Saturday, November 26, 2011

Learning Japanese with Lang-8

If you don't have the time or money to pursue formal classes, learning a foreign language can be tricky and discouraging. Interaction with native speakers can be hard to come by, especially if you're in an area where there just aren't many to begin with.

Lang-8 is an amazing example of the power of the Internet. Relying on the basic goodness of people, it works more or less like this: You keep a journal in the language you're learning, and native speakers will correct what you write. In return, you correct journals written in your own native language.

While there is a premium version with some nice features, Lang-8 is free to use. If you are at a level where you can read and write basic sentences in at least hiragana (the most basic Japanese alphabet), I'd definitely recommend it for Japanese-language learners.

The only thing that I don't like about Lang-8 is that I'm not sure at times of what's appropriate (for example, if you friend someone, do you have to correct all of their entries they ever make? How long of an entry can you make and reasonably expect others to correct it? etc. ) but I guess as with a lot of the new social media the rules are still being made up as we all go along.

If you decide you'd like to try Lang-8 out for Japanese, here's a handy phrase you can use when someone corrects your entry. 添削をありがとうございます。(Tensaku wo arigatou gozaimasu - Thank you for your corrections.)

1 comment:

Kelly Maple said...

Yo! ^.^

My favourite online Japanese Learning site is LiveMocha. It's not just for Japanese, either. They offer just about every language you can think of, about sixty basic lessons, simple review exercises, and feedback from native Japanese-speakers! It's really helped me.