Listening practice for someone who doesn't know where to start

At my level, (which is on Genki 2 lesson 18) How can I go about with listening practice? I haven’t really practiced my listening and my listening skills are a little… bad. :sob: I’ve used the Genki textbook listening practices but honestly its just not enough. Podcasts are too hard for my level and I understand less than 30% of what is said. JLPT practices are fine but I’d like a little more practice. Is there an app or a website I can use?

TLDR: Are there any listening practices I can do at a JLPT N5/4 sort of level? Other than Genki listening practices which I’ve done already.


There’s this website which has tests of all sorts that sound like what you’re looking for, here’s specifically N4 Listening practice:

Although I just watch anime and listen to podcasts as they’re more fun.

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I suppose JapanesePod101 will suit you nice. They have an Absolute Beginner (N5) and a Beginner (N4) sections so you can ease yourself into listening without much pain. I personally recommend to start with any of podcasts hosted by Naomi-sensei.


Honestly you would have to wait.
You need tons of vocabulary and tons of grammar structure to know in order to practice more listening efficient.

I’d say keep on with Genki, see anime or things that you like if you want… But you wont see much.
I mean, it is good to encounter some vocabulary that you learnt and maybe some grammar.
But honestly it take some years or months while watching native resources until you start to see some gain.
I’m myself learning for 2 years grammar, still have to review things in JLPT 4 and so on. Also i made some mistakes as well hehe.
But my advice is if you want to watch and practice listening, dont go for the easiest and slow speaking, it wont be efficient IMO.
I think that you should keep watching what you like, and even if you dont understand much its okay, just keep going and keep learning more and more. But you will need to have a lot patience to see results.


I would reccomend Nihongo con Teppei from beginners:

Don’t worry if you have to listen to episodes a few times initially, or if even then you don’t quite get it. If you keep it up and listen to an episode or two each day then before you know it you’ll be like “hey, I get all of this first time!” Listening comprehension by itself really is a seperate skill that just comes with practice.

At that point you’d be in a good place to move to watching anime or other things you enjoy without subs, or if you prefer audio only content then moving to audiobook or something like that :slight_smile:


I’m in the middle of Minna no nihongo 2, so we may be about the same level.

I tried to listen to a variety of podcasts (including Nihongo con Teppei for beginners) but the only one I can kinda understand is Let’s talk in Japanese by Tomo. There are different levels, I only listen to the N4 ones. I usually need to listen to them 3 times in a row to have a general idea of what is said. Also the person doing these podcasts put some of the scripts on his website so you can actually check afterwards.

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I would suggesed the Podcast Japanese with Shun beginner level, since he is only using grammar from Genki 1 and some from Genki 2. So you should be able to understand most of it ^^


Would these be too basic for you? Youtube listening ideas for my fellow total beginners

Satori Reader might be a different way to get some listening practice.

They have articles and stories which you can read yourself, but are also read by professional actors. So if you wanted to you could just play back the whole thing without reading it first. Then you can go back over it sentence by sentence and see if you understood correctly.

The first couple of chapters in each section are free so you can test it out.


I second this. I love it, you learn from the constant repetition and I just love the guys voice. He speaks very clearly. Find myself repeating what he says in my head .

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I would recommend Japanese with Noriko for a beginner. Noriko posts a transcript for every episode which I like to look at after I’ve listened to the episode twice.


I recommend using a shadowing book, e.g. below. It builds up from simple sentences to more complex dialog and includes transcriptions (Japanese) and translations (English, Korean, Chinese). Really good for training your listening comprehension.

The pace of speech is very representative of what I remembering hearing in Japan.

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I highly recommend Nihongo con Teppei for Beginners as well. I religiously listen to this podcast, as well as the original podcast intended for intermediate learners, Nihongo con Teppei. Once you can understand 80%-90% on your first listen of an episode, it would be a good time to switch over to the intermediate one. The transition could be quite difficult, but it’ll be worth it, I promise. Teppei-sensei talks about more entertaining topics, and makes a lot of jokes in the latter.

As for other beginner level listening resources, NHK Easy News can also be a decent listening material since every article comes with an audio clip.


There are plenty of listening resources at various levels. I suggest you browse through the Listening Practice-thread for some inspiration! ^>^

There you’ll find info and links to LibriVox and Speechling among other listening resources. Podcasts are mentioned and evaluated. There’s some reviews of drama CDs if that strikes your fancy.

Good luck finding something you like! ^>^

listening cat

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The solution to this problem as many others is anime.

Watch it in Japanese, subtitled in any language you know well and pay attention to the speaking and your listening skills will increas insanely fast.


Not sure if my brain is just incredibly lazy (probably so) but I really didn’t find that anime helped with my listening much at all until I started watching it without subtitles. I would sometimes notice the odd word here or there with English subs but really I was just reading.

I did notice a BIG difference after sticking with watching anime no subs (or occasionally with Japanese subs if I can get them) for a while though. I have seen others also say that they feel like they can actively listen even with subs so it probably depends on what works for you on an individual basis.


I don’t think it’s necessarily because your brain is lazy. Personal anecdote, but English and Japanese are not my native languages, so I’ve already gone through the same process twice. In both cases, subtitled content did not help very much, since reading was much easier, and my brain defaulted to using written text to understand the content rather than speech, which was expected since we humans love to take the easy way out, I guess. Only when I stopped watching content with subtitles, my brain went, “oh shit, now I actually have to work on listening because I can’t understand nuthin’”.

All of these are expected since picking up reading much earlier than listening or speech production seem to be the most natural way of learning a language. After all, if you can’t read, how do you even begin learning?


THIS. I finally know I’m not alone lol

I recommend Noriko sensei’s podcast. Here podcast sounds very natural not too fast not too slow and the level of vocab and grammar are not too difficult. She also provide podcast’s script on her wesite as well.

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