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Rosetta Stone Or Other Language Learning Software


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#1 Dragonsbane

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

I was looking to see if any one had a recommendation on learning software for Japanese? Or better yet any place that teaches online? I was in a "class" with some one over Skype for a bit but they stopped some time ago and looking to pick it back up.
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#2 Dragonsbane

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

No suggestions?
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#3 Josh1billion

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

I started learning Japanese in August, and, based on what's worked best for me, here's what I would recommend:

1. Learn the kana first (hiragana + katakana). For this, check out James Heisig's book Remembering the Kana. Finding a PDF is pretty easy, and it's a great book. Finishing it shouldn't take more than a week or two.. perhaps a day if you're really determined. Compare that to the experience of a friend who told me it took a year to learn it in a formal classroom. He also has a book Remembering the Kanji if you want to learn to write kanji later on.

2. Learn grammar here: Tae Kim's Japanese grammar guide

3. Learn vocabulary here: Memrise.

(switch back and forth between steps 2 and 3 above, but you should finish step 1 before you attempt either step 2 or 3. Steps 2 and 3 depend upon having mastered step 1)

I'm also working on a website / web app for learning vocabulary and some grammar (which, IMO, is a big improvement over Memrise), but it'll be a while before it's done, so the above are great in the meantime. ;)

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#4 Blade

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

In addition to that, while I haven't used the Japanese Rosetta Stone course, I have used Italian and Tagalog versions and found them both excellent. They focus on image association as you would if you were teaching the language to a child. So instead of translating everything ("this means this in English"), they'll give you a phrase to repeat, show you what it means, then connect the two throughout the chapter without using English at all. And they focus on proper enunciation; the Tagalog "ng" sound was hard for me at first, but they will correct you and you can practice until you get it right.

I've tried Pimsleur, but there's no direct feedback like there is with Rosetta Stone. Having the program give you feedback as you say the words is a BIG help. They're expensive, but you get your money's worth.

#5 Dragonsbane

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

Thats great advice guys! Now who knows where I can snag Rosetta Stone on the cheap? lol!
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#6 spmahn

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

Thats great advice guys! Now who knows where I can snag Rosetta Stone on the cheap? lol!


Ha! No where, Rosetta Stone prices their software at outrageous prices, and attempts legal action againt anyone trying to resell it at lower prices, even legally so. I've used Rosetta Stone and while I've found it good for vocabulary, I've found that it's not so good at teaching grammar or any of the minor and major idiosyncrasies you find in any language.

#7 JohnnyDeLicious

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

A few times a year Rosetta Stone does pretty significant discounts. Still expensive, but somewhere in the ballpark of $350 for a complete course vs. $300ish per section.

#8 Blade

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

It's about $180 per course, and Japanese 1-3 can be bought for $400 on Amazon. They ran specials like buy 2 get 1 or $175 off a set just last month. You aren't supposed to resell the software, but it's yours to keep, and you get 9 months of access to native speakers and everyone else in your course for more practice.

Here's a review of the Japanese software from a Japanese teacher: http://www.amazon.co...&store=software

#9 Josh1billion

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

If you can, you might want to try a demo of Rosetta Stone before you take the several hundred dollar plunge. Some people really like its teaching style, and some people don't. I tried it out (Spanish version) a few years ago, and I personally didn't like it at all. Many people love it and it works great for them, though.

In any case, I think Memrise would allow you to learn and retain vocabulary at a much faster rate, since the words are accompanied by mnemonics that give you tricks for memorizing words. At my peak, I was learning about 50 words per day with it, with fairly high retention (answering about 80-90% of the words correctly the next day)... so if there's any one piece of advice I can give you, it's to try several methods/programs to see which works best for you. Learning vocabulary via brute force methods-- just hearing it a few times and hoping you remember it, as most programs teach it-- was one of the slowest methods I tried.

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#10 donut

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:35 AM

lol memrise is fun!
thanks (gracias)
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