Delenir’s review of JapaneseClass.JP

JapaneseClass.jp is a website for learning Japanese. It focuses on vocabulary, individual kanji readings, and kanji meanings. It also has a strong social element, allowing you to have friends lists and challenge fellow Japanese learners. Appealing to the gamers among us, the site uses experience points to turn learning new words into an RPG-like quest.

The learning process is based on multiple choice answers to questions. You can practice a certain amount of random questions to earn your attendance for the day, and/or take various levels of tests of specific questions. One feature I really liked was the Reading tab. It will automatically pull small amounts of text from current websites, arranged by category, and can analyze them to create a custom vocabulary test. The idea is that afterwards, you could read that text and understand it. Normally you have to attain a certain level to be able to use this feature, but a donation can unlock it early. Another great way to get some reading in, is how after being tested on each term, it will show you example sentences with translations and readings for your convenience.

There are a few drawbacks to the site however. One is that is does not teach grammar at all. This can be confusing to new learners who aren’t familiar with things like various verb forms. Also, if you’re not new to Japanese, it can be quite tedious to work your way up the levels by going through hundreds or even thousands of words that you already know. Let’s look at a few pros and cons…

Pros

  • Very active and friendly community
  • Everything is web-based, so it’s very easy to get into
  • Mixes vocabulary and kanji study
  • Provides example sentences
  • Reading function can analyze text quite well
  • Fun level-up system

Cons

  • Does not teach grammar
  • Example sentences are only shown *after* your answer is selected
  • People with previous experience need to trudge through a lot of basic vocabulary

The site is a nice quick and easy way to practice Japanese. That being said, the ability to take some sort of placement test would be a huge bonus, so that more experienced learners can start at a higher level (but maybe still start at 0 for experience to make it fair.) There are a lot of small details that I do like about the site, and it was really great to be able to talk with other learners, so please give it a try to practice your Japanese!

Tool Recommendation – Online Stopwatch

For those of you that practice timeboxing, you probably know that there isn’t always a good timer to use nearby. Fear not! This website features a large format (MY EYEBALLS), straightforward countdown timer with an alarm sound you will definitely notice! It’s especially useful when you’re studying within a browser, since the tab’s title is automatically updated with the remaining time. Personally I have it right on my bookmarks bar, with other daily use tools and websites. Use it, and your time, wisely!

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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    ___________________
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    ___________________
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    ___________________
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    ___________________
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    ___________________
    August 2010 Contest:
    Placement: 20/41
    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    **************
    June:
    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
    blew my goal outta the water!

    **************
    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125
    Total:302.75

    **************
    January:
    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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