14 June 2017 @ 01:52 pm
Resources List  
If I could learn Japanese all over again I'd do it with these materials from the beginning:

1. Readthekanji. (For access to JLPT levels N3 and higher) you pay $5 a month, and you see words INSIDE sentences. You get an English translation of the sentence (which you can hide if you want) and write the Japanese pronunciation. After years of learning languages I know that seeing words inside sentences makes you able to recognize them much more easily in real life than when learning single isolated words a la flashcard software.

2. Animelon. You watch anime and pause the screen and click/hover the Japanese subtitles, and a translation will pop up for the word you chose. They ran the subs through an automatic spacing software and never double-checked them so when the spacing's wrong the dictionary can't find the right word. You can also have English subs, katakana-only subs, etc.

3. OCR software (I'm using a certain phone app that works super well). You can take or load a photo of Japanese, say a manga panel or book page, and it'll convert it to text. You can then copy the words and look them up in the dictionary that way.

4. A Dictionary of Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese. Pick the one according to your level and figure out the meaning of the grammar via their translated example sentences (their definitions aren't always correct/good so it's best to ignore them and learn it solely based on their example sentences).

5. Manga with furigana (so you can look up unknown words easily + do pronunciation practice by reading aloud). You can download a ton of apps to read manga for free on; you can read it for free on the 3DS; you can visit various websites like these:

6. A Japanese 3DS and a flashcart with a bunch of Japanese games loaded. Specifically, I've found that Ni No Kuni and some of the Pokemon games are great even if you're at N5. You can also play whatever other games you want of course, I think the original .hack// games are good if you're at N3 and above, SIMS is good if you're at N2.

7. Vlogs. Yes that's right. Simply type in a food name in Japanese into YouTube and watch bloggers go to restaurants and repeat "It's tasty! It's expensive! Do it this way!" a billion times.

8. Word-replacement software to learn kanji meanings. Ex. "I like eating dogs" becomes "私 好 食ing 犬s". This doesn't actually exist in the way I want it, I just made a half-working one using someone's greasemonkey script and have to pay someone to make a real one once I have money.

9. Learning another easy language first that teaches you about grammar. Yes, that's right — I've been learning Japanese literally 3x faster than my classmates (people who know English, Swedish, German, Serbian etc) just because I knew Esperanto beforehand. I've even been learning faster than some of my classmates who've already been living in Japan for over a year (just about the only people I HAVEN'T been learning faster than so far, have been Koreans). I'd recommend learning Esperanto and some kind of pidgin like Chinook Jargon before or alongside learning Japanese. No, it won't slow down your Japanese, it will literally speed up your Japanese learning even if you're learning all three at the same time. There's tons of research on this topic if you don't believe me, but I can also explain exactly why I have this thinking in another post if someone wants.
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Zal[personal profile] zaluzianskya on June 14th, 2017 12:57 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but if it's not too much trouble could you remove the text color formatting from the first half of this post? It's impossible to read on a white background.
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 14th, 2017 01:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know there was any. I'll fix it!

EDIT: While I'm at it, I'll change the comm bg so that it's black like how I see it, so it's not a problem when it happens again...

I use color-changing add-ons for viewing the entire internet so sometimes it changes text colors for other people too I guess.

Edited 2017-06-14 01:35 pm (UTC)
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 14th, 2017 01:36 pm (UTC)
...Seems I have to wait for the mod to get home from work before I can ask to be promoted to mod-status and fix the layout, haha.
Zal[personal profile] zaluzianskya on June 14th, 2017 04:50 pm (UTC)
You shouldn't have to be a mod to change the text color in your own post! It looks like it's been fixed now anyway, it's showing up as black on my reading list.
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 14th, 2017 04:56 pm (UTC)
No, I meant you have to be a mod to change the layout (background) of the entire comm.

Edited 2017-06-14 05:15 pm (UTC)
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 18th, 2017 11:33 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if I should post this here, but I figured someone in the comm should probably know--Duolingo's started doing Japanese, but (oddly) only in the app, not on the website. I hope this is useful to someone! :P
lusentoj: 布団[personal profile] lusentoj on June 19th, 2017 09:44 am (UTC)
It's fine, post it here, post it in a new entry, it doesn't matter! It's not like we get five billion posts a day here haha.

