YouTubed away

I am sure I am not the only one to get lost in YouTube, going to check something relevant and ending up watching cows opening doors with their horns.

YouTube really is a world in itself, where you can learn many things and loose a lot of your precious time, too. Well, I have decided that I would allow myself to get lost in YouTube only if I am watching videos in Japanese. And it works. Instead of just taking a break and/or loosing my time, I take a break and I make some listening practice and I re-boost my motivation.

Working only with textbooks can disconnect ourselves with the “real” language, as it is used by native speakers. YouTube is a gift for language learners as it gives a free and easy access to tons of materials in the target language. When I hear Japanese people speaking Japanese, it boosts my motivation and makes me want to get better to understand everything they say.

Today I landed on the channel HikakinTV. I think that videos where someone just talk about something (a book, a video game, make-up, DIY stuff, a film…) are perfect to listen to some “authentic” language. You really hear how people actually use their language.

I am quite happy with my discovery because today I watched this video where Hikakin presents a new way of eating instant ramen. I don’t really care about instant ramen (though I may try, one day) but I have studied some days ago a lesson devoted to “cooking” vocabulary in my preparatory book for the JLPT. It was quite a boring lesson because I hate vocabulary related to cooking in general. Moreover, I have now those cooking related words that keep harassing me when I study my anki deck.

On the video, many words I learnt appeared, like 鍋、茹でる、混ぜる、出来上がり and others. Especially, I had trouble remembering こぼれる which means “to spill”, “to fall out”, “to overflow”. I was sceptic about this word because I had the feeling that I already knew a word to convey the idea that a liquid is spilled, so I felt suspicious and mistrustful about this newcomer in my anki deck. In the video, Hikakin actually spilled some water out of the pan, so the water is spilled and he says: こぼれちゃった in such a funny voice that I am sure I will never forget this word! YouTube really transforms boring words into fun ones.

That’s it for this post, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts about YouTube and language learning.

In case you are interested in instant ramen: