This is Drops, it’s yet another language learning app
I found this thread, but it seems like none of the users are active anymore.
I’d especially like to hear the feedback of any long-term users!
For anyone who doesn’t know about it though, it seems like it mostly teaches vocab and has a 5 min practice limit every 10h (aka, you can do 10 min a day max without subscribing). I stumbled upon it and it drew my eye because there’s an Ainu option as well, but I’m testing it out in Japanese. While the time limit seems a bit obnoxious, you can focus on practicing and then write down the words/phrases after you finish the practice session. I don’t have any intention of subscribing in the future, but some of the lesson are so focused that it seems worth it to try. For example, there are lessons on etiquette and phone calls. I like that I can focus on the things I happen to need and that the content curated is actually culturally relevant like おしぼり and 靴を脱ぐ. You can change your settings to show kanji + kana and then the setting below has an option for furigana as well. I also appreciate the usage of pictures rather than relying strictly on translations. It is giving me more ideas for the WK Visual Dictionary.
For those who have used it and especially long term users, what do you think of it? How do you feel about the content? What are your thoughts on the ways it has you practice? Do you feel like there are many content updates? If there are, do you feel that they are useful? This doesn’t have to be strictly for Japanese use too. If you’re learning another language, please feel free to talk about your experience using it as well.
I had a two year streak and would not recommend it. It juked the stats to the definition. When I did it, there was no “I don’t know” button, just an obvious right answer. Also, there are puzzles where you spell words out one character at a time, but the pool was always katakana, and the answer was whatever it was. So like for hair it would be "あ う え 髪 お”. It also used 和製英語 whenever humanly possible. I know there is a lot, but まったく. I was seduced by the illustrations and “variety” of games, but its not worth it.
I did Drops for maybe 2.5 years but recently dropped it (pun intended). What @haidouzo said about obvious answers is one of the reasons and depending on the resolution of your smart phone, some of the text was just plain illegible (font either tooooooo small or sometimes so bold, you couldn’t make out anything).
The content is mostly good and you get to choose from different topics. You even get to learn hiragana/katakana/basic kanji and write them. Learning includes words and they’ve moved on a bit and added whole sentences, which their system is not really prepared for, as the audio for long sentences sometimes gets chopped off when you’re quick to answer. Great thing: you can choose between male/female readers. Audio quality is mostly excellent, but sometimes volume is not the same across the board.
I got it when they just started and they had some sort of daily offer where you could either get a lifetime license at 10%, 20% or 50% off. Don’t know how their payment scheme is today though.
Would I buy it again? Yes. It helped me build/confirm a general vocab of maybe 2000 words in that time. It was an easy thing, done playfully, which suited me and helped also build confidence to tackle Japanese for real. My time investment per day was 5-10 minutes. At the beginning for the first year, before I did anything else, I often did 30 minutes or more. Then I started and reduced it to 5 minutes a day. The last half year before stopping, I only used their “dojo” function, which is going through everything I’ve learned in the 2 previous years.
I don’t know how many more words I could’ve learned through them, but where I’m at now, I am more interested in reading manga/books and learn what I don’t understand as I go along and focus on grammar.
I’m using free version for two years (this is actually how I started learning Japanese, took me one month before I found WK). I only do 5 min per day plus forced bonuses, “learned” 1100 words so far. I see it as a super easy way of learning/srs-ing common vocabulary. I appreciate that the app pronounces a new word multiple times. There are many kana only and katakana words, which is a plus as these are mostly not covered by WK. I like when item in Drops coincides with recent WK item. Of course multiple choice questions are joke in terms of recognition. So I do not think it is very efficient tool, but I like streaks, and I plan to keep at it for 5-10 min per day till I get serious with reading/vocab study.
And honestly I’m always curious how they attempt at use pictures for describing words.
Update: I really like drops. The limited timing makes it few less like a chore and it’s a good way to learn certain sets of vocab and include kana only words too. It’s really helpful for stuff like grocery shopping, flying, etc.