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Anime with subtitles - at what point do you turn them off?

Many learners find their initial interest in Japanese through anime or manga. The best, the worst - talk about them all here! (Well, almost all!)

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mrsspooky5154
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Anime with subtitles - at what point do you turn them off?

Postby mrsspooky5154 » July 11th, 2011 2:48 am

I watch my anime in Japanese with subtitles. I've been trying to pay more attention to what the people are saying rather than the subs, especially when there is a word or grammar that I haven't learned or am not clear on.

For those who use anime for help with learning Japanese, at what point did you turn off the subtitles? I have Cowboy Bebop pretty much memorised, and can probably get away from the subtitles on that one. But in general - do you find that the subtitles distract you from listening to the actors' voices and what they are saying? This is what I'm running into now. I'm working hard at this point on my vocabulary, and I want to HEAR what they're saying.

Another thing I've found - don't try to translate the Japanese in your head while you're listening to it. It takes too much time and you wind up missing a LOT of what people are saying. The big thing is knowing the words and the grammar.

vanillatwilight925100
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Postby vanillatwilight925100 » July 29th, 2011 9:33 am

When i watch anime I sort of read the subtitles automatically, sometimes it even feels like i'm not looking at them and that i am indeed paying attention to only the voice of the japanese cast and what is going on (eg. what you want to end up doing) but i know that this is not true and it is just because my brain is used to reading them.

But good question when do you turn off the subtitles, I'd say you learn basics + some maybe after the beginner season on here. By then you will know how sentences are put together so it wont take you to long to go..."I'm Naruto is?" what? o_O" (okay this is something you learn dead at the start but it is just a basic example of the positioning of the verbs/actions and the pronouns.) I mean I read japanese just studying myself and noticed this but strangely it wasn't till i came on to here and they (Peter & Naomi) explained this that it sunk in. ANYWAY offtopic!

I think you should take away subtitles once you can understand conversations of different types not just the "meeting and greetings and ordering at Restaurant stuff" also maybe give yourself a little lesson on common japanese anime words, eg. Ikuzo meaning "Lets go, you ready?" the amount of times I've heard Ichigo from Bleach say that it's actually one of the words stuck in my head.

I hope this helped and you didn't get to annoyed by my babbling off topic
Kohta :!:

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vanillatwilight925100
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Postby vanillatwilight925100 » July 29th, 2011 9:37 am

Also i'd like to add and this is even the same when reading the book, since something like Bleach has been dubbed quite a bit I know the english voices for the characters, and after watching a Japanese ver (that has not been dubbed ) in my head when i look back i can hear the character say it in the english voice, kind of weird huh.
Off topic ..slighty just thought i'd share that with people XD

But like the person who made this topic wants I too would love to be able to quickly translate what they say even though subtitles don't bother me but they are not helping me learn japanese like trying to watch something without them might push me hard to do

mrsspooky5154
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Postby mrsspooky5154 » July 29th, 2011 10:32 am

Thanks!

I've been watching Trigun and a lot of Death Note and I find I'm getting better at listening to what the characters are saying and spending less time on the subtitles. I've only been studying Japanese for about a year now (maybe a little more), mostly on Japanesepod101 since the beginning of the year (I loved Pimsleur, but that taught you more how to say things than teach the language).

The problem with subtitles is while they translate so you can hear what the characters mean (except when the subtitles are completely wrong - I've found a couple of those in the Cowboy Bebop movie), but I've found certain words and phrases tend to get repeated a lot and if needed, I hit Kotoba on my iphone to get the meaning if I have to (after pausing the program, that is :).

Yeah, I can't turn them off yet, but trying to train myself to LISTEN rather than read is a challenge. It really helps on repeat viewings of a program, because you already know the general meaning of the dialog so you can listen.

I'm looking forward to the day when I don't need them!

vanillatwilight925100
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Postby vanillatwilight925100 » July 29th, 2011 10:43 am

I bet you are looking forward to that day when it comes :)
Something i want to happen even more though is the ability to be able to speak Japanese with confidence (funnily enough i have a book called that)
ANYWAY! i hope what i said helped you a little.

Oh btw, are you a basic or prem member
and if only basic is it enough do you think?
and if Prem is it worth the extra few £ - $

PalMcGee9385
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Postby PalMcGee9385 » May 27th, 2012 9:07 am

Sorry to hijack this thread a bit, but anyone know of any "easy to understand" anime's? I know the term is very relative, but I mean shows that have simple dialogues and don't involve complex/specialized speech. For example, I recently discovered "azumanga daioh" and there the speech is pretty simple indeed so I've been able to enjoy it without subs.. sorta.

mmmason8967
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Postby mmmason8967 » June 14th, 2012 7:04 am

PalMcGee9385 wrote:Sorry to hijack this thread a bit, but anyone know of any "easy to understand" anime's? I know the term is very relative, but I mean shows that have simple dialogues and don't involve complex/specialized speech.

