Good Audio Sources

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Good Audio Sources

Post by Glymere » Sat 06.22.2013 1:35 am

So I have recently finished learning ひらがな and かたかな and have started studying Genki Volume 1 Edition 2. It came with a CD that you can use to get some listening and pronunciation practice. However, they say things so fast and its hard to pick up all the syllables, is there any other resource out there where I can look up words or phrases and hear them said more slowly to practice them more efficiently?

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Re: Good Audio Sources

Post by Courbois » Sat 06.22.2013 4:39 pm

I too have the GENKI book with CD's, and I've got the same problem. The way I study it is by reading the text, then repeatedly try to write the lines and try to speak them - inside my head, or sometimes aloud - and sometimes listen to the audio play. That audio rarely sounds like I thought it would sound, and that is because the lines are spoken so fast that sometimes entire syllables or sounds are missing all together, they just appear to be simply dropped.
The result is that I've in fact stopped using those audio CD's.
And that might not be the cleverest thing to do.

What I do do now is listen to as much of Japanese as possible. I used to listen to a popular radio station in my country, that always plays top hits from the sixties and seventies era - that is English music. Instead I listen to Japanese music when possible. First of course the vocaloids, Hatsune Miku still is my great inspiration. But there are others to find, like Aya Hirano. Her music is to me a great bonus while trying to learn Japanese.
Also I do try to watch a lot of Japanese movies. It's just anime for now, but at some time I think I will go on to movies with real actors. My vocabulary at this time is just a few hundred words, far too little to be able to follow any movie without English subtitles. And that's a pity, because the subtitles are making my ears lazy. But still it does work for me. I do begin to hear and understand spoken words, not complete sentences yet. I do often hear details like the particles, when they are used and where they are located in the sentences. This listening helps me to understand the theory better, bits by bits, words at a time.
Youtube is a great source of information. I often try to find interviews with Japanese people of some importance. For instance, I trying now to find something with Hayao Miyazaki talking about his newest anime ("The Wind Rises") that is to premiere next month. There are many interviews like that available. And even thought I can barely make out what people are talking about, because of my still very limited vocabulary, I do find them useful.

The thing I have noticed with all that, is that the Japanese language is spoken by the natives with a very rapid tongue. It often sounds like people are in a constant hurry. And perhaps that is the most important lesson to the GENKI CD's -- even though it is never said or written anywhere. As a newbie you must get used to this fast pace immediately. They won't slow down for you, unless perhaps you ask kindly enough. For a limited time.

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Re: Good Audio Sources

Post by SomeCallMeChris » Sat 06.22.2013 4:45 pm

How about the beginner lessons on this site? You don't need to understand the lessons in their entirety, just skim through them and compare the kana to the audio.

And for listening practice, I always like Erin's Challenge,
The 'basic skits' and 'key phrases' movies have pretty reasonable pacing, and you can turn on kana subtitles; if that's too much, on the 'build vocabulary' pages you can just read the kana and click to hear it pronounced.

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