[Course Forum] Japanese 1-7 by Memrise


(Christopher Cooper35) #1

Course forum for the official courses in Japanese.

There is a bug in Japanese 1 lesson. It shows the hiragana for “ha” and the sound is “wa”. I also filed a bug report to memrise.

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(David Richardson97) #3

I think that’s a feature, not a bug. “Ha” is pronounced “Wa”. I’m new at this though…

(Xephers) #4

I haven’t taken the Japanese 1 course on here. In Japanese, the hirgagana for “Ha” is sometimes pronounced “wa”. This is used as a topic marker in sentences so it’ll look like Watashi ha neko desu. But it’ll be pronunced Watashi wa neko desu. It is confusing at first, but you’ll figure it out eventually.

(Christopher Cooper35) #5

Yes, I’ve come to understand this. I researched it, and I still think its odd, because its only sometimes pronounced that way (when used as a particle). I’ll reserve judgement until I get through all the hiragana in this lesson, since I learned it all in a different lesson. If it never presents it as ha, then I would say thats a problem, because in almost all words it is pronounced as ha, not wa (a few exceptions).

It is additionally confusing because it has me type konnichiwa in roman letters, but konnichiha in hiragana.

(Courtney) #6

I really hope they change this. It’s the main reason why I stopped with the memrise course itself.
It’s はHa everytime except for when it’s used as a Particle. As a particle it’s then はWa this should be explained in the course if they’re going to keep this confusing way.
There’s lots of other courses on memrise that are more promising than the memrise course itself, that’s a bit of a let down. Let’s hope they fix it or at least explain it. Newcomers will get very confused. I still am confused lol, I only learned that konnichiwa was spelled like こんにちは (konnichiha) recently lol. (Though I’ve only been learning the language for a couple of months).

(David Richardson97) #7

I more or less breezed through Japanese 1 Lessons 1 - 7 but ran into a brick wall with Lesson 8 and gave up lost and lonely. I’ll look at some of the other courses later perhaps, but have bought the full Human Japanese intro course, and am really enjoying the brief but well written explanations for everything. It’s a real contrast to Memrise’s Jap. 1.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #8

it is not a bug…

now seriously, you cannot learn a language, any language, only by using memrise. How do you expect “memrise” to really explain how to use the verb and the adjective in Japanese and the respective combinations of kanji and hiragana?

(Christopher Cooper35) #9

I didn’t suggest that. And they can do pretty much whatever they want, it’s just software.

If they can’t do it, then using your logic they shouldn’t teach ha to be pronounced as wa at all.

(Saisukee) #10

Yep, it’s not a bug.

The use and symbol of the syllable “wa” is a tad bit complicated. As far as I understand, the symbol は is usually pronounced as “ha”, with a few exceptions; like in “konnichiwa” where it’s pronounced “wa”.

So there is a general rule for writing hiragana “wa” わ and “ha” は. When “wa” is used as a particle, it is written with the hiragana は. Furthermore, the “wa” of “watashi” is a part of a noun, and the “wa” of “kawaii” is a part of an adjective - therefore, they are written as わ, not は.

Hope it made sense.

(Christopher Cooper35) #11

I disagree even more now.

I’m on level 7, and they’ve introduced “は (particle)” with pronunciation “wa” which is correct. Additionally, they have introduced をpronounced simply as “o” which is correct when it is not used as a particle as well. Everyone keeps saying the same thing, that its not a bug, but then agreeing that it is normally pronounced the other way!

I was on the listening mode, and it said “wa”, both は and わ were on the screen. I selected わ and it said that was wrong! I had the same issue when it said “o” I was provided both を and お. I selected お and again was wrong.

This is how I look at this: memrise is kind of like a flash card system for the hiragana. If you were going to make a flash card and put は on one side, what would you put on the other? I’m pretty sure you’d put “ha”.

Again, they did in fact differentiate the particle usage of は in lesson 7, so the earlier usage should be corrected.