Try something you're already familiar with as you'll have a good idea whether or not it's likely to have simple enough dialogue. For example, I'm familiar with Ghost in the Shell but I know that there's way too much abstract philosophising for me to have any chance of following the dialogue without subtitles; I'm also familiar with Bubblegum Crisis, which is one that I can watch without the subtitles--I don't get everything by any means, but it's the kind of show where you can tell what kind of things are likely to be being said, which is a big help when it comes to catching the words.

natsukoy9313
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Postby natsukoy9313 » June 15th, 2012 6:53 pm

mmmason8967-san,
Thank you very much for your help! That's a good advice and very helpful! :D

PalMcGee9385-san,
Maybe old catoons/animes could have simple stories based on daily life.
Recent ones are too much fantasy and/or battles with imaginary creatures....in my opinion...

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » June 17th, 2012 1:48 am

Finding ones with Japanese subtitles can be a good way to help the transition. If you watch the news or variety shows, they tend to have a lot of subtitles anyway. I recommend ホンマでっか!?TV, which pretty much puts every word on the screen. Might help improve your reading too.

natsukoy9313
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Postby natsukoy9313 » June 17th, 2012 6:18 pm

Javizy-san,
LOL :lol:
It's true!! It's the correct use of those subtitles :D

pinklovegreen4899
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Re: Anime with subtitles - at what point do you turn them of

Postby pinklovegreen4899 » November 26th, 2012 8:41 pm

Unfortunately I'm still not confident turning off the English subtitles since I'm still very limited in listening. I could probably only catch some phrases. But that is quite an interesting way of practicing Japanese. I noticed some phrases by listening and knowing the English translations.

I hope I can get to that level one day of not having to use English subtitles for my anime, LOL~ :flower:

wesleejr1893
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Immersion!

Postby wesleejr1893 » November 28th, 2012 7:44 pm

どうも!

Learning techniques/methods vary from person to person, and as you know, not every person picks up on things in the same way or time frame. So, unfortunately, answering the question would be a suggestion at best. With the obvious stated and out of the way, please allow me to give you my suggestion: Turn them off now! haha.

It seems we might be finding ourselves focusing on the displayed translations from time to time, despite our best efforts in wanting to focus on the auditory dialogue. This diversion happens in the conscious and subconscious realms, and it all has something to do with our comfort zones. (disclaimer: i'm no psychological expert or anything; this is just my amateurish speculation) We want to focus on hearing the Japanese, but because we fear not understanding what is being heard, we "glimpse" at the subtitles for understanding. Over and over and over. The bottom line is, something takes precedence over another. Almost always. In our situation, reading English trumps listening to Japanese (because of our familiarity with the former).

Instead of listening to understand, try listening to become comfortable. Comfortable with the sounds and inflections of the voice actors... of the language. As mmmansonさん mentioned, choose something you have already watched (though it doesn't have to be). That way, you reduce your distractions because you do not have to worry about plot, some other type of development, or reading any subtitles. Therefore, listening to Japanese takes priority over anything else. Like mrsspookyさん, I've seen Cowboy Bebop x-amount of times, but this time around, it is solely being watched in Japanese, though my knowledge is still at a beginner's level. But that is not an issue. What matters is that the language is becoming familiar, comfortable, accustomed, or even "domestic." Words that are known stick out and my ears are getting the hang of breaking the rest up in syllables. And because I know my ひらがな and かたかな fairly well, I sometimes grab my English-Japanese dictionary and search for the word(s) that was supposedly heard in that "decoding." Sometimes it is a success, other times it is not. (however, my dictionary is mostly romanized, so it too is another distraction in my eyes)

Force yourself out of your comfort zone and worry not about grasping comprehension from the beginning. Embrace 日本語 like a new born and let her melodious voice caress your ears as she tenderly holds you in her bosom of warmth and security. がんばって! :wink:
ウェズ

community.japanese
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Re: Anime with subtitles - at what point do you turn them of

Postby community.japanese » November 30th, 2012 2:31 pm

ウェズさん、
Thank you for great advice!! :D

pinklovegreen4899-san,
Like Wes-san said, there's no perfect learning way for everyone; it varies. So, the most important thing is to find the best way for yourself :wink:
If you can't take English subtitle yet, it's totally fine. The only thing I know from my experience is that if you read subtitles, your attention to listening reduces. So, when I was still not good at English, I usually listened or watched the same story many times. If it's TV drama or movie, I first watch it with English (target language) with subtitle in Japanese, then English without subtitle and stop when I couldn't understand to see the subtitle, and repeat this several times. After some time, I understood at least some words which I couldn't earlier! :D

Another advice: do you listen to every single word when you talk with someone in your mother tongue? No, right?
So, you don't really have to listen every single word in Japanese as long as you understand the whole sentence correctly.
If you don't understand, then break it down. Just you don't have to be too nervous about catching all and every word. :wink:

Hope it helps!

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com


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