uncontrollable than the criminals. Personality clashes in a police setting - what’s not to love? It was funny, and exciting, and kinda heartwarming too. And I get to hear police terms that are giving me trouble while reading 半落ち.

The only question is, should I rewatch the episode with Japanese subtitles this time, or just continue to the next one? :thinking:



Second week finished.

Not much changed from last week. Mainly random YouTube stuff and a bit of anime.
Not much else to say, just wanted to clock in :smile:


Last night’s movie was: サムライマラソン (2019), same title in English. I was a bit confused at first, it was in the Japanese language section, but then when I went to turn off subtitles it said the audio was in English, but probably 90% of the film is in Japanese, the only English is a scene with some Americans.

But it’s a Japanese-British joint venture, a British director (and some crew) with pretty much all Japanese actors (perhaps Hollywood could take notes about this part. And also that you don’t need massive CGI-laden battle scenes for a samurai movie to be entertaining).
I didn’t recognise any of the actors but a quick wiki search says they’ve been in quite a few films.

Set in the 1850s a group of American vessels arrive in Japan to discuss trade and diplomatic relations (the real-life Perry Expedition), a local lord becomes worried that this is just a ruse for a full scale invasion (even more so after seeing what sort of weapons the Americans have). He looks at his samurai and sees the sorry state they’re all in after the 250+ years of peace that Japan has been enjoying. So he decides for them all to partake in a cross country marathon to toughen them up and see what they’re capable of.

I enjoyed this quite a lot! I had no idea what to expect really from a modern samurai film, I wasn’t expecting Kurosawa-level (though really, can anything reach that level?) but this was really quite enjoyable. The cinematography was good, all the costumes and set-pieces were nicely done, it was all done rather tastefully. The story was interesting and moved at a good pace - it got a bit bogged down at the beginning introducing the different characters and sub-plots (lots of sub-plots), but once it got down to the main portion it went smoothly.

The best part was the characters though, the acting was great all round, and everyone was varied (which I appreciated on Japanese listening-level too). I like that there wasn’t really a definite bad or good character, everyone had their own motivations from different viewpoints. There was a great friendship between a young kid and an old, retired samurai.

The score is great too, I was thinking that I recognised the style through the whole thing, then when the credits rolled and it showed the composer… it was only none other than Philip Glass, no wonder it was good :rofl:

Japanese-wise, a lot of the samurai had the mumble-talk, or rough surly type, which was quite difficult to understand. But there was quite a bit that I could understand, enough to not be completely lost with the story at least. The bit were the Americans and the Japanese were conversing in their own languages messed with my head a bit though, there was one part were the American spoke and my brain was like “I don’t understand this accent of Japanese” then it dawned on me that he was speaking English.

It was also based on a book that’s about the Ansei Toashi / 安政遠足. The race has been revived and takes places in Annaka city annually (where the film also takes place).

If you think you’ll learn more from watching it again with subtitles then it could be a good idea! I’ve been tempted to re-watch some of the films with subtitles on, but I know I end up getting a bit lazy with subtitles and end up on relying on them the whole time.


:snowflake: Day 16, 16th of January :snowflake:

:headphones: Back to my Home Post

Today I wanted to challenge myself, and so I listened to Comprehensible Japanese Episode #1 - #4 again, but without subtitles. Or even looking at the screen at all. A lot of what happens in those videos helps in conveiing meaning, so I wanted to see what I could understand without that aid.

I think it went rather well. At least now I know which vocabulary I need to review. I also somehow completely forgot I ever watched #2?


So I did try to rewatch with Japanese subtitles on, but I focused on the subtitles way too much - not out of laziness, but because in fact I can’t really read at natural speaking speed, and I constantly wanted to pause and check the kanji, which was a bit counterproductive. I also considered removing any kind of subtitles, but then I sometimes wanted to check a word, and with subtitles it would have been easier. So what I did was turn on both English (through Netflix) and Japanese (through Subudub or whatever extension I have installed) subtitles. The result is that this is so much text that I give up on trying to read it and focus on listening, glancing occasionally at the English for confirmation, and pausing to look up the Japanese from time to time. Who would have thought that more subtitles are better for listening after all…

Oh, so this was a true story? It sounds like a fun and unexpected premise for a samurai film.


Learning Japanese seems like a constant battle with the brain, and trying to trick it into learning.

If it works though, it works! Think you’ll continue with watching twice with and without subs?

With listening I feel I know quite a few of the words that come up but I just can’t seem to connect the sound of the word with the actual word, I find with subs, I end up just reading the word and completely blank how it sounds.

It seems so! Reading about it, there’s evidence in old manuscripts that this actually took place (at around the same time too), the lordship of the Annaka domain did set a marathon for his samurai in order train them up. Which was a result of the following unease after the Perry Expedition. And it looks like the new race tries to keep to the original track designated in the old writings, which is pretty cool!
(and looking at the photos of the shrines and such, it looks like the film tried to replicate this as accurately as possible)


I only watch youtube videos without any subtitles. For series and films, without subtitles I get so frustrated at missing stuff that I want to quit. So I figure subtitles are better than nothing. I do try to look at them as little as possible though.

