I’ve talked repeatedly how the path to fluency hinges on a race to immersion – getting to enjoying real Japanese before you burn out on too much studying. However, just because you reach immersion doesn’t mean it’s all clear sailing from there. Far from it as you’ll feel a constant tug-of-war with understanding and not understanding whatever you are trying to enjoy.
Recently, I’ve seen that it’s not just a race to immersion, but a race to something which will signal an even higher change of victory. A race to binge-watching.
The modern trend of binge-watching TV is probably not the best thing for your health, but feels so good. When it comes to Japanese, I said that binge-watching has the best of both worlds, feeling good and being good for you. However, in addition to just being a lot of Japanese practice, it signifies a turning point.
If you can binge-watch something in Japanese, you will become fluent
When you think about binge-watching as a phenomenon, it’s pretty amazing. Watching multiple seasons (a dozen+ hours) of a TV show in one weekend. All this time spent on one focused activity, with concentration maintained without effort.
How many people would love to be able to say the exact same thing for Japanese? If you can binge on Japanese-TV, you can. All that time spent watching Japanese TV rakes in your Japanese ability experience points. The more you binge-watch Japanese, the better your Japanese gets, making it even easier to binge watch more Japanese.
Once you get into a natural addicting cycle of Japanese like this, fluency will be within your grasp. You almost can’t help but get there. The people I see that get addicted to Japanese TV shows early on, who can then do it for dozens or hundreds of episodes, make it.
But I don’t understand enough to binge enjoyably?
Your Japanese doesn’t need to be perfect to binge. It starts with finding the right show for your level. You may be able to binge at 80%, 70%, or even 60% understanding. If you are at a loss for where to start as a binging beginner, two popular easy to binge romance-variety-shows are Terrace House and Ainori.
If this doesn’t work for you, go for anime, j-dramas or other continuous story variety shows. All you need to find is one bingeable show. After finishing it, you’ll find that it is easier to find the next, and the next, and so on.
But I don’t like binge watching TV…?
When did you first binge something in Japanese?
Do you remember your first true binge-watching or binge-reading Japanese experience, where you couldn’t tear yourself away from it for hours on end? What was it?