[Course Forum] Japanese Drama Immersion (JDI) course series


Learn Japanese Dramas just like a language course so you can watch them without the need of English subtitles or dubbing.

Courses are generated using native Japanese dramas and their Japanese subtitles using the subs2srs program to break the drama down to sentence size segments with audio. Lessons are divided into 4 minute segments allow students to select the correct subtitle based on the spoken audio. Selected vocabulary outside the range of the JDI level (basic, intermediate, advanced) will also be provided.

Once a course is complete, the student will have a powerful reading and listening tool tailored for them. Students can watch the video as many times as possible, strip the audio and place it in a mobile device to listen to anywhere, or even print out the transcripts or subtitles to read while listening. After doing such with two or more JDI courses, students should start notice a significant improvement in their reading, listening and speaking abilities.

Disable Memrise Timer - Due to some of these courses having lengthy sample sentences being learned making timed tests difficult or impossible, the use of a Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey scripts to disable the Memrise Timer is highly recommended. Download it here: http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/174879

Drama Courses

JDI Study Group

Basic (Click Link to Join) - JDI Study Group

Complete Courses

JDI Basic - Hana Yori Dango ep 01
JDI Basic - Zettai Kareshi ep 01

In Progress Courses

JDI Basic - Rookies ep 01

Planned or Requested Courses

JDI Basic - Last Friends ep 01
JDI Basic - Around 40 ep 01
JDI Intermediate - Ryuusei no Kizuna ep 01


I think a bit (Careful! Clicking this link will add you to all the courses in this group.) would be nice next to all group links, if that is still the behaviour of groups. I didn’t think and clicked it but was quick enough to close the tab after I looked at the url before the page loaded.

And good work on the courses, I hope in a while most courses will look like this.

Added a warning. Thanks for the heads up.

So I’m still in the middle of the SGJL courses, but out of curiosity, I jumped into the first lesson of Hana Yori Dango and I’m a bit apprehensive about it. The description of the course is aware of the bad translations, which I’m assuming is due to subs2srs auto-translating the dialogue bit by bit, but I can’t help but feel the course would be astonishingly more efficient if the translations matched up to the stream’s translations.

The course does seem to have decent audio to Japanese text, so if I’m correct, the ultimate point of the course is to specifically train your listening comprehension, and hopefully you’re already good enough at vocab and grammar to dissect the meaning of the sentence without bothering with English translation at all. Which is cool and all, but from my limited exposure, it appears that there’s a lot of colloquialisms and expressions that the SGJL courses don’t cover, and would benefit from at least having an English translation that covers the gist of what’s being said. If the course gets popular enough, perhaps user-submitted mems could alleviate the problem, but I don’t think the course as is is very attractive.

If it’s simply a time-constraint issue, I wouldn’t mind parsing the stream’s translations myself, but I wouldn’t mind hearing your thoughts on the future of these courses.

The main translation came from D-Addicts website and was just some fan’s attempt at it. I just ran the subtitles through Google Translate and offered that up as well. The hope is that both of these along with looking up individual words and phrases get the point across.

One hope was that I or another that offered to be a contributer would go line by line and offer a better translation of the specific subtitle. Another hope was that users offered Memnotes to better explain not just the translation but the context.

For testing, yes, it’s meant ultimately to train listening picking the correct Japanese text while the two “translations” are fully visible in the notes. It basically is like what happens with the Core 2k/6k course (test audio to Japanese text). After that, I’d need feedback from others is if it’s working. Basically, can you watch the normal video up to the point you studied and sort of follow along without English subtitles? That’s the main point.

Here’s my “longish” plan. I upload a lot more courses in bulk. Basically, the first four episodes of each series that I pick. I also try to create a vocabulary list based that lists any word that hasn’t been learned up to a point (Basic means all Basic course words are stripped, Int II would mean all Intermediate II course vocabulary is stripped, etc), then post those and a rough definition in the four minute time segment it appears. If you look at Zettai Kareshi - Absolute Boyfriend you’ll see how I did this. There are some problems with it (lot of dupe English translations), but they can be managed and fixed. The definitions though should help a lot which leaves just phrases which again can be explained via Memnotes.

After that, I offer contributor status to any and all that ask and they can edit the course to their heart’s content though I’d ask that be limited to fixing vocabulary and translations only. Individual users can decide what lines to suspend/ignore.

The big reason for these immersion courses is to offer to others something that replicates the benefit I got a few years back when I did subs2srs dramas. The key is to finish the course then after that listen, re-listen and re-listen even more to the audio of the drama, preferable while reading along with a printout of the subtitles or even the transcript from Dramanote.


Alright, that does offer some clarity. Looking over the translations again for Hana Yori Dango again, I feel like you can kiiinda get by with the whack translations. The thing is, a lot of them don’t make a lot of sense when you’re drilling them, but once you see it in context of the stream, most of the time you can kinda see where the translations were trying to go. Some of them are still flat out wrong though or a bit mis-matched, but just a few corrections here and there would go a long way.

