Conversation-heavy movie/show/video in French or Japanese?
October 6, 2014 2:35 PM   Subscribe

I would like to go back to speaking French and Japanese and found out that it really comes back to me better after listening to people having everyday conversations in a more "natural" setting (rather than podcasts, news, etc.). Where can I find some conversation-heavy videos to watch/listen to?

I studied both French and Japanese for years and I used to be able to have a decent conversation in both languages. But I have really fallen behind since then and I would like to be better again. I've tried listening to French radio and watching anime in Japanese but I found out I remember things a lot better after watching a conversation-heavy movie or a documentary where people are having "natural" everyday conversations (e.g. hanging out with friends, dinner table conversations). Is there a series of reality shows/documentaries/tv shows/videos that I can watch? Bonus points for food/cooking related!
posted by perkinite to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Kore'eda Hirokazu's Aruitemo, Aruitemo (Still Walking) is pretty good for this. It's about a family that gathers at the parents' home in Odawara to mark the anniversary of a death. Since it takes place in Kanagawa, it's pretty much standard Japanese.

His recent movie Like Father, Like Son just hit the video store as well, and is set in Tokyo. You have the great mix of professional, upper-middle class Tokyo speech with more working-class (Saitama, I think) Japanese. But it's standard Japanese.
posted by Nevin at 3:22 PM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For French, this question I asked a while ago might be of more use to you than it was to me (I got too busy and started with much less comprehension than you.)

For Japanese, it's maybe not the biggest on conversation and has some funky dialect stuff going on, but if you want food and cooking then you really shouldn't miss out on the cult classic Tampopo.
posted by Mizu at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2014

Best answer: Satomi Kobayashi's movies have lots of normal conversations:- Megane, Kamome Diner, Pool, Tokyo Oasis, Mother Water, Pan to Soup to Neko Biyori(tv series).

Kodoku no gurume and Shinya shokudo are series about food, with normal people.

Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Family are some movies primarily about family relationships, lots of conversation.

Wakamonotachi 2014 would probably be good too, it's a bit more dramatic.

Sanma no manma, Odoru sanma goten and Honma dekka tv are all talk shows, with a lot of conversation about human relationships, so not quite what you're looking for, but definitely interesting to watch.
posted by Sar at 4:06 PM on October 6, 2014

Best answer: I kind of imagine the 48 Otoko wa Tsurai yo "Tora-san" movies and 20 Tsuribaka nisshi movies by Yoji Yamada would be great for this, though the former are a bit dated and you'd end up sounding like someone who grew up in the "shitamachi" area of Tokyo. Also, the Kita no Kuni kara TV series written by So Kuramoto are pretty conversation-heavy as well, as are most of his other works. The Fuzoroi no ringotachi TV series by Taichi Yamada fits the bill too, but again, both series are a bit dated now. A more current writer who I think follows in the same vein as those older ones is Yoshikazu Okada, so you might want to check out his TV works like Saigo kara nibanme no koi.
posted by misozaki at 5:33 PM on October 6, 2014

Best answer: Drama Addicts or, if you don't like downloading, Viki. I believe there's a thread in the D-Addicts forum about food-related dorama, but a few you might try are Oishinbo, Ando Natsu, My Little Chef, and O-Sen. (Reviews of some are here.) There are also tons of cooking shows, serious and not so serious (e.g. Gaki no Tsukai's Zettai Oishii, called "Bad Touch Cooking Show" in our house). Our favorite straightforward(...ish) one is Dotchi no Ryouri Show/Dotch Cooking Show. Both the older version and newer version are fun.
posted by wintersweet at 9:10 PM on October 6, 2014

French in Action - available for free online.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:19 AM on October 7, 2014

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