You want to watch and listen to more raw anime and J-drama, but it’s time consuming, isn’t it? You have to make time to open up that anime episode, sit there for 20 minutes and watch that episode. Maybe your Japanese studying is pretty cluttered and you never find time for it. What if you could get in hours of listening practice every day, without really changing up your schedule at all?
Well, that’s where the listening immersion comes in.
First, here’s the Sub2SRS -> Anki Flash cards. I want to emphasize that this is an awesome way to get massive amounts of auto-generated flash cards, that are useful, have context, audio, and a translation as a reference. You can also auto-generate a glossary for the words you don’t know by using this addon.
Sub2SRS site – Download link
Anime: Not sure if I can tell you exactly where to get it, but I think there’s a site called “nyaa” hosted by the “eu” that has anime. You can acquire anime legally, too, and use that.
Subtitle Fixing/Re-timing: Kitsunekko Forums
-There’s a tool to automatically fix mistimed subtitles, if you have a show with English subtitles and improperly timed Japanese subtitles. Make sure to re-upload them if you fix them.
For the main use of Sub2SRS, Matt Hawkins actually has a great tutorial on setting up Sub2SRS, so I would like to link his tutorial, and add in a few things on my own. His tutorial is really comprehensive, and his blog is definitely worth checking out. He got fluent using these sort of techniques, mining 15+ anime for sentence cards in addition to adding 10k+ sentences in the wild.
Matt’s blog post on Sub2SRS for Anki: How to get Thousands of Contextual Sentences for Learning Languages (Sentence Banks)
Sub2SRS formats: Should I do Reading or Listening?
You can have a Sub2SRS format for Listening, and a separate one for Reading. You’ll have to modify the formats in Anki, but it’s pretty cool. Japanese is one of those languages where even if you read a word, you might not be used to hearing it, and vice versa, so I like to train them both separately through these sort of listening-only and reading-only formats, along with reading things with furigana or watching shows with Japanese subtitles.
Extracting Audio from Anime, to listen on your phone all day:
Credits go to MattvsJapan for the idea, and Khatz from AJATT for validating using anime/j-drama as immersion material. Matt’s videos have disappeared from his Youtube channel for some reason, so I hope I can spread the word with this technique.
In Sub2SRS, click Tools>Extract Audio from Media
Select the first episode of your show:
We can see that it says “[WhyNot] Steins;Gate – 01 [BD 720p AAC][5CFFC1C7].mkv”
We can modify this so that it says “[WhyNot] Steins;Gate**.mkv”
With this program, if you add an asterisk (*) it will know that you mean “any file that starts with <info before asterisk> and ends with <info after asterisk>
So, you can just erase everything before the “01” and change it to a “*.mkv” or simply just a “*”.
I like to change the “Break audio track into multiple clips of length (h:mm:ss)” to 3:00, but it’s inconsequential.
Name the show and hit Extract, and you’re good to go.
Why this is an awesome technique:
First of all, it’s easy for the time to add up. If you keep your headphones with you when you wake up, cook, go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat, change your clothes, walk in between classes, when you go for a walk or run, hit the gym, etc., the time is going to add up very quickly. When you consider all the wasted time from NOT having headphones in your ears with Japanese content playing, it’s almost silly to not be doing this as much as possible. You can make progress on your cards with Sub2SRS to get down the specifics, while going through your favorite shows in their entirety on the go. It’s an enjoyable process, and it does help improve your quick comprehension as you get used to quickly comprehending chunks of information in Japanese.
If you’re learning Japanese to read manga, understand anime, read visual novels and light novels, this strategy will really keep more of your Japanese fresh in your head while you’re on the go. You can take a break from Anki or intensive reading and listen to some anime and grab some food. You can turn your break time into enjoyable Japanese review.
There are a bunch of other reasons, what with passive learning and all that good stuff. It’s a bit tougher with Japanese, but your listening should improve, to the point where you won’t have to concentrate as intensely to decrypt each word in anime when you know all the individual words. You can make sure you at least get in a few hours of practice every day if you use this method with a busy schedule.
My experience with it so far:
I got in about 130 hours of listening over the past 6 weeks, in addition to a few English audiobooks, and shows that were giving me problems with understanding quickly enough have become easier to follow along with. I feel like I’ve been absorbing the tone of a lot of the words as well, through a lot of exposure to examples. I use some Japanese podcasts occasionally, but the vocab I know is more related to VNs and anime, so other content is still difficult to follow.
It’s often difficult to find good listening content, so make sure you use what you enjoy. If you’re doing mostly core10k vocab, then go watch the Japanese news or something.