That's so weird. Why is everyone these days acting like their mobile versions are all that matter and they can just ignore their real sites/software? : /
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 19th, 2017 06:40 pm (UTC)
Man, I have no idea, it's bizarre. The only thing I can think of is that Duolingo has grammar notes on the site, but not the app, so maybe they have enough lessons to start but not enough notes??? Idk, it's weird.

I do love Duolingo though--I know it doesn't work for everyone but I love being able to look at all the different languages :P
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 20th, 2017 09:27 am (UTC)
Sadly, it didn't work for me haha. When I tried it with Swedish, I had some problems with the layout (difficult for me to use), there was a computer-generated voice and a lot of annoying beep-boop-blip-ding sounds, the vocabulary was generally useless. A while later I tried it with Esperanto and somehow they actually had gotten course creators who weren't fluent in English to make the course so you'd write the "normal" way to translate something and it'd be marked wrong, and their Esperanto wasn't all that good either because they used tons of completely unnecessary loanwords (words that I didn't even know after 2 years of having known Esperanto). And the vocabulary was just the same as in the Swedish course, despite that the same words were even MORE useless in Esperanto. The grammar notes have also seemed really bad to me — I know it's created by "normal people" but still.

I was thinking I might try it again with Japanese, but now I'm just too frustrated with Duolingo. A lot of people DO learn a lot from it and then go on to "really" learn the language though, so it's not like I hate the company.
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 20th, 2017 08:03 pm (UTC)
In my experience, it really depends on the course? Like, when I was trying to do Ukrainian, I just Was Not able to get the letters, and the lessons that that were supposed to teach me were just not that well-organized. But the Greek lessons actually teach you the letters, and I think the Japanese one is doing a decent job with the hiragana--as they teach you new ones they constantly bring back the old ones and make you identify them, so you don't just forget. Ditto with grammar--some of them are terrible but I've had good luck with the Turkish one? Though Turkish grammar is pretty straightforward so that might have something to do with it :P

Tbh I think studying Latin was almost more helpful for picking up grammar than a lot of the grammar notes, because it's like: this is what an accusative is, this is what a dative is, here's a giant long list of things you can do with cases--and that's just nouns. It really makes you think about grammar.
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 20th, 2017 08:24 pm (UTC)
Ahh yeah exactly. I always recommend for everyone to learn Esperanto because it's like... I guess you could say a simpler, more useful (in terms of language-learning) Latin. Need to make sense of cases? Esperanto can literally say stuff like "house-locationally", "through-house", "on-house", "using-house" if you need to and it doesn't sound strange; then there's participles and participles turned into verbs and stuff like that (ex. "was going to have love done to it" all in one word as a verb, amotis; but I could just as easily say "was going to have a dog done to it", hundotis).

I actually figured out all my basic Japanese grammar and particles due to trying to translate Japanese (translated to English) sentences to Esperanto, and I still use Esperanto instead of English to learn Japanese vocabulary (when I'm not using Japanese to memorize Japanese) since Esperanto's way more accurate to the Japanese than English is. It's really completely changed how I think of languages and is what makes it so that I can understand new grammar pretty quickly. I think if you learn with English you have an "English filter" that completely messes you up, because English is the worst language I can think of to use to learn ANY language let alone one so different from it as Japanese.

I actually experimented, and when memorizing Japanese words via English I have a 70% retention rate on average, but with Esperanto it's 90%. After finding that out I took the effort to translate all the wordlists in my textbooks to Esperanto to learn from them instead of the original English ones. So maybe try learning Japanese via Latin, even the vocabulary lol!

EDIT: I forgot to even say why I wrote all that!! So in the end, grammar's actually almost become easier than vocabulary for me to learn to understand, and I get really annoyed at any lessons that don't just immediately show/teach all the grammar as soon as you start, like Duolingo. Give me a big page with ALL the verbforms. Don't show me 繋がって as if it's a special grammatical phrase, instead show me 繋がる and teach me what て-form means.

Edited 2017-06-20 08:34 pm (UTC)
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 21st, 2017 12:35 am (UTC)
It depends on what you're using it for! I was taking a bunch of classics classes around that time, so it made perfect sense :) plus I just like history. Honestly though, I love Latin, it's such a ridiculous language. There's a specific construction you use after verbs of motion to indicate the purpose for that motion, I mean come on.

