Sample sentences not matching definitions


#1

It’s really getting bothersome to find sample sentences where the vocabulary word used does not match the English definition in the slightest.

Today I came across this gem in my lessons:
Lev 42: 紛れる To be diverted, to be distracted
Reading sample:
解熱剤が他の薬に紛れちゃってて、どれがどれだか分かりません。
The fever medicine slipped in with other pills and I’m not sure which one is which.

In no way do the stated meanings fit this sentence.

I also am not fond of sample sentences that have risque “humor,” like 荒々しい being used in a sentence describing a woman literally pissing on her husband’s face.

I’m paying money for this; I would like some professionalism and quality control.

以上


#2

Huh? Yes it does. “To be diverted”. The pill was supposed to go into one (presumably pile of, or container of) pills, and ended up in another.

As for the “risque” humor of some things on the site… koichi has always taken the stance that that makes things easier to remember. If you want boring example sentences, crack open a Japanese dictionary.


#3

I’m also paying for this and I don’t want to see Whiny messages written when the problem is PEBKAC.

You will be receiving my bill in the mail.


#4

And just to be clear, there are cases of this happening, just not in the one you gave.

For instance, 水泡 in level 46. The given words are “foam” and “bubble.”

But in the example sentence, they use 水泡に帰す (すいほうにきす), an idiomatic expression that means “to come to nothing.”

データを保存する前にブラウザがクラッシュしてしまったため、長文のメッセージを書いていた努力が水泡に帰してしまった。
My browser crashed before I saved my data so my efforts to write a long message ended in failure.

The answer in this case is to just avoid idioms unless they are being taught as their own vocab items.


#5

I feel like it kind of highlights one of the big things you need to consider when using WK (or any program that relies on word-to-word translations): Japanese is not English, and the definitions WK gives you are not always exact.

There really is no way to put “diverted” or “distracted” into OP’s sentence and have it make sense. It only makes sense if you consider the wider meaning of the word in Japanese.


#6

Syphus, I paid for a language study tool. I take it you paid for the message board? Sorry to make you feel bad.


#7

Mmm, perhaps. I thought “slip in” sounds a little too accidental to match with divert, but I do realize it’s the Japanese that supposed to take precedence. That’s why I prefer English definitions that can more closely reflect the nuances in Japanese usage. I know that’s a tall order for thousands of word and kanji entries, but sometimes I feel the writers play a little too fast and loose.

As for the humor, risque is fine, but gross is not the opposite of boring. I know, to each their own.


#8

I personally like the quirky humor. Translation can be iffy, so maybe don’t consider the English definitions any more than a guideline?

As for the rest of this thread.


#9

There are textbooks and things that follow a hyper-literal translation scheme, to the point where they even keep the word order of the Japanese sentence. I realize you’re not asking for it to go to that extreme, but for me it just clarifies that I prefer natural English translations, even if the one-word definition is different.

Take something like 見える
It’s literally something like “to be visible” but if a Japanese person says 見えない, a natural English translation is “I can’t see.”

You should already be looking up all the words in Japanese dictionaries anyway, so don’t get caught up on whatever words they choose for input.


#10

I’m also paying money for this, and I demand even more wacky and grotesque example sentences.

The product is what the product is and we all chose to buy it. We can’t expect them to cater to each individual’s preferences. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t hurt to give suggestions, but you can’t act entitled. You are a consumer with the choice to discontinue use of a service if you don’t like it.


#11

With how many examples do you have a problem? There are thousands, and if you had to reach to level 44 to find something to complain about they didn’t do too much wrong. The examples are sometimes … quite interesting, but I would say it is one in hundreds. And the examples show a correct usage, it’s not the last sentence you will ever need to see to understand the full meaning of the word.

“Some quality control would be nice” and “I don’t really have a problem with 99.999% of the content and used it for years” doesn’t match up. Everything is actually surprisingly correct and runs quite smoothly. You can pay the same money for much less.


#12

Also, no one has mentioned it in this thread, but Mami is adding more sentences to address the most common complaint, which is that the sentences are too complicated/contain difficult kanji.

It’s quite likely that many of those simpler sentences will be more on the bland side, given those restrictions.


#13

If this happens, then they could probably make a “safe mode”, where people would activate it so they wouldn’t see “inappropriate words/sentences”. Everyone would be happy and WK could then market to Institutions ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)


#14

Perhaps you missed the big gold Sixty next to my name?

I see your eyes are as bad as your brain. But I will teach you something, 釈迦に説法, you should learn it.


#15

Hmmm, here I was thinking you were level 39 :thinking:


#16

rip bucketfoot


#17

Why? The comeback doesn’t make any sense. The guy’s not actually suggesting he’s here just for the forum. Being level 60’s irrelevant.

I will say, though, it is funny to see certain people when they get all riled up and fire off these childish insults. I mean, seriously:

What next? And you’re a big stoopid poopy poop, too. Bleugh!


#18

Suggestions are good. They help to provide insight which the developers may have not considered. But complaining about the way the site works (in terms of the examples they give you) when you’re 44 levels in seems a bit shortsighted. You had 3 levels to try out the service and to see what your money would get you. If you really hate the way they present the information, perhaps you should have considered that 41 levels ago.


#19

Thank you for your useful contribution. It has been noted.


#20

I love the sample sentences. I typically run them through Google translate and some other translation services. Google’s can be pretty funny!

But typically the example sentences use the words in a way that very useful. They aren’t bland at all. This one さとうさんの犬は、とても大人しいです。at level 3 or 4 is a really useful intro to participles and sentence structure and a useful use of a word with a bonus useful word (とても).

That sentence alone is worth whatever monthly fee or $$$ paid for this.