Comprehensible Input

Sometimes in life, you have to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. Although I have been immersing myself in native-level Japanese content, I feel that my listening comprehension hasn’t improved much and is still on the weaker side. I probably understand about 20% to 30% of everything I hear, whether it be watching TV shows/ YouTube videos or listening to podcasts. I think part of the problem is that I’m watching or listening to content that’s above my comprehension level, so I decided to start watching Japanese cartoons again because the language in cartoon shows tends to be easier.

One thing I like about two of the Japanese cartoon shows I have been watching is that the main characters usually announce the title of the episode, and the readings of the Kanji in the titles are given as well. Instead of looking up words, I watch the episode and see if I can understand the meaning through comprehensible input. Even if I can’t understand the meaning, I can usually make an educated guess based on context. For the most part, this method has been working effectively, and the results have been mostly positive. I learned the words for “prophesy,” “pen pal,” and so on without the use of a dictionary. I think with enough comprehensible input, my comprehension level should increase gradually, and I’ll be able to start understanding more and more Japanese dramas and podcasts.

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