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Looking for listening comphension aids

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Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby amaravati » Sat 10.18.2008 11:38 pm

I'm a beginner and I'm looking for materials to help me develop better listening skills. I'm looking for recommendations of Japanese TV shows that aim toward children similar to Sesame Street or Blue's Clues that is either available free on the web or DVD format that I can possibly buy.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby Sairana » Sun 10.19.2008 2:34 am

I like to use dramas as listening practice. Granted, it wasn't really effective until I knew better grammar so I could listen for verb endings, adjectives, etc. I could be wrong, but I don't think a children's show would be any more beneficial or easier to understand.

Though, it would be pretty cool to know what preschool shows there are in Japan...
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby amaravati » Sun 10.19.2008 7:44 am

Well if anybody else has any suggestions, I'm all ears. Yes I know that initially I probably can't understand much of what is being said from children programs, but I would assume that it would be a lot easier to understand than dramas. Because with children programs, they tend to use simple sentences and grammars and with show like Blue's clues the host often repeat what is being said and tend to speak a little bit slower than what you would normally hear in regular conversations.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby sushi4ever » Sun 10.19.2008 8:47 am

I don't know if that'd be of any relevance, but I'd probably stay away from children's programs since the majority tends to use kiddie-specific language which wouldn't benefit the adult learner, or do you want to sound like a five year-old?

I'd stick to doramas as well since they're close to everyday-Japanese ^^

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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby nukemarine » Sat 10.25.2008 12:26 pm

Yet another vote for anime and dramas. Here's how it'll progress: hundred hours of "don't understand a damn thing", hundred hours of "hmm, I know that word, and that word, and that word", hundred hours of "oh wow, I get that sentence and that sentence", and another hundred hours of "Oh, I don't understand that sentence and that sentence, but most of it makes sense", finally you're at "ah darn, what does that word mean." This is hundreds if not thousands of hours of listening to anime and dramas to get to comprehension. Now, all up front it sounds like alot. But imagine, 2 or 3 dramas with 1 or 2 anime everyday can be 1000 hours in one year. Combine that with using your iPod with audio rips in addition to pod casts, news, music, etc. and you can fill your year with 2, 3 or 4 thousand (in not more) hours of listening to Japanese.

Well, that, or those lousy practice tapes that come with the occasional text book. So, your choice of variety or redundancy.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 10.25.2008 12:39 pm

Redundancy is good; so is material you can understand.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby hyperconjugated » Sat 10.25.2008 1:13 pm

I agree with Yudan. When I started learning Japanese there was some Asian tv-series with sword toting and flying through air playing on tv. I got really frustrated because I only could pick up few words here and there; nothing really made any sense and it was really difficult. Later I learned that the program was in Chinese. It may sound like a bad joke but seriously you guys. Gradually increasing the difficulty lessens frustration and gives the much needed feelings of accomplishment that is very important in language learning imo.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby nukemarine » Sat 10.25.2008 7:31 pm

Unless it's progressive audio like Pimsleur, the intros to Genki chapter, JPod learning series, etc, you're not going to have comprehension. But to be fair, tapes like that can be a part of your "study" time where you know you're in "get it, test it, correct it, measure it" mode. I seriously doubt anyone but the most dedicated (or masochistic) will listen to thousands of hours of THAT. It's just too boring.

Now, hyperconjugated points out he was interested in a show he did not understand (live action martial arts I presume?). He was watching and hearing it for fun. Yeah, it was in the wrong language, but even then he began to pick up parts. Start training your ear now. Let it become so it becomes a passive, non-effort.

Plus, and this may sound odd, but listening to real Japanese means you don't fall into the trap thinking that you are good. That you can read a JLPT 1 test and pass it (an outstanding achievement, mind you) means little when you can't follow the morning News. Listening only to progressive material, or material that's at your 'level' can be minor motivation showing how far you've come, but real Japanese reminds you how far you need to go (plus it's much more entertaining).

