Super beginner listening suggestions?

Been doing WK and DuoLingo (the horror I know) for about a year. Started taking a super beginner Japanese class (via Zoom) using Genki 1. So of course I in absolutely no way expect to be able follow any Japanese media, but I just feel like my listening ability is absolute trash compared to my ability to pick stuff up on writing.

Any suggestions how to incorporate some listening practice at a super beginners level? I always been a film person, so I’m upping my Japanese film and television intake just in what I choose for entertainment. I’ve started listening to some more Japanese music. Both of those seem of some limited value of reinforcing what stuff should sound like and maybe cementing the occasional word I recognize, but I don’t consider that active study in any way.

So how did some of you work on this early on? I thought maybe kids shows or a good podcast i could just play on a loop? So much advise is just immersion but feel like it’s too soon for most immersion based stuff to pay off, and I’m not one of those folks who can make this a five hour a day hobby, but at the same time I don’t want to end up completely focusing on reading things and just end up with a mental block. I want to get into some good habits now that will stick, but I also am starting to feel like I’m going to have to start investing some real time into figuring out a job exit plan soon and that’s not going to be a boon for my focus, time or finances so if I can lock in some good resources and habits now it’ll keep me from losing too much when my free time reduces for a bit.


Nihongo con Teppei is very nice for beginner listening practice, especially the first few episodes. Teppei speaks very clearly and he repeats everything a lot of times to make sure you caught it. And the topics in the beginning are simple enough that you’ll probably be able to follow along. Each one is about 4-5 minutes and they are available on spotify and similar podcast platforms.


Have you tried watching short yt anime clips?

There’s also this for very beginners.

They have only hiragana and katakana, and audio for the stories

Then there’s this for small clips for recall and understanding.

Also listening to slow songs in general.

I don’t do podcasts. /:


In the beginning, to add to what the others have said, you can watch dramas using subs in your native language. Then after a few months, you can tackle them again with Japanese subs.


I would recommend the videos from Comprehensible Japanese.
Yuki makes videos from complete beginners to intermediate level. She use visual aids, speaks very clearly and slowly in the complete beginners videos. In her website you will find the transcripts with furigana if you want to practice reading. A lot of her content is free, but you can assess more content becoming a patreon member. Probably the best resource I use to improve my listening.


Personally I liked watching stuff aimed at kids at the super beginner level. Pretty low stress and the topics are generally things I too was learning. Hello Kitty and Polar Bear Cafe were kind of part of my learning routine really early on.

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A general suggestion: some podcasts presumably provide transcriptions of each episode (a lot of English ones do, and I vaguely recall seeing reference to some Japanese ones doing so as well), so you could work through the episode in text format first while focusing on grammar and vocabulary, then listen through the podcast episode a few times to practice your ability to recognize known grammar and vocabulary in spoken form.

I am currently listening through ハリーポッターと賢者の石 which is a book I know really well in English which lets me follow the story in Japanese without ever being lost or confused as to what is going on.

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@armofpilot I did Duolingo with a 400 days streak but decided to take a break from it slight_smile
So about listening comprehension, as other users said (@Totoro_Sama), i would recommend
Comprehensible Japanese too.
Nihongo con Teppei is nice too. Although I should say that after around 200 episodes, i got a bit tired of listening to it…
I’m a bit biased because i really like Mark, the developer behind it, but give Polyglatte a try: in the collections part i’ve made a list of some comprehensible japanese videos with beginners in mind. You can easily import YouTube links with manual or automatically generated subtitles.

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Check out Benjiro.


Seconding the Nihongo con Teppei and Comprehensible Japanese recommendations. Both are great, and they’re geared towards beginners.

Your idea of playing things on loop is really quite good, even if you don’t understand all the words. I used to listen to the audio from one anime episode over and over while I did mindless things, and hearing the same lines repeatedly helped me get comfortable with speech patterns. You’ll get more out of it the more vocab you learn, but it’s still valuable even in the early stages.

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shirokuma cafe is my daily beginner listening tool.

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I listen to the podcast Momoko to Nihongo and I love it for the relaxed feel and interesting topics. She speaks slowly and clearly, and she also clarifies some of the more difficult words/sentences in English (so it’s not technically full immersion, but I like it because it helps me learn new words, check my understanding, and re-orient me if I totally lost the thread of the discussion). Sadly she’s on hiatus right now, but there are over 100 episodes available (each around 10 mins or so). She also has transcripts of each episode posted on her website!


Random suggestion. “Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God” on Crunchyroll. I started watching it on a whim. It’s shorts, but there two seasons. I’ve noticed many episodes have some very slow, occasionally repetitive and relatively easy to follow dialogue.

Like, I was soooo excited to recognize "宝石” on my own

I am planning to review it when I learn a bit more with Japanese subs on and not English, then maybe no subs…

Bonus! It’s adorable. ;__;


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