Japanese Listening Comprehension.


so i’ve always had doubts even from the beginner/intermediate stage that there will never come a day where i will be able to catch japanese as well as i can catch english in x y z situations ie japanese movies. like when i read khatz say stuff like I understood 100% of drama and movies and whatnot i was like bs. that’s complete bs. 90- something is one thing but 100% … come on I gotta call that bullshit. if it’s the case that you have japanese subtitles and you catched all of it, that makes sense, i can do that too.
IN FACT i read this ajatt entry in Japanesee… or rather skimmed it but what he said was i like watching my japanese movies/drama with japanese subs got a probelm with that? or he said i have to watch my ~~~~ got a problem with that? so that means either he agrees that it’s impossible to catch 100% OR he just agrees it’s easier to watch and understand with subs which i think anyone will agree with unless they read at a pace of a snail which i think only happens if you avoid reading your whole damn life. or you are dyslexic but nobody diagnosed you (talk about missing out on life) like that poor glee character.

8aoJva.md.pngSo ANYWAYS I just googled about it bc I really really FEEL THAT WAY. AND I ALSO asked a question on chiebukuro which has 3 answers thus far.
from my googling there seem to be legit reasons as to why people have trouble catching stuff. and people also gave some hliarious 自己完結方法 AFTER ALL whether you understood all that they said only matters to you… maybe I”ll take some of their words and apply them to my life lol. so by all means i’m not just going to blindly say oh japanese sucks i can’t catch it no matter how long i listen to it blahblah. i’m just bringing up the theories that people mentioned on the japanese interwebs and i’ll link evrything as much as i can. in fact one of the theories even applies to english media. it’s especially true for MOVIES. JAPANESE MOVIES.

>> update from my last post… pikaru no teiri …. what they did since i last watched it very interesting. so i was watching the shiratori thing and they seem to keep getting all these hot actors and have to hold back their laughter in the conto. i like the actors facial expression of…. being in love? being infatuated? lol. I was thinking how ayabe and yoshimura’s acting is good. i know ayabe is in some drama and so i don’t know if his acting in that drama is over-acting or whatever but i thought in general they’re acting is good. the reason i ‘m saying that is because i saw a clip of sasha gray acting in entourage (this show sucks btw) on youtube and she was doing this arguing scene and i just thought it sounded so fake like she’s acting. acting is pretty hard i thought after watching that, even talking like in a normal daily conversation for acting is actually very arduous. I’ve always held the notion that acting is difficult but seeing clips like these make me ponder on that YET AGAIN. 改めて

so here are my gripes with japanese listening comprehension. so i don’t know why but i have the hardest time at times at understanding dramas, movies, and commercials but i have no problem with talk/variety shows ( of course there are times i re-listen and re-wind but still don’t get what they say or i have to listen again to catch what they say but it’s not frequent especially compared to the former) . BTW somebody did mention in one of the articles that they cannot undersatnd commercials with like children talking really fast or in a high-pitched voice etc etc. i really seriously have the hardest time understand japanese commercials. it’s not that i care to watch it and i don’t really watch japaense commercials frequently just bc i watch streaming on the internet but i just notice that i really cannot undersatnd it but at the same time i don’t wnat to care about understanding commercials (it’s a waste of my time to rewind to try to understand the commercial). i can’t buy the said product first of alls.

so in numbers talk/variety 90% to 100%

drama without subs 50% to 70% lol. Now if it’s a really shitty cliche poorly written drama, obviously it’s going t obe 90% lol.

drama with JAPANESE subs 95%-100%

hmm I wonder if dramas have just as much issues as movies with the sound quality issue or is it the same

Like you can say well those tlak/variety shows ar epractically subbed. while that is true and i do rely on it sometimes it’s not all the time and sometimes i’m okay without it. like i was watching atsuatsu black mayonnaise show and i closed my eyes and just listened to what the guy was saying and i followed everything he said and understood it/caught it for like 2 minutes or maybe more. but basically even though i can’t really predict what he’s saying i stlil had no trouble understanding him. so that’s my only example against that lol. but yeah i do appreciate the text. i do think it enhances it unless it really big and blocks stuff like the people and their clothes? I love how they do the font style and colors and borders and whatnot. it is japanese with the kanji and everything. so i’m okay with it.

