Sorry for another long hiatus! Things in my life have taken me to places I never thought I would. Mostly non Japanese related things which had steered me away. But here I am! I hope to make it a habit to update often too. Enough about my nonsense and let’s get on with some Nihong0-ing!
Continuing from the last entry, “Creating My First Sub2SRS Deck“, we present the next step in listening and push it further in speaking comprehension: Kage Shibari. I’ve briefly mentioned this program to you in an older post but this particular entry will be dedicated to looking into the program.
Kage Shibari: What is it?
It is a program that allows the user to create an “interactive transcript” ideal for controlled listening and shadowing. The program highlights lines of text that correspond with the audio. The user can also select any line they wish to hear/read and the program will continue from there.
Kage Shibari: Who made this program?
A koohii forum user: ballonguy
Kage Shibari: Why use it?
I’ll quote Nest0r for this answer:
With interactive transcripts you are able to negotiate the pace of the audiovisual to your own level’s pace by subordinating it to the text. You can control the shadowing process and modulate the ‘push’ the multimedia engenders, turning it from a fluency exercise (which is best used for mastered materials, as emphasized in Paul Nation’s Four Strands) biased towards the aural and the macro level of the text, to a deeper, more cognitively involved exercise at the sentence level, according to the content and the aims of the learner.
In short, when you have the power to control your listening/reading media, you also have the opportunity to not only increase listening comprehension, but have the confidence to shadow said media as well.
Kage Shibari: How do I set it up?
Before you can even use the program, you need a few things (look familiar?):
- Subtitle files in 日本語 (.lrc, .srt, .trs formats work)
- Then the video file for the desired anime/drama /movie.
- A program to convert the desired anime/drama/movie file into audio. I like to use VLC media player to do the conversion. If you need help in how to convert to audio files using VLC, check out this guide….or
- If the video file is .mkv and you want to still watch the video, you can use this file and it will load the video file instead!
Once you have your ducks in a row, then we can begin to utilize them for Kage Shibari.
- First off, download the program here. Once downloaded, open the local .html file (I like to use Firefox but Chrome is fine too).
- Now it is time to add the audio file (mp3 or oog only; mp3 is better on Firefox while Chrome can play both) next to where it says “Enter url of media:”. (EDIT: This seems to only apply for Firefox. You can just easily load the audio file in Chrome.) This requires that you find the local path of that media file. How you ask? I’ll break it down.
How to Find the Path of Local Media File
You can find the path of your local media file by Right-Clicking and choosing “Properties”. In the “General Tab”, you will see a category called “Location”. Copy the contents in that section as this is the majority of the local media path. The last portion of the path is the title of the file which you can clearly see on the very top. Copy…BUT WAIT! BEFORE YOU PASTE…
Switch the direction of the slash marks from what you copied in the Location section of Properties. I’ll use an audio file I made from the first episode of 「BORDER」.
Location = C:\Users\MY_NAME\Desktop\border ep1
Location = C:/Users/MY_NAME/Desktop/border ep1
Add 1 more slash at the end of the copied Location and then you can paste the file name at the end. Note that I have shortened the true file path for convenience sake. DO NOT have the brackets surrounding the Location line. You can compare your results with the example below:
Congrats! You just found your path! Now add “file:///PATH“ (without quotation marks) into the bar next to “Enter url of media:” and click “Load”.
- To load the subtitle file, first make sure to press the circle next to “local” under the “Select Subtitles” category. Then click “Choose File” and select the accompanying subs for the media. (ALT: select “paste in subtitles” and well…paste it!)
If done correctly, you should have something that looks like this:
Here is a gif of it in action.
Kage Shibari: How do I use it?
- Try to mentally follow along the transcript and audio. This is tough for me as I find Japanese dialog to be fast.
- With unknown vocab, I can use a popup dictionary Rikaisama (Firefox) / Rikaikun or Yomichan for Chrome (Chrome) to view readings and meaning.
- For those using Chrome, initially the popup dictionaries will not work. I had no clue how to fix it either until a very nice koohii forum member, FaultyMaxim, pointed it out so thanks! Here is what you do:
- Go to Settings and then click “Extensions” on the top left side.
- Then look for Rikaikun/Yomichan and checkmark the box with the phrase “Allow access to file URLs”.
- Restart chrome! It should work now.
- For those that want furigana, you can install the Firefox add-on Furigana Inserter or Chrome extension IPA furigana (Note: Please also checkmark “Allow access to file URLs” for the Chrome extension to work). Not something I personally use but I’m sure someone will benefit.
- With time and confidence, I eventually will start to shadow.
Ideally, I would use this program only AFTER I have at least seen the episode once so that way I can recall the scene in my mind when I hear the audio. Great additional listening practice outside of sub2srs reps too but with more control. I haven’t reached the shadowing stage but I’m confident that if I keep at it, I will. So will you 🙂
This is what it would look like if you load up an .mkv video file instead of an audio file (I am using 「BORDER」２話)
Here is a gif in action