Erin’s Challenge is a website that offers free high quality and interactive Japanese lessons and is one of the highest quality websites to help with learning Japanese I have found. The focus of the website is Erin; an exchange student who arrives from her home country into a Japanese high school with plans to spend 6 months learning about Japan, the Japanese culture and language. The user follows along in a series of skits from when she fist arrives at school, to when she is with her host family onwards and as her understanding of Japan and Japanese improves hopefully so will the user’s.
Along with the skits the website offers a myriad of exercises, quizzes and games help the user to learn in a fun way that doesn’t seem like studying and before you know it you will increase your understanding of the Japanese language and culture. I have only watched a few of the skits completed a few of the lessons but teaching Japanese using video is a welcome change of pace from most of the other Japanese learning tools available now and it is obvious that a lot was invested into the website.
Registering and Meet Jamai
Part of the registration process on www.erin.ne.jp is to create an avatar to represent your account. I wanted to use “Jamaipanese” as my screen name but unfortunately I was told it was too long so I went with “Jamai” instead. To the right is a picture of m avatar, looking suave I might add, don’t you think so too? The more your use the website and progress through the lessons is the more items you unlock for your avatar to wear, my avatar will change overtime and if you decide to register for and use this website feel free to share your avatar with me via a tweet @Jamaipanese.
Registering for the website allows for the tracking of your progress in lessons and quizzes as well as taking part in a game called “Nihongo Quest” where you go around meeting the inhabitants of the town, learning about them and practicing your Japanese. I’m nly a few days in so I haven’t explored much but it seems very useful and more than just a gimmick, plus with the lack of the ability to add friends for a truly social experience this feature is kind of like a substitute.
Check out Erin’s Challenge if you haven’t done so already and let me know what you think about it and if you find it useful. If I continue to enjoy it I might post about it again and share an updated experience using this free Japanese learning service.