Multiple inaccuracies for Japanese lesson

So, I just took the Japanese lesson, だんまりくらべ: Login - LingQ

The first line I notice an inaccuracy is here:

[One day, a neighbor came and brought some mochi.]

Machine translators sometimes translate “mochi” as “rice cakes”, but the translation shown on the page says “toy”. “One day, a neighbor brought me A toy.” The family then proceedes to eat the toy(s).

Means: (They were) ate one each.
Shown as: “I ate one by one”

I believe this sentence is ambiguous as to who is eating the mochi, but it is preceeded by quotes of both the grandparents saying how delicious the mochi is. It is clear from context this should have been translated as “they ate them one by one,” though “we ate one each” actually seems more likely. ずつ can seemingly be translated as “(one) at a time” or “(one) each”. Additionally, there were at first 7, then five after this line, so the speaker did not in fact eat any.

Thank you, our content managers will look into it.


The text seems only casually related to the audio in that lesson. I can’t follow along with it, personally. I just noticed there are actually 2 audio tracks on the source site, and the 1st track matches the text, at least for the first paragraph or so that I listened to. I could install the right audio file for this lesson for you, but I’m betting you’re going to run into similar issues with other lessons in that course.

Sorry to say this, but if you’re looking for accurate English sentence translations and well-formatted lessons for Japanese, you’ll spend a lot of time being frustrated. I rarely if ever come across one that is not without massive deficiencies or outright errors. I’ve been working on cleaning up what I can (and I’m sure others are too), but it’s slow going. People seem to share stuff without putting much effort into it. I can point you to some beginner-level courses that I’ve cleaned up that might be less painful to study, if you’re interested.

As for the 明日 thing, あす actually is a legit pronunciation: 明日 - But to be fair, you can’t always trust the computer pronunciations, especially when the text has a word’s kanji split up because the import parser didn’t know better, and the person who shared it didn’t correct it.

1 Like

It kind of sounds like, the way you’re describing this, content is user generated? I didn’t see a way to suggest edits, though…

As for the 明日 thing, あす actually is a legit pronunciation:
Even so, if that’s how the computer is going to pronounce it then it’d be better if the romanji that appears next to it agreed. But if computer pronunciations are not to be trusted, it might be best if they weren’t included at all.

1 Like

Yes, most of the content here is shared by other students. There are a number of courses that are provided by LingQ, like the mini-stories, and those are supposed to be well-edited with correct sentence translations. You can see who shared them in the course overview, btw.

LingQ does give individual students the ability to make minor edits to sentences and provide translations. If you go into Sentence Mode, you’ll find an “Edit Sentence” option in the menu. Your edits will be visible to everyone else, so wield that scalpel with judiciousness…

And I agree with you on the pronunciation thing. There’s a lot of other things I wish was better, too–I’ve got a complaint list a mile long, tbh. But it’s been the best tool I’ve found in the 2+ years I’ve been studying, so I just remind myself that nothing’s going to be perfect.

How long have you been studying Japanese? Looks like you’re pretty new to LingQ (welcome!) but do you already have some experience in the language?

Ooooh, now I get it. Yeah, when I thought this was officially shared by the site and vetted for quality, I was honestly thinking of dropping the site, but now I feel it might be a good resource later on and would really like to help improve the material. I think the submitter here relied on machine translation–and I do, too, but you definitely can’t take its output for grantid.

Finding good reading material is being one of the biggest challenges. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem I can view the sentence mode again until/unless I pay for premium.

How long have you been studying Japanese?
Lifetime anime and Japanese videogame enjoyer so I’ve picked up a lot of the language by osmosis, but just started learning to read and how grammar works last month.

I’ve corrected the audio in that lesson for you. Hope it helps. I checked one other lesson in that course, and it seemed to be ok, so hopefully this was just a one-off mistake. I’ll let someone else fix up the translations if they’re interested. Unfortunately, the time I can allocate to pro-bono lesson editing is being spent elsewhere at the moment. If you find any other audio streams in that course that are wrong, message me, and I can get the right one for you. It’s a pretty quick fix.

Good luck! You’ll probably want to get a premium account soon if you want to stick with it here. It didn’t seem like I could get very far with the unpaid version, at least. You get what, like 20 lingqs? It felt like more of just a tour of the premises to me when I first started. But being able to import my own content and track my vocabulary and stuff is what’s keeping me. Though I think I might have had a tough time if I’d started off with LingQ as a complete beginner.

A couple of points regarding this:

Means: (They were) ate one each.
Shown as: “I ate one by one”

First, 食べだ should be 食べた.

Also, the translation of 一つずつ could be either “one each” or “one by one” depending on context. For example, you could say ポテトフライを一つずつ食べるwhich could refer to eating french fries one by one.

1 Like