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:
- DO NOT WATCH DORAEMON WITH ENGLISH-SUBTITLES!!!!! -
- 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!
- This will improve your reading speed, kanji readings, grammar structure, spelling and help to understand any vocabulary you don't know
- Revise this newly learnt vocab and then re-watch the episode again later - REPEAT
- Slowly break down the episode and focus on the main sections you didn't understand at first
- 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
DORAEMON RAW WITH JAPANESE SUBTITLES:
DORAEMON RAW (JAPANESE):https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi33DMCbGyz4DXfuerMXyEQ/videos
Also, if you want to use Japanese subs, try this website:
http://www.kitsunekko.net/dirlist.php?dir=subtitles%2Fjapanese%2FDoraemon%2FThe 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.
DORAEMON RAW MANGA VOLUME 1-45:
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 ~