English: a good language to start from if...you want to learn German and French at the same time, and have a head start with the vocab? Pretty limited use case.

O.O that's a pretty big difference! That's amazing. I definitely couldn't do that with Latin, or even French, I think in English too hard--though there are few times when I'm just like okay, yeah, this word = vous (or whatever). How long have you been studying Esperanto??

*nods* That makes perfect sense. And it's especially nice when you can see the way all the tenses relate to each other. Have you ever considered studying Turkish? It's got some really beautiful grammar, it reminds me a little of what you said about Esperanto.
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 21st, 2017 06:54 am (UTC)
I studied Esperanto for about 1 year before I didn't have to "study" anymore and I was basically fluent, but it's been 3 years since I started learning. I could've learnt it tons faster but I had NO idea about grammar beforehand (didn't know what a participle or accusative was for example) so I didn't get half the grammar and had to just figure it out by attacking texts with a dictionary. Since there's only one ending for each type of grammar (ex. adverbs ALWAYS end in -e, no other possible ending), it goes really fast if you just read enough. It's kinda like, in Esperanto I learnt "WHY things are said that way". In other languages I instead sort of memorized tons of phrases and groups of words until I figured out "HOW to say things", but never learned the "why".

Nah I've never thought about Turkish, I don't have any reason to learn it (no friends who speak it, don't already have an interest in Turkish TV etc) but I can check it out haha! I'll go find a book and read about it right now!
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 22nd, 2017 01:25 am (UTC)
>"I studied Esperanto for about 1 year before I didn't have to 'study' anymore and I was basically fluent"

That's amazing! That's, like, really fast for fluency in a language. Got any tips you'd like to share? ^_^

*nods* That makes sense! I learned a little formal grammar when I was studying French, and they tried to teach us some in English but I could never get it to stick (I think the problem with trying to learn grammar and your first language is, you can fill out the worksheets without actually knowing any of the principles--you speak the damn language!--and you know all the weird exceptions, etc etc. It's almost easier to learn with a second language, or with the study of the general properties of grammar across languages.) Though I do think being raised learning French helped some--made me aware that some rules of grammar at least aren't immutable--though it does mean that whenever I try to learn a new language I default to putting the adjectives after the noun, ha. (One thing I really liked about my Latin classes, especially in contrast to my Mandarin class, was how they just laid out all the grammar in front of you. I mean, you have to, with Latin, there's not really another option, but in Mandarin it was more (like you said) about memorizing phrases and vocab with only v e r y g r a d u a l introduction of actual grammatical principles. It's like, how are you supposed to learn anything that way? :/ It must work for some people but I definitely missed the Latin approach.)

:D Let me know what you think! I love Turkish grammar. It's just--*gestures in a manner attempting to be explanatory*--so pretty.

ETA: oh, wow, I feel silly--does your username mean something in Esperanto?

Edited 2017-06-22 03:53 am (UTC)
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 22nd, 2017 09:49 am (UTC)
Yeah! My username is "lu (rent) sent (feel) o (noun) j (plural)" — "lusentoj, rent-feelings".

I have a ton of tips, I've spent the last 5 years trying to get better and better at language learning. So if you have a specific topic you want to get better at, I can try my best to teach you! If you want to learn Esperanto specifically, I can teach it so you learn it really fast, I'm already trying to make a textbook for it anyway so it'd help me out too because it'd force me to actually write the lessons. But in general Esperanto's a super fast language to learn because there's not much irregular stuff and there's not so much unique vocabulary (basically stupid people borrow tons of words from English but smart people create their own, so ex. instead of "blog" a smarter person would write "online journal"; I'm even filling out a greasemonkey word-replacement thing so it replaces loanwords with simpler words so it's easier for everyone to understand and learn). Btw in Esperanto you can put the adjectives after the noun if you want, lol (they can also go in front of the noun if you want). Oh yeah one of the other things I'm using Esperanto for is the word-replacement stuff I've talked about before.

