Don's Japanese Conjugation Drill

It’s been a while but I’ve just pushed a substantial update!

  • Major site redesign using Bootstrap. I’ve tested it on mobile, tablets and desktops.
  • The questions have been rephrased to aid first time users. Hopefully some people will be a bit less confused as to what to do now.
  • Added an input box shake if you include non-Japanese characters in your answer.
  • Added a question focus feature where you can restrict the transformations to certain types.
  • Various new form combinations have been added.

Do you have trouble with the following?

る → った
つ → った
う → った
く → いた
ぐ → いだ
す → した
ぬ → んだ
ぶ → んだ
む → んだ

Because if you do then I have quite the nightmare salvation for you!

Choose the following question focus option and just keep at it! It will limit all your questions to those that will involve the above every time.

image

5 Likes

I have been using this as part of my japanese routine for a little while now and I really love it, so thanks a lot @doncr!

I noticed that with the last update, the furigana don’t show up anymore on hover, it’s either show furigana by default (with the box checked) or don’t show them at all. Is that intentional?

1 Like

Thanks!

Uhh… no that wasn’t intentional. I completely redid the way that furigana is shown (it now uses proper <ruby> markup) and I forgot to add back the hover feature afterwards.

You should be able to hover over to see furigana again now.

3 Likes

This was just the thing I was looking for to practice my verb conjugations! Thank you so much! I am loving it so far!

1 Like

@doncr

I recently found this tool you made, and I have put it to good use for myself. In the short time I have used it, it has already made a big difference for me. I started with the default settings, then when I had done reasonably well with those, I added Causative. I later followed that with Passive, Desire, and て-form, in that order. (I have to admit that I stumbled over Desire a fair bit, especially Desire Polite. I also have trouble with て-form when mixed with Negative.)

Admittedly, I wasn’t able to start with it right away. I have already made a number of failed attempts to study Japanese conjugations, so I needed something to teach me what would be drilled here. Since I use an Android phone, I searched on Google Play for something of the sort, and I came up with this: Katsuyou Renshuu. It dovetails well with your web app, in that it teaches the conjugations at first, but then your app is better for actual practice, mostly because it uses combinations of forms instead of each form in isolation.

I also went back and read this entire thread before commenting, so that I would be prepared. For the Plain vs Polite issue discussed above, had you considered replacing those two checkboxes with a dropdown list (or a set of radio buttons) with the three options “Plain only”, “Polite only”, and “Both plain and polite”? That would remove the ability to select the nonsensical combination where both Plain and Polite are unchecked.

Another idea crossed my mind, though it might be out of scope for what you are trying to do. You could add small “Info” buttons next to each of the forms, which would bring up a popup box with a short summary of each form (the meaning it expresses, a few example conjugations starting from the dictionary form, and other such things; so nothing terribly fancy, at least).

Again, it’s an excellent tool, and in the past few days, it has taught me more about Japanese conjugations than I have learned in weeks or months prior. I greatly appreciate you building this!

3 Likes

Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad that you’ve found it so helpful.

Heh… yeah the beginning was somewhat a trial by fire. Using the word ‘dictionary’ was a big mistake! :sweat_smile:

I’m still wondering how to best address the plain / polite selection thing. It might be as simple as putting up a message saying that you need at least one of those when they’re both unselected.

Yep, I’ve considered expanding it with conjugation charts, explanations and examples. One fine day. I think it’s a good idea and it’s not feature creep really.

Recently I’ve been playing around having it speak the word via audio using the browser’s text-to-speech function which has been mostly successful. Once that’s polished up (including the ability to select voices) it will probably be the next update.

And also this chart or some variation of it:

3 Likes

That’s… actually pretty cool. That image looks like a consolidation of all the possible lexical patterns for the godan る-verbs into a decision tree. That would make it VERY easy to write pattern matching code against. (I have worked with similar data structures, except that my code was for validating street addresses in towns and cities. The only major difference was the size of the datasets.)

I’ve just added speech synthesis to the drill.

The rationale is that you need to work out what the conjugation is from your auditory memory at the same time as changing the form.

