So, my latest project is watching this video:
Why this video?
Why not? I like dogs. Also, because it is scripted, everything should be clear with no stumbling or fumbling for words, nobody changing thoughts in mid-sentence and nobody talking over anybody else.
(A Japanese friend sends me short audio clips in English to transcribe for him, and his clips have all of the above problems. They drive him nuts.)
My problem is that it’s pretty fast, so I wanted to slow it down. Audacity to the rescue. Audacity is a free program much favored by musicians, because one of its features is the ability to slow down playback without changing the pitch. The sound quality of the slowed-down playback isn’t exactly pristine, but it’s good enough for my purposes, and now I can catch every single syllable.
Step one was to rip the audio from the video and then use Audacity to break the audio into multiple sections. I took section one and slowed it waaaaaay down, got what was being said and then gradually sped it back up to normal speed. Now, when I listen at normal speed, I can hear everything. (As you get closer to normal speed, the audio quality gets better and better.)
Next up, part 2.
The idea here is that, hopefully, after listening a bit, I will have to use this technique less and less, but, for now, it’s working for me.
After part one, I felt somewhat accustomed to the way the narrator speaks and tried part two (the section about ハチ公) without slowing anything down but with repeated listenings, and I got it. There are at least two words in there that I don’t know, but I understand what is being said. Progress!