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Removing Subtitles without Missing Out on the Plot — 11 Comments

  1. Do you think it’s more beneficial to jump straight into Japanese only without Japanese subtitles?

    • If you just want to enhance your listening skills, I recommend no subs at all. When I watch variety shows, I often just end up reading the subtitles and not paying attention to what is being said. Watching tv shows with subs can be a good way to enhance your readings skills and they are useful for learning new words, but I wouldn’t recommend it for listening.

      Early on, there may be a lot of vagueness, especially if you’re not used to watching anime, but if you really want to understand the story quickly, I would recommend online summaries.

      Another method is to pick up the manga as well. Sometimes the dialogue will be almost identical, if not exactly the same. This is also a really good method, as I’ve found if I read the manga then watch he anime I feel no need for subs as I already understand the plot. It’s more time consuming than online summaries but more beneficial imo

      • I second this:

        Reading the manga first then watching the anime is a great way to know the plot so you can focus on listening.

    • As Lucasade mentions, raw listening practice is important. Also, it can be hard to find Japanese subtitles for your favorite anime even if you wanted to.

      For reading manga before the anime, that is definitely another good option. It depends if you want to read the manga, you like the manga, and you need to keep in mind that even with the manga, your understanding may still not be at the level you need to understand the plot.

  2. I love the summary method, I have used it well. It helps with giant misunderstandings mostly.

    Just keep on trucking with immersion.

  3. I started watching Lord of the Rings in Japanese Dub just today. I’m a fan of manga but not anime since I think it goes at too slow a pace. 30 minutes usually for something I could read in 5. However because I have watched each lord of the rings around 200 times (not an exaggeration…) I completely follow the plot and to be honest I can recite 95% of the lines word by word of the movie by just listening to the movie score.

    What I am having to watch out for though is making sure I don’t go into easy mode and just know what they are saying in english instead of listening to the Japanese.

    I’m hoping this helps me get out of my motivation funk that I have been in for awhile.

    I’m going to add all the audio to my phone and use that as my immersion. I know its not everyday Japanese but at least I enjoy it.

    • I think using a dub like Lord of the Rings is great. I did the exact same thing. I had seen the move many times, read the books, and my level Japanese level was only intermediate.

      In addition to being super fun (you get to experience the Lord of the Rings in a different way), you do end up picking up a lot since you know the source material.

      Enjoy it. ガンダルフ!!!!!

  4. Back when Kamen Rider W was on, I used to be too impatient to wait for the fansubbers. I would watch it streamed as it aired in Japan, then watch it again subtitled a week or so later to find out what “actually” happened. Luckily, Kamen Rider doesn’t exactly have much complexity in its dialogue. I could still follow 85-90% of what was happening through the action and how the characters were reacting to each other. That was probably much more beneficial for learning because it wasn’t straight this word = that word memorization. There was all sorts of context to pull from to aid in comprehension.

    One other thing I did that’s sort of related was when I had a long plane ride, I put just the audio from Tiger & Dragon on my iPod and listened to that. It was kind of weird, because I don’t fully remember it in English or in Japanese, but I knew the characters and the story enough from watching it so many times that just listening to it, I could follow along completely.

    • Haha, I love toku for just how easy it is to understand from acting alone. The vocabulary, on the other hand…

      I have to get into Kamen Rider sometime.

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