Japanese Tips 4: Tips to Improve Your Japanese Listening Skill! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Japanese Tips 4: Tips to Improve Your Japanese Listening Skill!

By Tony Tao Oct 16, 2020

Improve Your Japanese Listening Skill with These Practice Tips

This article on “Improving Listening Skills” is one of Guidable’s series of guideline articles on “Tips For Studying Japanese” Learning a new language may be challenging at first, but persevere. The results of all your hard work will be worth it!

Check out the best Japanese language learning Apps!

Or, you prefer to have an enjoyable time after work with YouTube? Check out the best YouTube channels, which could help you improve your Japanese!

The Benefits of Improving Your Japanese Listening Through Practice

All Japanese skills are connected in a chain. If your listening and speaking skills are lacking, then the rest of your skills will struggle. Take the Japanese pronunciation skill example. Two are vital for a successful pronunciation: ear training and verbal training. 

Although many people think that mouth training is the key, it’s not. The first and most critical step here is to be able to hear the sound clearly. Experts claim that if you don’t hear the right pronunciation, you won’t be able to make the correct pronunciation. It is logical! How can we make a sound properly if we can’t even hear it properly? 

Improving your listening skill has the unique potential to develop your confidence. You’ll feel like you can deal with any circumstance without fear of being embarrassed by not understanding anything.

You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite Japanese albums, mangas, shows, and movies better than ever before by strengthening your Japanese listening skill! 

Take Japanese Listening out of the Classroom

The most common criticism from learners who take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is finding the test’s listening section too difficult and tricky. There’s a reasonably easy reason for this: many of us study in a classroom, but we hear only the native language outside of class.  

Following these six Japanese practice tips below will help you improve Japanese listening skills!

Improve Your Japanese Listening Skill with Practice Tips

Stop Being a Low-tech Learner!

Over the last few decades, incredible technology and internet growth have taken place, meaning that hearing Japanese is no longer limited to rare audiotapes, VHS, or DVDs. You can now go online and listen to a fantastic variety of Japanese TV programs, movies, radio shows, and more. Just by doing a quick internet search, you will find listening resources that cover a wide variety of different circumstances. There are free streaming apps and sites that allow users to access anime, comedy, movies, and TV shows. Besides, it needs to be noted that video sites like YouTube have an extensive range of Japanese audio content!  

Check out our best YouTube Channels or Mobile Apps used to learn Japanese! 

It’s also very easy to arrange video chats via Skype or your video/voice chat program of choice, thanks to the internet age. This means that you can experience Japanese speaking and listening practice in real-time. This will include finding a language partner via an exchange website such as MyLanguageExchange.com or Conversation Exchange.

FluentU is another excellent way to get some Japanese listening practice. FluentU takes real-world videos, such as TV shows, advertisements, and inspirational conversations, and turns them into Japanese learning experiences. It will naturally and eventually help you learn the Japanese language and culture.

Stop Being a Passive Learner! 

One problem with all these resources is that it is also possible to take a very passive approach. 

It’s one thing to watch a Japanese drama, but trying to transcribe what you’ve learned in a drama program brings the Japanese learning experience to a whole different level. You will improve your listening skill by consciously trying to decipher what you hear, regardless of what you listened to.

Stop being a passive learner!

Thanks to media players, it’s possible not only to replay but also to slow down what you’re hearing so that your mind can sort out what it’s hearing. 

Another approach you can take is: pick a dialog, listen to it regularly, and try to imitate it. It’s not about hearing; it’s listening. You need to be able to tame and mimic the particular sounds of the Japanese voice. If you can master this imitation, you’re going to do wonders with your ability to listen.

Listening to Real-life Japanese!

“Nothing beats listening to and understanding Japanese in real-time.” This means having real discussions, communicating with others, and being in Japanese language situations “on the street.” 

For people living outside Japan, one excellent choice is the Skype/Zoom chat mentioned above. Still, you can also look for a language exchange partner who wants to learn the language! 

The above-mentioned Conversation Exchange is also useful for finding a face-to-face language exchange partner. You can also use websites such as Gumtree or Craigslist to list or seek a partner. If you’re going to Japanese classes, it’s always worth talking to your teacher and classmates! On the other hand, you will still be able to find activities such as Japanese film screenings, seminars, networking events, and more. But keep in mind to wear a mask during the pandemic of the Coronavirus! 

Target Your Learning!

Trying to concentrate your language learning plan on particular circumstances, depending on your objectives. If you love sushi, imagine you’re in a Japanese restaurant. Look up the vocabulary and the latest rules of grammar that apply to this situation. Find out how to ask questions about food recommendations, order food without certain ingredients, or book a seat. 

Don’t forget to look at what responses you could get in answer to that, too! There are just a few responses that you can hope to hear in such cases. If you concentrate on your listening practice, you’re going to be prepared for anything. 

“Practice Makes Perfect!”

Now that you’ve got some resources to improve Japanese listening let’s get yourself in gear! Take advantage of any opportunity you’ve got to listen to the native speaker! The phrase “Practice makes perfect!” is old but definitely gold!

Instead of standing frozen when someone throws fast Japanese lines at you, a constant listening practice will help you get a snapshot of what they’re thinking. Soon, you’re going to be able to identify important keywords. This means that you can understand the meaning of a conversation without focusing too much on knowing every single word. 

Don’t stop asking questions! It’s a wonderful habit to get in. Don’t stop ordering in Japanese while you’re out at a Japanese restaurant — ask additional questions! Ask for a suggestion, or even have a friendly chat with a waiter or waitress.

Improve Your Japanese Listening Skills with Practice Tips

Listening skills are always considered an essential part of any language’s educational process of any language Experts claim that if you don’t hear the right pronunciation, you won’t be able to make the correct pronunciation. It is logical! How can we make a sound properly if we can’t even hear it properly? So, let’s start to learn Japanese together!

Thus, the Guidable team does hope that you found this article as a helpful piece of information! After all, all of our activities are aiming for a better life for foreigners in Japan! So, stay tuned and follow us!