So with English you have, say, "I like red dogs". If you replace the roots with kanji you get "私 好 赤 犬s" and then you can't tell what was a noun, what was an adjective etc anymore and the sentences can get kinda confusing. In Esperanto or another language it's no problem, especially if you break a few grammar rules (ex. putting regular grammatical endings on words that are normally exceptions): "Mio ŝatas ruĝajn hundojn" becomes "私o 好as 赤ajn 犬ojn", so you still know what was a noun (mio, hundo), what was a verb (ŝatas), adjective (ruĝa), plural (j), accusative (n) etc. I really want someone to program a tool that can replace words with kanji like this for me buuut I don't have any money to pay anyone so for now I have to just use a normal word-replacement script and it doesn't work so well... Still it's helped me learn a LOT of kanji meanings.

It's been too noisy at home to be able to concentrate and look at Turkish but hopefully it'll be quiet today and I can do it!!
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 23rd, 2017 05:59 am (UTC)
Oh, that's neat! Hmm--could you do friendship like that, [friend]sentoj? Or would that mean something totally different? (Can I ask why rent-feelings?)

I've tried Esperanto before and it didn't really grab me, but you're doing a pretty good job of selling me on it! (How can I resist the opportunity to mess around with adjective-noun order :P) (I don't want to be too much of a bother, though.) With the textbook thing, even though it sounds really cool!, I don't know if I'd be able to do the lessons--I really can't write things that much :/

*blinks at the ending trick* Wow, that's amazing! That is really clever, I'm going to have to pass that on to my sister (she took some Mandarin, and she wants to do some Japanese, but she can have a hard time picking up vocab just from reading (she's dyslexic)--I think something like this could be really helpful for her!). I usually use Anki flashcards to help me memorize vocab, and hanzicraft.com to breakdown characters to help me remember them, but this could be really useful!

I am actually a programmer! Just graduated with a bachelor's in CS, lol. (...yeah I also took classics &c., my entire family is terrible at specializing.) Unfortunately I'm currently undergoing a long slow recovery for typing-caused RSI, I can't code (or type!) or even really handwrite things (my comments and posts are all done on my tablet, and usually mostly by voice transcription). Not sure how complicated it would be, though--if characters were for the most part just verbs or nouns you could do most of it pretty straightforwardly with a dictionary (determining case might be more complicated, but if e.g. accusatives were always after a verb or a limited number of other characters that wouldn't be so bad); if you have to analyze the structure of the sentence, though, or deduce things from context that could get...complicated.
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 23rd, 2017 09:34 am (UTC)
That sounds awful, how long will the recovery take…??

That'd be "friend-feelings" so depending on the context it'd connote just a temporary, beginning, or one-sided friendly feeling or something like that, but otherwise yeah!! The normal word for "-ship, -ness, -dom, -hood, -ity" is "-ec", so "lueco - rentness", "senteco - feeling-ness", "amikeco - friendship", "virpatreco - fatherhood". But of course you can ALWAYS make any kind of word you want. There's "common" ways to say things, but if you think you have a better or more specific or more feeling-inducing way or whatever, you can always, always use that way instead.

I just had rent-feelings because, I dunno, I want to get out of my wife's crazy family's house and go rent an apartment, and we're just "renting" our time here in life etc I guess haha.

Oh there wouldn't be any writing lessons! I'd just teach the grammar and show some examples and write some texts, and you'd just read them. I never do writing exercises myself (I just write whatever I want whenever I want, I hate filling out worksheets and stuff).

Yeah most people teach Esperanto as if it's English or French, which is where the problem comes in. In the first place, it's nothing like those languages. In the second, that makes it REALLY boring (and for people of certain languages, really difficult) to learn! Otherwise people normally have the problem that it's ugly (after you actually learn the language, you don't notice its ugliness anymore) or that there's nothing they want to read in it (I can translate anything you want, even doujinshi and fanfic, and in the future I'm gonna make a manga translation company that translates to Esperanto LOL).

Ohh *o* I couldn't program my way out of a wet cardboard box!

