Exactly what to watch on Japanese TV?

Q: Hello Richard:

I found your “10 Little Samauri” especially helpful.  One thing I’ve noticed is you keep referring to what many people might term “natural language acquisition.”   Where a person learns a language much like they do as a child — immersion with lots and lots of listening.  However, I find your references rather obliques.  You say, “go to You Tube, listen to Japanese, watch Japanese t.v.” etc.  Can you be a bit more specific?

First off, what did *you* find specifically useful when learning Japanese.  Maybe you lived there and watched t.v. a lot.  One option for us non-Japan residents is KeyHoleTV.  Another option for us Anime fans is the plethora of Anime available v that’s in Japanese with English (pick  your language of choice) subtitles.

Is there something else you personally found particularly useful?  As I listen to Anime, I find I can pick out more and more individual words, but it’s still difficult.  I’m wondering if I’m doing the right thing or if I’m missing something.



A:  Hi Dan,

It’s difficult to give specific examples because it seems the key is to listen to stuff you enjoy the most.  For anime fans it’s obviously anime,  if you’re into fashion then figure out what the keyword in Japanese is (use google translate) and then search for interesting videos with that keyword in Youtube.   I wouldn’t really want to give specific recommendations as we’re all so different.

But seeing as you did ask what I specifically liked….  it was totally Star Wars!  After growing up memorising the entire script, the first time I saw the videos dubbed in Japanese I knew exactly the meanings and found it a cool way to pick up new words.

Just be careful that movie language isn’t always the language you should use in real life!  I spent ages going round saying 俺 (ore) – hey Yoda uses it so it must be polite I thought,  before I was quietly assured that 私 watashi or 僕 boku are better for work!

2 Responses to “Exactly what to watch on Japanese TV?”

  1. Thelma says:

    Hello Richard!

    I have some tips for Dan and others about immersion with lots of listening.
    Basically I watch a lot of anime, dramas and movies in Japanese. I also listen to Japanese music and radio almost daily while surfing the web, learning Japanese etc. I have found listening to Japanese music everyday really does help. I sometimes even read the lyrics in Japanese and English and I can now sometimes understand random sentences in Japanese.
    I have found it’s not enough to just watch TV in Japanese. You have to basically live like the Japanese. Listen to Japanese music, watch Japanese movies and even read children’s books.

    I really hope this tip helps other people because it’s certainly helped me :)


  2. DakiChann says:

    Hey Dan,

    I’m not if you get this channel, it’s a Japanese broadcasting channel called NHK World and although it’s a news channel, most of the programmes are to do with music, fashion, food, travel, culture, etc. There’s also a programme called Nihongo Quick Lesson’ that teaches you new words every day.

    You can go to the NHK World website [http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/] and click on the various links to watch the programmes online. Or you can go on [http://www.d-addicts.com/forum/] and try typing in the names of some NHK programmes and download them (torrents).
    You could also watch Japanese dramas on D-Addicts, that’s how I learnt most of my Japanese.

    Hope that helps ^^.

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