Speed Japanese Quiz
Japanese isn’t especially a fast language, despite it feeling that way. But there are plenty of people who speak Japanese fast. Really fast. The faster the Japanese, the harder it is to understand. Sounds and words blend together, and it is something that you are not used to. Which means that if you can understand really fast Japanese, your Japanese is good.
When Japanese is sped up, you can’t catch everything. Same with English. However, when your comprehension ability is high, what you do catch enables you to predict and guess fairly accurately what you couldn’t catch. This allows you to create a full picture by only seeing parts of it.
So let’s put your ultra high speed listening to the test. The following 3 videos are from an old comedy sketch (1998) called 早口チーム (Speed Talkers Team). It takes three typical situations, but greatly speeds them up, with hilarity ensuing.
1. Classroom (Level: Difficult)
2. Wedding (Level: Super Difficult)
3. Courtroom (Level: Ultra-Mega-Difficult)
How’d you do?
To the lower level learners: Were you able to pick up anything? What could you hear?
To the higher level learners: Did you get most of it? Anyone understand all of it?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
First vid: ~90%
Second vid: ~75%
Last vid: ~90%
For some reason I found the courtroom drama easier to understand than the wedding one. I think it could be because I am constantly listening to うぬぼれ刑事。
This is when understanding and not just translating is important, haha. I must share these vids with others.
I’m very impressed that you have that level of understanding! Nice job.
The listed difficulty level of the 3 was chosen due to the topic. Which one is really more difficult could be open to interpretation.
And watchingうぬぼれ刑事 will provide all kinds of benefits!
Oh man I am too low level to understand but just from seeing, I can say that I laughed a lot at the first and the other two I couldnt even pick a single word hahaha
Well it’s good you were able to at least enjoy it.
But not to worry. Most people will have trouble keeping up with this kind of pace.
Those are pretty funny! The best gag was definitely “writing” the student’s name on the blackboard in the first skit.
If anyone wants to practice listening to more fast Japanese, then I’d suggest either listening to anime on 1.5 times speed—which is still comprehensible albeit fast—or checking out bloggers like Ari Keita, who does video blogs while talking quickly in Japanese:
He was also mentioned in a post last year on JALUP:
(Although after just listening to the skits above, it sounds pretty normal speed!)
Great suggestions. I wonder if Ari Keita got his inspiration from this group haha.
Caught only a few words/phrases that aren’t very helpful to understanding (お願いいたします etc). I’d easily understand the whole thing if transcript existed but obviously that defeats the purpose. As a supposedly “advanced” learner it’s embarrassing how little native audio I understand even in normal speed, let along super speed. *sigh*
Well don’t let these videos discourage you. You will (almost) never have to listen to a conversation at this speed!
I’m sure you don’t need me to say this to you, but since it’s a trouble area for you, I’m hoping that you are increasing your listening in every form you can.
I am a beginner learner therefore I can only pick some words n sentences here and there but those three vids sure are funny… lol’ed hard on the 1st vid with the rushed self introduction, in the second one I heard about someone (the groom? Lol) is an employee in a pc company? And the third one the defendant is 24 y.o was accused of sexual harassment (and I was like-lol poor him, but still it was a good laugh)
Anyways–it was very enjoyable :) thank you
Hey picking up a few sentence is a great start. Glad you could get a laugh out of them. Watch them again in 6 months and see how far you’ve come.
All i got was ‘thank you’ from the first one, ‘please’ from the second vid, and ‘5 o’clock’ on the third vido o.0
Hey understanding 3 things is better than 0!
I’m still in intermediate level and I’m not sure I can’t understand the fast Japanese in wedding or courtroom :D, but I’ll learn, learn it untill used to with fast Japanese, ganbarimasu
Hahaha. This seems like my sort of comedy show. I love it even if it is ridiculously difficult to understand.
At normal speed, I can make out enough words to understand the sentence. Here, I could only pick out about one word every other sentence. :P
I’m sure if I tried to speak Japanese that fast, it would sound like gibberish, lol