LISTEN TO THE JAPANESE if you want to get better

I remembered the ways I benefited from listening. I wanted to jot it down before I forget because these are realizations I made like years ago?

I started Japanese in 2007 but I only tried to learn the grammar and didn’t really listen to that much Japanese except some music. The first year, I didn’t get too much done. It’s not really 4 years since I didn’t even really get serious till the 3rd year? or something with the immersion (in other words my love for Japanese talk/variety shows)… I just cannot stand korean talk/variety tho… tell me if i’m wrong but almost all of them always have this thing where they make people dance or sing or have some competition and it’s not interesting. or like the way the people on the talk/variety show act is very KY (kuuki yomenai) towards the viewers… like it’s really boring to watch for the viewers to watch but it’s fun for the people who are in the talk/variety show… like they drag the crap out of stuff or go on and on over something dumb. I just like japanese tv/talent are more undrestanding of viewers like geinin like ame talk and stuff… they know that dragging some crap out forever or letting somthing unfold in such a way is boring for the viewers. also the background music in the korean variety/talk shows are just not as good as the japannese ones. they’re like noisy like the BGM/sound effects are in the chinese talk/variety shows. granted, it’s not as bad as the ones of the chinese show but like seroiusly annoying and in the way. it’s supposed to enhance, not GET IN THE WAY.

Anyways the examples

1. desu masu

I noticed that they don’t necessarily pronounce it as is. These are the only examples that popped in my head but there’s more but anyways they pronounce it as des and mas… sometimes they do pronounce it as de-su though

2. kke

I picked up kke from watching some show like really early on in my studies. It was actually really easy to pick up (even though i only just learned some conjugations and other basic stuff) and really easy to use. ex. nan deshita kke ? = what was it/that?. kke is what you use when you can’t remember something (sorry i give up on explaning it thoroughly and as long as you get the gist that’s what matters and if you want the whole story go immerse yourself in japanese). It’s very very useful for new Japanese learners since we can forget words really easily right? or we just don’t know anything…

2b. easy slang: ex… jyanai-> jyane

sugoi-> sugee

kowai- > koe

It was easy to pick up… i think  i read the tae kim section on slang and casual shortenings of stuff and then it was okay i have hints so it was really not that difficult picking this kind of stuff up… cause it’s like figureout-able.

The emphasis of i-adjectives ex:


I didn’t look up anything when i first encountered it… I just encountered it in a variety show… with one of the text they have up on the screen as happenings go on but i knew exactly what the implications of the little ttsu was.

3. intonation. this i noticed later on with listening. I’m not sure if i can tell the difference b.t. hashi vs hashi. bridge vs. chopsticks when somebody says it w.o. any context just from heraing it go from high to low or whatever (ther’s some website that demosntrates this difference) BUT one day it clicked in my head the difference in the pronounciation from the long vowels-short vowels.  bu-chou vs. kyoushuujo. Yes one is longer than the other one (with the u) but like… there’s also intonation thing going on i think. shutoku vs. shuushoku. there was a time when i heard a word and i had to look it up i had to do every frikin’ combination cause i couldn’t hear… ex does it have small tsu? does it have the long voweL? (which is a nightmare espeially if the word is made up of 2+kanji.. while 2 is annoying as it is. with me doing all frikin’ combination possible) is it shu or chu (I dont remember what sounds it was exactly that i mis-heard).. But basically now I have less trouble looking words up because i have listened to much more japanese since then and usually i can tell if it’s a long vowel or not

when I first learned about the long vowels I was like how does that work? what if you talk fast? etc etc but now those questions are totally answered with time and experience with just immersing myself with Japanese.  also when i would read aloud i would exaggerate the long vowels so they’re longer than they needed to be? well I didn’t get it at all because there’s no such thing in korean or in english or at least not like it is in japanese.

once i started to notice intonation i got why when the arashi members tried to say nan de yanen i started cringing. the intonation is off so it would piss off kansai-ppl… but anyways they had to say nan de yanen because it was the episdoe where the theme was become _ for 1 minute… I have no trouble understanding matsumoto/hamada/other kansai ppl since i;ve been accustomed all the common kansai quirks from the japanese tv (okashinai instead of okashikunai. souya naikai etc) but i cannot imitate it lol.

another thing was ばかぎり =場限り。 I heard shiina ringo say this word on music station (i don’t watch this show cause it’s boring and there’s no japanese to learn from it etc) and the way she said the word made me think of バカ切り. it’s pronounced バカ・ギリ NOT バ・カギリ so I was like what? it can’t be バカ切り from the context + i don’t know if this word exists… i do know メッタ切り does though. then I looked it up… bakagiri in hiragana and then I found out it’s 場限り and then I was like oooh. so it’s just another reminder of something i already realized months ago ? or a year ago? that even if you know how to read something in japanese you may not be pronouncing it correctly still because of the intonation… and from immersion and learning (more like getting used to) the correct pronunciation of thousands of words i can usually prnounce the word correctly if i haven’t heard it before just b.c. of my previous knowledge of all these words but it’s not 100%. If you’re curious about the context it was like shiina said to matsumoto jun

oh you invited me to karaoke when we were on the show last time but then we didn’t go so was that was just b.c. we were on tv doing the talk thing etc. (hence bakagiri goes in here = he’s just saying it for the sake of whatever but doesn’t mean they really go). i mean if you know what ba means and what kagiri means I’m sure you can figure out what it means 😀

The reason is because it’s not just that the sounds (what they are saying syllable by syllable) are different, the intonation is different. Another ex is akita-ben.. it sounds hilarious… really rural  and i don’t undersatnd it of course. The geinin on that show sho-bato that sang the greeeeeeeeeeeen song KISEKI in akita-ben was just awesome 😀

I think I have a good tokyo accent (hyoujungo). I also found out from chiebukuro that the particle wo is prnounced as wo and o depending on where you are in Japan. What i’ve done up to now is pronounce it as wo even though tae kim said they pronounce it as o cause i just felt like disregarding it and i just could not tell if they were saying wo or o so anyways i wasn’t complete mistaken this whole time. I think hyoujungo is o. Like the person on the chiebukuro site said that their parents made them stop using wo and start saying o or something? lol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s