Review: Human Japanese

4:02 PM

This past summer, I had the chance to visit Disney Sea in Tokyo, Japan. While we were there, we attended a show where Ariel sings a song from The Little Mermaid. As I watched the world's favorite mermaid sing one of the most fantastic Disney songs ever, I realized that I wanted to be able to do that.

I wanted to be able to sing in Japanese.

I wanted to be able to speak Japanese.

So, instead of sitting around hoping I'd magically learn how to do this, I started studying.

Japanese is unlike anything I've ever studied before, and to be honest, I wasn't quite sure where to begin. I've been studying Chinese for years, but starting a new language from scratch is completely overwhelming. There's just so much information that it's tough to know where to start.

This week, however, I had the opportunity to try out a Japanese learning program called Human Japanese. (Check out their website here.)

Human Japanese is a program you can use on your computer or phone and it presents the Japanese language in a way that's perfect for beginners. 

I tried out the desktop version and I really enjoyed how easy it is to use. I tend to prefer studying on my phone because it's so portable, but I actually really liked having the full screen for studying Japanese.

The introduction on Hello Japanese is pretty solid. It goes through a great description of the different methods you can utilize for learning Japanese and it talks about what to expect from the program. As you can see, the right-hand side of the screen makes navigating through the program really easy and there is an XP bar which means THIS IS JUST LIKE A VIDEO GAME, YOU GUYS. I am definitely one of those people who will do just about anything if it means I'm going to get XP for it, so Human Japanese didn't disappoint.

 Human Japanese includes:
  • Chapters
  • Explanations of grammar and vocabulary
  • Summaries for each chapter
  • Quizzes
  • Highlighting and note-taking abilities
Getting Started: Chapter One
In Chapter One, Human Japanese begins to dive into the Japanese language. What makes Japanese unique? How is it different from English? How does studying Japanese through the Human Japanese program work? I love the break-down here because for some people who are complete newbies, like me, figuring out where to start can be tricky.

When I walked into Chinese class on my first day, I realized there would be no English spoken. My teacher taught primarily through immersion and expected us to figure things out. For learners like me, this can be a stressful way to learn. Human Japanese isn't like that. Instead, chapter one explains what to expect, how to pronounce things in Japanese, and how to understand the difference between the way things are printed in English versus Japanese.

I want to point out that Human Japanese is taught in a way where you feel like you're conversing with an old friend. There's definitely this understanding that one person is teaching you, which I really enjoy. As I worked through this lesson, I felt like I was being taught by a good friend, rather than someone who didn't know or understand me. It's a great feeling and it definitely takes away some of the pressure that often accompanies learning a new language or skill.

This chapter offers some fantastic explanations of basic pronunciation. For example, there's a great explanation of stress modulation. Do you know what this term means? I didn't! After working through Chapter One, however, I feel like I have a pretty solid understanding of what it means and how it will affect me as I continue to study Japanese.

Checking Your Progress
With Human Japanese, you'll be able to quickly assess how well you're doing with each lesson. If you feel like you're struggling and need to repeat a section, you can easily do this. I love that it's so simple to review sections and go back and forth as needed to make sure you're really understanding the material.

You can also take quizzes to check whether you're getting the vocab down correctly! Don't shy away from quizzes when you're studying. In language-learning, it's really important to make sure you're getting everything down completely. Sometimes when I'm studying, I'll feel like I understand the material, but taking a quiz will show me just how far I have to go.

The quizzes are in a great format and the word or phrase you're being tested on IS pronounced clearly, so even if you're struggling to read, you can work on your listening as you take the quiz.

Closing Thoughts
I'm still a new Japanese learner, but I'm really enjoying Human Japanese and would recommend it for anyone who wants to learn Japanese from scratch. If you've never studied Japanese before or you know just the basics and really want to solidify your knowledge, you'll love this program.

Where to Buy
If you're interested in checking out Human Japanese, you can find this on the Human Japanese website or directly on Amazon.

Have you tried Human Japanese? Are you thinking of trying it out? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Author's note: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Human Japanese in exchange for a fair and honest review.

You Might Also Like