Japanese With Japanese Drama: A Self-Paced Way to Learn


Learning Japanese with Japanese series helps the viewer learn the language to start a conversation with a friend from Japan or engage in a workplace discussion. Though the language can be learned by watching Japanese movies, making it into a habit is difficult as not everyone would spend two hours regularly watching movies. Therefore, watching Japanese series is a more efficient way of learning the language as they last for a maximum of 40 minutes to an hour.

Learning the language from Japanese drama requires a sustained effort from learners, and they should watch the series for several months to a year without breaks. Watching drama series on a sustained basis helps increase the vocabulary and the listening comprehension of the learner.

Which Japanese Drama to Choose?

Choosing a relatively easy drama can ease the pressure on learners. It is ideally recommended to watch comedy-dramas for their simple yet entertaining story. However, if the learner does not feel comfortable watching a comedy-drama, then he or she should switch to a genre he or she likes.

Learners must select the drama that they like, especially in the beginner and intermediate levels, as the learner has to watch it repeatedly. Choosing to watch an uninteresting drama might be detrimental to the overall process and reduce the learner’s interest in learning Japanese.

Japanese can be best learned from dramas when the dramas best reflect the everyday life in Japan. Though learners may find historical dramas interesting, it is advisable not to start watching them right away as they may contain complicated historical terms beyond the learner’s scope. If the learner’s expertise level in Japanese is more than intermediate, he or she can watch dramas like “The Concierge (Hotel Concierge),” which are set in a workplace. Watching workplace dramas helps learners learn about the Japanese business culture and the usage of “keigo” or polite language.

Which Japanese Dramas to not Choose?

It is also advisable for learners not to watch Japanese drama with standard Japanese dialogues. Though there are dramas with Kansai accents and various dialects set in rural areas, they are not suitable for learning the language. Carnation is a popular Japanese drama but is not suitable for learning the language.

Learning with Japanese Dramas

For beginners of the Japanese language, getting used to speaking and the intonation of the native Japanese speakers is essential. Subtitles are vital for beginners in Japanese with little knowledge because a beginner recognizes the language only by sound. Beginners should try to watch Japanese dramas with subtitles. If they feel it is too much, the learners should switch to anime and kid programs like Doraemon.

A Japanese intermediate learner should be able to understand a short Japanese sentence thoroughly. It is not possible to catch the entire meaning of the sentence. However, they should be able to catch at least half of the sentence. Advanced Japanese learners should try to watch Japanese dramas without subtitles as it helps in listening skills.

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