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Study for the JLPT
Manga-assisted Japanese Study
N3 Listening files? 
15th-Sep-2010 12:36 pm
Oh woe! [Holic]
Hi everybody!

I hope this kind of post is allowed here ^^ If it isn't, let me know and I'll delete this as soon as possible, okay?

I'm looking for N3 listening material: good books, or files adapted to the new level. I've been searching through the web, but since N3 is a very new level (as you already know) there isn't much yet. I thought I could try listening 3kyuu/N4 audio files, or maybe N2 ones, but my Japanese teacher suggested me to look for a more suitable level: 3Kyuu/N4 would be too low (and I've already passed it) and N2 would be too high for me.

I'd also like to ask you a related question: One of my weak points in this test (and in languages in general XD) is the listening part. I scored less than 60% in the listening section in 3Kyuu last year (but I passed because I did well in the other sections, specially grammar). For some reason, I can't understand most of the conversation and I usually fail with the tricks ^^; This really frustrates me. Any suggestions, please? ^^; Thanks in advance!
15th-Sep-2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
First, I would advise against recommending any downloading of files that break copyright laws. A small amount of material with appropriate citation of the source could be considered fair use for educational purposes, but be careful not to go too far. If anyone knows of a service where the original creator of the file is providing it free of charge, of course, that's fair game.

The best way to get better at listening is to listen to a lot of native speakers. If you're near a university, sometimes they have "conversation partner" arrangements, where people who want to learn foreign languages agree to meet and chat with each other. Another option is to rent Japanese DVDs (I know Netflix has some for people who use that service) with Japanese captions turned on. (Don't watch them with English subtitles, because you will be reading, not listening.)

I also found that, for me, learning more vocabulary helped. You know how when you learn a new word, you seem to hear it being used all over the place, though you had never heard it before? That same principle applies. After you learn a new vocabulary word, it becomes easier to hear it when people say it.

A third thing to keep in mind is that you can analyze the kinds of listening questions that you are likely to be asked. Based on the pictures in the test booklet, you can form an idea of what you should be listening for. For example, if the booklet shows four pictures of houses, and they are only different in a few ways (the tree is on the LEFT side, the tree is on the RIGHT side, it has a WHITE roof, it has a BLACK roof, etc.), then those key words are going to be in the listening portion. Listen for those key words, and you will have a much better chance of getting the correct answer than if you try to take in the entire conversation.

Edited at 2010-09-15 12:41 pm (UTC)
16th-Sep-2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the suggestions! m(_ _)m I'm trying to be very careful with that and in fact, I spent a lot of money this year in books, although I ripped the CDs because I prefer to hear them in my iPod. I only shared the files with my teacher for educational purposes and with my best friend who took the 3kyuu last year. This is why I'm not only asking for files, but also for recs in books or other kind of material.

The problem is the place where I live is very small and we don't have here such things like "conversation partner" arrangements in Japanese. I think I was lucky enough to have found a Japanese native with cheap rates to teach me XDDD

But I'd probably try to rent or borrow Japanese DVDs and hear them with subs. One of my classmates is quite fluent at conversation because he watches lots of videos without subtitles.
15th-Sep-2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
turn off subtitles and watch TV.
Read a bilingual book -- Japanese two or three times, English once.
I like "Reading Real Japanese" and "Breaking Into Japanese" for these. I believe both of them come with an audio tape, so you could just listen to the tapes, and try to translate it the first few time you hear it into English yourself, and then go back later to compare your understanding with the English version.
16th-Sep-2010 08:28 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the advices! ^^ I took a look at those books, and they have received good feedback and reviews so I guess I'll have to give them a try. Are they suitable for intermediate students? ^^

Your username seemed familiar to me and I wasn't wrong XD You're also in the learning Japanese community, aren't you? XD I posted there something and you also replied me XD Double thanks!
16th-Sep-2010 09:52 am (UTC)
Also, not sure if you have access to them, but Japanese drama CDs of anime/manga are awesome for listening comprehension!
16th-Sep-2010 10:11 am (UTC)
Ah, drama CDs. They bring me good memories XDDD I used to hear lots of drama CDs back then when I had no idea of Japanese, but I enjoyed listening to seiyuu's voices! For some reason, nowadays I don't hear them as I used to.

Thanks for your wise suggestion! I think listening to drama CDs is a good way to improve my comprehension while having fun. Now it's time to fill my iPod!
11th-Oct-2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
The level is maybe too easy but try http://mykikitori.com/ later lessons?
19th-Oct-2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'll give it a try ^^
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