Using LingQ for Japanese

I’ve been using LingQ for a while now for Chinese. Although there’s a number of mistakes when lingqing in Chinese, I am familiar enough with the language to make it work.

Now , I’m trying to learn Japanese and after lingqing through a beginner text, I’m often still really confused as to what I’m actually reading. Is it just me? Or is it that difficult to use LingQ for Japanese? Is it recommended to maybe work through a beginner textbook before using LingQ for Japanese? I was hoping I could only use LingQ and see where it takes me, but I’m really confused. Any advice on how to approach this would be appreciated.


LingQ is far from optimal when it comes to Japanese; the parsing is real weird sometimes… My advice is that you go through a beginner’s textbook like Genki 1 & 2 before you tackle the language at LingQ.


Learning how the language works could only help you.

Do you know about putting main verbs at sentence end and words order ?
Do you know how particules work ?
Do you know about formal and informal languages ?
Do you know about how japanese writing works ?

Did you try any lesson with translation ? I don’t know if any such lesson exists in the library. Probably the who is she serie, probably others too.

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Yea I got genki 1, just find the content boring. Probably should buckle down and work through it.

Yea I’m not completely lost, should have explained that better.

I know kana and around 3000 characters from studying Chinese. I’m somewhat familiar with the particles and the formal language vs informal. But still I was hoping LingQ would work better for reading Japanese.

I’ve realized also that if I look at a advanced text , I already recognize and know most of the kanji just have to figure out how to pronounce them. I guess I just have to spend some more time figuring how I can best use LingQ.

I also know some things from hanging out with my Japanese friends. So I’m not completely newbie just now deciding to put some real effort into learning it.

All lessons come with a downloadable audio file.

3000 characters will give you a huge advantage in reading (though you’ll have to learn some new ones because Japanese kanji are sometimes different than traditional/simplified Hanzi)
When I was learning to read I made an anki deck of characters with the readings and common vocab. You can use this to supplement lingq.
While you will still need to start with simpler texts in the beginning, I imagine you’ll progress faster than most.



Although I have anki on my iPhone, I never really found it to work that well for me. I find I remember more words by reading and listening to content. I know theres a huge community of people that are all about anki but I just never got into it, unfortunately since I paid 25 for the app.

Also after fooling around a bit with the Japanese LingQ I realized that if I highlight some separated words and create a new link then it begins to make more sense. Also, I noticed its been a bit better for me to jump into text with more kanjis. I’m kind of experimenting right now, and want to see how far I can take it only using LingQ.

Also, I noticed that although some of the kanjis are the same as Chinese they are often used slightly differently. The meaning is pretty much the same but used a bit differently than Chinese, or using a less common meaning. And yea, Ive been seeing a few characters that I never came across in Chinese.

Thanks again. I’ll see how it goes.

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Yeah, it’s definitely a good idea to ignore the way texts are split. As you can probably tell, there are many instances in which one word is broken up into multiple parts.
You may be able to naturally absorb the 1000 most common kanji (or so) just by reading a lot on lingq, though the next thousand require a some outside practice in my experience (2,136 is the standard for functional literacy).

Given your knowledge of Chinese and what you have already done in Japanese, I think you should be fine on LingQ. As long as you understand the basics, you should be able to recognize when the splitting is wrong. We are working on a way to enable all users to adjust the spacing themselves. Hopefully, that isn’t too far away and should also help you.

I agree that the ability to learn from interesting content far outweighs the minor inconveniences created by the odd funny split.


Yeah, after sitting down at my desktop and playing with it for a while it made more sense. It’s a bit more tricky on the iPhone app. I also noticed that when I’m on the app, and I click some words it will give the Chinese pronounciation, but if I hit the plus button the Japanese will pop up. Must be some glitch.

That seems strange. We rely on Apple’s text to speech there so it may be glitching up because you are switching back and forth between Chinese and Japanese. Try closing and reopening the app to see if that fixes it. I can’t seem to make that happen. I must say I find LingQ great for Japanese. The words are mostly split correctly and you can select groups of words to look up phrases and compound words.