The truth is, I have a ton of goals with "stuff to get people to program". The first is a pop-up dictionary, like Rikaichan doubled with a certain Firefox add-on called "Vocabulary Highlighter" (which is currently half-broken but usable). You yourself can add phrases and words to the dictionary, with notes that show up upon hover, with the option of highlighting them. Only mine would allow groups of highlights (ex. "verbs are red, nouns are yellow") and have a way to build your own conjugation system and alphabet conversion in. So for example you could say "masculine nouns conjugate this way", put in the conjugation pattern suffixes and then when adding a masculine noun to the dictionary you'd check "it belongs to this group" and the dictionary would recognize it. It'd also need a "this is dialectal / abbreviation / alternate spelling / whatever" option so you could just check that and then input the standard word for the same thing, and not have to re-type your notes for the word.

Then for the alphabet conversion, it's just that you'd always convert all katakana to hiragana internally so that the program could always pick up words even if they're spelled in katakana or hiragana when they normally wouldn't be. Like if someone writes "good morning" in hiragana, the dictionary needs to still be able to recognize it. As it is now dictionaries don't seem to do that so they miss a lot of words and also if you look in their databases they've had to repeat the same word 5 times to catch all the possible hiragana/kanji/katakana spelling differences.

Then you'd need to be able to export / import the wordlist so you can make your own (print) dictionary or use it in apps or whatever if you want to.

The second is this word-replacement thing. All I need to do is replace the Esperanto word root with a kanji. The grammar is just 1-2 letter suffixes so you'd have to be able to define ex. "only replace this to this if a space/punctuation comes immediately after", because otherwise you'd get every n in every single word replaced to を (hundon —> huをdoを) when it should really only be "hundoを " for example.

The current problem is, first off things need to be automatically sorted by "longest to shortest" and "alphabetical" match so ex. "cat" when inside "caterpillar" doesn't get changed to 猫 as long as an entry for caterpillar exists.
Then you need an easy way to say "Don't convert this specific word" in case there are mistakes popping up (Ex. with people's names) or there's no possible kanji for that word. AND what would be REALLY nice, is if either the original word shows up when you hover on the converted result (aka pop-up dictionary), or if it shows up as ruby/furigana on the page.

Instead of choosing by context you should just be able to have multiple kanji per word and the thing can cycle through them. Ex. you don't need to know the specific difference between 見 and 覧 but you DO need to know they both mean "see". In Esperanto there's never a situation like the differences between "he ran LIKE the wind", "I LIKE him", he was LIKE so fast", because 99% of the time a word only has one meaning (any other meanings are just inferred based on the situation), so that's not a problem.

As a master idea, there could also be an option to put in pronunciation. So for example, I have the kanji 話 which is hana in Japanese pronunciation and wa in Chinese. I could then choose to convert the page to "Japanese" or "Chinese" pronunciation of kanji instead of the kanji-meaning-based replacement, so all the "hana" or "wa" syllables in the text would turn to 話. (To avoid confusion, it wouldn't mix Japanese and Chinese pronunciations in the same conversion). That way you can ex. learn katakana, hiragana, cryllic, whatever by doing sound replacements (hundo, dog —> フンド or ふんド etc).

I've also been making lessons for Japanese where I write the Esperanto translations in furigana overtop the kanji and wordforms. The problem is, there's like no program / site where you can easily do this — I need the SAME furigana on EVERY kanji without having to type and re-type it all the time for every single sentence and document (so like, an internal storage list of which words have which furigana which you can import/export), and I also need some way to turn it into a PDF or Word file or whatever so it can be printed into a real book. As in, I'm trying to put "furigana translations" on entire stories. Aozora Bunko stores text like "犬(いぬ)" which then gets converted into furigana on top of the kanji, maybe there's some secret there.

I also need something that can just pull out all the kanji from a text and show me all the individual kanji with no repeats. When you want to make a kanji dictionary, you want to include only kanji that people actually use… So I'd make a master text dump and then grab all the unique kanji from it.

Another thing is just a simple add-on or webpage or whatever that adds spaces to Japanese, so ex. これをあげる=これ を あげる. You'd need to be able to "teach" it, because the existing ones I've found make tons of mistakes and there's no way to correct them aside from find-replacing all of them every single time you try to convert a text, or maybe you don't need これ を and just want これを for example.

