One thing on my endless list of things I want to do is get better at Japanese. I know a bit, more than I did when I was younger anyway. But when I don’t use it often enough… well… I start to forget things and that’s no good.
When I heard about Rocket Languages Japanese, and the fact that they offered an online course, I was pretty psyched! Could this be what I need to actually learn more Japanese and get to remembering to use the language more frequently? Someday, I would love to go to Japan and I don’t want to be the gaijin who can’t speak the language!
Disclaimer: I was given access to Rocket Languages Japanese course in order to try it and review it. No other compensation was gained for writing this post, thanks for understanding!
The first thing I did was download the Rocket Languages app. Now, thankfully for me I understand Japanese pronunciation, so going into the first lesson wasn’t too bad at all. I could listen to the speakers, and use their recording software to ‘test’ myself against it.
If I was newer to learning the language, I think the pace the speakers in the lessons are speaking would be very stressful at first!
Thankfully? They have the words and certain smaller phrases from the lessons that you can listen to on their own. Giving you time to hear them over and over so you can feel more comfortable with the language. Still… I wish there was a beginners lesson where it goes over the sounds each vowel makes, and then the characters. So you aren’t left scrambling trying to get down the pronunciation if you don’t have any experience. Yes I know this wasn’t a problem for me, but for a true beginner? This would be tough!
Of course that just touches the Interactive Audio lessons.
There IS an entire section to writing. Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji are covered. It’s in the writing sections that you finally find the how to pronounce things in smaller parts. They go into not only writing the characters, but what they translate to in Romaji (roman characters) and how to say them. This is… something that should be mentioned up top. Or in the audio lessons, it should include a page that is an introduction to Japanese pronunciation. Instead of just throwing you straight to it.
Aside from just learning to speak, Rocket Languages Japanese helps you understand and write in Japanese, there are language and culture lessons. This is GREAT if you are going to be in the company of someone from Japan, or in Japan. As you should understand the culture and the specifics that language plays in the culture. More so because there are certain levels of politeness you should understand for Japanese.
For example Ohayo! on it’s own is a good way to say good morning, but it’s not the very polite version, it’s more informal and is good for people you know well. Family, friends, things like that.. Otherwise? You’d need to go Ohayo Gozaimasu, so as to not be considered ‘less polite.’
Since I’m mom, “Ohayo Okasan” is just “Morning Mom!” and works for my kiddos to say to me.
I would say my final verdict it? Rocket Languages Japanese has a great deal of info, maybe a little difficult for the beginner, but with patience and enough reading around and clicking all the tabs? Totally a worthy language learning method!