Immersion has really helped my listening and reading skills so much.
But there are many different things that people may be referring to when they use this word.
For me, as a learner, immersion is finding an area of your life that you use the Japanese language for as if you had no other choice of languages. For a long time, I thought that that thing would be news. But for the last few years, it has turned out to be 大相撲.
Sumo is perfect for me:
- It holds my interest.
- Bouts are held 90 days of the year, in 6 tournaments, giving some breaks, but also anticipation of the next tournament.
- If I want to watch it live, I have to watch it in Japanese.
- The two different broadcasts vary in tone and language (Abema and NHK)
- Both broadcasts have things to read on the screen. (plus, Abema subtitles interviews in Japanese)
- It is sports. Meaning that once you can easily understand the common things they talk about every day, you can concentrate on other nuances.
- It is something that me and my partner watch together, so I have someone to share things with.
- The radio gives results each day too.
- The live broadcasts are early in the morning when I am most alert.
I know that other people have areas of their lives where they immerse themselves in Japanese., or would like to. Please share here!
(Did you know, for instance, that you can set your WK community interface to Japanese?)
Some interesting ways from below:
- Video Games
- Car racing
- Drama CD’s
- Go Commentary!
- Terrace House
- My Japanese speaking family
Really, just anything! Pretty much everything I enjoy doing in English, I have a JP counterpart for. For example, I have games I play in Japanese, shows I watch with JP subs/subless, news sites I read in JP, comics/books I read in JP, and so on and so forth.
For me it’s calligraphy. I try to take a calligraphy class once a week. The teacher is Japanese, and the other students are Japanese, too. Before covid the class was in person and often the class would be a mix of English and Japanese, as the other people weren’t that good at Japanese, or not learning Japanese at all. But now the class moved online, and I can join a class with three Japanese people who live in the US, so that one is 100 percent Japanese, and I think the teacher is trying to keep it that way.
I also recently started going to a kendo class, but though the teacher and most of the other students are Japanese, the class is in English, to accomodate for the Dutch students as well.
Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in a calligraphy class. Can you post a link, please?
Scroll down for the Online Calligraphy flyer. The Friday evening lesson is actually on Saturday evening now, and coincides with US West Coast 10am, I think. But they do private as well, I’m pretty sure. You’ll have to find a way to get the materials yourself, but I think you can get a lot of it on Amazon. In Amsterdam there is a small shop that sells these materials as well, maybe you have one in your area, too. Or you can just practice with pen or pencil, or brush pen.
I am actually getting ready for a class in twenty minutes!
Wait, you can? I’m really sorry to be a bother, but where is that option? I’ve never seen it before!
As for your question, I mainly read a bit of manga each day (only have Japanese manga, so no english option ) and watch an episode of anime. I’ve also just started having a tutor for conversation practice through italki, but have barely had any lessons, so can’t comment on that.
Oh, also, any good places to watch these sumo live streams online? Or do you watch it televised? I’ve always wanted to get into sumo, but don’t really know all that much about it.
My main immersion is probably anime (nothing special really, but its fairly accessible, great practice with JP subs) Been listening to a lot of japanese music the past 15 years but its rarely active listening.
Got access to the japanese kindle store so a lot of stuff to read if i ever get the time
I sometimes listen to radio aswell but its a tad harder to keep up with having no visual cues or text at all. Whichever the case im a strong advocate for simply reading so thats what i cconsider my primary immersion when i have the time and no higher priorities
May actually start watching the Formula Super broadcasts (Japanese open wheel racing series) There are some pretty cool racetracks in japan so it could be fun to follow their series.
Mine is mainly anime (but I still watch with english subs, because it’s actually harder for me to find access to subless ones) and manga. In the field of music too, I only listen to Japanese ones because I’m not fan other languages, even the ones in my native language. I listen to Japanese drama CDs almost everyday too, so my listening comprehension developed through that. I also read a lot of manga, and in my genre of main interest (BL), a lot of novels, visual novel games and new mangas don’t get translated at all so I buy them and read them raw.
Psst, Crunchyroll recently added the ability to turn off subtitles!
I watch anime without subtitle. I also listen to japanese music sometimes.
Yeah, I feel this is a good motivator for me as well to learn Japanese. There is SO MUCH out there, but only a small percentage gets translated into English. I’d grow grey and old before I got to read the stuff I like, if I didn’t go for raw manga, games etc.
And, obviously, as someone who also like Drama CDs, I’d never wanna listen to them in English anyways (to be frank that whole idea unsettles me ;>_>).
So, I find there are plenty of Japanese media to keep myself immersed in the language. It might not be exactly the same as living in Japan for an extended period of time, but this is what I have access to and like doing.
As an extra, I you like go, the board game, you can find go-commentary videos on YT to listen to/watch. Very relaxing and calming and you get to listen to Japanese for an extended period of time as they explain the strategic relevance of the moves to you.
This channel has some go matches with subtitles you can switch on/off.
What are some good new untranslated manga? Sorry for going off topic
It’s hard to recommend reading to people you don’t know. Either just drop by the bookstore or library and get pro-advice, or you can just look up manga in the genres you like for movies/tv/books etc.
Thing is, most of the manga I can find translated over here is aimed at youths and children. The stuff for adults, like everyday life salary-man manga, just never makes it over here. So, there are niche stuff you can read in Japanese that you won’t see on the shelves in bookstores. You just have more options if you read manga raw.
Until recently used to be 2 hours of anime with jp subs + an hour or so of youtube.
I’ve reached the point where I should be giving reading more time so recently been reading (lightnovels mostly) instead of the youtube for an hour a day or so…
Just grab a kindle and get it off of amazon.
That I think is the most efficient and cheapest way to get them if you aren’t living in Japan. Disadvantage is that you can’t use yomichan or even the built-in kindle dictionary…
I’m neither into anime nor Japanese dramas so the immersion options are unfortunately limited based on what is available outside of Japan, which is why I mostly use shows like Terrace House and watch them with Japanese subtitles to practice listening and reading. Otherwise I use ANN News’s YouTube channel for short news items to stay somewhat up to date on what is happening in Japan.
I also try to spend at least 30 minutes a day to (very slowly) make my way through a Japanese novel and am currently reading 密やかな結晶 by 小川洋子, which was recently translated into English as Memory Police. I’m limiting myself to books that have been translated for now so I can double-check my understanding after finishing a chapter in Japanese.
Just want to add to @ekg’s explanations that, even if some mangas got already translated, a lot of them are being dropped (or very sloooow translation) by their respective scanlation teams, especially if the peak of its popularity drop over time. I just also appreciate some things, especially the characterizations, when I read them in Japanese (especially the manner of speech). There are also puns and jokes that get lost in translation too.
Thank you, I will check it out! Enjoy your class!
There are a few things I do for immersion:
Terrace House - I watch with Japanese subs on
Games - I play games in Japanese (Pokemon, Sekiro and Judge Eyes/Judgment so far)
Sat Nav - this is a good one because if you don’t understand the directions the sat nav is telling you you could get lost or die… how is that for incentive?!
Honestly though… I think Terrace House might be the best of the bunch for me. It’s everyday Japanese in a natural setting and plenty of recurring conversations and themes. Playing Sekiro has been cool for teaching me how someone in the middle ages said “master”, like watching a Kurosawa film or something, but it’s ultimately not as useful for me despite being way more fun.
@Saida - thanks for that link, I will look to join also!
@Kudasai @RoseEater I hope it fits your schedule! (Tip, if you mention my name, we can all get a free lesson out of it at some point )