Then the final thing… On animelon you can click on words in subtitles and get a pop-up dictionary. But there should also be one for manga!! You should be able to feed it manga or book pages, which then get sent through an OCR and displayed back onto the page with selectable text, like what PDFs can do. Then you can use Rikaichan on those manga and novel pages, while still seeing the original page graphics and stuff. Most of the OCR programs I've seen for Japanese suck but there are some really good free ones…
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 24th, 2017 04:23 am (UTC)
Honestly probably a few months--I actually injured it last August, but it wasn't as bad then and it would have been better a few times over by now except, uh... If you're in the same situation, I'd advise not trying to do school at the same time. Especially not a totally scholastically unnecessary independent coding project (even if it was fun--in my defense, at the time I didn't realize the extent of the injury) :p

Oh, man, that looks like a lot of fun? Language you assemble yourselves. Honestly it makes me want to read Esperanto poetry, that must be great. Virpatreco looks like it's borrowing from Latin (w/ vir = man)--what's motherhood? Fempatreco?

@ rent-feelings: *nods* Makes sense.

Ooo man that looks like a lot of fun! I would love to learn Esperanto that way :) I wonder if there's anything on the AO3? *checks* Looks like it! Nothing too long though, the longest is just short of 10000 words. Maybe one day I'll be fluent and can translate my favourite authors :D

You've got an interesting spread there! Some of them are pretty complicated, some of them are pretty easy. (but they all look like they'd be awesome ideas lol) In order:
-I've never actually built a Firefox add-on (or for that matter an add-on for any browser) so I'm not actually sure, but my instinct here is at this is complicated but doable? It probably wouldn't be the most straightforward thing to implement (working with browsers: generally a fucking nightmare), but aside from the in-browser thing honestly most of its pieces don't look too dissimilar from stuff I've done before? And I definitely have more practical experience than most CS undergrads--uh, recently ex-undergrads--(at lest than most from my university :P) but I'm still, you know, just graduated. Not saying it would be cheap to pay someone to do it, it's definitely a Project, but it looks like a doable one (I'd have to actually experiment with writing it I have a decent one how long it would take though).
-the word replacement thing is actually fairly straightforward! A lot of what you're talking about can be solved by regex (= regular expressions). Regular expressions are... basically a way of searching text for more complicated patterns than just the exact text you out in (like you do when you hit control-F in a browser). For example, I could use it to find all instances of the letter 's' in a text, but only when it's at the end of a word. Or maybe I'm trying to find every use of the word 'colour', but my text has Canadian and American writers, so I want to be able to catch both spellings. I could do that too! (...I thought that up before I saw the Wikipedia page but I was pretty amused when I saw it there--I guess it's a pretty convenient example.) Regex can be annoying to set up sometimes, but it's pretty great. The only downside is it might have to be input by the user, which means they'd have to learn regex, which is doable but not ideal. The rest of it here looks doable (though adding the Chinese would definitely mean extra complexity) but again not a Firefox expert :)
-...I'm sure there's some way to do this but I admit I have no idea how. I mean as you say there's got to be some way of doing this but I honestly wonder if there's any way you can configure Word or something to do this. Or Christ, maybe write an extension for Notepad++ or some other note-taker--honestly you'd want to write it on top of something else, because otherwise you're not just implementing the furigana, you're basically building some sort of text editor, and that gets big and ugly really fast. (What would be significantly easier is, a program where you input a list of kanji-furigana pairs, you give it a text file, then it just replaces each of the kanji with the kanji followed by the furigana in brackets, '犬' becoming '犬(いぬ)'. Honestly you could do some of that yourself was just replace-all-ing the kanji once you're done writing, although I realize that would get tedious fast.)
-Grabbing only the unique kanji is actually super easy! Honestly this would be really straightforward to do. It would only be slightly more complicated to track how many times they're used in the document and then output them in that order (from most to least, I mean). Super straightforward!
-Again not a Firefox expert but this would be more complicated, mainly from the teaching it thing--to be able to define things usefully, you'd have to define the rules in such a way that the user could interact with them, and if the user wanted to do anything complicated you would definitely have to use regex. But this would be pretty neat! I think it's simpler than the rest of them (the ones that aren't just 'get the unique kanji I mean :))
-...I would have no clue where to even start with this. Or, I mean, no, I do, it's just that the clue is 'go learn about image manipulation' :P Maybe it's just because that's not my area, but this looks more complicated than anything else you've suggested here--I mean maybe if there's a decent OCR library? (library pretty much = preexisting code someone else wrote that does the actual OCR for you, so you can use the code in other projects) But even then I think this would be pretty complicated.

