Website for learning Japanese
For those looking to learn Japanese. I have recently created Elon.io. It offers a Japanese course teaching Kanji & Kana, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
You can also practice the words and grammar you have learned through a spaced repetition system based on the amount of interference from other words.
At the moment it only contains 57 lessons but we are working hard on extending and improving it. If you like it (or not), please leave me a message with your feedback.
It looks something like this:
Yes, I know that is not ideal, but otherwise Elon.io could not exist. I pay the people working on the courses, and the expenses are far higher than the income at this moment. I want to build it bigger(Chinese, Hindi, and Korean courses, and English courses from these languages, including video calls between the learners). Unfortunately, I cannot build this from thin air and need the support of the users for this.
I see. I am sorry then, I've always wanted to learn Japanese, but I simply cannot. ='(
Do I understand correctly that it is simply not possible for you to pay the subscription fee? Or do you just think it is not worth it?
At the moment I have no money, and never thought that would not be worth, because I liked the beginning, it was fun and I would learn a lot there.
What about a free/premium ad-based model? Or a pay-per-lesson model? I really don't like monthly subscriptions. On one hand because I don't like to have my credit card information saved in some database, on the other hand because this forces you to pay even if you had no time to practice for a while.
Hello Sorriso, if you don't have time to practice, you can easily cancel your subscription for a while. The effort is two clicks on the subscription page.
I need to have a somewhat stable revenue stream to be able to fund the creation of our lessons, which have a degree of quality that justifies payment. Our mission is to overhaul primary and secondary education entirely, by changing it to a system where the theoretical aspects are digitized and personalized as soon as possible.
All decisions, including the subscription model, are fully directed at accelerating our momentum towards this goal.
Thank you for your elaboration on that. It is nice to know, that you can easily cancel your subscription. I will think about it.
Yes, I think I have a lot to improve on the way everything is communicated. So thanks for letting me know that it is not immediately clear that you can easily cancel your subscription :)
I've had a look at your website. It looks nice.
I'd like to give you a few hints to make it better for your users. You need a little more information on your homepage. If you are going to charge, I want to know how much it costs before I sign up. At least, you could suggest that I try one of the sample lessons on the website. As it is, I looked at your website and thought it was free. At that point, I might have signed up, not realizing you charged for most of the material.
I looked at one free lesson from Turkish and from Japanese. (I'm not interested in Spanish). The Turkish material is the same vocabulary as Duolingo. Why not have something different? Why not teach banana instead of apple? The Japanese vocabulary is nice and easy, but I hated the voice. Also, why do you have sound for the English words? It's distracting. I only need to hear the language I am learning.
I think that as you develop your website, it is going to be very good. I hope you will be successful.
thank you for taking the time to look at the website and giving some hints :)
Do you mean that you wanted to sign up straight from the home page, before first clicking "Learn Japanese" or "Learn Turkish", because if you click one of the languages, you immediately see the word "premium" written from lesson 4 onward in the lesson overview. But you are right that it still does not contain price information before you sign up, that is something I will change (edit: I have changed this by now).
The reason to have "elma" before "muz" is because "elma" is used more than "muz". Some words are bound to be the same if you teach the same language and you want to start with simple words. The Turkish material is not the same as Duolingo's and the vocabulary on Elon.io is much bigger than on Duolingo.
Concerning voices, you are right that machine voices are not very good at this. This weekend I have implemented the ability to record human voices and use them, so while it will take a while until the machine voice is completely replaced, it is in the works. After signing up it is easy to disable the English voice (you can then change your settings via a dropdown in the right top corner). But maybe I should turn the voice off by default... only, at this moment there is no way for me to be sure whether there are not more people who love the English voice than people who hate it, so that would be kind of a guess. But I will keep this in mind, in case more people say the same thing.
Thanks again for your feedback and for your nice wishes :)
Some websites ask you to sign up before you can look at any material. At first sight, your website looked like one of those. It's not a problem if there is a lot of free material, but when only a little material is free, it can be annoying. A little more information on the homepage can clear up that misunderstanding.
In my opinion this is quite clear. You can have a look at most of the material before even signing up. That is one thing I like about the homepage.
Hello Nerida, thanks for your message!
I believe that almost everyone who sees the home page will immediately click "Learn X" and not even read the homepage. Then they will see a list of lessons with "Premium" next to lesson 4 onward. At this moment, I am not yet convinced that it is not clear within a minute what the site does have and does not have to offer. I may be completely wrong about this of course, so I will keep my ears open for people who say the same thing you say.
I will work on a better homepage though, because I believe that you are right that the current home page is not ideal.
You are probably right about people going to the lessons immediately. When I clicked on the lessons, everything became very clear. In the past, I have found websites (I can't remember which ones) where I have tried to click on the material and been directed to the sign up page. Sometimes I have had to sign up, only to find that the material is unsuitable and then had to deactivate the account. Other websites (like yours) do not; however, at first sight (to me), it looked like I would need to sign up. It's probably just me.
Hi Nerida, I don't know if it's just you or not. Just in case, I am working on the home page right now :)
Not yet, and I have a long list of things still to do, so the app might take a while unfortunately.
Wow... that's great! I've just tried it, but sometimes I find things like "⽲" quite confusing. Can you look about it?
Also, why do I have to pay for it? ='(
Hi Szaty, thank you for your reply. Could you tell me why do you find things like ⽲ confusing? Is it because they are not Kanji, or for a different reason?
Yes; it doesn't show how the kanji is and instead it's just a square. When it happens with some of them, I can't tell which means what.
Aah, that's important for me to know, thank you! Which web browser do you use?
Opera, but it also seems to appear in Chrome... I think it's a problem with Unicode characters though.
I have been able to reproduce the problem with a machine with windows 8, I will resolve it as soon as possible. Thank for pointing this out :)
Szaty, I have finally been able to resolve the issue. Thanks for notifying me about it.
The reason that it is a paid service is that there is no other way to host this platform. Right now it is bleeding money and there are no investors at my door asking me to please take their millions, therefore it needs the support of its users to survive.
I have just tested with the latest versions of IE, FireFox, Chrome, Safari and there it works fine, but I will look further into it.