Anime as context for learning Japanese

I’ve previously discussed using anime to support one’s Japanese studies, where I pointed out that it is very possible to do so.

Recently, this topic of discussion came up with a friend who also studies Japanese, and we determined that context can be very useful for learning any language, and in the case of Japanese that context may very well be the anime you watch. Just remembering a scene where a word is used can be enough to recall the meaning of something.

It might be looked down upon, but hey, whatever works, right?

Actually, more than anime and remembering vocabulary, I feel that making mental connections can be very useful in learning kanji. As an example, while studying with the help of flash cards I came across the word 油断 or “to be off-guard” and I immediately recognized it for one reason and one reason only.

Yuuda S(hi)ta!

Of course, don’t rely totally on anime, and don’t let it be the sole focus of your studies.


3 thoughts on “Anime as context for learning Japanese

  1. For me, it’s not much anime as context, but the same words are used frequently in anime. With this, you have some sort of core vocabulary made up of the most essential words of the language. Not only that, because the same words are being used, you have repeated recall of sentence structures and eventually it would be embedded on you, same as with mental connections you mentioned.

    But actually, it’s not anime that propelled me to pass the JLPT4, rather it’s being in Japan itself, and maybe watching raw TV even though I don’t get a percentage of what is being said.


  2. I agree with you. Anything can be used as a study material. Some people say that anime and manga are not “proper” sources, but as long as you understand the difference between the way people talk in anime and real world, and situations certain speech can be used, it will be beneficial. Since vivid images can significantly improve retention, anime and manga are good memory stimulants.


  3. Damn, I knew my current problem was relying ‘too much’ on anime as a ‘study guide’…
    But yes, learning any language through visual and audio mediums, or rather using them to augment your learning of them is definitely a good technique, especially when your mind doesn’t key on the fact that “you may actually be learning something here”, but you unconsciously do anyway.


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