In sum: with one exception, unfortunately these would all take a fairly significant time investment (and if you can wait a few months then definitely don't pay anyone for the unique kanji thing, I'll do it myself once I'm well enough. Which should even be before I'm completely rested--I'll be able to type a little a day before I can type a lot! :) ) That said these are all really cool ideas, and I can absolutely see how they'd be helpful for learning Japanese. Man, you've clearly put a lot of thought into this! (That's definitely one advantage if you ever do hire someone--if there's one thing programmers hate it's unclear specifications :P) If I were you I might spread these descriptions around the net and hope that some noble soul felt inspired. There is some good news: with the exception of the manga one (which might just be my lack of expertise talking), pretty much everything here strikes me as eminently doable--nothing people won't be sure if they can deliver, or anything that should take multiple years to build, nothing like that. I do wish I had better news, though, sorry :(

(I confess I googled this): Bonan nokton! Ğis la revido! And dankon (for all your help!)

ETA: this was just edited for an HTML error--forgot the / in the closing a after regular expressions--oops!

Edited 2017-06-24 04:24 am (UTC)
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 24th, 2017 07:31 am (UTC)
yeah, most of the base words are borrowed from latin/french, then the second main bulk is german/english, then there's russian/polish basically. the original point was to make it so even the educated people of the world (who were "all" learning french, latin and german at the time — it was 130 or so years ago) would see enough words they were already familiar with that esperanto would seem both easy to learn and more "familiar" like french. otherwise people would've thought it was both too crazy of an idea to learn the language, and too "unrefined / ugly" of a language to learn (though in my opinion the end result is still super ugly).

female is "in" so "inpatreco"!

i know they'd take a lot of time, and no matter what i want i HAVE to wait (i've already been thinking about these things for over a year) because i'm unemployed and living off student loans, so unless i get lucky and my wife and i find jobs in japan while i'm there on exchange there'll be no possible way for us to pay anything to anyone until some years from now, sigh! but i'm really glad if you can help with anything at all at some point!!

there's html to insert furigana so that's what i thought could be used somehow, like the same word-replacement tool that can also insert furigana tags and i just manually copy in which word it's replacing. if it's not easier to just code it so it automatically does it.

it's fine, you don't have to explain why you're editing entries! i just always view only the most recent version anyway.

for the word-replacement thing, right now i'm just using someone's word-replacement greasemonkey script which really doesn't work well at all, but it can do a very basic replacement. also when you have a lot of entries it gets really slow and hangs for a bit, i'm not sure if there's any way of fixing that.

for the other stuff, it's really that i'm planning on making a LOT of books to learn japanese and other languages. dictionaries (ex. esperanto to japanese), textbooks that use "translation-furigana", translated stories that use translation-furigana, stuff like that. so for example, i'm actually going to use the word-replacement tool to write texts, "translate" them to kanji and then use them as reading exercises in the textbook, and when i make the english version of the book i'll just take the same esperanto output and translate that to english. and for the pop-up dictionary, after having added tons of words based on what words i see online, i'll take the data and turn it into a real dictionary. the word-replacement data will also turn into a kanji dictionary.

i've tried posting about this stuff in several places and even shown output examples but no one who can actually program ever says anything... a couple people have offered to do stuff but then haven't done anything. which is part of why i really need to get money to pay people lol.

Edited 2017-06-24 07:33 am (UTC)
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 25th, 2017 03:14 am (UTC)
It's definitely not my favorite language just on the aesthetics, but it does have a weird charm to it? Idk. (I am kind of wondering though if people have tried to do similar things for other language groups. I know there's other languages that tried to combine European languages, but what about other languages? Hmm.)