also there’s manzai and konto. for that it just might be me and japanese people have no problem. that’s whole another thing too but i do enjoy it or at least what i can catch of it. sometmes people write transcript on their blog b.c. they loved it so much. i’ve seen somme funny manzai and konto. i really love konto personally. there’s a lot of japanese media so venture into so i haven’t seen manzai in a long time. but by all means there are people with horrible enunciation 滑舌悪い who work as actors, comedians etc so by all means if you come across that, blame them not yourself but obviously if it’s that you don’t understand bc of your lack of immersion/listening hours then it’s YOU. but just wanted to write this post so that people don’t have unrealistic expectations (100% all the time etc etc) or feel really down on themselves over this….. Sometimes if i find an interesting manzai or conto and i missed out on a joke b.c. i can’t undersatnd it no matter how many i listen to it usually the people chiebukuro clear it up for me with their super japanese ears and awesome inferencing skills

here’s my chiebukuro question

so I posted the text/links on tumblr
there are all the japanese text on this subject that i enjoyed reaidng. there’s also articles about why old japnasese movies (‘m guesing from the 50’s) are so hard to understand and so if you don’t care about that, don’t read the articles about that. k.
some of them i only took parts of the text on the page that especially found funny or true so if you want to not miss out and have a burning desire to read all of it then go to the source link and read it.

So one of the points that people brought up was “acting style”. they were saying there’s some new trend of making the acting more “realistic” so the actors end up talking reallysoftly or mumble. yeah that’s realistic but if the viewers can’t understood what the hell the’re saying how the hell are we supposed to understand the movie. of course people brought up the point well if they talk/enunciate too clearly then it would be too fake or it would even be like the performance from yoshimoto gekijou (lol…) they were saying it’s the worst when they mumble and talk fast. and also there’s sometimes where the perosn is screaming inthe movie and they still can’ t understood what they’re saying lol. AND i found this article in english about mumbly actors and they mentioned some bbc movie/drama thing and i chcekd out the trialer and indeed that it MUMBLE. MUMBO JUMBO.

on top of this, they were saying how ghibli movies are horrible bc there’s always somebody in a ghibli movie whodoesn’t speak clealry and that’s bc this person is not really a voice actor. ghibli is obsesed with realism and whatnot but then people were like them voice actors are understandable while these ” movie actors” are not as clear.

also there was something after recording… how japanese movies don’t do it while americans movies do it. the after-recording thing. yeah i’ve seen american actors after-recording on entertainment show before in the past and they were like actually we do after recording for __ scenes. i don’t remember exactly. so the reason for japanese movie people not doing it is budget.

there was this long article about how american movies take the sound aspect more seriously how they have a position in the movie crew for someone to perfect the sound while there isn’t one for japanese movies? I just didn’t feeli like reaidng hta tarticle.
they also brought up the point that japanese actors are just not trained. they were saying most american actors (holly wood is famous and all) have been to college and majored in theater or acting or whatever so they know how to enunciate clearly. so apparently that’s not as common in japan unless the person does butai (stage acting). I mean japanese people complain about how japanese actors suck at acting all the time anyway (they do have good actors though) . they were also mentioning how the young actors juts aren’t trained with speaking properly and clearly something about them not moving their mouths enough lol. somebody mentioned that there’s a lot of actors in the industry right now who just do not have the fundamentals of speaking in an understandable way down lol.

they were like even if i bring up the volume the damn backround music is so loud the neighbors will attack me or there is an explosion sound in between the quiet talking lol (war movies lol)

peoplewere also even pointing out trends in story-telling that they’re relying too much on lines to convey the scene/feeling/etc.

so HERE ARE THEIR SOLUTIONS or rather giving up!!! lol.

one person said I DON’T go to movie theaters, i wait for the dvd and watch with the subs.

some poeple they understood what they were saying fine in the theaters but then when it got converted to dvd, the quality turned to shit and then they couldn’t understand what they were saying lol… there’s this case too.

one person even said the dvd for a movie only came with english subs so they turned that on to figure out what they saying in japanese lol. it is helpful… as in better than nothing. and for them it’s also english learning/practice.

another person’s suggestion is… actor a says something in a really quiet mumbly way that nobody can understand.
actor b says speaks clearly after actor a. and from actor b i try to guess or infer what actor a said lol.

another person was like oh i just try to get infer from the atmosphere of the movie or as long as i enjoy the atmosphere of the movie.

some people are like i give up. as long as i get the gist. i don’t give a shit about every detail.


