Films offer some of the best ways to absorb a language.
Undeniably, movies leave a profound impact on the mind. Nothing is more impacting than the visual spectacle. Of all the five senses, sight lasts longer than any other senses.
And in movies, there are a plethora of sights and sounds!
Learning Japanese languages through movies and films outsprints any other known methods to learn the language. Japanese movies provide you a route to get acclimatized to the speech patterns, accents, phonetics, inflexions of Japanese languages typified by native speakers.
Quality films unfold the vistas of cultures, societies and life patterns of the land to a significant extent. It’s a great blend of entertainment and learning together.
Come, let’s learn some more aspects of the Japanese film language!
How watching movies helps to learn Japanese?
Learning a language through movies is like a beautiful road trip.
Let’s understand like this. We had often loved songs in our childhood because of the rhythm, the music, a particular musical instrument like the violin or the mouth organ or the guitar used in the composition though we didn’t understand a single word of it.
To learn Japanese from movies is like that. You will be introduced to a world without a prior knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of the language. You’ll learn and observe how each word sounds, the stress and delivery of the words with intonations. This will keep you engaged.
You might start watching the movie as an alien beginner or a hopeful aspirant of the language, but you end up being a movie buff of Japanese movies. Despite not knowing grammar or whatever rules the Japanese languages have, you’ll observe that an attachment has already grown between you and the language deep down.
You not only sit back and enjoy a movie, but also you get immersed into it. That is the first step towards learning. Unwittingly, you get familiar with the language regardless of the fact that you haven’t understood a single word of the language.
You get to see and feel how the language is spoken as every language entails a body language.
Watching Japanese movies will help you crack the Japanese test like the JLPT exam.
You learn while you are at the center of it!
The best films to learn Japanese according to your level
1. The best films to learn Japanese for beginners
Would you love to have some Dora cakes?
Surely, your appetite for animation films and cartoons is incomplete if you haven’t watched this popular Japanese anime.
A must-watch for beginners and all age groups for its basic vocabulary and simple witty storyline.
Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix are some of the best places to watch it.
IMDB rating : 8.0
Source : https://www.hotstar.com/in/tv/doraemon/1260021004
It is always a treat to watch this popular Japanese anime series. Chirubii, the cute, dancing rabbit is such an adorable darling. The narrative style with a beautiful background music will enhance your enthusiasm to watch it more.
Chirubii is for children, but while watching we would forget that we are not children anymore. While watching Chirubii, you learn only when you listen carefully.
This animation series has a simple and lucid vocabulary perfectly crafted for beginners. Though it is made for kids, it engages the attention of all age groups.
At the center of this popular Japanese anime is Sazae San, a 24-year-old woman. Her family constitutes her husband, parents, her siblings, and her son.
You’ll get a real glimpse of the typical conversations Japanese people.
Never miss the flavour!
IMDB rating : 7.4
Source : https://ww3.gogoanime2.org/anime/sazae-san
2. The best films/TV shows to learn Japanese for intermediate level
Why did you come to Japan?
Yes, why did you…?
This show kickstarts from an airport. People will answer to an interviewer why they landed on Japan. Everyone has their own reasons and will say it in Japanese. The dialogue and accents are not difficult to understand.
The best part is you learn Japanese while being entertained.
Almost all the episodes of this show are available on YouTube.
Your Japanese learning journey will gain momentum when you go through the 12 episodes of this entertaining show.
A time-travelling man wants to travel back in time to prevent a murder. Mysteries keep unfolding as the viewers march on.
Netflix is the right place where you can watch it.
Imdb rating : 8.5
Source : https://www.netflix.com/title/80114225
Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu
When romantic comedies meet drama, it becomes really appetizing.
This Japanese romantic drama sketches a beautiful narrative of a wealthy young woman called Reiko Shiratori who falls for a man who is little less than a match for her socially.
Viewers would be captivated by this drama owing to its simple and vivid narrative style. The film language is easy to grasp for intermediate level learners of Japanese language.
