For a long time, the “difficulty level guide of everything Japanese” has been a small source for learners to find native Japanese material that they could enjoy and understand at their current level. As just one page, over time it became too big, too messy, and too hard to maintain. So it has been left without updates for a long time.
I had always wanted to do something more with it, because I think it’s the type of resource that every learner needs. It took me a long time to get around to it, and figure out how it could actually become something more useful.
That new project begins now:
I wonder if you’ll understand…
This new site is:
● One part: The Difficulty Level Guide Of Everything Japanese
● One part: manga quizzes
● One part: addicting fun (I hope)
It’s completely free and requires no sign up or login of any sort. I hope you’ll give it a try. Read the very short about page to learn how it works.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Sounds awesome! I’d love to see movies on there soon, I’m itching to see what difficulty levels all my favorite Kurosawa films are.
One step at a time :)
I have taken about four of the quizzes so far. I might be breaking the rules a little, but I looked up unknown words, and if the definition was 85 to 100 percent comprehensible I would mark the quiz sentence as understood given I could do that for every unknown word. I ended up getting 60% on all of the quizzes I have taken so far. I would have done much worse even on the easy ones had I not looked up words. I’m supposed to be level 40, but even at that level, there are tons of unknown words out there.
So far I am a big fan. Taking the quizzes are really fun! (I got my first 0 out of 0, but all that means is I’m not ready, so there are no real downsides to not doing well on the quizzes. It rewards you with knowledge :’)
Yes, that’s correct. You don’t have to understand every word (it’s not like doing a review in Jalup NEXT). I’ll add something in the FAQ about this as it might be confusing.
I really like this project. I’ve gotten to the point to where I feel comfortable being able to read most things, but used to use the level guides on this site all the time and it really helped. I tried a few of the quizzes, and think that it gives a better idea than how the current guides work, and think it could turn into something really nice when the content increases. While I am really grateful for the guides that I used before, I kinda wish that this was around when I was starting out. Nice work.
Thanks! I hope you continue to enjoy it.
Should we mark a sentence as not understood if we had to look up the definition of a word?
I think if you understand most of it without any help, then it is okay. You don’t have to know every single word/reading, as you can understand/read manga without that full understanding.
That stated, I did use a dictionary as help to understand the unknown words, and only passed the sentence if I could understand around 85 to 100% of the Japanese definition for each unknown word. So it seems like I really did “cheat” if I am not supposed to get any help at all. Even still, cheating involved, there still was a quiz I got 0 out of 0 on.
This is a great idea. It should make it much easier to find material at just the right level.
Thanks Jesper. I hope it can make everyone’s life easier.
Now that looks promising!
Being honest here, I wasn’t much of a fan of how the material was presented here, but it somehow worked so far.
But that new site looks a LOT better and tidier! Good job to all the involved people! :)
+ Nice thinking of giving it its one website. It makes the wakarukani pages even more tidy, as you don’t have anything else to wonder about. I think that is great for people not knowing Jalup :)
Yeah, the original guide was a bit out of control. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to change it.
This is amazing! I’m having fun taking the quizzes, and am even thinking about starting to read manga. I’m more of a novel/internet-based stories/articles person but this was exciting. It’ll be interesting to see how you handle novels. Would you ever open up some place for submissions, or are you more comfortable choosing the sentences on your own? Thank you for all that you do Adam, bless u.
Yes, the plan is to eventually open it up to user submissions (that will be moderated for accuracy/quality).
That is extremely exciting, and will give me even more motivation to go through my mountain of books. Thanks for the reply!
Well, Adam, you’ve outdone yourself yet again. The Guide to Everything Japanese, manga quizzes, and the level quizzes mixed together into an intuitive and appealing package. Takes out the difficulty of assessing level, and allows you to preview media before you buy.
I assume you’ll be adjusting difficulty thresholds as you go?
