Fabian Schneider

Fabian Schneider

Rocket Japanese — Hamburg, Germany

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(Japanese, Level 1 review) Methodically located somewhere between Pimsleur, YesJapan/Japanese From Zero and Japanesepod101, Rocket Japanese provides a strong, content-rich guided learning experience that can serve as a backbone to any serious self-learning effort. Of all the programs I have tried (including Rosetta Stone, Textfugu, WaniKani, Living Language, the Genki textbooks and those mentioned above), this is certainly the most comprehensive and challenging from the start.
Conversation exercises, which are at the core of the program, are very well executed and the speech recognition system ensures that there is a degree of accountability here. For auditive learners such as myself, these work just as well if not better than Pimsleur, which is an old but effective way to memorize phrases and gain some initial conversational skills.
The main weakness of Rocket Japanese comes in the lack of a spaced repetition system. I STRONGLY advise learners to use an external flashcard software (such as Anki) or analogue flashcards for their vocab learning. Since actually creating flashcards is in itself good practice, however, I wouldn't deduct any points for this given the overall strong showing on display. Similarly, Japanese learners should definitely use another service to supplement their Kanji learning as well as some more casual content. Naturally, actual conversation is absolutely mandatory, as well. What Rocket Japanese is, however, is an excellent "backbone" and main course for the learning experience.

I look forward to diving into the Level 2 course and possibly using Rocket Languages as a starting point for further language learning journeys.