Friday, February 27, 2009

No, I'm not dead... (& some updates)

I have to start off by apologizing for my somewhat long absence. Things have been a little crazy lately, but no, I'm not dead, nor have I given up on this experiment. I'm pretty serious about learning Japanese.

That said, I've slightly "updated" how I want to conduct the experiment from this point on. It's based on the article I posted/quote in my previous post. Basically, the more you listen to a language = the more you get used to the sounds = the easier it is to pick up new words, right?

For those who kind of know how the school system works here, you'll know that semester 2 started recently, which is the main reason why I've been away for a while. It's also the reason why lately, I just don't have the time to watch 2-4 hours of anime/drama every day... I'm still watching some, obviously; it's the essence of my experiment and anyway, I enjoy it (even if I don't understand much). But since I rarely have the time to watch more than an hour a day, and since there are many parts of my day that are basically wasted (especially at school), I've decided to kind of borrow an idea from AJATT.

To make a long story short, I'm going to find tons of Japanese audio (songs, anime/drama scenes ripped from DVDs, random youtube vids) and put them on my mp3 player, and then listen to them during moments that would otherwise be wasted. Seeing as I can also listen to them while doing other things, I can easily add several hours of listening to Japanese into each day.

The cool part of this, from the point of view of you guys reading this, is that I'm sometimes going to be posting youtube vids and links to songs on this blog... I know a number of the people following this blog are learning Japanese themselves, so I'm hoping that these links will be of some help to you guys as well.

Last but not least, I'm hoping to eventually write some reviews of animes/dramas that I watch... not all of them, but at least those that I really like. Obviously everyone's tastes are different, but hopefully it'll at least be helpful to some people.

Thoughts? Questions? I'd love to get input/other opinions on this, so leave a comment if you have something to say :)


  1. Welcome back Maya. Obviously video is time intensive and keeps one from doing anything else at the time. Learning German I've tried to watch five German movies a week, rather than set a daily goal. As soon as I learn how to rip audio from a dvd I'll do what you and AJATT are doing. Also, have you thought about using audiobooks? With an audio book you can always refer back to a text. What do you think?

  2. @Learn About - There is software out there that will rip audio from DVDs for you... I don't remember the name of the one I use (it's on another computer) but try googling it?

    As for audiobooks... I'm not really sure where to get them. charges ridiculous prices for shipping abroad, seems to have some kind of credit card problem, and I have yet to find any Japanese bookstores in my city (Toronto) - there aren't that many Japanese people here...

    That said, I have been looking up the lyrics to the songs I listen to. I guess that's kinda similar?

  3. I live in the Los Angeles area where there are many Japanese people and many bookstores and libraries that cater to Japanese people and neighborhoods. I can help you get a hold of one. Any particular suggestions?

  4. The company Xilisoft has two programs for ripping audio that are quite good. Their DVD Audio Ripper gives you a lot of options, from ripping by movie, title, chapter, to specific time frames and any combination their of. Their Video Converter Standard is useful for ripping audio from MKVs, MP4s, AVIs etc. Both rip into almost every popular format available and their interfaces are easy to use.

  5. @Learn About - do you know if there are Japanese audiobook versions of the 2nd and 4th Harry Potter books? Do you have an e-mail or something I could contact you at? We could talk.

    @Solar Wind: "Their DVD Audio Ripper gives you a lot of options..."

    That's actually the one I have :)

  6. @Maya,

    Sorry about the late response. I had not bothered to check the comments page so e-mail will be better. I will check for you about the Harry Potter audio books. Contact me via youtube(dot)com/user/enkidu360 for my e-mail address.