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Trying to Immerse Myself in Japanese

#1
Hi there!

It has been a long time since the last time I posted here, I think. I am trying to re-catch with my Japanese studies but I don't want to bump into the same problem that discouraged me in the past.

I finished RTK months ago and even if probably I forgot some/many of them, I just want to start with Core2k/6k. I may know about ~1000 words (unfortunately most of them just the kana version). Grammar was always kind of a big issue for me as of course I can recognize structures but it is hard to do an active learning if I don't see structures used in context multiple times. Of course, sentences examples from decks are useful but they don't stick in my mind so I'm trying to get more input from language, something that can be done even when multitasking.

So apart from using the Core2k/6k, reading again Tae Kim's Grammar and then start to read ADOBJG, I am looking for some good resources that can help me to be able to hear Japanese for a few hours a day everyday. Of course websites are also welcome but at this point I would like to focus myself on the listening/casual speaking part. That's why if you can share some useful resources it would be great for us, especially if they have subtitles or any way to look up the parts you miss when listening to it.

Podcasts are also welcome but I find many of them quite boring because they are intended to just Japanese learners and I don't want explanations, just conversations all the time.


At the moment I just know about these 3 websites websites (updated!):

Awesome resources

Animelon - Website that lets you to stream anime shows with Japanese subtitles. The best point about it compared with others that also may have Japanese subtitles is that it lets you to choose if you want to show kanji/hiragana/katakana/romaji or all of them at the same time! It also have superb dialogue explorer to repeat the desired lines or to look up words on Jisho.

Viki - It's not even close to Animelon and it has premium plans (Animelon is completely free). It contains just jdoramas with Japanese subtitles but doesn't let you to look up words or copy them. It's quite limited but even if so it's one of the best I have found.

Netflix - The popular platform is adding more and more videos and for most of them, they have available Japanese subtitles. The good point is that you can change use different countries catalogs with just one subscription if you are able to find a VPN that is not banned yet.

Showtime.jp - Streaming platform similar to Netflix but just for Japanese users. It's owned by Rakuten and seems to have a big amount of titles. Looks really interesting but I didn't have the chance to use it yet. Any opinion about this one is welcome.

Showroom-live - It's just (mainly) girls/idols speaking with fans and answering their questions. What I found out is that the language is usually quite understandable and you can even interact with other users or the streamers. I'm not really interested into this kind of entertainment but it was not boring at all for me.


Could be helpful

LingQ - I haven't tried this web/app yet and I don't know how much content it has but according to the screenshots it looks promising as you can play interesting videos from Japanese TV. Any opinion about this one is welcome.

Twitch also has some Japanese streamers but not so many and the usefulness of this resource will depend greatly on the kind of game that is being played.

Crunchyroll - Have many anime, especially from the 2000's and onwards and a few dorama titles. Unfortunately it doesn't let you to hide subtitles on the free version and they are not available in Japanese even for premium users.

Hulu - Interesting international platform with Japanese content.

TwitCasting - Twitter users go live. Even if there are not so many streams, seems to be specially popular among Japanese speakers.

LIVE from LINE - Not so many streamers but could be helpful as this section says.


For Podcasts we have The (New, Not-At-All-Outdated) Japanese Podcast and Streaming Audio Thread.
Any other helpful resource that you know is more than welcome.
Edited: 2017-04-16, 10:36 pm
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#2
For podcasts, you might want to check The (New, Not-At-All-Outdated) Japanese Podcast and Streaming Audio Thread. I think apart from the mentioned Linq all podcasts there are aimed at natives.

Personally I like to strip the audio off shows I watched before (mostly with English subtitles, because I'm a lazy bum) and listen to them in the background while I do other stuff. It doesn't really matter if I don't catch something, because I know what's happening anyway, but just hearing collocations and words repeatedly has helped my listening. Overall it's probably not the most effective (when you consider time spend vs. result it achieves) but for me it's pretty effortless, so I can do a lot of it without burning myself out.
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#3
Netflix has a decent amount of shows that are in Japanese. You can search by audio language available, which will bring up everything that has a Japanese language track. It's mostly the few Jdramas that are on ther,e as well as anime.

