Listening with subtitles?

Hey guys,

Lately I’ve been watching Terrace House to try and help with listening comprehension. I’m thinking that the level of conversation may be above my ability to follow along easily. I find that I’m able to pick out certain words and the obvious common phrases, however when I turn on the Japanese subtitles I can hear the words a lot easier and can guess the general topic of conversation.

Do you think watching shows with Japanese subtitles hinders your listening comprehension as you become too reliant on the Kanji to help you?


Yeah, that’s why I mostly keep my listening and reading separate. I think it engages my listening more and I find I get too distracted by the subtitles. There’s also no kanji in real conversations :slight_smile: Best would probably be to watch it again a second time with subs and pick out the words/phrases you didn’t catch. I’m often too lazy to do that, however…

I’m still relatively low level but I practice listening by reading through something with the kanji first, then downloading the audio onto my phone and looping it while I’m doing chores.

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I’ve also been watching some Terrace House lately and I usually

  1. watch the commentators with subtitles as I barely understand anything without them (so I at least get the gist of the conversation)
  2. watch the action in the house without subtitles, only replaying parts I did not understand at all and seem interesting enought with subtitles

I find the commentators much harder to understand. Not sure why, I guess they speak faster and use more TV-like Japanese? I’m not on a high enough level to even know that for sure :smiley:

That being said I do think that reading subtitles changes the experience significantly. So if you are anything like me and your aim is not total comprehension and, I don’t know, studying every sentence in detail, I think watching without subtitles is more beneficial :slight_smile:

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I usually watch half of an episode twice. First without, after with Japanese subtitles. Then I do the same with the second half.
I also understand a lot more with subtitles. It kinda feels like it helps me hear the words better. Especially words that I know and just couldn’t comprehend without seeing the word.

I need to watch more of the reality drama stuff, but it’s really not my cup of tea (especially knowing how much is fake).

But I feel like it’s probably a problem that I understand the dialogue of things like Dorohedoro way better than Terrace House.


And for me, subtitles are must. I have enough problems understanding my native language shows without them :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I also watch Terrace House to help my understanding. I always watch 10 minutes with english AND japanese subtitles at the same time. I then rewatch the part without any subtitles. Since I know what they are talking about, I can understand much more.

In my opinion, this is the best way to watch a japanese show for learning purpose.

My two cents…

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Are you using netflix? I’ve been debating trying to figure out how to get English + Japanese subtitles going at the same time. I think maybe chrome has some extensions for it?

Yes, I use on chrome. VERY well made.

I also use another plugin to slow the speed of the video at 90% when I watch without subtitles.It is called Video Speed Controller.

This is the ultimate combo in my opinion.

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That’s awesome. I typically use Firefox, so I’ve built a personal extension that does something similar, with a transcript on the right (and slowdown built in!). I’ve been meaning to look at how to do dual subtitles next, so good to know it’s at least possible.

It looks like they must be storing subtitles off in a database somewhere. I’ve been avoiding that, don’t want to piss of Netflix or the studios.

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