Lip reading is a great skill to have when you need to know what a potential enemy is saying, or just want to know when a friend is saying about you. The ability to read lips is part of Cho Ho espionage and intelligence gathering in Ninjutsu, to be able to "hear" what the enemy is saying from a distance. Ninja agents that specialized in listening skills were called Togiki.
Know the context for better accuracy. Anticipate what comes next and this will help allot. Use your experience to fill in missed words. Substitute similar sounding words to make a sentence make sense. Body language and facial expressions will help identify the topic. Words that look the same on the lips (but are not necessarily spelled similar) are called Homophenes.
Individual words are hard, so try to get the context to help you lip read. Sometimes, words can be made out better from the side or a different angle. Decide what’s best for you. Remember that accents from different countries will change things up a bit. Remember that how it’s spelled is not important in lip reading, but rather how the sounds appear on the lips. Practice in a mirror or with friends, or even with a camera.
It can take as much as 2 years to get really good at lip reading with continual practice. Always try to practice and feel the sound so it can be differentiated from other similar sounds. Remember that these sounds can appear at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of words.
Other things should be considered such as the angle of the view of the mouth, lighting, standing in front of a bright window, accents, talking speed, fingers over the mouth, people shouting over noise.
Set up a scenario, perhaps at a distance, maybe even using binoculars, that you could encounter where you would need to gather intelligence on the enemy. You can vary the details.
This is all you need to know. Now, in order to get better, practice often. Practice variations.
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