How to understand a TV series/movie of a language that you are a beginner in without subtitles

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How to understand a TV series/movie of a language that you are a beginner in without subtitles

Postby Sarafina » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:05 pm

At the start of the summer holidays, I wanted to be able to understand a Studio Ghibli movie without any subtitles after 45 days after being inspired by Judith Meyer's similar experiment where she was able to understand the majority of an anime that she liked despite never understanding Japanese before. ... n-30-days/

However due to general aimlessness, focus, trying to do everything at first and sheer exhaustion, it didn't work out. I want to give it another try. I have enough free time to devote at least 3 hours to this project. I want to see how far I can get in 6-12 weeks. My focus is simply on listening (I am not working/focusing on any other skills apart from improving my listening comprehension). I think I still know hiragana and katakana and at least 50 random Japanese phrases.

I have tried and failed to create subs2srs of my favourite Japanese films/tv shows. So I downloaded a couple of random subs2srs of Japanese movies and TV shows that I liked. I have one of My Neighbour Totoro. Even with the help of subs2srs, it was a lot more challenging than I expected.

My past plan which is open to suggestions on how to make it more effective.

1. I wanted to have build a basic Japanese foundation so I'm not completely lost when I look at Japanese phrases with its English translation with no explanation. I used Japanesepod101 so that I'm not a complete noob and it makes consuming Japanese native materials less painful. What I do is that I download the audio files of the dialogue sectio of a Japanesepod101 episode. I listen to it a bunch of times and read the explanations on the 'Lesson Notes' section. Then I make Anki cards with the accompanying audio without audacity. It was super helpful. But it was so tedious to do. And I still have hundreds of episodes that I want to convert to Anki cards.

2. Then spend as long as I can bear going through the subs2srs deck, aggressively suspending anything that is not n+1 for me and reviewing what I can.
3. Watch a random Japanese movie/tv series without any subtitles.

1. Should I be doing step 1 and step 2 at the same time? I've been thinking of devoting x amount of weeks of trying to go through as many Japanesepod101 episodes as possible and at least finish creating Anki cards of all recommended pathways which is in total is 276 lessons (although I've already done completed some episodes so the number is less)
Then after finishing it, it can make the transition to native Japanese material much more comfortable and less frustrating. In all honesty, creating the Anki cards for each episodes only takes about 5-10 minutes. If I devote at least 4 weeks- I can possible finish it.
Then devote another month to completing/going through the subs2srs decks. Then another month to just extensive listening.

However this will my project to last for at least 8-12 weeks long.

2. Should I change it the focus from trying to understand a Studio Ghibli film to trying to understand a TV series like Terrace House and Haikyuu!! (which I enjoy watching) and are more readily available for me to access than Studio Ghibli films

I am not expecting total 100% comprehension but enough that I still follow the plot and understand the majority of what's being said. I would be more than happy with 70-80% comprehension.
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Re: How to understand a TV series/movie of a language that you are a beginner in without subtitles

Postby 白田龍 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:06 pm

Study the subtitles, then watch the show. Add new words or sentences to anki in text only, for it will save you a lot of time.

Sub2srs is nice, and it can give you a spooky boost in listening comprehension in a realatively short time. But for me it is too cumbersome to use and not worth it.

If I use text to learn the language, and do lots of listening, will eventually get the same results, and will pay off not wasting my time in a cumbersome and time consuming activity.
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Re: How to understand a TV series/movie of a language that you are a beginner in without subtitles

Postby ロータス » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:15 pm

Based of title: I don't understand. Do you want to understand TV RIGHT NOW without subtitles or you want to get the point where you don't need subtitles to understand TV?

I say create your own subs2srs decks without using the subs2srs program. Finding two transcripts that match was also difficult for me. Also when you make your own, you know for sure it is n+1

I like your step 1 plan. I think you can use Japanesepod101 for your whole AJATT then just jump right into native media. I would ignore their 'pathways' and use this order.

(Also do you know about Marugoto? Their site is all about listening. Their online courses I think goes up to A2 while their download page goes up to B1. Only problem is that you need the books for the transcripts but you can use this as practice during/after Japansepod101. For Marugoto, I just put any unknown words I heard on the back of the card instead of the whole dialog)

I used to study the whole dialogs to save time but since you want to do AJATT, I would do this:
1. Start with Newbie Season 2.
2. Create your anki cards for the whole season now and stop once you get to the end.
3. Listen to the whole dialog several time before checking the transcript/translation
4. Keep listening to you understand the dialog
5. Study the Anki cards for that dialog (since you only care about listening I would have the Audio and JP on the front but the JP hint [hint:{{Field your JP is on}}] then English on the back)
6. Keep going until done with the season then start the next one

Outside of this studying, watch whatever you want to watch in JP with or without English subtitles. Plenty of anime and videos on YT to watch for fun. If you have burnout in the past, try starting with less dialogs a day and watching anime/YT more. Also check out AndyMeg log, they are also trying to learn by just listening but for Korean.

Your questions:
1. Slow down. Create anki cards one season at a time. Stick with just Japanesepod101
2. Yes. Even better maybe after finishing the Beginner's season try watching Terrace House and Haikyuu!! and see how much you understand.
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Re: How to understand a TV series/movie of a language that you are a beginner in without subtitles

Postby golyplot » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:49 am

Based on personal experience, I think you were being overly ambitious.

I tried a similar experiment with French a couple years ago, focusing primarily on listening skills and trying to graduate to being able to understand TV without subtitles as quickly as possible. After 45 days, I certainly was watching TV without subtitles, since that was what I was doing to practice, but I still missed a lot of what was said and couldn't enjoy things properly.

And of course French is a lot closer to English than Japanese is. And English speaker starting French will recognize a lot of vocabulary from day 1. I expect learning Japanese to be a much slower process.

Apart from that, there's a wide spectrum of difficulty. For example, I've noticed that when watching an American show dubbed into French, I can follow it pretty well, but when watching a native French show, I'm lost more often than not. I think the difference is that native shows have a lot of different accents and voices and use slang. Also, kids shows are a lot easier.
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