Why 'in'? My instinct is to say 'that's bizarre,' because it's definitely not a feminine prefix in any language I'm familiar with--but I guess it is a feminine suffix in German? Huh. If I look it up on wiktionary... apparently that's where it comes from, yeah! If I were designing it I think I might have tried to go for something but didn't have a widespread other prefix meaning, but then I've never actually finish designing a language before so maybe I should just shut up :P

Honestly for the unique kanji thing, I've actually written something similar before? A friend needed to know the relative letter frequencies in King Lear, so I wrote something up for them and honestly iirc it took less than an hour. It's...not actually impossible that something this simple I could write mostly on my tablet, because it wouldn't be a lot of writing (relatively speaking) and the debugging should be fairly minimal, so I might be able to get it done before I get better but I don't want to promise anything because I also might not :(

(Good luck with the job hunting, though!)

For the furigana thing, oh, if you've already got the representation of the furigana set up then yeah, that's a lot simpler. Honestly probably the most complicated bit (or at least the most annoying bit--I know exactly one person who likes doing graphical user interfaces :/) would be writing an app that the user could interact with visually--if you'd be willing to run it from the console with a couple of text files as input (one with the kanji that need furigana added, one with a map of kanji to furigana--which could be as simple as just putting each new kanji on a separate line, followed by a tab followed by the furigana) this'd be a lot simpler to do. Not necessarily perfectly straightforward, but a lot more so.

That sounds like a combination of a lot of work and really cool!

Hmm yeah :/ They are a lot of work, unfortunately. There's probably /someone/ out there who would think the end result is worth the trouble, but then there's the problem of finding them--not to mention people probably don't want to work to specifications for free, instead of producing something kind of similarish that they feel like building lol. (Your specifications actually sound pretty well-thought-out but usually extracting them from people is a nightmare, and sometimes they contradict themselves, it's such a mess.)

Regardless hopefully you will one day have the money to pay people, and you can make some programmer very happy with your well-defined specifications :P

lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 25th, 2017 09:13 am (UTC)
There's a lot of languages like this around the world nowadays but for various reasons they're never as easy for everyone to learn as Esperanto, and that's pretty sad because Esperanto could in fact be easier to learn... The guy who created it definitely didn't always make good choices, part of it was probably that in his time you couldn't find info on a lot of far-away languages like Japanese. People are slowly regularizing and changing those problems though (sometimes to even worse versions). You can break his rules all you want as long as other people understand you, he said so himself, so I don't care too much lol.

Console would work! Anything would work haha ;_;; Though the original idea was to be able to translate any webpage / online text you want for reading practice, you can always just grab all the text and put it into a text document yourself... Or if you could also input a URL and it could give you the output in a "translated" html file...

Yeah, I'd better not be unemployed for the rest of my life lol!! My Japanese degree will be finished in about 2 years, so I should definitely have a job within the next 3 years no matter what.
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 26th, 2017 02:36 am (UTC)
Hmm, yeah, that makes sense. I did look at some sample Interlingua and I was more or less able to read it, but I have Latin as well as French even if I'm not fluent in either so I may not be the ideal test subject :/

I have a lot more respect for someone who realizes that people will be able to make improvements in the future term for someone who thinks they'll get everything right first time, so that's even better! :) He sounds pretty cool for someone from the 19th century.

It would be a little more complicated to get stuff from a URL, but I've done stuff like that before, it's certainly doable. Honestly it's mostly GUIs that are the problem--not only are they tedious to code, but if you want to make sure there's no bugs you have to test like, every possible interaction of every input from the keyboard. It's a mess. If you're just inputting text, it's a lot more straightforward

That's awesome! From what you said, I guess you're going to look into teaching Japanese or translating it?
lusentoj[personal profile] lusentoj on June 26th, 2017 06:03 am (UTC)
Yeah imagine learning Interlingua when you don't know any English or Romance language....

My goal is to (by the end of my exchange or immediately after, and failing that, after my degree is finished) get a job IN Japan, whatever kind of job I can that lets me get a work VISA. Which will probably be teaching English at a kindergarten somewhere. Then my hobby-work will be translating, until I've saved up enough money to start my own translation company on the side... I'm going to keep translation as a hobby partly because you don't normally earn much money with translations, and partly because having it as a real job would be too stressful I think. I need something where I don't have to worry much about overtime and stuff, because I still want to enjoy life lol.
sunlit_stone[personal profile] sunlit_stone on June 27th, 2017 01:15 am (UTC)
Honestly I think even just with English it'd be pretty hard, unless you're one of those people who's really into languages :P

*nods* that makes perfect sense. Good luck!