View Full Version : Language Learning Tools In General [not just Japanese]

March 2nd, 2012, 19:36
Hey guys.

I like tools to help me learn languages. I'm a bit geeky about them. I'd like to swap cool tools with you guys.

The two things in studying Japanese that I found the most useful were lang-8.com and Japanesepod101.com. Lang-8 lets you write diaries in your studied language and has native speakers come correct it for you. It's a little disheartening because they will rip the poopsicles out of your work but it's very good for pointing out your weak points. Japanesepod101 is good for all levels (I often listen to it even now), and was a great help when I was at uni studying because it gave me a lot of extra phrases and words that I didn't get from the textbook.

Right now my focuses are German and Chinese, with dabblings in Korean. I use Michel Thomas audio for German and Chinese. The German ones are fantastic because they are actually done by Michel himself. The Chinese one is not as good, but still pretty effective. An hour or so into the German one and I was able to make a whole load of different sentences.

I had a go at Pimsleur for Korean since Michel Thomas doesn't do Korean yet, and I was really disappointed. It was a bit naff and wasn't nearly as effective as Michel Thomas. It focuses on breaking down words and repetition, where as Michel Thomas focuses on building vocabulary and then making sentences. Through the walk from my house to the train station I learn about 2-3 new sentences with Michel. I got 1 sentence made of 3 words from Pimsleur.

Does anyone else use anything that's quite good for languages?

March 2nd, 2012, 21:27
I have started with Michel Thomas and pimsluer for Japanese. I felt Thomas was good for teaching the grammar but rather poor in the vocab section. Pimsluer i feel is kind of the opposite, very good in the vocab but pretty much nonexistent with the grammar.

Also i feel pimsluer ingrains the vocab in you while Michel Thomas basically has you construct stuff in your head which is a very slow and draining way to converse. Mixing the two i felt worked great.

Japanese pod 101 i really liked at the beginning but now i try to edit it for just the conversation. The constant small talk was relaxing at first but feels like a time waster now that i got use to it.

March 2nd, 2012, 23:34
Didn't you feel that there wasn't enough explanation with Pimsluer? With German he goes into great detail and tells you lots of cool points about the words, in the Chinese they have a lot of ways to remember the words. Pimsluer was just a lot of repetition and it didn't stick with me. Or maybe I need to give it more of a go before giving up?

I had heard that Japanesepod101 scam people if they pay for their advanced services, but I've never needed them actually.

April 22nd, 2012, 05:02
Regarding Pimsleur for Korean, I was teaching there before and I showed it to one of my Korean friends - apparently the voices are incredibly odd so I'd not copy them for your pronunciation. I never managed to remember anything from listening to it a few times, but I'm terrible with that kind of learning.

Not so much a tool, but the Sogang Korean textbooks are apparently the best Korean textbooks. A friend who has tried many highly recommends them and they're definitely the best of the ones I've seen too.

April 22nd, 2012, 14:55
That's great thanks. With those textbooks - are they designed for self study, or do you need a teacher?

August 24th, 2012, 09:56
The constant small talk was relaxing at first but feels like a time waster now that i got use to it. they designed for self study,