Crunchyroll is, imho, amazing. If you're on the computer, just right click on the video to turn subtitles off. They have a huge selection of anime, though it's sadly weighted to modern series (I would love to watch some 80's stuff). They also have drama on there, and while it's not a huge selection they do have quite a few series that Viki doesn't have. (Thanks to CR I have become an Ultraman addict, help me).

Hulu also has a good selection of anime too, though I'm not sure how easy it is to turn the subtitiles off.

You can even get a few series on Youtube for free, but all of them have hardcoded English subtitles. I recommend looking at the Funimation Channel, there are a few other distributors on there as well that are legally uploading anime (I recall watching Ghost in the Shell subbed about 3 or 4 years ago). I just either put a text box over the video or actually put post-it notes on my screen to hide the subs. I picked up Initial D this way and I greatly enjoyed the first season... it helps it has unique music and it's about 50% car racing action.


Anyways, I find that series that I've already watched or I just don't really "care" about are excellent ones to listen to in the background. It's 100% dialogue and since I'm already sort of familiar with it I don't mind what I don't catch, and surprise myself with what I do understand (after the 2nd, or 3rd, or 10th listen through).
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JapanesePod101
#4
I submit that japanese pod 101 is a good resource for the following reasons:
- It has graded material so you can easily find material that you can understand.
- There are vocabulary lists for each season that you can study.
- It has audio dialogs
- It has text transcripts of the dialogs
- Line-by-line audio

Don't be put off by the lessons, you don't need to listen to them. I just read the dialogs and then listen to the audio in the car. You can also listen to the audio and follow along in the transcript using the line-by-line audio feature.
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#5
(2017-04-14, 7:24 am)sumsum Wrote: For podcasts, you might want to check The (New, Not-At-All-Outdated) Japanese Podcast and Streaming Audio Thread. I think apart from the mentioned Linq all podcasts there are aimed at natives.

Personally I like to strip the audio off shows I watched before (mostly with English subtitles, because I'm a lazy bum) and listen to them in the background while I do other stuff. It doesn't really matter if I don't catch something, because I know what's happening anyway, but just hearing collocations and words repeatedly has helped my listening. Overall it's probably not the most effective (when you consider time spend vs. result it achieves) but for me it's pretty effortless, so I can do a lot of it without burning myself out.

Yeah, I saw that thread a few days ago but didn't point it out when posting this even though it's really helpful. It's a great resource!
I also like to listen to audios I'm familiar with as it doesn't distract me from my main tasks and I can get some passive learning. Don't underestimate that, even if it's not fast, it can be helpful.


(2017-04-14, 7:38 am)uchuu Wrote: Netflix has a decent amount of shows that are in Japanese. You can search by audio language available, which will bring up everything that has a Japanese language track. It's mostly the few Jdramas that are on ther,e as well as anime.

Crunchyroll is, imho, amazing. If you're on the computer, just right click on the video to turn subtitles off. They have a huge selection of anime, though it's sadly weighted to modern series (I would love to watch some 80's stuff). They also have drama on there, and while it's not a huge selection they do have quite a few series that Viki doesn't have. (Thanks to CR I have become an Ultraman addict, help me).

Hulu also has a good selection of anime too, though I'm not sure how easy it is to turn the subtitiles off.

You can even get a few series on Youtube for free, but all of them have hardcoded English subtitles. I recommend looking at the Funimation Channel, there are a few other distributors on there as well that are legally uploading anime (I recall watching Ghost in the Shell subbed about 3 or 4 years ago). I just either put a text box over the video or actually put post-it notes on my screen to hide the subs. I picked up Initial D this way and I greatly enjoyed the first season... it helps it has unique music and it's about 50% car racing action.


Anyways, I find that series that I've already watched or I just don't really "care" about are excellent ones to listen to in the background.  It's 100% dialogue and since I'm already sort of familiar with it I don't mind what I don't catch, and surprise myself with what I do understand (after the 2nd, or 3rd, or 10th listen through).