Yes, that’s what happened to me when I had Japanese subtitles only. I focused all my efforts on reading, and completely ignored the sound. That’s not listening though. :sweat_smile:

So yeah, my compromise, counter-intuitive as it sounds, is English subtitles. As I can read them at a quick glance (when will I reach that speed in Japanese?), I have time to listen to the audio first, then look at the subtitle for confirmation on what I heard. Or sometimes I start with the subtitle, then it’s suddenly super easy for my brain to match the sounds to known words because I already expect the meaning. While it’s not pure “listening”, I feel it’s a good enough crutch. It seems to work for me at least.

I don’t think I’ll keep rewatching, even the most enjoyable show can get boring when you watch it twice. But I may leave both language subtitles on. I won’t really be trying to read the Japanese subtitles, but it will be helpful if I want to pause and look at a sentence in more detail.

Maybe later I’ll rewatch some stuff I’ve already watched without any subtitles. If I already know what’s going on the frustration is much lower. I did it quite successfully with some episodes of Erased, but I still don’t really like rewatching unless it’s been years, so I guess I may have to dig up some old dvds or something and see how it goes.

That’s really cool! Okay, now I want to watch this too. I’ll keep an eye out for it.


I find this way works well too, if I can have a quick translation of the first thing said in a conversation I can usually follow the rest of the conversation without any aid until it changes topic. Dropping straight in without any context I can hear words I know and just don’t recognise them. If it’s easy to toggle subs on and off, this sounds like a good way to learn!

I would also like to know when this happens, I’ve been learning for a few years now, and my reading speed is still very slow :sweat_smile:

This sounds like a good idea! I might try and find some stuff that I know well and watch without subs and see if I can understand it better. Since I’ve been finding watching media-style Japanese over people teaching Japanese to be better for listening practice as well. I was getting so frustrated in the previous challenge trying to understand everything, but being a bit more relaxed about it I feel is a lot more productive for me. I’ve had much more “I understand that!!” moments this time around.



Ahhh I loved that show! It was a lot of fun. The two main characters are in several other shows. 星野源 (forgive me I get kanji wrong, I’m on mobile and writing from memory) is a musician but he was also in the movie 地獄でなぜ悪い and the other guy, 綾野ご (tbh totally guessing on him. Ayano Go) has been in a bunch of things lately but a Netflix original called The Journalist you may enjoy.


January 16th!

Just a small amount of listening today.
My husband was watching a review of a VR headset in Japanese (with english subs) and wondered how much I could understand so I listened to it.
The answer was “Not much” :sweat_smile: The stuff I understood was mostly loan words to be honest, but I caught a few bits and pieces and thats better than nothing!

(Home Post)


Today I watched two episodes of Comprehensible Japanese Intermediate:

I looked up a few words in the subtitles (that I only activate briefly for that purpose), but apart from that it was pretty easy to understand. I wonder how effective it is to listen to stuff with so much visual help.

Maybe I should try things like watching a video twice (first blind, then actually looking; although I dislike repetition, so I might just lose focus and interest) or maybe just trying it without watching and opening my eyes only for parts where I struggle. Hmmm…


Anyone else going pretty hard with the listening? Or am I just trying too hard?


Random youtube videos of interviews which weren’t very interesting, a short film that was also kinda ‘eh’, and a bit of an audiobook. Today was scattered.

What does going hard mean here?


Multiple hours a day of active immersion or the like.

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I listen to hours of audiobooks sometimes. Same for the occasional youtube binges. And drama binges. The days where I put in several hours aren’t hard days, the hard days are ones like today where I can hardly focus on things in English even :joy:

People in this thread are mostly folk trying to establish a habit or level up their skills in a more focused manner. What that means will vary from person to person. Do whatever feels sustainable to you. If you can do multiple hours and feel good - do it! If you will burn out on that - reign it back in until you find something that fits.


:loud_sound: :snowboarder: softlyraining’s listening corner :headphones: :mountain_snow:

January 13th ・ January 14th ・ January 15th ・ January 16th

Fell behind with my updates, but I’ve been sticking with The Jam Maker. Today I relistened from the beginning to where I’m currently (episode 10, I think?). My concentration has gotten better. I noticed on my walk today that my mind wandered less as I listened, which is very helpful. :grin:

Oh! And I learned why the narrator is so descriptive: she’s blind. I didn’t go into the story expecting diverse characters, so this was quite the nice surprise.


The reason why I asked was because I need to re-evaluate where I am and where I am going. Don’t know how much my 5-8hrs daily of active immersion is helpful or not, or if I should dial back on that or not. Maybe more useful to dial back on SRS and just go for immersion instead (srs 1.5h daily). Don’t even know if I’m using my study time efficiently or if there are other ways of improving.

I’m lost and just rambling. I should probably just cut back on both and get some sleep.


If anything, I’m going too soft. My streak is kept alive by anime and / or songs