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How to improve listening ability? :)

I just thought of a subject that seems to be rarely discussed, improving your ability to listen to something in Japanese!!!
This is something I often think about and rarely have the opportunity to do. Unfortunately I am unable to speak to Japanese people in person at the moment and I only have one Japanese movie with me for the time being. My ability to listen to movies/television/radio programs/etc. in Japanese is very low because I really don't know where to start. And my internet is slow so I rarely have the opportunity to watch stuff online. I know, I know, all I have are questions and complaints to everyone and no useful info! hahaha! But I'm sure there are LOTS of people who want to know what they can do to improve their listening abilities! Especially people who are not in Japan or have very little resources. Does anybody have any advice? Any advice is greatly appreciated no matter what! :)
posted by pecan_

Comments 7

  • Medyrius
    So far my only listning support for jap is anime and it work great ^^
  • barusamikosu
    An easy way to get a lot of listening input is to listen to Japanese TV or Podcasts while you're doing other things.

    For Television, you could download anime/drama/variety shows (I can't dive too far into the seas of piracy on this forum, so you'll have to look that up on your own). Most days I just open up KeyholeTV and let a channel run for several hours. You can find KeyholeTV at ( http://www.v2p.jp/video/english/ ). The channel feeds aren't terribly high in video and audio quality (just enough to be watchable), so it may work well with your internet speed.

    When I'm driving I'm listening to music or podcasts. If you're having trouble finding new music, one method I used to employ often is to look up artists or bands you already like on last.fm ( http://www.last.fm ), take note of the artist recommendations it gives, then go to Youtube or a download site (again I can't go too far into piracy talk) to see if the recommendations are for you.

    Podcasts are incredibly easy to get. Open up iTunes, change the program's language to Japanese, then surf the Podcast section. There are podcasts for a lot of things, like news and gaming. Look around and see what suits you.
  • pecan_
    Thanks for the info^^ I listen to music in Japanese all the time but that doesn't really help with listening to people speaking. I have heard of that keyhole site before! It can't hurt to try it! :)
  • SLeon
    I like visual novels. And other games (like Super Robot Wars!!!).
    Visual novels (that have voice acting) is one way of improving your listening (much like anime). And if you're brave enough, play it in Japanese so you can read it too. Well, most of them are in Japanese anyways.

    Narcissu Side 2nd is a game you could start off with if you'd like. And it's free. No strings attached.
    http://www.neechin.net/narcissu2/140/narcissu-2-download-page (English)
    http://stage-nana.sakura.ne.jp/down.htm (Jap)
  • Yagami_Light
    I'm not sure if this will help, but what I do is I listen to free online radio which shouldn't need the best internet speed I rate. Other than that I watch online dramas and TV. Your best bet will be the internet or music, but music won't teach you more than the radio.

  • riccaicedo
    I just want to add that your vocabulary has to be decent to begin with. If you can't really follow what's going on, chances are you need to spend more time on vocabulary/grammar.
    It's much like saying that you have to read the newspaper to increase your reading comprehension, when the fact is that you only know 100 kanji :)
    If you're going to watch anime episodes or the like, make sure to really pay attention to what you're hearing, it's really easy to just fall into reading the english subtitles...
  • triforcedx2
    I'd recommend listening to NHK. The newscaster uses a lot of upper level Japanese, but the interviews are usually much more casual and easy to listen to. It is always best to listen to real people speaking their minds rather than other forms of media made for entertainment purposes (these other medias can be quite useful too though). :)