Monday, 21 April 2014

JAPANESE LEARNING TIP#1: How 'doraemon' can help you learn Japanese ! 「ドラえもん」

I've recently become a fan of Doraemon! (*´ω`*) 

Doraemon is a famous Japanese manga and anime loved by all Japanese children and adults, and even abroad! The story goes about a robotic cat named Doraemon, who is sent from the future to help a young boy named Nobita. Whenever Nobita is being bullied or in trouble, Doraemon comes to his aid. Doaremon pulls out a special, magic gadget from his pocket which ends up saving Nobita, but also sometimes causes more trouble. The other main characters of the series include: Shizuka a neighbourhood girl who is the love interest of Nobita, Gian and Sueno who are also neighbourhood kids that often bully Nobita. 
Doraemon's endless pocket

Doraemon is a super great anime/manga improve my Japanese with! Which is why everyday I'm watching at least one-four 12 minute episodes of Doraemon. 

What I want and need right now to improve my Japanese 
I've been studying Japanese for approximately 2 years now. My language level is approximately the bottom end of intermediate level, so I have a long way to go with my Japanese! My strong point is speaking/listening and my weak point is kanji. And as a keen language learner, I'm always looking for new ways to improve my Japanese and also quicken the road to fluency. 

So... at the moment:

I want to increase my vocabulary bank! Vocabulary is a huge list in any language, especially in Japanese. (Words aren't re-used as often as in English, they sound similar and it seems like there are different words for everything !!! - my personal opinion) 

I've been watching J-dramas/movies, Japanese interviews and more Japanese TV-shows for a few years now, however despite improving my listening skills and pronunciation, none of them are really benefiting me the way I want right now.

So why is Doraemon perfect for Japanese language learners - especially at a low intermediate level or higher?
  • At my current level, I can already understand 55-70% of the dialogue 
    • This creates a base for my learning - and I can improve more easily with this base 
  • Everyday colloquial language is used and at a basic level
    • I'm not exposed to this in the classroom 
  • Doraemon is aimed at children (5 years +), therefore the language is easier to comprehend compared to adult/teenage language
    • N.B. Some language may be somewhat irrelevant, since children need to learn everything, strange/uncommon words are used to increase their vocabulary bank
    • At the moment my aim is to learn important and common words used   
  • I pick up new, necessary and useful vocabulary, phrases and grammar all the time 
  • Doraemon is often referenced in Japanese television shows, daily life and I'll need to understand these references one day
    • For example Doraemon's gadgets - 'anywhere door' or 'time machine' 
  • I can deepen my understanding of Japanese culture and customs to some extent
    • Doraemon often incorporates aspects of Japanese culture - some of which I do not know about yet
  • Doraemon uses furigana in the manga
    • I can learn new kanji

How to utilise Doraemon the anime as your learning aid in 5 simple steps:

    • I cannot stress this enough - you will read the English instead of listening to the Japanese. You may think/believe you can improve your Japanese by seeing the English then translating it, but you won't!! Eng-sub's are distraction and a HINDRANCE!
  2. Watch Doraemon with Japanese subtitles and read them
    • This will improve your reading speed, kanji readings, grammar structure, spelling and help to understand any vocabulary you don't know
  3. Write down/take a mental note of any vocabulary you find important in any particular episode
    •  Revise this newly learnt vocab and then re-watch the episode again later - REPEAT
  4. Do not try to learn or understand everything in one episode straight away
    • Slowly break down the episode and focus on the main sections you didn't understand at first
  5. Enjoy watching/reading Doraemon
    • Unless you enjoy this series, you won't improve a lot. 
    • If Doraemon isn't suited to your tastes, pick another show/manga at a similar level. [I recommend クレヨンしんちゃん - Crayon Shin Chan] If Doraemon becomes too simple for you, change your learning aid to a more difficult one and use the same techniques 
    • If you really can't stand children shows, try adult/teenage shows - but you must realise they will be more difficult to learn from

Where can I watch Doaremon?

