How you doing?
Long time no post.
One thing i started doing lately in order to better serve this site is
to return to that feeling again of loving to study japanese in it of itself, so
I have been studying again like a mad man and trying to take my skills to the next level.
If you really want to become good at something it takes time and dedication
(up to a certain point of course)
At first when you start with a language for example, you learn a word here and there and just by remembering it, it’s fun and exciting.
However, the more and more you study, the harder it becomes to feel the same
pleasure you did the first time, if your methods are wrong and hard.
You start needing more and more study to be able to have the same kind of intensity as the first time you tried.
I’ve been studying japanese for over 11 years now and can speak fairly well,
however, just because i can speak does not mean my studies are over.
Everyday is full of study and new experiences.
So, I want to introduce to you a way of studying that has been giving me really good results lately.
I call it the 「MBLS」 method, meaning Move Your Body Listen and Speak.
You basically walk or jog slightly and listen to an audio book, and while doing this you SHADOW it’s contents.
What is SHADOWING?
In shadowing what you do is listen to something that a native speaker is saying
and repeat it in the same way. How is it different from just repeating things in an old time fashion parrot like method.
You basically repeat what that person is saying , inmediately about .5 seconds after they said it. So you don’t repeat it after the person finishes, you are repeating right along with that person.
It is really a very intense and difficult task.
If you can’t understand something that person said, it can take you off rhythm,
or just by not speaking at the same speed its sometimes because very difficult to catch up. It really requires a level of skill similar to a native.
(Taken from the following site — All in japanese)
SHADOWING and MLBS
Okay, so why is this method effective? The brain is designed in a way that
memory is easiest acquired by using all of our 5 senses(touch, sight, smell,
hearing, taste) at the same time.
It is said that each of our senses has it’s own separate memory, so the more
senses we use while we learn something the easier it is to
input and remember information.
By using this MBLS (move your body listen and speak), you are using your HEARING (saying and listening to what you say) and your sense of TOUCH (walk, run, talk, saying — because your words are felt as waves as well)。
I’ve been using this MLBS method for an hour a day of walking lately.
It’s good for you because you get to excercise plus you learn at the same time.
The point of this method is to use as many of your senses as possible,
if walking and talking at the same time is too hard for you,
try decreasing its intensity so that it fits your needs
You can try lowering the speed of your walk or jog and such,
just make sure your focus is as on the shadowing as much as possible.
By doing this for about 1 hour, you’ll be mentally exhausted and partially physically exhausted. You might want to start with even 30 minutes.
It’s going to be very good for your “pronunciation”,
“getting used to the japanese language rhythm”, “information memorization”,
and even “acting skills”.
Try it a couple of times and see if it suits you.
What materials are recommended?
I recommend using something that fits your current level.
If it’s something that you already feel very comfortable with, by practicing it with MLBS you’ll drive it further into your muscle memory as well as your
long term memory.
If it’s something that your going to start learning for the first time it might be more difficult, but challenging if you are up to it.
By keeping it up and being able to say things little by little,
you might start getting addicted to the feeling of accomplishment you get
after repeating it a couple of times.
These are some of the materials that i like to use.
Keigo no keiko(Keiko’s keigo training): Join keiko chan in her endeavors as a “shakaijin — person of society”, as she starts to work in a japanese business environment and start to need to use keigo. If you are thinking of working in japan eventually this will be a great introduction to keigo。
As the title says, the purpose of this book is to acquire beautiful keigo, so
it might be a little bit harder than most keigo books. When i first worked
in a full japanese environment i started answering calls in japanese, so i couldn’t really apply lots of what i heard here (like greeting customers at the front desk), however it was very informative and useful.
JLPT Grammar 1kyu (x2 CD)
JLPT Listening Comprehension (x4 CD)
Grammar and listening skills are some of the basic building blocks required
for great proficiency. By repeating out loud what you hear, you start
to acquire the language, so don’t forget to practice often with a similar book to these (2kyu books are also great).
Just remember, “Understanding” and “Being able to use it ” are 2 different skills,
and the gap is very big. No matter how good you get don’t forget to keep practicing the basics.
Kiite oboeru kansai ben (listen and learn kansai ben) 1xCD:
Kansaiben meccha suki yanen! (I love kansai ben!).
I recently just bought this book and started to practice with it.
Accent and rhythm is super important in kansai ben so you cant really learn it
the right way just by reading a book or website. You have to grasp the feeling for it.
That’s where practicing by saying comes really in handy.
Just by hearing and repeating this cd a couple of times i’ve accomplished more
than 2 years of me having lived in the kansai area.
Now i am having fun watching dramas and comedy shows that use a lot of
Audiobook — Atama no ii hito, warui hito no hanashikata.
How do smart people and dumb people speak.
（5 hour audiobook, bought at the japanese itunes store)
As the title says, youll learn about the differences in how smart people
and dumb people talk in japan. The contents are fairly okay,
however the voice of the narrator is perfect for shadowing.
I also recommend you try the following type of materials for your shadowing。
- Variety Showsバラエティ番組
- NHK and ASAHI TV news
Keep practicing until you get the feeling for this. It might take some time, but even if you make mistakes, don’t understand or feel funny, just keep practicing and imitating your target content. In the end, if you really don’t know whats going on try looking for subtitles, or read up on the topic a bit and try again.
Keep trying and don’t stop!!
Catch you later.