So, there was an interesting audio experiment done.
And this can seriously help you learn Japanese by “listening” first.
Here’s the basic premise of this 50 second experiment.
- A person listens to a “garbled” audio message that they don’t understand.
- Then, they get it’s true meaning.
- And then, they begin to understand what that “garbled” message was.
You’ll find out how it relates to learning Japanese by listening in a second.
Just listen to this 50 second science experiment below. Press play.
So, how can you apply this to learning Japanese? It’s very similar.
- Listen to Japanese that you DON’T yet know.
- Find out what it means.
- Listen to the Japanese again. Now you will understand it. SIMPLE.
- Learning Japanese by listening will work wonders especially if there’s translation involved. (podcasts, video lessons, anime with subtitles, etc.)
Here’s an easy example with JapanesePod101 to show how you can learn Japanese with this same process.
(Scroll down for a lesson with more complex dialog. This was just an easy example.)
This sounds so stupidly obvious, right? You hear, get the meaning, and understand it.
Yet, most learners start out by reading and then wonder why their Japanese listening and speaking SUCKS.
This experiment is a great lesson in why you should start listening to Japanese lessons.
- Once you hear the konnichiwa or the konban wa, your ear becomes trained for it. However, you don’t yet understand it because your brain has no prior information to relate it to.
- Once you know its meaning, you associate the sound to its meaning.
- And when you hear the Japanese again, you’ll know what it is. Your brain now relates most recent information – the meaning you just learned.
However, if you don’t HEAR it first, you won’t know what to listen for. And that’s pretty much how Japanese conversation flows for beginners. They pick out words they already know in a conversation and, boom, they know what they’re being asked.
But reading a word first, and THEN hearing it in a conversation won’t help you identify it. Reading and speaking are two different things. Reading doesn’t train your ear to hear native Japanese conversation. And here’s the key point:
Hearing unknown Japanese trains your ear, so once you know it, you’ll easy understand it next time.
You must listen to Japanese you don’t yet know.
Remember, you must:
- hear the unknown
- get the unknown’s meaning
- hear the unknown again.
Don’t skip the 2nd step. So, what do you do?
Add listening practice to your Japanese study routines. If you can find material that’s above your level, then this is perfect. This can be anything from:
- listening to Japanese music
- watching anime
- learn with Japanese mp3
- listen to Japanese podcast lessons (JapanesePod101.com)
- listening to others’ conversations
- Japanese video lessons
And whichever path you choose, make sure that the resource includes of the followng:
- a script
- japanese lesson pdf
- explanations of whatever the hell you’re using
If you don’t have the meanings or translations, you’re skipping the second step, and won’t learn whatever it is you’re listening to.
One easy way to start listening & mastering Japanese online is with podcasts that have PDFs, scripts and translations. JapanesePod101, for example has over 2,000 Audio & Video lessons and is a great way to apply this learning concept. Each lesson comes with
- line by line translations
- word lists
- lessons in PDF so you can read along
Here are a few of the lessons. Click on them to sign up for free and learn Japanese with Audio & Video Lessons at JapanesePod101.
And here’s an example lesson with more complex conversation and it proves the same point. It’s a bit quiet, so make sure to turn up the volume!
Comments? Thoughts? Feedback?
Have you tried this learning method yet? Let me know.
Want to learn to speak Japanese with Audio & Video Lessons? Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 below and start learning Japanese!
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