Work desk and some misc questions/comments

(I’m working with Japanese)
· Sometimes words highlight, sometimes words show up to the right under “saved LingQs”, but usually they don’t. Is there a trick or special order to get it to work each time?
· Only about half the words are in the dictionary; can you link up to a better one (WWWJDIC for example)?
· The flashcard program is very basic. Any chance of going to spaced repetition?
· The item I chose was recommended, maybe because I’m a beginner here and it has few kanji. But it was very difficult to understand due to a lot of rare vocabulary (I call it rare because the above dictionary doesn’t consider it to be frequently used). Also, I think the audio was faster than normal speed, which made it hard to understand and to shadow. Do you guys review the content when you put it in the store, and if so how do you decide to recommend items?
· When I go to my vocabulary list, the lingq’s appear to be in a different order than I selected. I was hoping that they’d be in the same order, which would help me figure out where I am in the article I’m working on.
· When the Japanese dictionary does work, sometimes I can’t copy the bottom line of the definition (it won’t highlight)
· When I want to make a lingq, sometimes I can’t get the exact word to highlight (I get more than I want)
· After I finished, it says that I created 49 lingqs, but I only have 33 vocabulary items. Does it count the ones I deleted?
· How much does it cost to have a conversation with a tutor? What about other tutor prices?

Leosmith,

1)We are aware of the inconsistencies in Asian languages. That will not change until we set up for these languages. The issue is the way sentences divide into words in Asian languages. We apologize for the inconvenience. We were not going to open up Asian languages at all but we had requests so we offer a limited capability in Japanese. Still many people enjoy it.

2)In the future we will allow the freedom to choose the dictionary of your choice, and we will also look for the best dictionaries for each language pair. We hope our members will help us find these. You might try copying from the dictionary you mentioned.

  1. We will probably introduce a random spaced repetition option for Flash Cards in the future. It is just not hight on our priority list right now. There are many ways to control and select words to review which work quite well now. Nevertheless spaced repetition is on our list.

  2. At present the recommended items is based on a formula that relates to your level. However, there are practically no Easy or and no Beginner content in Japanese and so yo end up with more difficult content in the Recommended area. We are redesigning that page and will be more specific in terms of what we recommend. We will probably have three different default views, for beginners, intermediate and advanced.

We rely on our learners to tell us about content which is not good. Much of content is given free by our members and taken free. This is not the case for the English store.

I must say that we have not focused on Japanese because the functions there are not optimal and we were not encouraging people to do Japanese. Now that I see that there are no easy contents there I will do something about it. Give us a week and we will have some easy Japanese there, i hope.

4)In Vocabulary you can select the order for the LingQ lists. If you choose Creation Date they will be in the order you chose them, most recent on top. There is also A-Z ( we need something else for Japanese obviously), and Status, and Importance.
-Status- 1 is New, 2 Can’t remember 3 Not sure and 4 is Known
-Importance is frequency. Frequency is based on the store. The greater the number of items the more likely this importance factor is to be accurate. I have not been doing Japanese so I have no idea if this works in Japanese.
-The LingQs in workdesk are in their order in the passage. In Vocab under Creation Date they are in the order you selected them, the last one on top.

5)We know there are problems with the dictionary in Japanese and we will get to that problem early in the new year.

6)If you look under the Event section you will see information on conversations with a tutor. A fifteen minute one on one, or 60 minute 4 on 1 both cost 500 points. You will see how you can join a discussion or create a discussion. At present we do not have any Japanese tutors or discussion leaders. Again give me a few days and I am sure some of our members will come froward. We have some highly educated and interesting Japanese members who are studying English.

If you go to the Write section and start writing you will see your points cost as you write It is 3.5 points per word. Other tutor services such as being able to ask questions on the content you are studying, or regular reports are simply included in the Plus and Premium categories.

I appreciate the questions and apologize for not being better set up for Japanese. If we can get appropriate content for you things will improve.

Leosmith,

On the subject of tutors I was wrong. We have a Japanese tutor, Hayuru, and you can go and create a discussion with her. If you join as a Plus or Premium member you will choose your tutor in the Settings page, although at present there is only one to choose from.

You will see the times that Hayuru has open by going to Events and Create an event. If these are not convenient you could come on the forum and advise a range of times that work for you.

Hi Steve,

I chose another item. This one was much easier to listen to; it was at normal speed. I think the speed was about the same actually, but my first article didn’t have the standard pauses that the Japanese seem to love.

Anyway, I dug into the vocabulary, and unfortunately it was very difficult. This was partly due to the naming of a lot of locations, and historical facts. It looks like the second half of the article is much more comprehensible, but I hate to ignore the first half.

Fyi – joyo kanji are not a big problem for me, as I have completed Heisig’s first book; it’s rare vocabulary, not kanji, that makes an item hard for me to read. When you get to improving Japanese on your site, you may consider rating an article by number of unique kanji, difficulty of vocabulary and speed of audio in addition to number of words.

I really like your concept here; if everything was working well, as I’m sure it will be some day, it would be a dream tool for me. As it stands right now, I think I’m better off finding articles elsewhere, using my own dictionary, and a spaced repetition flashcard program. I won’t get the nice word count stuff you have, which is a bummer, but it’s really the content that’s making me look elsewhere. If I fail, maybe I’ll be back. I hope you will send me an email when you get things fixed. By then, I hope not to need your site for Japanese. I would like to use it for Mandarin and Thai though.

Good Luck,
Leo

We will get these language going. Meantime please hang around and use what works for you.

Oh and Leo,

One more thing. Our content for languages other than English is gradually increasing. In the meantime you can Import content that you like, whether from the Internet or other sources. I import Russian novels (e-text) for items where I have the audio book. You can import text and sound. If there is no copyright issue you can then share this content with others here and it will appear in the store.

thanks