TV Japan and other L2 Cable Channels

I’m happy I decided to add TV Japan to my cable lineup. I put it off for a while, and even missed a sale, thinking that since I had Netflix and YouTube already locked and loaded with more French and Japanese content than I had time to watch, I had no need for a dedicated channel.
But I enjoy having TV Japan as my default screen every time I turn on my television. Even though I was already a big listener, I feel like my listening time has noticeably increased just due to the ease of having Japanese always on without having to fool around with opening apps and streaming.
I also feel like I’m getting better cultural exposure because the station has an eclectic lineup of Japanese programming versus my Netflix and YouTube picks which are geared specifically to my interests.

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My gf and I added the German “package” to our cable as well and agree it’s nice to get that better cultural exposure. The only downside is not having the subtitles (CC isn’t helpful here as it is waaaaay delayed and mostly not good anyway). The fictional programs are very difficult to understand. The documentaries are much better in that respect.

Most of the programming I think I could get online with vpn set, but it’s nice just flipping on the tv and having German tv running all the time.

For intermediate learners and above, I wouldn’t count it as a downside to not have L2 subs available all the time. As long as you have context for what you’re watching, even if that contextual understanding is dicey at times, you’ll do fine without having access to the transcript and consciously nailing every word and grammatical structure. You’ll be acquiring L2 that your brain is ready to acquire without even realizing it.

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Agree in some sense, but it sure would help to have a transcript at the very least to go back and check on some things. I only just learned the word “Mandant” (client–it’s a lawyer show). I learned the word elsewhere, and now, after a few episodes I realize they’ve probably been saying this stupid word a bunch of times without me ever catching it! (and I’ve watched probably a couple hundred shows) Cool that I’m catching it now but there’s probably tons of similar words and phrases that they are using that could already be part of my lexicon with the transcript or subtitles to see and look up. No doubt there have been some words I’ve picked up during watching as well as reinforcing words I’ve learned elsewhere though.

They DO post the show on youtube and I can get at the auto-subtitles, but they are often not correct and the auto generation produces now punctuation either which makes the whole process annoying.

The show is entertaining enough though, and you’re right that context does help a lot. Also my gf will usually give me a summary after a scene or two to make sure I’m not completely lost. Or I can ask her. That helps, but sometimes it feels like I should be a little better at understanding the German myself =)