What do you guys use to practice listening?

I have this massive playlist of Japanese videos that I put on youtube, but what other resources are out there?. I’ve tried to use italki and other language exchange sites.

If you’re a beginner, I recommend things that are both relatively simple and also include Japanese subtitles. So, if you can find Japanese-subtitled videos for children, that will be a good starter. That way you can watch stuff that is relatively simple in scope and still consult the subtitles to know what was said.

I personally subscribe to a handful of Japanese podcasts by そんないプロジェクト. They have a Youtube channel. But the content is aimed at adult natives or students studying particular academic fields, and there are no transcripts, so it’s not something a beginner would get much out of.

It kinda depends were you are at and how far developed your listening ability is. Like anything else, it takes a lot of practice to get good at listening. Leebo’s recommendations are good for beginner and advance stuff. For more intermediate stuff, I have two recommendations. I didn’t spend much time focusing on listening to Japanese when I started, and have just started to develop it more in the last few months, so I’m lower intermediate when it comes to listening, if that helps for comparison.

The first of my recommendations is a variety of content meant for a non-specialized audience, preferably with subtitles, and sometimes without. For this, I like the variety of content on youtube, since there is stuff on most topics. I have a couple channels that talk at a steady pace, that I can listen to but they don’t always provide subtitles, so I can’t rely on my reading ability. I’m guessing anime and dramas without subtitles would have the same effect, but I don’t watch much of either, so I can’t weigh in on that.

The second recommendation I have is anything that is professionally sponsored and the people who are creating the content are a professional crew. For this case, I like drama discs and the variety of professional radio shows around. This is good because the audio is faster and more real than most beginner stuff, but is still fairly clean and clear.


The best answer depends on your personal learning style and level. Always remember that in language learning you always want to shoot for slightly higher than what you can process (if you are curious look up Stephen Krashen’s input hypothesis).

Because things like world events are likely already known to you, finding something like Japanese News aimed at children might be good.

Alternatively, it might be better to chose something that will motivate you to listen. While you might not get as much out of it on a time spent to results basis, you may find that you want to spend more time on it. If your “thing” is music, learn lyrics and start listening that way. Find a podcast on a topic you like, find a drama you like. Whatever makes you want to practice listening.


I’m a complete beginner pretty much and I’ve been using JapanesePod101. I walk every night for 1-2 hours so I just listen to the podcast using their app to navigate.

I first started listening to it 3 months ago and most of the beginning stuff was hard to all take in, but now the beginning content is much more understandable.

Once I know more vocab and grammar I hope to be able to use other resources as well.

Other than YouTube and videos with/without subtitle, try podcasts and audiobooks too. Might be better than songs in that they are more random.

I have been doing songs with Aegisub to track the lyrics for a while. Many songs, don’t do just one or two songs.

It’s a shame that FujiTV is so freakishly expensive now.
Also why the heck doesn’t Netflix let me watch Pokemon in Japanese?

Can someone recommend Netflix shows that I can watch in Japanese? I want to watch without subtitles so nothing too complicated please.

OR: Tell me how I can order Japanese DVDs

I cannot recommend Satori Reader strongly enough.

  • Content is engaging.
  • Offline downloads available.
  • New content is added regularly.
  • It is structured as a bunch of stories, interviews, articles in Japanese with line-by-line audio or full audio (up to you), full transcripts with Kanji and Furigana for Kanji you don’t know yet.
  • You can tell the system which Kanji you know, choosing from Grade levels, Joyo levels, Frequency levels, or WaniKani import. The WK import function takes your API key (in WK you can find it under Settings->Account) and automatically adds the Kanji to Satori Reader as you unlock them in WK.
  • Each text in each series is rated by readers with respect to difficulty on a scale of 1-5 which gives a fairly good idea of the size of dump that’s about to land on your head.
  • The developer is the same as the developer for Human Japanese (probably the most accessible textbook I have ever come across) and is extremely responsive and knowledgeable.
  • No, I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with the company or the product. It’s just worth all the praise and the few minutes it’s taking me to type this out.
    Disclaimer: YMMV
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If you order japanese netflix you can set the audio and/or subtitles in whatever japanese or english combo that you desire. I like to watch a lot of disney movies in japanese audio, no subtitles because I already know the story and dialogue in English.