I just took a look at the course and I agree with you. Lesson 2 teaches “は” as in the hiragana itself. Lesson 7 teaches “~は” as in the grammatical topic particle. The former should be presented to the student as being pronounced “ha”, as that is the correct pronunciation of the kana in all situations except when it’s used as a particle. The latter should be presented as being pronounced “wa”. However, in both cases, the course pronounces it “wa”.

As for the を/お thing, not much can be done about that, unfortunately.

And to try to clear up any “konnichiwa” confusion, it is spelled こんにちは, but pronounced “konnichiwa” (the romanization is based on the pronunciation rather than the spelling, which can just make things more confusing). To type it with your keyboard, you have to type “konnnichiha”. The reason it’s pronounced the way it is, is because the は there is actually the topic particle. Historically, the original sentence was “今日はご機嫌いかがですか?” meaning “how are you feeling today”, but has since been abbreviated just to “今日は”… which is konnichiwa.

(Michelle Cruickshank14) #13

I’m currently in Lesson 7 of Japanese 1, and dislike how it marks “watashi wa totemo genki desu” as incorrect, and “watashi ha totemo genki desu” as correct. The hiragana character may be ha, but the pronunciation in this case is wa, and could result in people learning incorrect pronunciations.

(サラ) #14

The problem I’m having with this course is it not recognizing my typed tilde (~) and marking my answers as wrong.

For example I’ll write わたしは~すきですはありません

and they will correct it by putting a mark through my tilde and adding their own: わたしは~ 〜 すきではありません

Am I using the wrong key or something (I use shift + `), I haven’t had this problem before.

(Michelle Cruickshank14) #15

Another problem I have encountered: when asked to type a word with a double consonant (e.g. machigatteimasu), it marks machigatteimasu as incorrect, and accepts machigatsuteimasu as correct. This may be how it appears in hiragana, but is definitely not how it should be written in romaji.

[Edit] And another: choushi is incorrect, while chiyoushi is correct!

This course needs a serious update in how it treats romaji.

Edit because I’m not allowed more than three replies:
Yet another problem: the food vocab incorrectly teaches words like coffee (ko-hi-) and soup (su-pu) to be written in hiragana, when they should be written in katakana. I can understand not wanting to teach katakana at an early stage (although if you’re going to teach kanji, you might as well teach all three character systems); in that case, words that should be written in katakana should be excluded from the vocab list as it incorrectly teaches new students, who may be unaware of the uses of the three characters systems, to write these words in hiragana.

(Michelle Cruickshank14) #16

I found that it wants me to put a space after my tilde, and will mark a lack of a space as incorrect, when the Japanese itself is correct!

(Gabriele Cramer Knebel2d) #17

The tilde (~) is a problem in several japanese courses I am taking too and I have to set anything that requires a tilde to Ignore unless I copy and past the tilde from the answer which is really a pain in the … .

(Blue Spree) #18

I’d recommend using a different course if you’re just starting out with Japanese. example; http://www.memrise.com/course/80119/learn-basic-japanese/

I saw this thread when I was creating a thread for the whole katakana hiragana issue. I’m assuming the’ll just ignore this thread because of the title. I suggest you change the title to “Japanese 1: Feedback”, to they don’t just dismiss it out of hand

(Christopher Cooper35) #19

I’m not sure who changed the title. I originally just called it “Japanese 1”

(Blue Spree) #20

Hopefully it was memrise staff, and maybe they’ll fix the katakana stuff

(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) #21

You can see the edit history of a post by clicking the orange pencil at the top-right of the post. I edited the title as I felt the original title was not descriptive enough. I’m considering now editing it again to make it either a [Site Feedback] or/and a [Course Forum] topic. For the rationale behind that see: Posting Guidelines and Forum Housekeeping -- a How To for Memrise staff, regulars, leaders, and members I feel like this topic doesn’t fall all that neatly in either category so I’m not yet sure what to do.

Also consider this dubious stance from Memrise staff on the matter:

So you could consider renaming this topic to make it a [Course Forum] topic, or someone might take it upon themselves to create such a topic, if it doesn’t already exist.