YouTube Japanese Audio Books of the Bible

Here is the YouTube channel of “God is Love” with a large number of audio books of the Bible in Japanese. I believe they are the 新共同訳
(shikyoudouyaku) translation.


Listen First – Read Second – Translation Third (Part #3)

This is part 3 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.

In this post we’ll look at the Konoyubi-drama website which contains Christian themed Japanese audio dramas. Watch the video below for further details. You can find a link to the Konoyubi-drama website under the Language Learning link at the top of this Bible Japanese page.

I didn’t discuss in the video about translating these dramas into English, but if you pull up the PDF script on your PC in the browser you can mouse over the Japanese using the Rikaichan Firefox plugin to help translate the Japanese words.

On my iPad I import the PDF script into an app called Wakaru and am able to translate it there. Wakaru allows you to highlight words and the English meanings pop-up in a built-in dictionary.

Below is a screenshot of a konoyubi-drama script in the Wakaru app with a word in the title highlighted. The dictionary entry at the bottom shows it means “theory of evolution”.


Listen First – Read Second – Translation Third (Part #1)

As I’ve been studying Japanese I’ve found you need to train your ear in hearing Japanese. Listen to things you don’t understand and at a faster speed then is comfortable. Over time you will begin to parse out individual words even if you don’t know the meaning. You definitely need the script in Japanese to help with this. After listening for a while, listen while reading the script in Japanese, look up words you don’t know and find an English translation or use a translator that’s built into apps such as Midori, Imiwa and Wakaru. Slowly over time you will see improvement. This can be frustrating and that’s why slowly is in bold.

I came across a video and article on other sites that iterate the same thing.

That’s why I believe listening to the Bible in Japanese is good practice because the Japanese “script” is readily available in many formats (hard copy, online and in apps). I remember when I first started trying to listen to the Gospel of John in Japanese. I could hardly understand anything, but over time it slowly got better after listening to the audio, following along in Japanese and then seeing the English translation. You can even get Bibles with furigana over the Japanese.

Below is a link from The Word Project with the text of John Chapter 1 in Japanese (Kougouyaku) along with playable audio, and below that is a screenshot of the page. You can find the English translation online or in your own Bible. Try it out and keep at. Over time you will see progress.

word project

I would supplement your listening/script reading with other sources such as Japanese news. You can easily find Japanese news along with the scripts online and use the translation feature in the Midori, Imiwa and Wakaru apps as well as online tools to get the English meaning.

Below is a website with list of features of the Midori app. I find this app very useful in studying Japanese.