How has Japanese learning changed in the last years?

What’s up Wanikani. I have not posted here very often lately.

It’s been like 3-5 years (I don’t even remember) since I hit level 60. I am completely out of the loop. How has the discourse changed lately?

What are the popular learning sites/apps now? Is Wanikani still the top dog? Is Duo Lingo still worse than satan himself?

Do people still do sentence mining? Are mnemonics still cool? Did we loop back to saying that “actually the most efficient way to learn a language is by speaking?”

Open-ended thread

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Mnemonics are still cool, sentence mining is still huge, and there still isn’t anything quite like Wanikani when it comes to kanji learning (in my opinion) :slight_smile:

And yes, Duolingo still sucks (but I’m sure it has improved).

Oh and there’s a popular site for grammar https://bunpro.jp

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The talk is that it’s actually gotten worse. I wouldn’t know since I never really used it much and never thought it was any good.

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The main shift I’ve seen is more and more people are recommending jpdb as sort of the way to go. Doesn’t help me much, unfortunately, because they’ve yet to cover pro wrestling there, but for the anime/novels/visual novels people, there’s a lot to offer.

The other big change is that it was just announced that Yomichan will no longer be maintained. TheMoeWay is planning on forking it and rebranding it as Yomitan. So that’ll be a shift for a lot of people (including me), I think.

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Something hot lately

I am mainly here for Everyday Challenges and #japanese-language:book-clubs. Not originally the reason to be here, but I am moved.

Userscript manager will break in Chrome-based browser some time in the future. Perhaps everything will need to be rewritten?

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People seem to be less obsessed with the JLPT, Immersion and becoming fluent in less than 5 days.

These trends were terrible, but necessary to put Japanese Language Learning where it is today, its still growing but I am pretty optimistic about the next couple years.

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idk, maybe here on this forum, but over at r/learnjapanese, the flexing is still real

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I go on there when I have downtime. It has way less zealotry than it used to. Its not gone, but there is less as I stated before.

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Some existing resources like WaniKani have continued to improve. Others, like Duolingo, have gotten worse. Genki has a new edition.

For me, one big change has been the rise of chatbots like ChatGPT and New Bing. Being able to request things like “Give me a historical drama 1000 words long in N3 Japanese, set in the Edo period” or “Pretend to be a salaryman from Osaka and chat with me in Japanese” or the like are a great way to get stories tailored to your interests and reading level, or a virtual conversation partner on demand. Asking for interactive fiction is fun too, and can give you anything from Choose Your Own Adventure to an old school text adventure game depending on how you specify it. You do have to be careful though, chatbots will sometimes give very confident but wrong information on even easy questions, so I look at them as a great source for practice material, but confirm with a reliable source before learning new things from them.

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That’s crazy haha

Yeah, that’s because they don’t “know” what is true and what is not, AFAIK they just generate their texts based on provided keywords and some probability/statistical algorhitms - something like predicting what the next word in the string should be for it to sound “good”. So if your question seems to match exactly something in their database, there’s high chance that they will give correct answer, but if they lack information, they will just make things up - not unlike machine translators such as deepl :wink:

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I feel like people don’t take this one seriously enough, even knowing it’s a thing. I’ve recently seen someone frequently using it to figure out sentences in manga with complex grammar/slang/… they don’t understand, and roughly 50% of the time it was just plain wrong, even more if you include partially incorrect information. And, being a low intermediate student, they couldn’t really tell what parts are wrong. Most times they’d believe the information was correct, even if it didn’t entirely fit what was going on, believing it was their understanding that was at fault.
Honestly makes it a little hard for me to see the value in using them, but maybe that’s because I’m past the point where I’d need them… :cold_sweat:

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ChatGPT isn’t even perfected for English yet so I don’t know what would possess you to try and use the English bot for Japanese.

In the future though, it seems decent. ChatGPT can give you wrong answers but it’s not like the grammar is malformed or something. For a roleplay, probably no worse than doing it with a fellow student?

That is very cool if it works well.

Very cool that it’s gained so much traction since I last saw. I was worried it wouldn’t pick up enough steam to be meaningful.

Wow crazy, variations of that have been around since I was in middle school. Not sure what maintaining entails (never noticed any new features or anything)

Was always partial to this for longer texts https://www.japanese.io/

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What is this evil you speak of?

It probably only means, Web Extensions only, no Userscripts. Also, not sure about buying rights to put in Chrome Web Store.

The end date probably got extended to the end of this year, though.

Oops, they broke everyone, asked them to collectively spend hundreds of thousands of hours of developer time to migrate and apparently they thought this would all work out fine.

Postponed…

https://groups.google.com/u/1/a/chromium.org/g/chromium-extensions/c/zQ77HkGmK9E

One wonders of our beloved userscript engines are planning to migrate. Or whether V3 locks userscript engines out.

Edit: Yes, it closes the door on userscript engines.

Beginning in Manifest V3, we will disallow extensions from using remotely-hosted code. This will require that all code executed by the extension be present in the extension’s package uploaded to the webstore.

Tampermonkey’s very existence is to provide a platform for code that is not in the extension. Sigh…

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Mnemonics will always be cool

Like this one for the 指 Meaning

Try to use your fingers to spoon out some of the sun and you’ll come back with just one finger.
Look down at your finger and the burned stumps where the rest of your fingers used to be. It hurts. And you’re sad. But at least you still have one finger left.

And reading of 好

“I like you two,” you say to the woman and child. They both turn their heads 180 degrees back towards you. They both have faces that look just like こういち’s. “We like you too,” they say in unison.

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Natively still has a small user base, but is doing well overall. In fact, they just released a huge update to support movies and TV shows.


Another new tool trying to gain traction is https://marumori.io. Its goal seems to be general purpose Japanese learning rather than just one specific thing like WaniKani. I haven’t used it much since it currently just has N5 and some N4 content, but from what I’ve heard new learners are loving it.

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  • pitch accent was hot during a few months.

  • there is now a very beginner manga out there called Crystal Hunters.

  • JPDB has gained popularity has a subtitute to Anki.

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