Shadowing: Three Examples!

Prepare yourself to laugh at some fun attempts to shadowing. We’ll be shadowing three sources, the ever fun and entertaining show, 毎日かあさん, a drama called 弁護士のくず、which as the title suggests is a drama about a lawyer, and a randomly chosen clip from TV Tokyo.

When shadowing we follow some really basic guidelines and don’t stress to much on it otherwise:

  1. shadow less than 5 minutes. In fact, most of my shadowing is 1-2mins, even taking in account lulls where no one is talking
  2. mimic them completely. If they’re freaking out, freak out with them! If they’re doing laughs, laugh with them, so forth and so on.
  3. roll over mess ups, mumble to keep up, even if what you say is nothing like it, keep trying, do anything but stop talking
  4. wear headphones, makes it easier to hear
  5. reading scripts when shadowing is fine, tv or movies that have subs is acceptable, in fact wanted!

The following examples will also follow these guideline for you viewing pleasure:

  1. The audio has not been listened to before hand, except in passing when the shows were watched. They were not focused on, so our shadowing is like any other shadowing attempt we’d do.
  2. we will only record once! enjoy our foolish mumbles and attempts!

Everyday Kaasan : 毎日かあさん

This is an early episode and of the three we shadowed, was the easiest.




The Lawyer Kuzu : 弁護士のくず

Probably by far the hardest of the three to shadow. This one is full of lots of diverse vocabulary and fast talking!




TV Tokyo : テレビ東京

Randomly recorded station and program. So it ended up being a show about some businesses and produce and what not, so nothing in particular, a few interviews, and that’s the gist. I would say this is in between the other two in difficulty.




Deciding what to shadow

There is a lot of controversy about what to shadow, how long to shadow, and so forth. Everyone has to sit down though and make that decision for themselves. But for me, this is how I go about shadowing.


 I mean it. I shadow anything, everything, all things! There isn’t anything below me, just tons and tons of stuff to shadow. Podcasts, tv shows, anime, dramas, live conversations, movies, music, porn, you name it, I shadow it! The reason I do not discriminate is because all these things are Japanese, all Japanese people can understand and imitate these things too. No, I do not talk like an anime character when I speak Japanese, but I have no problem understanding them either. I shadow boys, I shadow girls, I shadow old gangsters, I shadow anyone. Though I focus on lots of female shadowing in podcasts and live conversation over others, I do not prohibit shadowing just because they are not female, or not of the source I really want. Its all valuable time well spent.

Give a Hand

I personally want to give a clapping of hands to Pandachan at this moment. It takes guts to put our really bad attempts to shadowing up on the web for people to hear, especially when you are as new to Japanese as she is. Pandachan has only been studying Japanese for maybe 2-3ish months. That’s very basic, and while she may now know about 500 kanji, and keeps herself as immersed as possible, she’s still a beginner at trying to make the sounds associated with Japanese, and speak quickly with them. But that is precisely why I wanted her to shadow for us. I wanted to show you a pure example of a beginner shadowier, and what you’re going to sound like. She even laughed at herself in the Bengoshi feed because she realized that this was something she just was seemingly failboating. But the truth is, she didn’t. She said several words in there and that’s better than no words! That’s the start, that’s the way its suppose to be….mumble mumble mumble WORD! I’ve only been shadowing for maybe 6 months on and off, but I’ve had a much longer history of listening to Japanese when taking care of my daughter (about 3+ years worth of immersion to be exact). So my example is of an intermediate shadowier, probably. So if you’re a beginner in shadowing, understand that you will not be mimicking with the greatness, not yet, but you will if you keep with it!

Ps from the Panda. I have to say, I hope that my mumblings–er shadowing!!!– is helpful to all of those beginners who are “struggling” with shadowing (I quote struggling because you can’t really fail at it). Trust me, I know. I suggest you record yourself in the very beginning, maybe once every week. Slowly and slowly you’ll sound better and better :). Just compare Mikoto and I!

Don’t have a Mic to record yourself? GET ONE, no seriously. Later on when you want to chat with Japanese speakers, this will come in handy ;)!

6 Responses to “Shadowing: Three Examples!”
  1. adshap says:

    弁護士のくず! Love that show. It is very high level though.

    • mikotoneko says:

      弁護士のくず I think is my favorite drama ever. When I first watched it, beyond just hellos and stuff, I didn’t understand what was going on. That was two years ago. Now when I watch it, I understand so much that it amazes me. I think its good to have something like that, letting you see just how much you’ve improved over time.

  2. SakuraDreams says:

    This is such a great post. I stumbled upon it when I was researching shadowing. Very encouraging. Thanks!

    • PandaChan says:

      Thank you so very much for commenting. I never knew if my mumbling helped anyone 🙂

    • mikotoneko says:

      I’m glad it was helpful for you. I think a lot of people put really high expectations on themselves for shadowing native materials. I just wanted to show the internet community that when you start out, or even have been doing it for a while, you will kinda suck at it, but that’s fine!

  3. SakuraDreams says:

    You’re welcome – definitely helped encourage me as I constantly go back and forth with Japanese as I wrote about here:
    I also read your post about creating a map – something I keep trying to do! がんばります!

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