You are right, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Hulu and even Amazon Prime Video are quite popular. I was looking for less known resources but I will add them to the list as they are a valuable resource.
However, I don't know about Hulu or Amazon Prime but what I don't like about Crunchyroll is that it seems you can't hide English subtitles and there are no Japanese subtitles available. Amazon Prime shouldn't have Japanese subtitles for most of the titles neither so we would have just Netflix and maybe Hulu if you want to be able to show Japanese subtitles. The good point about Netflix is that you can use VPN and can have access to the different catalogs depending on your VPN country IP.

(2017-04-14, 12:47 pm)yogert909 Wrote: I submit that japanese pod 101 is a good resource for the following reasons:
- It has graded material so you can easily find material that you can understand.
- There are vocabulary lists for each season that you can study.
- It has audio dialogs
- It has text transcripts of the dialogs
- Line-by-line audio

Don't be put off by the lessons, you don't need to listen to them.  I just read the dialogs and then listen to the audio in the car.  You can also listen to the audio and follow along in the transcript using the line-by-line audio feature.


I was put off because of unnecessarily long lessons. 14 minutes for one dialog that should be around just 1 minute is too crazy. However the feature you pointed out of being able to play dialogs line by line make it an useful tool (I still think there should be a short dialog option to just play it once).


I also found this live chat website: Showroom-live. It's just (mainly) girls/idols speaking with fans and answering their questions. What I found out is that the language is usually quite understandable and you can even interact with other users or the streamers. I'm not really interested into this kind of entertainment but it was not boring at all for me.

Twitch also has some Japanese streamers but not so many and the usefulness of this resource will depend greatly on the kind of game that is being played.

Last but not least, ShowTime.jp from Rakuten seems to be a quite popular resource in Japan. It's similar to Netflix and it has a big amount of titles. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with this one so anything you know about it will be welcome.
Edited: 2017-04-14, 6:29 pm
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#6
(2017-04-14, 6:26 pm)EuPcsl Wrote: I was put off because of unnecessarily long lessons. 14 minutes for one dialog that should be around just 1 minute is too crazy. However the feature you pointed out of being able to play dialogs line by line make it an useful tool (I still think there should be a short dialog option to just play it once).
I think JapanesePod does let you download just the dialog without the lessons? Maybe that's a subscriber feature. If so, you might find it worth your while to subscribe for just a month or two and download a bunch of content to to keep you busy for a while.
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#7
(2017-04-14, 6:26 pm)EuPcsl Wrote: However, I don't know about Hulu or Amazon Prime but what I don't like about Crunchyroll is that it seems you can't hide English subtitles and there are no Japanese subtitles available. Amazon Prime shouldn't have Japanese subtitles for most of the titles neither so we would have just Netflix and maybe Hulu if you want to be able to show Japanese subtitles. The good point about Netflix is that you can use VPN and can have access to the different catalogs depending on your VPN country IP.

CrunchyRoll has hardcoded English subtitles in the lowest resolution version of many titles, which is the only one available for free, and on mobile they haven't developed the tech turn turn off subtitles. However, if you're a subscriber watching in medium or high resolution on PC you can switch subtitle languages (but not to Japanese) or turn subtitles off. I regularly watch my Anime on crunchyroll without subtitles.

Netflix has been getting better at detecting VPN services. I haven't been able to use Netflix Japan for a good while now. I don't know if the reverse is true if you're in Japan and trying to VPN into the US. Anyway, the Japanese language catalog is slowly growing. All the Netflix produced titles are available with Japanese subs on the US servers (although only originally Japanese productions have matching voice and sub), plus they're slowly adding other Japanese content.
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#8
If you're looking for subtitles for your TV, it's best to just do it on your own. Download Penguin Subtitile Player and then look for the subtitiles to the show you are watching on one of these sites:

http://kitsunekko.net/dirlist.php?dir=su...apanese%2F (anime)
http://jpsubbers.web44.net/Japanese-Subtitles/ (Jdramas, unfortunately a bit hard to look through as everything is sorted by airing season)

And as stated above, Crunchyroll does allow you to turn off subs on your computer for preimium subscribers, and it's worth it for that IMO.

