So, my project last night was to immerse myself in Japanese.  I decided to watch something in Japanese without subtitles.  I picked something I was already familiar with so that I knew I would be be able to follow the story, but not something that I could actually quote, so I couldn’t cheat by already knowing the lines in English.

My choice was My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), a lovely animated film from 1988.  I figured it would have a lot of everyday Japanese, and the characters range from very younger kids to older kids to adults to older adults, so you get a range of voices.

I understood some things but often whole sentences just went in one ear and out the other.  That got me wondering…so I did a search for “totoro vocabulary” and, what do you know, memrise to the rescue again!

I found a course labeled with this picture:


And this description:

Learn the vocabulary used in the film My Neighbour Totoro in order to watch without English/Japanese subtitles. [Last update: 4th March 2015]
Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway) I quickly added that course to my dashboard.  The course contains a grand total of 212 words, which ought to be plenty.  I can certainly find 10 or 15 minutes a day to add this into my study regimen.
This is going to be even more fun.  And, of course, once I get this down, it’ll help with other movies, too.  I”ll to stick with movies that are likely to have a lot of everyday vocabulary, so the next one might be Up on Poppy Hill.
Getting to the point where doing this kind of thing begins to seem reasonable is a great motivator to keep going.  It simply gets more and more fun as you go, so, if you’re in the early, boring stages, hang in there.  It gets lots better!

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