Why are the Japanese lessons written in Japanese script for beginners?

Hi, just joined and have been in Japan for about 1/2 year and started learning a little on my own through the “Total Immersion” series. Anyway, I signed up here and put Beginner1 as my level. Then ran the first few lessons. Unfortunately they are all in Japanese script. How is a beginner supposed to learn this way? I can’t speak the language yet let alone read it. Sure, when I highlight the word I get the english translation, however I don’t get the Japanese pronunciation with it most times. For example, highlighting こうこう2ねんせい gives me the hint “senior high schooler” but not the Japanese pronunciation in English. This doesn’t help me very much as it will be next to impossible to learn this way as I know have to listen to the grammar lesson and try to figure out which Japanese word translates into “Senior High Schooler”. It would make much much much more sense if the lesson were written in English and then I could highlight the english written word to get the translation.

There is beginner content in romaji, kana and kanji. Just use romaji version. :slight_smile:

Thank you so much Cakypa. I’m sorry if I was rude, I was just getting frustrated.

OK, now the problem I have is that none of the romanji words have a translation when I highlight them and hit LinkQ. Not even arimasen.

Oh, I had not enough time and did not explain how I use it. Excuse me.

I download audio, open both kana and romaji versions. First time I listen and follow the romaji text, next time I follow kana text and create Lingqs. At lingqs I type translation and pronounciation. If there is a kanji symbol for this word at dictionary article, I save it too. I don’t learn kanji on purpose, but I have already learn 犬 and 鼠 - just seeing them while learning my kana lingqs for “a dog” and “a mouse”.
Hmmm, English is not my native language, so…

Also the Chinese lessons have Chinese characters from the very beginning. In my opinion it is good. The beginners lessons are short, I can listen to them many times and “connect” the audio with the script. If the audio is good you should be able to hear it and deduce the pronunciation. Bear in mind that romaji (and pinyin for Chinese learners) can be quite confusing, especially if you make up your own way of interpreting the letters.

Make sure you choose content suitable for your level. Listen a lot.

Hi all, I just wanted to inroduce the below site, hoping this might help you in some way.

(Below method only works for people who can read hiragana, though)

You input URL or text itself, then the above site gives you the “READING” or “PRONUNCIATION” for all kanjis in brackets right next to them.
READING and PRONUNCIATION can be displayed either in kana or romaji. Please see the sample below. This is the Japanese translation of the heading of Mark’s news letter regarding LingQ’s version-up. All the brackes are given from this site.
NOTE: Unfortunately, this site works only with URL based in Japan. So, when I input LingQ’s URL, it doesn’t do anything…

LingQシステムが稼動(Kadou) してから1年(Nen) と少し(Sukoshi) 、何(Nan) 度(Do) か改善(Kaizen) を繰り返し(Kurikaeshi) てきましたが、いつもメンバーの方(Kata) から、『何(Nani) をすれば良い(Yoi) の?』、『どこから始めれ(Hajimere) ば良い(Yoi) の?』という質問(Shitsumon) が寄せ(Yose) られていました。LingQシステムの使い方(Tsukaikata) をもっとわかりやすくするために、今回(Konkai) 下記(Kaki) のような大幅(Oohaba) なバージョンアップを行い(Okonai) ました。

Also, aargh57, I strongly recommend you learn at least the Hiragana. It won’t take you very long. There is a book by Heisig that I used to learn them in a few days. Learning the Hiragana or something like that. There are only 24 of them or thereabouts, I think. Then, you can use the translator on the Kanji texts which shows the pronunciation in Hiragana.

We will eventually have to come up with a system that toggles between the scripts because the dictionary, for the most part, only recognized Kanji or, at least, Kanji and Hiragana where it is commonly used.

The Japanese functionality will improve but in the meantime Cakypa’s approach makes sense to me.

There are two kinds of learners, those who want things explained for them, and those who are happy to explore and learn for themselves. The problem with being a learner who likes things explained is that, very often in languages, the explanations do not leave you any further ahead. Therefore, I have always found that it is better to expect that things will be a little unfamiliar and unclear for a while and not to worry about it. As we explore the unfamiliar, as we listen and read, the language gradually becomes more familiar.

Rather than explaining what to expect in the forest, it is better to walk in the forest. Even if you get wet, or trip on a root, or get lost a few times, in the end you will know the forest better. If I take you somewhere you will not find your way there again. If you have to find it on your own you will always find it again.

So I believe it is important not to get frustrated. The brain learns through observation, but it takes it time doing so.

And yes, I would learn hiragana, and yes Jeff’s advice is very good. Good luck Aargh57.

Thanks all for all the help. I will take your advice and try to learn Hiragana. I was going to a few months ago and just got lazy.

Steve, thanks for the advice. When I started learning to tell time with the program I had it was very confusing as all it did was just have some flashcard like things on the CD and you had to tell which one was the correct time. No english and no explanation. At first I thought that it would be impossible but then I did the legwork and figured out the “system”. Adding iji was like saying O’Clock, han was half, pun or fun was minutes, mai was before the hour, etc… (If I’m wrong on any of these please correct me) Anyway, there was no explanation for any of these things, no translation, just a picture of a clock with the big hand pointing at 8 and little hand pointing at 5 and you would hear “goji nijupun mai”. After going through a lot of the pictures and hearing the Japanese I finally figured it out and was very proud of myself.

This is what I used to learn Hiragana, maybe it will help you too?

The brain learns best when it is given lots of the right kind of input and can create its own rules and categories. Good luck. Thanks Nicole for the advice.

aargh57, just one thing! As for “before”, it does sound like “mai” but when you write, it will be “まえ(mae)”. :slight_smile: