Problems finding my level, linking words in Japanese

I don’t know, if anyone has the same problem as I have, that is: I registered here not being a complete beginner. So, I try to figure out which level I’m actually in. I didn’t encounter many unknown sentence structures yet, however there are unknown words to me, but that is more or less related to the topic of the respective lesson.
That means, it might be that there is a beginner’s level entry on some flower or vegetable of which I don’t know the kanji, still going through all the beginner’s classes seems really annoying to me, especially as there seem to be many entries about the same topic.
I’m jumping like mad from beginner’s to advanced lessons trying to check which fit me. :-S It’s really difficult, I think. I do find the entries within the same announced level have actually quite different levels.

Another problem is that the links often don’t really link the Japanese words as an entity. It splits endings from the word stem, thus creating single-kanji-words that actually don’t exist or have a different meaning than in the given text. Moreover as the same kanji have different readings as well as there are homophonic hiragana-words, I am often encountering words that I do understand in one text but not in the other (because it actually is not the same word, just the spelling is the same, especially when shortened of a few hiragana). So far, I didn’t find it useful to actually study vocabulary with lingq. The idea might be nice, but as google translator is too crappy and I and up typing in the notes anyway, I rather study them in anki.

Does anyone have any suggestions on ow to improve the efficiency of my lingq studies?

Welcome to LingQ Fingerhut!

Hope this helps a little:

“I registered here not being a complete beginner. So, I try to figure out which level I’m actually in. I didn’t encounter many unknown sentence structures yet”

Sounds like beginner 2, I suggest you try working through the beginner 2 lessons fairly quickly to get to intermediate 1. That’s what I did with Russian :wink:

“I do find the entries within the same announced level have actually quite different levels.”

Ooh yeah. We LingQers, being amateurs, don’t conform to a strict guide on levels. There is always some room for debate. Just as in real life, you get used to it in time.

“Another problem is that the links often don’t really link the Japanese words as an entity.”

I used to have that problem, then LingQ got an upgrade and I thought it was going a lot better. You could try importing word lists of words you are familiar with / want to learn (as a csv file), rather than linking and learning what appear to be new words as you encounter them on LingQ. Or you can, as I do with Japanese (I’m beginner 2), lingQ every “new” instance of a word, be it romaji, hiragani, kanji or whatever. Every now and then I prune my vocabulary list to remove (what I now realise are) duplicates.

Japanese is difficult to learn because you have to learn maybe the most complicated writing system in the world. Most learning systems I have come across give you romaji or higana lessons, which annoys me because I know real Japanese looks nothing like that. I prefer to play detective, import real Japanese (like tora-san’s tweets) and then figure out what they mean.

“google translator is too crappy”:
Ooh yeah. Still, it has it’s uses when you are playing detective with an unknown text and you aren’t too sure about the grammar. It can at least help you work out which bit of the sentence is the object, and which bit is the adverb.

I have got frustrated with Japanese and given up at least 3 times, but after a while I come back and realise how much progress I’ve made. When the tsunami hit Japan, I could follow it in the Japanese press in real time. That’s not bad for beginner 2 :smiley:

Thank you for your kind reply. :slight_smile:

I think, I might try beginner 2 then for a start. Should it be too easy, I probably can get it done quickly. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do have problems judging my Japanese, as I actually know about all of the grammar (I know you can never know everything, but I feel quite confident in terms of grammar), but I don’t know so much vocabulary, I fear. At the moment I’m reading a novel in Japanese which is quite fun and not too difficult for me. I can get the meaning even if I don’t use the dictionary at all, but if I want to get every single detail, I’d have to use the dictionary quite a few times per page.

I’m able to watch children’s TV and fully understand it, I get the meaning of an afternoon-talkshow, but I do have real problems with artsy films or news that use a lot of scientific terms. It’s the same with reading: Manga are no challenge, novels are challenging but doable, newspapers are horror. :stuck_out_tongue:

Probably intermediate 1 then. You could have a quick trot through the beginner 2 stuff anyway.

All right, I had a look at beginner 1, it is really easy. However, it’s also nice to listen to Japanese and completely understand everything. :slight_smile: I like that most sound files are not so slow and artificially ‘well-pronounced’, but just ordinary speakers.