I have watched probably 6 or 7 shows this way, with subtitles playing on Penguin Subtitle Player. You have to time it right when the show starts but after that it works like a charm.
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#9
If something has subs, just cover the subs...

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#10
I'll re-add what I've said on other threads - if you are looking for JP-subbed drama, Zhuixinfan is your friend. They add JP subtitles to many of the more popular drama from the current season. (E.g., they just started 人は見た目が100%, and have both episodes of the recent special そして、誰もいなくなった.) Not linking to it because it's not exactly what one might call a licensed service (but then again, neither is Animelon - we're all adults here, make your own choices).

(2017-04-15, 3:01 pm)vladz0r Wrote: If something has subs, just cover the subs...


I did this while watching 君の名は on the plane, causing my wife to laugh at me. Hard.
Edited: 2017-04-15, 5:15 pm
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#11
(2017-04-14, 7:41 pm)uchuu Wrote: If you're looking for subtitles for your TV, it's best to just do it on your own. Download Penguin Subtitile Player and then look for the subtitiles to the show you are watching on one of these sites:

http://kitsunekko.net/dirlist.php?dir=su...apanese%2F (anime)
http://jpsubbers.web44.net/Japanese-Subtitles/ (Jdramas, unfortunately a bit hard to look through as everything is sorted by airing season)

And as stated above, Crunchyroll does allow you to turn off subs on your computer for preimium subscribers, and it's worth it for that IMO.

I have watched probably 6 or  7 shows this way, with subtitles playing on Penguin Subtitle Player. You have to time it right when the show starts but after that it works like a charm.

You are right, it's a very good method but not perfect as it requires some effort, not the best one for lazy people at least. I do that and will keep doing it but specially for content I'm really interested into, that's why I'm also looking for quicker and lazy ways to play native content that we don't pay so much attention to (such as content we want to play on the background).

(2017-04-15, 3:01 pm)vladz0r Wrote: If something has subs, just cover the subs...
How to watch HARDSUBBED anime/videos WITHOUT seeing the SUBTITLES
I have done in the past too (with software) but in a perfect world I would watch just tv shows with Japanese subtitles.


(2017-04-15, 5:14 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I'll re-add what I've said on other threads - if you are looking for JP-subbed drama, Zhuixinfan is your friend. They add JP subtitles to many of the more popular drama from the current season. (E.g., they just started 人は見た目が100%, and have both episodes of the recent special そして、誰もいなくなった.) Not linking to it because it's not exactly what one might call a licensed service (but then again, neither is Animelon - we're all adults here, make your own choices).
Thank you for your suggestion, I will check it. The good point about doramas from a few years ago (3-5 years) is that since then are released JP subtitles for almost every dorama.


I just realized that it would be perfect if I could find tv shows such as The Simpsons dubbed in Japanese as I know almost every dialog in my language, so it would be perfect to know what they are speaking about and learn new words.
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#12
(2017-04-16, 6:13 pm)EuPcsl Wrote: I just realized that it would be perfect if I could find tv shows such as The Simpsons dubbed in Japanese as I know almost every dialog in my language, so it would be perfect to know what they are speaking about and learn new words.

The best way to get this without going to Japan and buying DVDs is probably to use one of the streaming Japanese TV services that carries WoWow or similar channels with American movies and programming. You can search for options on this forum, or follow the massive, ever-evolving D-Addicts thread on the topic (I recommend reading backwards from the most recent post, as many of the services discussed early on no longer exist).

You can also likely buy J-dubbed movies from iTunes using Internet gift cards, though I've never done this (I regularly purchase music, though). As others have indicated, using VPN to proxy into Netflix Japan et. al. is becoming increasingly hard.
Edited: 2017-04-16, 10:24 pm
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