A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Mango for Learning Japanese

There is a new web application called Mango that can help you learn the basics of Japanese (and a few other languages). First sign up for an account, and then once you login with your new account, you can choose which language to study. The lessons are given in slides and they include both visual and audio information (make sure you have your sound and speakers turned on).

I didn’t look at all of the slides in the first lesson (there are about 100 slides per lesson, and 101 lessons in total), but it seems that they give good advice. See, for example:

In Japanese, pronouns are often deleted when they are obvious from the context. This results in sentences without subjects and transitive verbs without direct objects. The literal translation of the expression 「おげんきですか?」 is close to “Are you fine?” However, the subject “you” is actually missing from the Japanese sentence.

This is from Slide 6 of Lesson 1. I like how they give detailed information like this from the start. A lot of Japanese textbooks gloss over this sort of information and you are left wondering about a lot of key points.

If you have used Mango or decide to give it a try based on this post, please give us your opinions on it in the comments. From what little I have seen of it, Mango seems like a useful and informative application, but I would like to find out from our readers whether it actually helps you learn Japanese effectively.

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