Japanese is a language that I really want to learn. While I have started some courses, I could not really convince myself to complete them because of how they were laid out and other issues such as participants already knowing the basics while I had to spend day after day trying to memorize the two syllabic scripts hiragana and katakana as well as kanji.
I stumbled upon Human Japanese Lite for Android recently and have used it with great success so far. Lite means that it makes available eight chapters of the Japanese language course while chapters 9 to 42 are only available in the paid version.
This is probably the best option when it comes to courses. If you like the course, you probably want to complete it and don't mind the €6.99 that it available for.
What sets Human Japanese apart is how contents are taught. First, it offers lots of text. While that may discourage some learners, it is actually well written and very informative.
While that may sound scary, it is without doubt the best guide that I ever read on the topic. Not only does it explain everything to you, it is filled with sound samples that you can play over and over again.
Plus, Japanese pronunciation is easy when compared to many other languages as there are just a few rules that you need to follow.
The first eight chapters that are available for free are the following ones:
- The Writing System.
- Hiragana Part 1.
- Hiragana Part 2.
- The Verb To Be.
- At Home.
The first chapter is entirely in English while the following seventeen chapters mix Romaji (Roman letters) with Japanese signs.From chapter 18 on, only Japanese signs are used (except for explanations and such which remain in English).
The app is different from the majority of language learning apps. Instead of throwing canned phrases and situations at you, it makes things clearer and easier to understand with how the course is structured and how each lesson is taught.
The app features lots of text but also recordings, animations, photos and more that improve the learning experience significantly. Most learning apps and books that I encountered previously did use information that you were expected to know even if they were not taught in the app or book.
A quiz is added to each chapter after the first one. The app is configured by default to lock chapters until the quiz of the previous chapter has been taken. It is however possible to modify that preference in the options to unlock all chapters at once. This can be useful to learners who don't start at the very beginning.
Apart from that, a note taking option has been added to the app which you can use to add custom notes to any page or lesson.
The app offers a warmer learning environment thanks to how it is laid out and how the lessons are taught. While that may not be to everyone's liking, it should appeal to the majority of learners and especially those who shied away from Japanese because of how it is taught usually.
The same author has created an intermediary course as well which is also offered as a lite version and a full version. As far as Japanese learning courses are concerned, this gets my seal of approval. Thumbs up.