If it helps, there's links floating around to Japanese children songs and Japanese fairy tales and Japanese audio books (these are all public domain items).

http://hukumusume.com/douwa/pc/jap/itiran/01gatu.htm
This is a list of children's stories both of Japanese and International origins (though all in Japanese). Many of the stories have audio.

http://www3.u-toyama.ac.jp/niho/song/song_jplevel.html
56 japanese children's song, divided into levels of difficulty. They include audio, song sheet, grammar notes and a pop up for translations.

http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=804&p=1
DOZENS!!!! of links to audiobooks in Japanese, many with parallel texts. Some of these are stories you know, so you have the context there.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby Sairana » Sun 10.26.2008 3:07 am

nukemarine wrote:Now, hyperconjugated points out he was interested in a show he did not understand (live action martial arts I presume?).


My bets are on a Wu Xia drama/movie. China's full of em. Once you muscle your way past the generally poor special effects, they're quite fun, and usually loosely based on some Chinese mythology element. One I watched was "Tian Wai Fei Xian (Fairy from Wonderland?)", which dealt with one of the daughters of the Jade Emperor being punished for going to Earth. Berry cute! ^_^

He was watching and hearing it for fun. Yeah, it was in the wrong language, but even then he began to pick up parts. Start training your ear now. Let it become so it becomes a passive, non-effort.


I agree. I didn't watch tons of Japanese dramas to learn vocabulary or grammar rules or anything like that. It's unrealistic. It was just an interesting, passive way to develop an ear for Japanese sounds and the flow in general. Passive exposure certainly can't HURT your study, can it?

Then again, the OP was looking for "comprehension aids" which... is a completely different beast. I agree that TV/Dramas won't be very good in building comprehension... just for testing it.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 10.26.2008 9:12 am

Sairana wrote:I agree. I didn't watch tons of Japanese dramas to learn vocabulary or grammar rules or anything like that. It's unrealistic. It was just an interesting, passive way to develop an ear for Japanese sounds and the flow in general. Passive exposure certainly can't HURT your study, can it?


Theoretically maybe, but probably not. I think it's a mistake for beginners to jump right into native materials in the belief that they will be a primary resource for their studies (e.g. the people who buy a manga and a dictionary and think they're set to learn Japanese). But it's great to use native materials for motivation, familiarity with the language, etc.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby Infidel » Tue 10.28.2008 5:40 pm

I think it might help to make a certain distinction here. Teaching yourself comprehension, it actually helps to listen to the same material over and over. There is a difference between testing your comprehension and training it. If you find yourself having trouble comprehending something. Listen to it over and over till you get sick of it.
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby lillena » Sun 08.23.2009 2:22 am

What are the chances of having AIDS if you never had sex or used needles? How else can someone get AIDS? Can you get it from scraping your foot or hand on an infected nail? Can you get it from sharing the same bath water with someone who has it? If AIDS can't live in the air then how is it people can get it through sharing needles?
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby furrykef » Sun 08.23.2009 2:41 am

Umm... that's not the kind of "aids" being discussed here...
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby phreadom » Sun 08.23.2009 2:41 am

lillena wrote:What are the chances of having AIDS if you never had sex or used needles? How else can someone get AIDS? Can you get it from scraping your foot or hand on an infected nail? Can you get it from sharing the same bath water with someone who has it? If AIDS can't live in the air then how is it people can get it through sharing needles?


This has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this thread. :(
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Re: Looking for listening comphension aids

Postby nukemarine » Sun 08.23.2009 5:08 am

Since it was necroposted with spam there may be little need for reply, but here's an update on my suggestion for listening aids.

Above I was talking about listening where you progressively began to understand more as your studies progressed. This would be the learn new word, hear new word everywhere type event.

Assuming you have a good baseline of study (say top 1000 kanji, top 1000-2000 words, JLPT 3 equivalent of grammar) it's possible you can begin creating your own listening material. What you do is line by line decrypt a drama via it's script (subs2srs program is best for this) to the point you understand most of the drama. That hour of drama becomes the best listening aid around because it's comprehensible and enjoyable. Wash, rinse, repeat with another hour of another drama.

Not easy as it can take 10 to 20 hours to comprehend an hour's worth of material. But in the process, you learn vocabulary and phrases. Other benefits include useful reading material should you have access to the television script which can be found at dramanote or even amazon.jp for most dramas. In addition, strip the audio from the drama, break it into 3 to 5 minute segments (I use audacity), put onto iPod on random for round the clock listening.
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