I wish blue ray disks could allow us to set the sound the way we want like 80% bgm, se 75% like games and make it change the volume based on the actor who is speaking. LOL. but no really, i want that option too.

I know my listening skills is definitely NOT up to par with japanese natives who have listened to japanese for 10+ 20 + x+ years from birth and only know japanese but I’m not gonna get down on myself bc of actors with shitty enunciation. to some extent i can tell whether it’s bc of my lack of whatever with japanese and whether it’s the actor’s fault or the staff’s fault for not making the actor speak more clearly. so by all means i’m not just gonna automatically come to the conclusion that i couldn’t catch what this person said bc this person has crappy enunciation. there’s other reasons toooooooooooooooo lik eme etc etc.

so the reasons are

1) the actors themselves. either them or the directors telling them to talk not clearly/softly/quietly by telling them to talk naturally. also none of the people on the movie staff/crew won’t care about the movie-goers enough to realize hey it’s impossible to catch what that persons says if i didn’t have the script right in front of me so maybe they should speak more clearly and loudly blahblah.

2) the actors themselves being really shitty as speaking japanese as in proper enunciation techniques et c etc. i mean i think it’s pretty obvious they have a lot of shitty/untrained actors and actresses in japan. but there are also some really talented ones… some so talented i feel so bad for them when their talents are wasted on shitty/half-baked films or whenthey have to star with no talent actor/actreses/

2) there’s no after-recording. they don’t really put much care into the sound aspect of the movie… i think this is a big reason why it ‘s so hard to undersatnd.

3) the director or whoever does the sound effect or bgm cares more about the bgm and sound effect than the actual lines so either the bgm or sound effect will make it hard to undersand the lines or the bgm or the sound effect will be SO DAMN loud you can’t even raise the volume for the actors who talk mad quietly for no damn good reason without killing your eardrums.







so I woludn’t put 90% to 100% comprehension of japanese movies without subs as a realistic goal for fluency i would say that with JAPANESE SUBTITLES is realistic just because they just don’t give a shit abaout it…. with the sound aspect and they do have a lot of shitty actors. sorry it’s true. I relaly love the talented ones but they have a lot of shitty ones lol.


so i revised one of my check-off list for japanese fluency FROM

understanding japanesemovies 100% raw without any subs to understan japanese movies 100% with japanese subs! or ghetto japanese subs from korean subs lol. this is realistic and ican do this actually because i READ FAST. and provided there aren’t words i don’t know or they reference i crap i don’t know, i should be at 100% since there is also context and actual people talking. damn you KHATZ why you spread  lies like that. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND A JAPANAESE MOVIE 100% NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU WATCH IT . if for some miracle all the crap i mentioned above does that occur then YES it is possible to catch 100% but that is rextremely unlikely. he even said it himself on his blog that he loves watching japanese crap wit hjapanese subs which means HE HATES watching japanese crap without japanese subs. now that logic may seem forced but not to me. bs is bs.

P.S. i googled kikitori niku and kikitoridurai  with helter skelter and i got hits! yay I’m so happy i’m not alone. apparently there are japanese subs on the japanese dvd but people dont’ share that on the internets. WHY. so i had to watch it with ghetto korean subs because the korean person who made it sucks at japanese more than i do. omgs. but the movie sucks it doesn’t matter? some lines i was really curious what they were saying because the scenes were so sexual lol.  but no matter how many times i rewound it, i couldn’t understand wtf the people were saying. the movie’s awful it’s like wachinga japanese av and i’ve never even seen a japanese av. it’s very dirty. you’ll feel dirty. either look away or fast forward. it’s so ugh… i just don’t want to be associated with the movie. i liked mizuhara kiko’s short short shor tass monologue at the end. that was the only part that was good and made sense. everything else is shittttttttttttttttttt. everyone hates the director who’s real job is photographer because she makes shitty movies like this. go watch if you want to watch a sawajiri erika P0RNO or the closest thing to it.

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