This is a Japanime anime series that centres around a main character called Light. A manga and a live-action version of the cartoon is also available for your delight. If a person’s name finds a place in the book, a death note is issued, that is, the person dies. The storyline is intriguingly compelling.
This cartoon is always on the list for learning Japanese language by intermediate learners.
IMDB rating : 9.0
Source : https://www.netflix.com/in/title/70204970?source=35
3. Best films to learn Japanese for Advanced level
Do you need an introduction to this movie and Akira Kurosawa as well? Well, here we go!
This is Akira Kurosawa’s one of the greatest masterpieces.
Seven Samurai features a poverty-stricken village frequently ravished by a group of bandits. The already impoverished villagers plan to commission a group of 7 Samurai. The Samurai are so moved by their plight and wretchedness that they decide to help them in lieu of nothing.
This classic will shape up a different perspective on film.
IMDB rating : 8.6
Source : : https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-English-Subtitled-Toshiro-Mifune/dp/B004D1AIZ4
The movie has dialogue and speech patterns that has the flavour of a regional Japanese dialect.
The film language is unique.
This 3 and a-half hour epic will never let you to get distracted with its plot, story and characterization with their speech and accents.
When the cost of living pushes too hard, people resort to queer means to eke out a living.
This award winning-movie has abject poverty at its centre. The family around which the plot and storyline revolves is a shoplifter.
The film focusses on certain important social structures of Japan.
IMDB rating : 7.8
Source : https://www.amazon.com/Shoplifters-Lily-Franky/dp/B07KQG7VDS
Vocabularies are easily comprehendible as dialogue and speech patterns adhere to actions and body language.
This movie is highly recommended for a good learning experience.
This motion picture has a simple and vivid storyline that revolves around a man selling dorayaki, a great Japanese confection.
Sentaro the protagonist hires the services of a woman named Tokue who specialises in the preparation of dorayaki. When Tokue contracts an unknown disease, Sentaro drives her away.
This is a dark movie, and the masterpiece is a must-watch for an avid movie-buff.
IMDB rating : 7.4
Source : https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Bean-Kirin-Kiki/dp/B01KMPN6YE
Emotions characterize the dialogue and speech pattern. The delivery of the language is less complicated.
The prominent part is it helps us know more about Japan’s prejudices, history and philosophy of living.
Tips on learning Japanese through Movies
There are many ways to learn Japanese through movies.
Let’s take the first step.
Yes, you got that right!
Subtitles. Watch a movie with subtitles so that you do not end up being nowhere.
After doing it watch it without subtitles. Now you can have a rough idea of what is happening as the story is already there at the back of mind.
Go back and forth and watch many scenes that you’ve in your list of liking. You can grasp something what the characters say.
One of the most effective methods is watch every word in a scene repeatedly so that you absorb the accent, pattern, intonation and every bit of it. This method requires a lot of time and discipline.
Watch as many Japanese movies you can. Innately you are there at the heart of the language. Unknowingly you’ll be in love with language. Yes, you are already there!
When you watch movies of all genre of a language, you become a great sailor in the ocean.
Learning Japanese through movies is definitely the first step toward your learning the language with passion.
Advantages of learning Japanese through Movies
To play without passion is most unwelcome.
In Japan there are around 47 dialects. The country is small but the repertoire is rich and big enough to confuse one which one to pick.
Japanese movies do not follow the standard Japanese that is meant for official communication. Japanese regional dialects are most frequently and uniformly used for each movie. That creates the depth of characterization with a formidable script.
Japanese movies, anime series and tv shows are watched through out the world great vigour and passion. Learning Japanese through movies is a great tool to go forward.
When you are travelling in Japan, you’ll find that all the people do not speak the same Japanese. Movies get you ready for that. Each Japanese movie provides you an insight into the indispensable configurations of culture, language and society of each linguistic community.
Films are such an amazing tool to develop a bond between the language and the learner!