Sunday, May 17, 2009

beginning to watch Japanese TV

I am beginning to watch TV in Japanese now. I've started with DVDs. I watched over 6 hours on Saturday and I made a new YouTube video in Japanese last night. We'll be able to see how much change there is over time. It depends on just how much watching or listening I do.

If you want to see what I have done since I spoke to Steve, you can look at my Google document here. I will put this link on the right side of the blog as well. This document is formatted differently than my document for the TV method for Chinese. I have added any significant speaking events to it.

I remembered recently that I can go to the library and check out 2 DVDs there. There's not really a very good selection at the library. There are no TV dramas there. They have more foreign films than they do Japanese ones. I would expect there to be more NHK documentaries and such than what is available now. I think the main problem with the library is that they have many branches throughout the town and so the collection is split up.

There is a series called 日本の巨匠, which means Japan's Masters. I think there were 50 discs with about 1 hour each. Each disc has 4 episodes of this series. Each episode is about a master painter, artist, craftsman, etc. It's not dialogue like a usual conversation. There is some narration and there is the master telling his or her story including pictures of their works. It seems they started this series about 30 years ago, or during the 1980s. Each person has something they want to tell to the people of the next century (21st). It's not super exciting, but I'm going to try watching through all of it. I watched the first 2 discs yesterday, and today I checked out the 3rd disc.

There's a 2-disc check out limit at the library. The other disc I checked out today is called bluestockings in English, but the actual title is 自由恋愛 by Masato Harada. It's some kind of love story. It looks like the disc has some extras on it.

The discs from the library have something attached to them that they call an IC tab. I guess it's to make the alarm sound if you try to sneak the disc out of the library. Friday, I put the first one into my Mac Mini before reading the warning not to put the discs into a slot loading DVD player. My computer was OK, but I guess I'd better not take any chances, so I'll just use my portable DVD player to watch these.


  1. Hi it's siriusgirl. Which library do you use? I used to go to the Mita library in Minato-ku. The library also have several branches throughout the town, but has a booking system that allows you to reserve DVDs in other branches and pick them up at your desired library...

  2. I go to the library in my town, outside of the 23 wards. They also have an online reservation system, but that won't help me know if the DVDs look interesting or not. I'd have to know what I'm looking for in order for that to be helpful.

  3. I see.. I suppose you should check out amazon Japan to read reviews or plot of the DVDs in advance if the items are of your interest. It might help. Ganbatte:)

  4. Any reason you're counting speaking as listening? Many times you're speaking half of the time, while you're often also thinking about what you're going to say when the other is speaking. Doesn't look too effective to me to count as listening.

  5. Sorry to have confused you. I'm not counting speaking as listening. In my Japanese document I'm keeping track of all of my activities that I am doing for my Japanese improvement. Activities that I would not otherwise be doing. I will put speaking and reading activities in the document also. So it's not just TV, not just input. The only reason I am keeping track of everything is to try and provide an honest picture of what I am doing. I have lived in Japan for 6 years and I still have trouble speaking Japanese. I am my own proof that just living in a country won't automatically make you fluent. I studied Japanese and I got a job in a Japanese company which I have been with for 4 years and that's still not enough. I know I need more immersion. That's where the TV method comes in. I know speaking won't make it easier for me to speak, but I want to be honest and show what I am doing as much as I can show. I can't document the time at work where I listen or speak to coworkers, but I've been doing that for a long time so I don't think it's necessary to document that since it's just a part of life.


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