Watching one 12 minute episode everyday is achievable, it takes no time at all! It's a relaxing and enjoyable way to study. There are over 1000 episodes of Doraemon, so I can easily find episodes on the internet, especially on youtube. You can watch these for free and you'll never have a shortage of episodes (haha). 

I searched 'Doraemon ep Japanese dub' into youtube and various results came up. I began my study with Doaremon using videos with a Japanese dub but without Japanese subtitles, since they are difficult to find. However I found this was difficult to improve my Japanese with, because I needed to use the Japanese sub.

However I finally and luckily came across a youtube channel which uploads the LATEST Doraemon episodes with Japanese subtitles. 

Youtube channels with Doraemon episodes




Also, if you want to use Japanese subs, try this website:
The download will provide you only with the Japanese subtitles, which you then need to add to your downloaded video.

Where can I read Doraemon?

I plan on buying Doraemon manga next time I visit Japan, since one manga book costs around $5. I want to buy the manga because I prefer owning a hard copy and I can write my own annotations. If you also want to buy Doraemon, try your local kinokuniya store or ordering it online.

Doraemon manga is also available online! I found a great website which has 45 raw volumes scanned online, as well an information section about Doraemon. 


I hope you found this blog post useful and that you'll also become a Doraemon fan in no time.

Please let me know what sources you use to improve you Japanese in the comment section below! 
\(^o^)/ And, if you do use doraemon the way I am, let me know how it is going for you.

I'm also thinking of starting a blog post series about Japanese learning tips, so keep posted for that. Thanks for reading! Cya  ~ 


  1. Thanks for all theses links! I was looking for some easy anime with Japanese subtitiles and I couldn't find any. Good luck!

    1. You're very welcome (*^^*)
      Thanks and I hope you can improve your Japanese too. 頑張ってください.

  2. arigatou gozaimasu tasukkatanaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  3. The japanese sub channel has been banned :( where I can found the japanese sub anymore?


      Abit late but incase you couldn/t find.. also there is links to the newer series on the right

    2. You can watch Doraemon on youtube, my channel

  4. Thank you for the advise.

    I love Doraemon!

    Pretty hard to find videos with Japanese sub titles in general. Any leads?

    1. You can watch Doraemon on youtube, my channel

  5. Doraemon Games: Play the best Doraemon Games online free for everyone! We update Nobita games, Doraemon Dress Up games, Doraemon Fisshing games, all Doraemon games online. Go now

  6. Thanks so much but 3 channels you recommended are Chinese subtitles TT-TT

  7. Great and informative blog, I am at the same level you are at, and I felt like I was getting nowhere watching raw adult level Japanese tv shows, so hopefully watching Doraemon raw will help my comprehension level!

  8. It is nice to see that you have applied learn and fun method to teach Japanese online. I would like to recommend a simple web tool , where you can find easy to understand stories and news with Japanese examples and there pronunciation.

  9. Tang from Taiwan14 June 2017 at 17:10

    I am obviously to late, since all the videos have been removed from the sites Sarah recommended. I couldn't agree with Sarah's points of learning Japanese, or whatever foreign language. Where to find Doraemon with images, sounds, and Japanese titles? Please advise.

    1. You can watch Doraemon on youtube, my channel

  10. Great job you describe the japanese language learning tips in this blog by using animation cartoon in can also learn japanese language from here japanese language course

  11. i hope this be usefel to me, thank you!

  12. 2時間前に、姫路の友達に漢字ゲームが分かっているかどうか聞いた。 彼女は私にこのリンクを送った

    頭痛い !漢字とても気狂いです。皆さん、頑張りましょう。

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  14. Everybody can watch Doraemon on youtube, my channel

    Please, check it

  15. Hi Sarah,

    This post is awesome... I was thinking about this last week and google it now and find your blog.

    I think we need to love the process before we can master the language.

    Btw how are JNLP grade you have been taken?

  16. Is there a list with vocabulary to help if I want to read the manga? I can understand some of the words and sentences, but to look on the diciontary constantly is so annoying...

    Thanks in advance, I loved your post :)

  17. OW, I used to watch Doraemon, when I was a child. In a search by the relevance of use Doraemon to learn japanese, I found you. Thanks! :D