Today we are going to talk about a free Japanese course, the Erin's Challenge. This Japanese course is one of the most complete free courses I've ever seen. Today we are going to get to know a little more about this great site to study Japanese.
Well, here's a video about the site:
Well, now let's see how the site works ^-^
The Motto of Erin's Challenge website (エリンが挑戦) is にほんごできます (nihongo dekimasu) which basically means "I can speak Japanese" or "I understand Japanese".
Índice de Conteúdo
How do classes work?
The site contains 25 different lessons. Each lesson has 7 different “topics” where we explore a subject. Let's find them.
The basic dialog it is where we study a dialogue. We watched a video, and followed the caption below. In subtitles, you can choose to view subtitles in Japanese (kana and kanji), hiragana, roma-ji and Portuguese. It's pretty cool. After that, still in the basic dialog, we go to the script. There, we can only see the script, and there we can hover over the words to see their translation.
Furthermore, we can listen to the dialogue again and even download the content to listen/read later! And, of course, for free. Then we have the manga. I really liked the idea of creating the manga, as we can see the same situation as the basic dialogue, in manga! Also, we can learn things like onomatopoeia, which is also taught in the course. And finally, we have the Basic Dialog Review Exercises. There we answered some questions about the dialogue. It is very good, because you will not only be learning words in the course, you will also be learning to interpret the texts!
The advanced dialog this is where we hear another dialogue, a little more complex in most cases. The structure is the same as the basic dialog: We can select subtitles and see the script/script, and we can also download the audio and PDF material of the dialog. It just doesn't have the manga in the advanced dialogue. After that we go to the Review Exercises, which is also similar to the basic dialog.
In the important phrases we studied some important structure together with エリン (erin) ホ二ゴン (honigon) and N21-J. It helps us learn some grammar, and it's a lot of fun! There, we can see the class, 100% in Japanese, but with well-known subtitle options (Japanese, kana, roma-ji and Portuguese). After that, we see Explanations and example sentences. There we see a grammatical explanation and some example sentences, which come with audio, and you can add them to anki. Then we go to Uses in different situations, where we see how a “grammatical rule” (Which we learned in this article), can be used in different situations (I think this is amazing, really a great idea). And then, grammar exercises.
No What is this? we discovered some curiosity about Japanese culture, something different, a different food, etc. First, a photo of something will be presented, and you will have to guess what it is (you will have 4 options to choose from). After that, we see a video about it, with the subtitle options you already know, and the correct answer.
No We will see we learned a little more about Japanese culture. It is very similar to What is this?. These two options are great for anyone looking to learn about Japanese culture.
No We will try we learn a little more about the culture, watch a video, and then see an explanation. And after that, comes the coolest thing: We can play a mini-game about it! Really, the site is very complete.
training japanese vocabulary
And lastly, the increasing vocabulary, where we learn some new words to “increase vocabulary”. It is not very easy to learn as you have to use traditional methods of “memorizing words”. Then we play a little game, where we must link the words already learned, the corresponding images.
See how the site is full of content? In the basic dialog and in the advanced dialog we can even download the content, to listen later, wherever you are!
You can even create an account on the site, and track your progress. And you can even download hiragana and katakana charts, and a calendar in Japanese!
For people who live in Japan, they can even buy some DVD's of the lessons, and it even comes with extra lessons, which are not on the website. Each volume costs 2,400 yen, and the three volumes cost 7,200 yen (+tax). The DVD's add up to 604 minutes in length.
The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:
It is worth it?
Well, from the description I made of the course, you must have noticed that the site is very complete, interactive and fun. This course will definitely boost your vocabulary a lot. To help with your studies, you can download the audio of the dialogues, which are available on the website, to listen to while walking, driving to work, cleaning the house, washing dishes, etc. and the PDF material too, for you to read.
But the site is not 100% perfect. You need to know hiragana and katakana, and know how kanji works in order to start using it (or using roma-ji). The course also doesn't teach kanji, and uses pretty much the same method that traditional schools use, only more fun.
The site will leave you with a great level of Japanese, if you use it correctly, calmly. But even then, you won't be very close to fluency. It is true that you will understand A LOT OF SIMPLE DIALOGUES, very much, it was from 80% to 90%. But really simple dialogues, the ones you find on a daily basis.
So it's worth it. For starters, it's good that you already have a basic knowledge of Japanese, to help. It will really help you a lot, but of course, it will never be enough. It will be a great tool to guide you through your walk to fluency, but it won't be able to guide you all the way to the end.
The main character, Erin, is a student who came from the UK to Japan to study. There she meets friends like 咲 (saki) and 健太 (kenta). Have fun with them and good studies!