Japanese N5-N2 courses on Udemy are in full Japanese audio using a native Japanese speaker, with English subtitle, and I find it safe to ignore the video and listen to sound only. Looks like a good option, because I want to learn grammar along too. Also, the speed can be set to x0.75, if you want.

Because it’s Pokémon, the American re-dub by 4Kids entertainment, not Pocket Monsters. It’s likely that scripts are edited considerably (not merely localized) and also possibly episodes mashed together. While this may no longer be true of the series, anime was done this way back when the original show (on Netflix as Indigo League) was airing. For a while (and maybe it’s still true) both Digimon Adventure and Digimon: Digital Monsters were on Canadian Netflix. The first is the original Japanese show, the second is the American show, which cuts and combines episodes above, taking a very Lovecraftian episode (which is still creepy) and making it tamer - and make less sense. I’ve really been hit with these differences (having grown up with the U.S. show) while watching Digimon: Tri, when they refer to events that either didn’t happen or were mixed together with other things. (The Movie here in NA was two movies combined, too.)

But I’ve really digressed from the OP’s question…

To @Luis91 - I’ve been occasionally watching (a very fast-talking) Japanese girl’s Let’s Play. I don’t recall her name… someone else posted it and I keep going back to the bookmark when I want to continue watching her play the game I’ve chosen to follow. I also watch Terrace House (both the Tokyo one and the Hawaii one) on Netflix. I’m about to re-watch it this time without English subtitles, and instead with Japanese ones (to hopefully increase my reading speed, and force myself to listen harder.) There have been a few other threads on the topic, I suggest you search for them for even more suggestions and resources. ^^


I am quite sure the subtitles and languages available depend on the country where you are living.
If I recall well, you are from Germany. You can watch Fullmetal Alchemist in japanese here!

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The original show? I watched brotherhood. Thanks for the tip.

Yes the original show. At least it was possible for the first 10 shows I have already watched (with german subtitle, my level in japanese is not yet good enough to use japanese subtitles or no subtitles at all…)

I normally don’t understand a lot either, but subtitles prevent me from focusing on the Japanese grammar. That’s why I was asking for a simple show. FMA will polrobably work too, because I can roughly remember the plot.

For listening, I recommend pure listening - so no video, no pictures, just sound.

There’s a podcast I quite enjoy called Hiiki Biiki. It’s just a guy and a girl discussing things they like: Nintendo, Star Wars, McDonald’s, Tokyo Disneyland. Really good practice and since there’s no plot or real direction to the conversation it doesn’t matter if you miss huge bits, they’ll eventually start talking about something you can pick up on.

My biggest general advice for listening practice is to make sure you relisten. Preferably several times. I’m often amazed how much things can get transformed from indecipherable gibberish to fairly comprehensible Japanese on a second listen.


I have the original show.

I watched the dub (based on the American version, it should be identical) like 15 years ago, but there are clearly some visual differences, too. For example the American version contained almost no references to Japan - I think I didn’t even know back then that it is a Japanese cartoon. In the original version though, there are Japanese writings there and there, and some small details, and some scenes which look distinctly Japanese.

Not sure why it was edited that heavily to make it as non-Japanese as possible, it is not 1941.

Isn’t there a whole episode of Pokemon that didn’t make it for being too “Japanese”? I think it involves Misty entering a swimsuit competition and getting perved on by an old man.


I’ve been listening to Bilingual News this afternoon and it’s really great! American guy and Japanese girl first read then discuss recent news stories in English and Japanese. Honestly, the guy is a bit of a wing nut (kind of like JPod Peter with the leash off) but his wild ‘theories’ make for good entertainment.

I’ve been using it like this: first listen to Eng and Jp news stories (only about one minute long each) then skip back (they have a handy 30 sec rewind button) to listen to the Jp version multiple times, maybe check some of the vocab, and try to understand as much as possible. After that just casually listen to their discussion without stressing too much about missing some parts. Repeat with the next story (they have about 5 - 8 different stories over an hour plus podcast).

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I like animelon - you can watch certain anime’s, and you can toggle different subtitles, including english, japanese, hiragana only, and romanji only. It shows both the subtitles and also the transcript on the side, and you can rewind by line, so it’s easy to go back and re-listen/read the previous sentence.

I usually watch with Japanese subtitles, then re-watch with English if I had a hard time, and then go back to Japanese subtitles only. My goal is to eventually turn off the subtitles all together, but I’m not that proficient at it yet (and haven’t been able to devote a large amount of time to it)…

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