(My god, am I a slow typer. I swear I started this most at 12 something
I would like to add my thoughts to this conversation.
I'm like Xmmm. Textbooks and courses bore me to tears and I never feel like I'm actually learning anything so I stick with learning by reading. Why? Because I love reading. I enjoy it and after seeing several other people claim they learned a language without anki, textbooks, flashcards etc., I wanted to be one of those people. Only problem was that the languages those people learned were 'easy'. As in European languages. So with me learning Japanese, I always felt I was at a disadvantage. Been trying to learn JP for a while and have checked LingQ, Readlang and LWT before. All supported Japanese but not correctly or easily. So I gave up on programs and just started reading whatever I wanted. Easy stuff of course and over time I have noticed I am remembering words I have seen several times before so its working out.
So about this LingQ vs Readlang vs LWT. I read both Xmmm posts and Cavesa posts and was fully ready to 100% side with Cavesa but decided to go check out these programs before I posted.
Nothing much has changed from the last time I used it. Only now you have to pay to do phrases. Not a problem for most language but for Japanese it is. See, Japanese does not have any spacing so in order for me to look up a word, I have to drag my mouse across several character. Readlang sees this as a phrase... So from the get go, I would have to pay just to use the word look up more then 5 times a day. This is where I agree with Cavesa. I dont like paying weekly/monthly for something I might not get to use everyday because of life, school etc. I will feel like I'm wasting money, no matter how little it is, and I hate that. Would rather pay full price for something then have to feel forced to use something everyday. Another problem Readlang has for Japanese is that it only shows the definition of a word. Fine for most languages but Japanese has kanji. So in order to read Japanese you need to know the readings of those kanji and the meaning. Readlang only shows the meaning. And still counts JP as a beta language after all these years so no hope of this getting updated.
Set up is easy but thats because I know computers. Works for Japanese just fine but the look up is a pain. Again because JP doesnt have any spacing, in order to look up a word you have to first click on the first character of the word you want to look up then click on the last character of the word in the little popup that comes up then type in the definition that shows up the the bottom right window then pick a color on how well you know the word and finally click save. Thats alot of clicks and really annoying. I even tried now saving the words and just looking them up but the popup didn't like that and would sometimes get stick.
Back in the day, LingQ was awful for Japanese. Big spaces in between words, google translate the only source for definition( outside of community input ones), couldn't join words that were incorrectly spaced out together, 'words' that weren't really just words but words with grammar particles added on to them. Just a big NO for me. But now, it actually looks worth the cost. Things I liked:
- Site looks more pretty and organized (after playing around with it)
- Able to look up words from actually good JP-ENG dic (jisho, tangorin, even Weblio!)
- Way more Japanese lessons than before ( stuff that actually is interesting and not straight from a textbook)
- More lessons from JapaneseLingQ (before they stopped at Beginner 1, now they have over 50 Intermediate lessons)
- Can get rid of spacing between words
- Can drag words together if still spaced out wrong
- Furigana over kanji (and it actually looks correct)
- Kind-of like this 'Recommended Lessons' but might get annoying after awhile
Things I dont like:
- Still got that stupid avatar thing
- This Quick Start Guide when I open a lesson ( hopefully thats gone if you sign up)
- This 'turn the page and every words get changed to known' (maybe I just want to turn the page to see how long the lesson is?...)
LingQ has definitely improved from the last time I checked it out and very much so for the better but I wont sign up for it, for now. I still don't like the idea of paying monthly but that because right now, I'm a poor college student trying to get through college debt free. Maybe once I got a full time job and a stable life style going, I'll give LingQ another look and most likely sign up. But for now, going to be a cheapskate and see how far this free account goes. Might just read all the lesssons I like and then move on.