Deutsche Version:

Seit dem letzten Beitrag habe ich mal ein paar Webseiten getetstet und zudem ein Sprachtandem gefunden worauf ich in diesen Beitrag ausführlich eingehen werde. Gerade für Sprachlernende sei dieser Beitrag empfohlen =).
Demnächst folgt noch ein Beitrag über meine Pläne was Kyushu angeht. Zwar wollte ich vorher nichts schmieden, aber verdammt nochmal, alte Gewohnheiten wird man nur schwerlich los! Bis denn dann =)

English Version:

After my last Blog-entry I tried some websites in regards of learning japanese which I intend to review here. The first one would be lang-8. A Website where one can post texts in the language that needs to be learned and let it be corrected by native speakers of this language! A great way to get some writing practice and also get your mistakes right. Therefore one needs to register and the basic usage of the website is for free, means you can do everything you were promised without paying. There is but an option for upgrading to a premium account, but one does not necessarily needs to do it (I haven’t either), it just promises to get your reviews also as a pdf to download and that your entries may be positioned higher in the cue of awaiting corrections. Especially the last feature is unnecessary for everything gets corrected very fast. It’s not rare that you just wait less than an hour and get your first correction on your post, which is very convenient. It’s even possible that more than one person could correct your text, hence one would get another opinion as well plus other people are able to rate the corrections of others, which means you can also see which help is really helpful and which is not. But within my experiences every help was good so far.
Lang-8 has a huge diversity of offered languages. More than 90 to chose, though japanese is with 30% quite overrepresented. If one considers that the site is made by a japanese and located in Tokyo it’s nothing to be surprised of =). Hence especially japanese learning people will find it easy to use the site.
One cannot just post things but also make corrections themselves. There are even many japanese who are learning German but ofther Nationalities as well. For every correction you do, you get rewarded with so called L-Points. The higher the amount is the higher your post rises in the cue and the faster it gets corrected. So it’s worth to correct yourself.
In general it’s a great website to test your knowledge about writing and grammar composing and let it be reviewed by native speakers. Though a bit sad is the fact that not everyone states why it was wrong and his attempts right. Thats what is a bit missing, but nonetheless one can ask and normally gets a fast reply.

Another website I’m using every day now is memrise. For people who are familiar with duonlingo it’s quite similar yet way better in my opinion. Memrise is a program to memorise words/phrases/grammar or whatever can be memorised concerning languages. Here too is a huge diversity in languages to be selected and in case of japanese even more courses to choose. There are heaps of courses, some may seem unnecessary some are really good and helpful ones. I joined the JLPT N5 Course and currently occupied with vocabulary in Kana and Kanji. Each course has a specific timeframe displayed which reaches from about 1 hour to more than 78 hours in total. This particular course which I choose is listed with 20 hours. Means one needs 20 hours to successfully complete the course. Of course it does not has to be done instantly but one select for how long you will learn every day. Even in between you can just stop and everything is on hold.
It’s btw. everything for free but as I wrote for lang-8, even here one can upgrade to a premium account. It’s probably a bit more useful than with lang-8 but neveretheless do I think that the standard Version is good enough to experience a good progress. For every word you learn you get points as well, which are summarised to a ranking to compete against other users which might encourage you to do more and become number 1. For me it’s just a nice feature but nothing I take that serious. The program even lets you repeat the already memorised words, which is highly recommendable to do.
What it does not help in, is how to write Kanji. I need to write them down independently and learn them activly by myself. The program makes just the connections between the Kanji and how it’s written and translated. Therefore you just need to remember which word belongs to which Kanji. Thats fine with me for I get a wider knowledge of vocab., which helps me to widen my speaking skills as well and ….

… I can practice now, thanks to a language tandem I found! I strolled through the internet in search of someone who wants to learn English or German and teaches me in Japanese. I discovered the website japan-guide, which is not just a great site for informations regarding destinations in Japan, but also to find penpals. If you register for free you can also write an advertisement, but in my case I found many people looking for foreigners to speak with ‚em.
We already had our first skype session and the next one is slated for saturday when it’s my turn to learn =). The last time we spoke mainly on english to get to know each other.
Another japanese I met on another site, wants to practice german in which she is already quite good (the same for the other one). Here we have to see how we proceed.

Well that’s basically it. Just about two months left and I’m off to Japan! Until then I’ll study hard and write some more. The next Blog-post will be about my plans for Kyushu =). Stay tuned!

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