Yes, I’m keeping an eye on the way the % ratio falls among the 5 difficulty categories. I already made a major adjustment after the first few days.
How does the search feature work, anyway? I select ‘Manga’ as the type and search, but it only shows ten results. The ten manga displayed keep changing, too.
It’s limited to 10 results per search, and randomly goes through those results that match the criteria.
In that respect a Reroll-Button would be neat,if there are more than ten matches.
Instead of creating a separate button, I made it so that the values you searched with (the type, difficulty, and search term) remain even after you hit search. This means every time you hit search, it’ll keep your original values except pick out 10 random results.
Interesting site. When I was doing my Jpn-related (more of a online notebook open to the public but don’t do anymore), I shared the first page of a few books so people could measure difficulty if they wanted to.
Perhaps with novels a page would be good to include? Often reading speed is an indicator of difficulty of the passage (often, not always) so people could start a timer when they start reading, then stop the timer when they are done?
For comprehension, when you reach a certain level you’ll get Very Easy for most of these but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a variety in difficulty between the books. Comparing Marmalade Boy to Shingeki no Kyojin, although I can read both, there is still a huge difference in difficulty especially in terms of technical, series-specific, unknown words.
Is there a way to reflect this in the quizzes? Maybe an option asking how easy was the grammar, and how easy was the vocabulary/kanji?
Sounds a bit complex to ask users. The idea was to make it as simple as possible. Maybe later on, I can add additional factors that will affect level.
Certainly. It’s only meant to be a guide.
If I had one suggestion: a Japanese interface for the website would be nice for people in the middle of immersing.
I was wondering if you could add an indicator for when you’ve already taken a quiz.
Now there is!
Thank you! A suggestion I had if you haven’t thought of it already would be adding what media the content is on the list since some titles have both manga and anime listed.
Oh, I love this! Thank you!
How are the sentences picked? For fun I tried the 頭文字D quiz, since I own the manga. The quiz had furigana (the manga does not), and the sentences that were picked out were quite easy, and only represented all the 日常 conversations that happened in the manga- not the crazy, 3 paragraph explanations of car mechanics and driving techniques the manga loves getting into.
So, is there any way to give feedback on tests that we take, suggest new sentences, etc? I am sure this is an isolated problem due to the nature of 頭文字D (the first volume is deceptively easy), but it might be nice to allow suggestions, especially if the test taker owns the mangay already and can give a bit of feedback.
Otherwise, I love this!! I really can’t wait for it to grow.
PS: Another thing that might help is crowd-sourced vocab lists? I’m not sure if that would help at all, but it would help those who want to read something they found input what people thought was common (but previously unknown) vocab.
1. The furigana
I must have overlooked that and added them in by mistake.
2. Sentences are picked towards the first several pages. I try to take an average of the beginning. But it’s too much work to read through everything in the entire manga.
Now that there is a user system in place, I will be working on future features like comments, and the ability to add in your own information about the manga in regards to the difficulty.
3. Vocab lists are definitely a possibility.
Is the site broken? It’s asking me to log in. Maybe I’m bad at computer. http://imgur.com/5YDaBt9
Doesn’t seem to be your mistake – I get the same message
Same here. I hope the site doesn’t die; I used it about every day since it was revealed.
Nope, not broken!
It was easier to take it down for a little while while I did some major updates.
I’ve been spending the past week building a user system for the site. People had been requesting features that can’t exist without user registration.
The site will still completely be open in the same way to non-users (voting, searching), but many of the new features will require registration.
Currently the major new feature I’ve been able to add is the ability for you to keep track of what quizzes you’ve taken, and what you have not. I’ll be expanding on this and lot of other cool things in the near future.
Signed up! The list of what quizzes you have and haven’t taken is really nice. I look forward to what comes next.
One suggestion: having the score you got on each quiz displayed next to each one, or being able to sort by works by what score you got on them would be very useful, but I’m sure you’ve thought of that already.