LinguaLift is an Japanese learning site that provides subscribers with several different learning tools including a textbook, flashcards, and games. It’s the first in what’s said to be a series of different language learning sites by the EduLift company.
- Good looking site.
- Tracks your learning progress.
- Built-in dictionary.
- Variety of learning methods.
- Free trial of the site requires credit card information, even if you don’t intend to pay.
- Kanji and vocab features are lacking compared to other sites.
- Textbook content very beginner-focused, not great for intermediate learners.
You might remember the Japanese learning site NihongoUp. LinguaLift is made by the same team as NihongoUp and in a lot of ways is a rebranded NihongoUp (some of the worksheets still have the NihongoUp logo on them). If you used NihongoUp and liked what they did, then you’ll find that LinguaLift offers much of the same.
Let me break it down by each section of the site:
The textbook of LinguaLift is the meat and potatoes of the site. It covers everything you expect from a basic Japanese textbook, from the very basics of the language (hiragana, katakana, etc.) up to an early intermediate level.
The textbook tries to keep things interesting in a few different ways: there’s a whole cast of characters, each with his/her own minor storyline. The end of each chapter includes some time-wasters (like videos or movie suggestions) to break things up and a timed quiz to test your knowledge.
Kanji & Vocab
Both the Kanji and Vocab portions of LinguaLift quiz you on parts of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) using flashcards.
As far as Spaced repetition systems (SRS) go, LinguaLift’s offerings are pretty standard. LinguaLift will introduce a word or kanji to you, then quiz you on it with increasing intensity.
There are a few things that disappointed me about LinguaLift’s Kanji and Vocab sections.
It was strange to me that LinguaLift will introduce new vocab every single round, regardless of how many questions you get wrong or right. I intentionally tried to get round after round of questions wrong, but even if I missed every single question, LinguaLift kept on introducing new vocabulary.
And most damning for me was the fact that at no point do you actually type in the answer to the question. Without having to actually input an answer, these flashcard systems begin to feel like an exercise in clicking buttons.
LinguaLift even has an arcade with a game called “Frenzy,” which is a Japanese version of the online game Z-Type. The basic idea of the game is that Japanese words fall at you and you have to type them to shoot them away. It should be a familiar concept to anybody who’s played games like Mario Teaches Typing or The Typing of the Dead.
Frenzy is a nice diversion but doesn’t go beyond hiragana, so probably won’t be too helpful to those who have learned their hiragana already.
Overall, LinguaLift is a good, general site. It offers a lot of different tools to use, although those tools might not always be the greatest. Nonetheless, LinguaLift is a solid resource to try out if you’re a beginner.