I had a look at advanced 2, too, just to see, what that would be like, and I found it’s not any harder than the novel I am reading at the moment, meaning: if I listen and read at the same time I can understand almost everything, apart from some exceptions, however there are many words I don’t know actively, I only guess them from the context or from the kanji.

@Fingerhut I think you are being a little too generous in your description.

I don’t fully understand TV shows, I can’t say that manga are no challenge and full-fledged novels are certainly difficult, and yet, I find Advanced 1 or 2 texts here to be just fine. So either you need to look at more advanced texts on lingq or you think you understand more than you actually do.

I just had a look at 3 texts in the ‘advanced’-section. One being on the book by Steve and I didn’t find that one easy-peasy, as there have been quite many kanji-compounds I can’t read fluently.
However, the other two texts were rather easy. One didn’t even use all kanji that are usually used. So, I stick to what I wrote that levels differences are HUGE within one level.
One of those Japanese culture - podcast - texts is assigned to be advanced 2 and the other is intermediate 1 - actually I can’t see a big difference between those two.

I think you are right about variations within a category. In any case, you obviously aren’t beginner.

All right, I’ll just study, no matter what category the texts are in.
Maybe there should be some guidelines as to which texts fit into which category?


Thank you for pointing this out. Many of our lessons may have been incorrectly rated for difficulty, either by the lesson provider or by our automatic difficulty rating system (which didn’t work very well in all languages). If you tell us which ones we can go in and adjust the levels, or ask one of our editors to do so.
BTW you can also ask for an editor pencil so that you can edit content for mistakes or other issues, either for your own language or for the language you are studying.

Personally, I expect some lessons to have been rated slightly off. It’s no big deal.

The one I came across was ねずみの嫁入り
Being in the most advanced category, I’d expect it to have all kanji in it. It’s slightly easy without them.

The other one was ‘Nippon voiceblog’ which is mostly ‘advanced’, but in some cases ‘intermediate’, even though I don’t see a big difference between the texts. Maybe you have a different opinion on that, though. There are many kanji, but on the other hand, the speaker speaks very slowly…

Number of Kanji in a Japanese text is not necessarily an indication of how hard it is.
Better indication is how many words you do or don’t know.
Pick something you find interesting, read it, listen to it, and mark words you don’t know.
The difficulty level is generally a pretty good indication, though.
I wouldn’t write anything off because of the level, though.

I know, the number of kanji doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more difficult. However, I also want to train my kanji-reading. So I’d prefer texts that use kanji to the extent that is usual in Japan. Additionally, I have lots of ‘known’ words that are acually the same, because lingq can’t realize that うれしい and 嬉しい is actually the same word.

Another reason I like to use either LingQ texts or my own imports, rather than carefully-constructed lessons, is that the intermediate lessons tend to use furigana with kanji. That’s fine for simply reading, but it messes up all the HTML coding and makes the lesson unreadable once you import it to a text editor like LingQ’s.

It’s the same with Russian, beginner texts will insist on putting accent marks over the stressed syllables, which means that the text is converted into gibberish when you copy and paste into a simple text editor.

ERm…and to reply to your actual post, the LingQ library mostly consists of authentic material. It is a real headache to assess material for difficulty level. We can create rough rules, eg how long is the audio? How many words are in the piece of text? What percentage of words used are in the most common 2000 words for that language? In the end though, you need an experienced language student / teacher who is prepared to go through all the library in a particular language and make a decision on each lesson. That would be a really time-consuming job.

Or you could let the students themselves decide what level they think a lesson is, maybe even giving them the power to edit it. Wikipedia gives EVERYONE editing rights and that seems to work out.

I have noticed, the lessons I have chosen are a little easy for me. Could you, please advice me, how to find “intermediate lessons”. And my deepest need just now is to get opportunity to speak English. I am going to take part in one international seminar
next july: good advice needed:). Yours, Timotei Ps. I noticed, Fingerhut has asked probably the same thing, but I would be delighted, getting your answer.

Timoei, you can change the level in the library. Just click on the top “shelf” in the library.