That said, I’m still spending most of my time going through the SGJL courses, but if you want, I could offer my services as a contributor. I’m roughly lower-intermediate status, but I think I could do a decent job with some corrections, (or at least do better than the machine translations) or just rip the stream translations. Sounds like decent practice either way. If you want, I can ask again once I’m finished with all the Basic courses.

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Wait till you’re done with SGJL 05 (Vocabulary) to decide on a JDI course. I’ll add you as a contributor and you can make edits as you deem fit. There’ll be a lot more JDI courses and one should not do all of them early on since the systematic learning is just as important.

Hana Yori Dango is a mess as it was my first attempt to make something functional partly in how the Japanese subtitles were laid out such as a lot of names in parenthesis which distract from the audio, plus I mistimed the clips so the audio starts a little too late.

I’ve been going through Zettai Kareshi and it’s much, much more smoother. In addition the method for vocabulary looks more doable. Plus the slang is much more minimal. I’m planning on adding Rookies as a counter (more males speaking), but the slang will be much higher. I’m worried as I’ve already done these years ago and to me they make sense in native Japanese now so having fresh eyes from a new learner on these will help so again, thanks for offering.

The biggest idea is that people should not have to spend too much time figuring these out and to have fun. It really is getting so one figures out the native audio in much the same way RTK helped people figure out the kanji. As such, I don’t want to spending time trying to drill what translations or figuring out what it should be in English. Its less translation and more comprehension. So during testing, if you hear the sentence but don’t quite know what it means, there’s the translation in the notes. Same goes for the vocabulary. For the situation or further explanation, that can go in the Memnotes.

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This looks really interesting. I haven’t done any JDI courses before.

I’m not ready to start just yet, but will look into it more in the future once I’ve progressed more in the courses I’m already working on at the moment.

I have never created or joined groups on Memrise before so I’m not sure how they work. Are there more advanced courses planned? I think I am more at the lower intermediate phase, though maybe a bit rusty.

At one point when I had more time, I would watch dramas without subtitles first and then rewatch them with subtitles. Didn’t understand a lot on my own, but I did see an improvement.

Ok, these are sort of meant as optional companion courses to people going through my Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy courses. For Basic (1000 Kanji, 2000 Vocabulary, Tae Kim Grammar level of knowledge), I’ll just stick with Hana Yori Dango, Rookies and Zettai Kareshi but I’ll create a course for each of the first four episodes.

For Intermediate One, (2000 Kanji, 4000 Vocabulary, 2/3 of ADoIJG level of knowledge), I’ll likely post Ryuusei no Kizuna, Odoru Daisousen and GTO 1998 for no other reason than I want to study them.

For Intermediate Two (3000 Kanji, 6000 Vocabulary, ADoIJG and 1/5th of ADoAJG level of knowledge), I’ll add in Jin, Tiger & Dragon and Death Note anime for similar reasons.

Beyond that, I’ll create a YouTube video that details how I made these courses to include the vocabulary lists. With that, I hope others make similar courses so there’s a large list to choose from so you can pick a show you like and are willing to watch/listen/read dozens of times for comprehensive immersion.

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I ran into this as well. Although the subtitles were beautifully synced and almost always verbatim what characters were saying, the translations didn’t follow the original text at all. My movie had some 1800 lines, of which I would perhaps use a few hundred. It shouldn’t take more than a few hours to translate those yourself.

I think if you use too many lines, especially if those lines aren’t uttered with a lot of animation, they tend to just run together, losing the benefit of this approach. They just become disjointed sentences instead of reminding you: that character said that just at the beginning of the movie. So it would be better to use a few more movies and use a limited number of lines from each. What do you think?

Also, learning say 500 lines from a single movie will take a long time for the average user. Better to use not as many so they can quickly go on to the next movie before they get too bored with this one.

Also, learning say 500 lines from a single movie will take a long time for the average user. Better to use not as many so they can quickly go on to the next movie before they get too bored with this one.

That’s the rub. This system is not about entertainment but immersion. The one hour drama being learned should be near 100% comprehended by the end of the course. After that, the person should then listen and re-listen to the audio or rewatch that episode or reread the transcript/subtitles multiple times because that episode is probably the only piece of extensive native Japanese conversation that the person truly understands.

As the person learns Japanese in a structured format (the SGJL courses), he or she slowly adds more dramas to their toolbox. That gives more and more native level audio/transcripts till hopefully a point is reached that there’s no need for immersion courses.

JDI is very experimental. I found success with it in a way a few years ago and I’m trying to recreate that on Memrise. It really does involve the student creating native level immersion material tailored to their personal Japanese level.

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Wow, I came across this site occasionally. It is really aswsome. I have been using the way to watch dramas to learn Japanese. Awaiting the eng sub is an anoying thing. Now mydramalist, nihofun.com and memrise is my top 3 site to learn Japanese. :slight_smile: