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Listenin skills help!

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Listenin skills help!

Postby kentaku_sama » Sun 11.23.2008 2:45 am

SO My worst japanese skill is listening, and I want to build up my ability to understand spoken words.
I have watched japanese anime for like 2-3 years with subtitles, some movies also. Now and again i'll here a word or two I understand. But when I do a listening comprehension study thing, it's too hard and the words are slurred! I'm guessing to understand slurred words you must be a high level listener. Any thing I could get to improve my listening skills.? That is for a beginner to spoken japanese?
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby CerpinTaxt » Sun 11.23.2008 3:17 am

Just watching anime with subtitles isn't something that dramatically improves your listening comprehension. Sure like you said you hear a few words repeated here and there but that is about all. On a listening comprehension test it shouldn't be difficult to understand if you are at the appropriate level for the test. They usually speak at a normal pace with no slurred pronunciations. Maybe you are trying something that is too hard for you? Also you should have done a search a lot of people most likely have had the same problem as you. Remember the search function is your friend, its there to help you :mrgreen:

Here are some old topics you might want to look at
First
Second
Third

These are just the first three i saw as most relevant you can keep delving through the search and see if you find anything else that is applicable. Also I initially just searched "listening" so the bottom URL should hold some information I didn't see.
Code: Select all
http://www.thejapanesepage.com/forum/search.php?fid[]=15

Sorry for the long URL I can't seem to shorten it since the address contains brackets
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby richvh » Sun 11.23.2008 9:27 am

Something that might help is signing up for the free Japanese courses at iKnow doing the dictation quizzes.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby kentaku_sama » Sun 11.23.2008 5:38 pm

Yes, but those are extremely hard to understand, but may'be my problem is that I can't understand most of the vocabulary.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby richvh » Sun 11.23.2008 5:51 pm

The exact same sentences are used in the vocabulary quizzes. Not all the vocabulary used is given in each section, but you do have a sentence translation to work from, and the sentences are accessible outside the quizzes. But in the dictation, you should be concentrating on the sounds. Knowing the words helps recognize the sounds, but isn't strictly necessary.

(With the proviso that you need to distinguish by context when the particles は、へ、を are being used.)
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Infidel » Sun 11.23.2008 6:09 pm

Reading the subtitles as you listen is going to hurt your comprehension not help it. You want to train your brain to interpret what you hear. You've years of habit in ignoring the symbolic content, and only paying attention to the emotional content of the spoken words, then having your brain prioritize the words written on the screen for symbolic content. You have to divorce yourself of this habit.

Either ignore the subtitles and listen, then go back and read. Or read the subtitles, then go back and play. But don't do both at the same time. You will be fine on simple sentences, but more complex dialogs will trip you up, especially when the subtitles on screen do not apply to the words being spoken. And when you get tripped up, your mind will return to the old pattern of reading over listening.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 11.23.2008 6:42 pm

Infidel wrote:You've years of habit in ignoring the symbolic content, and only paying attention to the emotional content of the spoken words, then having your brain prioritize the words written on the screen for symbolic content. You have to divorce yourself of this habit.


That's a really good point.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby kentaku_sama » Mon 11.24.2008 1:24 am

Yes,but that's not a habit, while I'm watching japanese movies I listen hard trying to understand what they're saying.

may'be I should watch japanese stuff with no subtitles and try hard to listen and catch something, and if I fail, just listen to some other stuff. ANd do this once a day.

Yes I think my problem was not really trying.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby furrykef » Mon 11.24.2008 2:25 am

We're talking about the subtitles also being in Japanese, right? (I don't think English subtitles would help much at all...)

I find that watching Spanish with Closed Captioning (a form of subtitles) in Spanish seems to helps my listening comprehension. I can't understand the dialogue without the subtitles, but with the subtitles my ear picks up the words and I can parse the sentences both visually and aurally. I suppose what's going on is that my ear, not being finely tuned to the language, picks up a lot of ambiguities -- particularly an inability to determine word boundaries -- and reading the same sentence fills in the blanks. It's still a crutch, of course, but I think there's more going on than "ear: emotional content; eyes: symbolic content".

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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.24.2008 3:52 am

kentaku_sama wrote:Yes,but that's not a habit, while I'm watching japanese movies I listen hard trying to understand what they're saying.

may'be I should watch japanese stuff with no subtitles and try hard to listen and catch something, and if I fail, just listen to some other stuff. ANd do this once a day.

Yes I think my problem was not really trying.


You can listen so hard your ears bleed, but if you look at the subtitles at the same time you listen, you might as well be running with your shoes unlaced.

Trying harder isn't the solution, trying correctly is.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Sairana » Mon 11.24.2008 4:54 am

Let me take this thread a different route.. just because of one single line:

kentaku_sama wrote:may'be my problem is that I can't understand most of the vocabulary.


IMHO, this is his problem. Until he has a bigger vocabulary to notice where the "holes" are, watching without subtitles isn't going to help any.. it will still be a lot of jumbled syllables with the occasional word he knows.

I'd suggest getting listening materials that use mostly words he ALREADY knows. It's easier to understand a sentence with only one or two missing or not understood words than a sentence that only has one or two understood words in it.

___ President __ ___ ______ ______ ____ __ ______ ___ ___ first ____ _____.

Seriously. We don't know what this sentence is saying at all.

The _________ of the United States went to Africa for the _____ time today.

OK, now we can make a guess at missing words, and at least we get the gist of it. Maybe we don't guess first time, maybe it's second time or eleventh time... but we can look it up, because we will -probably- be able to HEAR the missing word, no? Unlike with the first sentence, we're probably not even sure where the words begin or end because there's so many of them.

Ja?
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby furrykef » Mon 11.24.2008 3:11 pm

I agree with Sairana... that's more or less where I am with Spanish.

Infidel wrote:You can listen so hard your ears bleed, but if you look at the subtitles at the same time you listen, you might as well be running with your shoes unlaced.


What about the argument I made in the post before yours?
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.24.2008 4:36 pm

I'm pretty sure based on the op that we are talking about English subtitles, not Japanese closed captioning.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby furrykef » Mon 11.24.2008 4:53 pm

In that case, yeah, the subtitles would be much more of a hindrance than a help. Watching Japanese shows with English subtitles may help you get an ear for how the language sounds (which is pretty useful, but is probably accomplished better by other means -- including using Japanese subtitles!), but it won't do anything more than that.
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Re: Listenin skills help!

Postby Mercenary » Mon 11.24.2008 9:41 pm

I read at those links that reading a transcript of the audio is bad for listening comprehension.
I have done that in the past a bit when doing the dialogue section of a new chapter or if I didn't get the listening comprehension part of the chapter on the first go through. So I'd be better off just listening to it, even if I don't fully comprehend it, and then maybe going over the written stuff later instead of the same time?

And slowed down is bad too? So I should avoid that as well. So with an ebook I should just listen to the normal speed only and not while looking at the book itself?

I get that not having the transcript is more useful, but I thought the practice could still be beneficial with one as you're still listening and just aiding that listening with reading if you miss a thing here and there.
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