Shadowing Suggestions

It’s possible my search skills are just garbage, but I couldn’t find many recent threads on shadowing, so I decided to make this one.

I often see people talking about shadowing in responses to people’s questions about speaking, and often these books
are the ones mentioned, but aside from EtoEto (which who knows when that will open again) I haven’t heard much in detail about people’s preferred shadowing resource. My main concern with the above books is that they’re now 13 years old, so if anyone has used them and had subsequent success when speaking with natives, either in Japan, online, or otherwise, I’d love to hear from you!

If anyone has other shadowing resources they like, I’d like to hear your suggestions as well! I currently live in Japan and I’m subscribed to Dogen’s intonation Patereon videos, but I don’t often get time to practice mimicing native pronunciatoin which I’d like to do more of after the July JLPT has passed and I have some flex in my study routine.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

I guess I should also add that I’ve gone through the Pimsleur series in the pass, but feel like they’re a bit slow for my current level of Japanese.


I did the first shadowing book. It was great practice for the flow of conversation and what not, and I definitely took some things away that were helpful when I traveled to Japan. It’s short. I spent 15 minutes a day for about 6 months, but if your more advance, you can probably get through it faster (though the difficulty ramps up fairly rapidly). Before my next trip to Japan, I will probably work through the second book.

Now my shadowing practice is primarily through supernative ( I only do listening and recall, but I practice shadowing each line until I either feel like I matched it pretty well, or give up and move on.

Eventually I’ll use subs2srs and try to combine shadowing with some natively-mined vocab/grammar with Anki, but that’s a ways down the line (probably after I finish off Tobira).

By the way, how do you like Dogen’s Patreon course? I was thinking about trying it out, but it seemed expensive and despite the intro videos, I couldn’t get a good feel for what it would be like…


Maybe I’ll just order the Intermediate-Advanced one if I decide to order it, and if it starts out too difficult I’ll go back and order the earlier one. Gonna need the upper one if I like it regardless, so may as well buy it first!

I’d entirely forgotten about supernative! I made an account there last year and then went on winter vacation for two weeks, so I never touched it again. I’ll try adding that back into my routine and see how it goes. Never heard of subs2srs, gonna have to give that a look.

Personally, I quite like them. It’s structured in the form of a lecture, which I used to dread at school but now being so far separated from it I’ve missed the structure. That’s one of the things I like about WaniKani. Though his videos tend to be pretty general, as obviously he can’t tell people the tone patterns for every word in existence, he lays out the general rules for most cases in a way that’s really easy to understand, and always makes sure to mention if there’s a certain rule that’s changing, or used among age groups more than others. While I’m not usually consciously thinking about intonation while speaking, it’s greatly increased my awareness of it when listening and I do occasionally catch myself using the incorrect tone and correcting it. Though, I’m lucky enough to live in an area that’s referred to as “accentless”, which means that tone largely doesn’t matter on a word-to-word basis, as long as your phrasal level tone and pronunciation sounds decent.


I use the app Jalup Next.
It was originally an application for learning vocab kana and kanji but the way the app is now structured is perfect for shadowing practice. It has three options Learn Review and Listen

First you learn a card from a deck. Each card is a sentence in Japanese with one new vocab word and an audio recording of a native speaker reading it. If you don’t remember a word in the sentence you can click on the word and it will link you back to original flashcard with that word and it’s definition. Once you get to the intermediate deck and up all the definitions are in simple Japanese forcing you to think in Japanese.

After you can Review the card using an srs timing system. (Good for practice but like anki you have to self asses your ability which unfortunately allows for cheating)

The real beauty of this app is the listen option. All it takes is a click of a button and you are listening to customized cards with beautiful audio. If you choose listen it will play the recording of each card separated by however much time you want (0-5 seconds). You can have it play randomly or in order and if you’re have trouble you can look at the screen and see what the original sentence was.

I use it a lot when I go for walks or I’m doing the dishes. It has really helped my listening and speaking as well as building up my vocabulary.

Disclaimer it’s not cheap. There are four main vocab decks (beginner, intermediate , advanced and expert) with 1000 cards in each deck. The first 100 cards in each deck are free but after that each 100 card pack is about $13. Other cons: I wish it had more gamification like Wanikani. Also the app is rather new and not quite as polished as it could be. But still I really enjoy this app and since the first 100 cards are free I’d encourage you to take a look.

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I’ve used those books before. They were very useful and I recommend them because the excerpts are smaller and easier to manage to start shadowing. If you’re already quite good at doing longer shadowing exercises, the first book may start a bit easy. But I do think I credit those books for improving my pronunciation and listening.

In addition, I took this free e-course through edX offered by Waseda University:

This consists of lectures explaining patterns in Japanese pronunciation as well as an shadowing exercises. I found it very informative to have a more conscious grasp about what I should be doing. Plus it’s free. I recommend you check it out.


I like this for shadowing, it has lot of content arranged by level. It is originally meant for fill the gap type of listening practice but works nicely for shadowing too.

Tofugu recently posted about this in their Japanese resources series. I like it, the stories are short enough and there are posts for all levels of the jlpt.
I wish I had more time to practice speaking. And I’ll check out the other links in this thread. :slightly_smiling_face:

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