Listen First – Read Second – Translation Third (Part #4)

This is part 4 of the technique of learning Japanese by (1) listening to spoken Japanese, (2) reading a script of what’s being spoken and (3) finding an English translation.

Sometimes you may not be able to find a script in Japanese of what is being spoken like the Japanese news, the Bible, etc. that I talked about in previous posts. I tried listening to Japanese videos with English subtitles, but actually found them not very productive. Because of the difference in word order between Japanese and English I found it difficult to listen to the Japanese and try to read the English subtitles.

Japanese: Subject—>Object—>Verb


English: Subject—>Verb—>Object

You read the English verb before the Japanese verb is spoken and the flow of what is being spoken is out of sync. At least this is the way it seems to me. I think once you reach an intermediate level in Japanese and learn several hundred kanji listening to Japanese with Japanese subtitles is actually better. Even with the English translation you may not be able to know exactly what Japanese word was spoken due to the translation. However with the Japanese subtitles you at least can hear and/or pause the video to determine exactly what was said if the subtitles follow exactly what was spoken.

I found episodes of a Japanese drama series called 日本人の知らない日本語 (Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo) “Japanese the Japanese Don’t Know” on YouTube with Japanese subtitles.

You can actually find scripts for the first 12 episodes of 日本人の知らない日本語 at the link below:

I find casual Japanese in drama series and anime hard to follow, and having the Japanese subtitles helps to try to follow along.

You can find the Erin’s Challenge – Nihongo Dekimasu learning series on YouTube which has Japanese subtitles.

There is an Erin’s Challenge – Nihongo Dekimasu website where you can watch the videos online as well as see the scripts and other features.

I think if you have Japanese Anime DVDs, some of them may allow listening in Japanese as well as subtitles in Japanese

If you come across other Japanese videos, movies, etc. in Japanese with Japanese subtitles please comment so others will know about them.

Duomo Arigatou Gozaimasu


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