Japanese Listening Help

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Japanese Listening Help

Post by roomwithamoose » Mon 12.04.2006 10:54 pm


I just took the JLPT4 on Sunday and I felt really strong on the grammar, alright on the reading, but horrible on the listening. I currently do not take any classes and I simply teach myself. Does anyone have any website suggestions or anything else on how to strengthen my listening? I have some Japanese TV/movies stuffs (Samurai Champloo, FF7 Advent Children, Battle Royale, Pokemon Season 1). I felt like for some reason FF7 Advent Children was really easy to understand but everything else is really difficult. Any advice you have to offer would be great!


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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by flammable hippo » Mon 12.04.2006 11:06 pm

I don't think I can help you but I know what you mean. I took 3kyuu and the listening was really tough in my opinion. I would be lucky to get at least a 60 on that part. For some reason the dialogues on the test are a lot harder to get than Japanese t.v. and other things and I find this really weird. So you're not alone ;)
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by Jay3205 » Tue 12.05.2006 1:01 am

I think getting a native speaker to speak with would be best. Also, youtube has a whole lot of videos of Japanese gameshows, tv shows, and other people speaking Japanese.

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by neo2407 » Tue 12.05.2006 3:07 pm

I've said this a few times on other threads...listen to Japanese music. It helped me a lot! Start of with slow songs first then when you can understand them, move on to faster songs.
That's what I'm doing and I can understand most songs I hear...well I can make out the single words, but I don't know what most of the words mean lol.
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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by carlanox » Wed 12.06.2006 1:12 am

YEa, listen to japanese songs is the best. First you listen then find the lyric and read while listening.

Second is to watch anime or dorama, first with the sub then second without the sub.

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by ianix » Wed 12.06.2006 8:23 am

You can download over 100+ free audio files from http://www.mlcjapanese.co.jp/ put it in your mp3 player and listen to it over and over again. Easy to understand for your level (JLPT4) :D
Last edited by ianix on Wed 12.06.2006 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by spin13 » Wed 12.06.2006 9:55 am

Japanese Pod 101 (http://www.japanesepod101.com) has a wide variety of audio lessons. I can't comment on their accompanying written material as I don't have a subscription but the lessons are decent if you can put up with the obnoxious American.

I also recently downloaded an interesting video from Guzen Radio (http://guzenmedia.com/guzen-radio/). It was two Japanese high school girls talking followed by an English interpretation and conversation. It was presented to foil traditional news-castings and lessons. I'm not sure what other content Guzen Radio offers, but it might be worthwhile to peruse.


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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Wed 12.06.2006 10:25 am

The problem with songs and anime is that the level of language will generally be too high for beginning learners -- sure, you can understand a song if you listen to it 50 times with a translation and a romaji transcription of the lyrics, but that's not really going to help you on something like the JLPT or a classroom test.
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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by Infidel » Thu 12.07.2006 6:46 pm

I've said this a few times on other threads...listen to Japanese music. It helped me a lot! Start of with slow songs first then when you can understand them, move on to faster songs.
I've been listening to Japanese songs for years, almost exclusively, and it's done absolutely jack for my aural comprehension. Just today, I was listening to a CD I've had for years and recognized for the first time words like "wakuranai" I've had that song long enough to have listened to it over 1000 times, no exaggerating.

The problem with music is the brain isn't in "comprehension" mode when we listen, we are in sing-along mode or just enjoy the random sounds mode. Actively listening to a song and comprehending it is pretty hard, even if the songs are in English. Last month I finally comprehended a beatles song, and I shudder to think how many times I've sung the wrong words to it because I couldn't quite understand them.

Some more tips.

Each Issue of Nihongo Journal comes with Audio files, Nihongo Journal is specifically geared towards taking the JLPT.

Hiragana times can come with audio lessons if you pay a bit of a premium.
Last edited by Infidel on Thu 12.07.2006 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by witega » Thu 12.07.2006 8:58 pm

Another problem with trying to use songs to train listening comprehension is that the language is often enunciated differently. In songs, they will often clearly pronounce the vowel in each mora, whereas in standard spoken Japanese vowels in certain contexts are de-emphazised. In a song its sung as 'ai.shi.te.ru' but it would be spoken closer to 'aishteru'. (There's also the vocabulary issue--you'll hear 愛してる alot in songs but not so much in real life or on formal tests; while 社員 and 会社 are common on tests but not so much in music).

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by billy-jay » Fri 12.08.2006 8:44 am

I'd recommend clicking on the Store link at the top of the page and browsing around for JLPT 4 books (practice, old tests, whatever). One, you're targeting your listening skills in a way that specifically address your identified weakness (the test). Two, you're buying stuff from Clay thereby supporting this site.

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by Shigeru » Fri 12.08.2006 9:18 am

My recomendations is the same what spin13 JPod101.com is a really, really good page, are a lot of very useful audio lessons and try to the videos. B) :D

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RE: Japanese Listening Help

Post by LoneWolf » Wed 01.03.2007 8:09 pm

Go to iTunes, change country to Japan, and choose Podcasts. Under Top 100 Podcasts, there are many Japanese speaking podcasts, free for download. News, entertainment, arts, comedy, whatever floats your boat.

Did I mention free?

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