Downloaded a whole load of podcasts to
torture train my ears to get used to listening to Japanese. I usually listen to Japanese radio programs but decided to try out an audio drama instead! Not too familiar with audio dramas but basically they are mini dramas “acted” out by voice actors – no image, just voices/sounds. Not sure if it’s entirely a Japanese concept, but I don’t recall seeing similar stuff for Korean (not yet anyway). I find the concept really cool, since you have to act out the character / drama based SOLELY on your voice, without gestures, facial expressions etc to help. Basically there’s no other distractions and perhaps voice acting is even harder than acting.
For language learners, audio dramas are an awesome way of training your listening proficiency. When we are watching live dramas, we tend to be “helped” by visual elements when it comes to figuring out the plot etc. Even if I’m watching an unsubbed drama, I find myself using visual elements to aid in processing the dialogue etc. This means that even though I didn’t exactly catch the phrase that they are saying, sometimes I can guess it through their expressions etc.
With audio dramas, all I have is my ears hahaha. I can’t depend on anything else to aid my understanding. Either I catch the phrase or I don’t. D: Logic can only help so much.
Randomly picked out this audio drama (オーディオドラマ「ライトハンド」) to try! Just finished the first episode (twice in fact) and I’m like …. mmm. I’ll peg my listening ability at 65% D: I kinda know what’s going on, yet I can’t understand some of the dialogue sigh. Experimenting with a new learning method where I’ll listen to an episode at one go, then go for a 2nd (and third..) listen to pick out some of the words that I don’t know and then check it up using the dictionary. (yes I switched to daum) Sometimes it works, but sometimes my ears can’t even pick up the sounds in the first place pffft.
It’s still too early to judge whether this method will work for me or not, but as of now, not really. I’m more of a visual learner than a .. ermm what do you call learning by ear? lol. I prefer learning from books (not necessarily textbooks but yeah..), so I find myself learning a lot more when I’m reading Japanese novels. I am better at mapping words I read to what I heard – meaning that I’ll read a word in the novel, check it up, and be like “ahh yes I heard this word used in xxx drama before”. Can’t really do the opposite. Hearing a word and matching it with something I’ve read before.
In any case, I did learn quite a number of words today from the audio drama but I’m not sure how much of an impression they have made in my brain hahaha. I still prefer reading. But it’s a real good challenge, because it forces me to open my ears and LISTEN. I prefer live-dramas still though, I think having a visual element in listening helps (for me at least). It’s been around a year since I started learning Japanese (counted from the time I last restarted since I forgot everything including part of hiragana -.-), not sure if my progress is okay or not, but I’m really loving the language ❤
yay! So.. happy weekends
p.s. If you are interested in Japanese audio dramas, search for “オーディオドラマ” in the iTunes podcast section! ^^