Ron Scaccia

Ron Scaccia

Rocket Japanese — United States

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I'm not going to sugarcoat this, so don't look for it in any Rocket promotional material. :-)

Had a little bit of an issue when trying to buy this product. Wasn't Rocket's fault and they were very helpful in getting it resolved.

I am currently at lesson 2.4.

This is a good product for learning and practicing speech in Japanese. The exercises are very geared towards that, along with some writing.While it has been great for speech, I use a different product for grammar.

The interface is simple to figure out and use, so you don't have to waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to do courses. Japanese is hard enough as it is without trying to master a weird interface too.

This is really meant to help the student SPEAK the language, not necessarily stressing grammar too much, though it might in later lessons.

I've used a lot of tools for learning Japanese, but Rocket is the best at making you speak the language instead of just listening to lessons. That's why I purchased the whole product.

As for issues with the software, I had a few minor ones. At first, I would either have audio, or I could record my voice, but not both. To resolve this, I had to completely reinstall my browser. Not a big deal, but it was frustrating for a little while before I figured out how to fix it.

Also, on occasion, the software will mis-hear me on some words. For example, whenever I'm prompted to say "hanasu", it tries to correct me because it hears "hanashi". No matter how many times I record it or how clearly I pronounce the word, it tells me I'm wrong. That has happened with a couple of words so far, but not a lot of words. It's annoying and I wind up having to skip them. [UPDATE: The solution to this is to refresh your browser. That fixes the problem every time.]

[UPDATE: There is also an issue when speaking multiple sentences. The recording cuts off whenever I pause between sentences. The solution to this is to use a headset instead of a microphone. I have a very good mic, but even if I have it right in my face, the recording cuts off when pausing between sentences. I have a pretty cheap headset (with mic) and it fixes this issue.]

Yes, you can go online and find a Japanese 'buddy' to practice with instead of using this software, but some of us don't want to go out there and sound like idiots who don't know anything. Using Rocket Japanese for a while can give you some confidence in your speaking before going to find someone to chat with. That's why I use it.

One other minor complaint. I'm using paragraphs and spacing as I type this review, but the preview shows it all scrunched up into one big paragraph. C'mon!

Moderators note: Thanks for pointing out the spacing issue when writing reviews. We will fix that asap! Also, it is possible to flag (from within the Tests) phrases like the example you give. We can then look into what is causing that