Guide for Intermediate & Advanced Learners

  • Is something unclear? Contact me (“?” to the right).
  • We’ll use Anki and movie flashcards to step through the plot of a movie in bite-size chunks.
  • Learning is most efficient, when you focus on flashcards with easy sentences.
  • Everything that’s too difficult gets deleted in order to make learning fast.
  • The jlab Anki addon helps to quickly resolve unknown things.
  • Repeating sentences with flashcards for a few days will drastically improve your skills.
  • Reading skills are not required.

Once you’re familiar with the basics of Japanese, you can seriously start to study with movies. This will teach you as many words as you like and ultimately leads to perfect, fluent listening comprehension and good reading skills. In order to start, you need to learn the basics of Japanese grammar and should know around 1000 words. Being able to read Japanese is not required, jlab teaches this along the way.

Bad news first: You won’t learn much from just watching movies, at least not until you reach upper intermediate / advanced level. Instead, we’ll use movie flashcards, which will lead you through the plot step by step. You can repeat what’s being said as often as you like for leveling up your listening comprehension. Jlab’s tools help you quickly figure out unknown things. If you remember a card, Anki will show it again at increasing time intervals, which will boost your skills. Afterwards, you’ll be able to watch the movie without subtitles.

  • Download and install Anki, it will manage your flashcards. Get it here.
  • Install our Anki addon (Anki -> Tools -> Addons -> Get Addons, then paste the id: 2110939339).
  • Get a movie flashcard deck you like here.
  • Import the deck into Anki and start with “listening comprehension”.
  • Select text on your flashcards to resolve unknown words.
  • For more features, read the addon’s manual.

Easily comprehensible input will boost your learning speed, that’s why you should only focus on easy sentences. While movies are made for entertaining native speakers, they also contain lots of easy parts, that’s what we will dig out. Everything else will be deleted. Simply read the english translation if available, then press ctrl + del in Anki.

Here’s what you want to delete:

  • Boring parts
  • Difficult sentences
  • Things you’re not interested in
  • Cards that contain more than 1 unknown word or term
  • Cards you understand immediately

Here’s what to keep:

  • Only things you’re interested in
  • Cards with at most 1 unknown term
  • Cards without unknown words you don’t understand by listening comprehension immediately

Jlab splits learning into two parts: First, you resolve unknown words during listening comprehension, text on these flashcards should be displayed in roumaji, this way you’re not slowed down by the difficult Japanese writing systems. After a while, listening cards turn into reading cards. Since you already looked up all unknown words, you’re guaranteed to understand the sentences on these cards. Using Jlab’s kana and kanji trainer you can step by step mix in Japanese characters and practice reading them in an intuitive way. It’s also possible to have all cards display in kana or kanji right away, if you prefer this.

Studying with movies can be frustrating, because it will remind you of what you’re not yet able to understand every day. It is extremely important to get used to and ultimately to ignore this. Deleting difficult flashcards right away is absolutely essential here.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to delete your flashcards, in particular boring and difficult parts. Don’t ever be afraid of this! Ultimately, even the easier cards must be deleted to make room for lots of new content, the jlab addon automatically takes care of this.