This is experimental so it may work well or not for you. It relies on your browser’s ability to do speech synthesis so it’s not something that I have much control over.

Configure it here:

And then use space (or shift space) to hear the word during the test:

Let me know how it goes…

1 Like

If you’re on macOS, or maybe Firefox :thinking: idk… make sure you switch to a Japanese voice, I recommend Kyoko’s voice, she was easily the nicest sounding one. Some of the others either just don’t work or sound like demons.

1 Like

I just tried out speech synthesis, and found a bug. First, I get no sound. But worse, I get no words! I think the speech errors out, and somehow that also eats the text I’m supposed to be drilling. I think the speech failing is probably because I don’t have any Japanese voices installed in my browser, just English, so don’t worry about that one. I’ll let you know if it’s still broken once I get some better voices installed. But the fact that it breaks the quiz is much more problematic and felt you should know.

I just discovered your app a week or so ago, and I like it a lot. One of the best things, IMO, is that it tests both directions. A lot of conjugation quizzes only seem to test if you can make the conjugation, but don’t test whether you can recognize it when encountered. So thanks so much for that.

It would be even better if when reading the initial conjugation, you had to specify the features of the source conjugation before you could alter it. With most Japanese verbs it’s too easy to just split off the ending without ever figuring out what it means. And since I really want to drill comprehension, that’s not great. I’m too good at being lazy, and since comprehension isn’t scored in the test, my brain just skips it if I let it. Is there any way to make it require comprehension, maybe just by requiring checkboxes to identify the conjugation as well as being able to alter it?

1 Like

OK. I just tested the drill out without speech synthesis and it seemed to work for me. Is the problem you’re having just a lack of audio?

About twiddling the ends: Yes, if you see ~ません and you know it needs ~ます then you can skip the comprehension. It’s probably not that hard to have a feature quiz step before answering… Will think about that.

Edit: Are you getting similar to the screenshot I posted earlier today? If so then that’s intentional to force you to listen and go by the audio!

Ah! Ok, I thought the speech would be in addition to the text, not instead of. Yes, I’m getting no audio and no text. The no audio is because I haven’t gotten Japanese set up on my computer (still fiddling). So ok, not a bug after all. It’d be nice to have the option of both, but no biggie

Ah good.

I have a feeling I might need to produce audio files and not just rely on browser speech.

1 Like

Just noticed the latest update, this is so good. Really loving this tool!

I had another suggestion in mind - would it be possible to persist the settings in the localStorage since most of them stay the same from one session to the next?
I was going to create a PR myself but haven’t been able to find a repo.

Also, I’ve witnessed a recurring bug (1-2 per session): sometimes after successfully answering a question, when I click to display the next question, that next question already appears as “successful” (green background, cannot answer it) so I have to skip again to the next one. Let me know if you want me to try and record a screencapture!

1 Like

Yes to storing options in local storage.

The repository is at https://github.com/wkdonc/wkdonc.github.io but it shouldn’t take much effort for me to do.

RE: the bug. I hadn’t realised that was happening. Does this happen even using the default options?

1 Like

Just found this drill, this is going to be sooo helpful for practicing, thanks so much!

1 Like

This is really nicely polished and the idea to only have the user change one aspect of the conjugation in each question is super neat. Not sure if you are taking feature requests, but it’s a bit hard for me to use the tool at all without being able to filter to only study verbs below a certain WaniKani level.

If I’m being greedy, in addition to filtering by level, it would also be nice to:

  1. show furigana when explaining why the answer is wrong even if furigana is off so people can more easily recognize whether they just got the reading of the kanji wrong
  2. when explaining why the answer is wrong, show a table with stem changes for the base verb with the original stem and new stem (if it changed) highlighted
  3. infinite practice mode and a button you can click to end the session whenever you want

Hello. What will I do if it doesn’t start? What is the basic troubleshooting method to do?

You should be able to click on the blue “Go” button to start:

image

If that doesn’t work then what options have you got set?

This is so great! I needing something like this so bad right now. Already used it several times. ありがとございます‼️

1 Like