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LiveMocha discussion thread

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LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby Jetsi » Mon 10.27.2008 10:03 pm

A thread to post questions, comments, notes, etc. about the LiveMocha website, http://www.livemocha.com.

I will start with a small amount of notes that will be needed during Unit 1, Lesson 1:

You are taught some kanji during the course, but when you get to the speaking exercise you see some kanji and words you have never seen in the training section. Here they are:

Boy: 少年 (shounen)
Male/Man: 男性 (dansei)
Girl: 少女 (shoujo)
Woman: 女性 (josei)

They also list この (ko no) as "the" when it should be "this". Then, when you get to the speaking exercise you see その (so no), which means "that"

There is also a slide mislabeled, where it shows a skinny woman but they say young girl. Pay attention, read both the kanji and romaji, and you can get a perfect score.

Unit 1, Lesson 2:

Here they stop spelling ぼくは (boku wa) in hiragana and replace it with kanji, 僕は. Also, in the lesson they use ja but in the reading section you are introduced to dewa, which is the formal version of ja (so I am told).

Unit 1, Lesson 4:

Here the lesson is pretty straight forward until the speaking section. Then they sneak some new kanji in on you. One of these, 札入れ, took forever for me to track down.

Old: 古い furui (objects and concepts)
Money/Currency: 銀貨 tsuuka
Billfold: 札入れ satsuire
Not: なくて nakute (conjugation of not, nai)

If I am wrong on any of these please PM me and I will clean up the forum.
Last edited by Jetsi on Tue 11.04.2008 1:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Mon 10.27.2008 10:52 pm

I'm pretty sure you're right on those.

この can sort of be like "the" sometimes. (In fact, articles in Romance languages like Spanish came from the word for "this" in Latin.) It can help distinguish between a particular person/thing and people/things in general, since the lack of articles and plurals can make the distinction difficult in Japanese. 猫はねずみを食べる means both "The cat eats the mouse" and "Cats eat mice"; demonstrative pronouns like この might help clarify which you mean if it isn't already obvious. But of course you shouldn't overuse them or it'll sound as silly as overusing pronouns.

I think on the whole you'd do well to take LiveMocha with a grain of salt. The design of their lessons is, frankly, not very competent at the moment. Their lessons for Spanish and Italian aren't any better. You will run into situations where more than one answer is correct and it will still only accept one answer. Sometimes you will even have to guess. For instance, "a girl and a flower" and "a girl and flowers" are both translated as 女の子と花, which seems sensible enough, but when it asks you to click the picture describing 女の子と花 and you see both the pictures with "a girl and a flower" and "a girl and flowers", you're screwed, because you don't know which 女の子と花 it wants.

By the way, it's no use reporting these things. I've already reported some of them and they never even bother to acknowledge these corrections; they're surely already aware of them in any case and for some reason don't see fixing them as a priority. (Do report any other bugs in the system you see, though... they seem to actually pay attention to those.)

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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby coco » Tue 10.28.2008 1:18 am

I tried to check my Japanese ability on that site.
My score was 8/10. :mrgreen:

My answer was 接客係.

I had no idea about this question.
It seems that the man is looking at something with his operating something like a PC mouse.
My answer was マネージャー.

They recommend me enroll in Japanese 202.
In my opinion, extra talent irrelevant to the language ability is required on that site.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby Oracle » Tue 10.28.2008 1:22 am

coco wrote:I had no idea about this question.
It seems that the man is looking at something with his operating something like a PC mouse.
My answer was マネージャー.

My answer was ストーカー :D
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby coco » Tue 10.28.2008 1:25 am

Oracle wrote:My answer was ストーカー :D


いやぁホントに。 :lol:
このサイトで学習すると、一目で他人の職業が見極められるようになるのかも。

ちなみに10/10 にしても202を勧められました。
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Tue 10.28.2008 3:29 am

As for me, it suggested the 202 courses for Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. For Spanish, that's quite reasonable. For the others, utterly ridiculous. :)
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 10.28.2008 5:21 am

coco wrote:I tried to check my Japanese ability on that site.
My score was 8/10. :mrgreen:

My answer was 接客係.


私も。。ホールが写ってないから、どうやって「ホールスタッフ」だとわかる?
っていうより、ホールスタッフは普通に通じる日本語だと思うけど、いきなり聞かれたらこの人は「ホールスタッフ」だと答える日本人はあまりいないと思う・・
「水兵」もあまりピンと来なかったけど・・

日本に来る前に同じようなウェブ「能力試験」を受けたけど、
全ての答えはかなり強引でした。
例)
正しい返事を選んでください。
Q:あなたの日本語は上手ですね!

A:ありがとう
B:今日は晴れ
C:いいえ
D:まだまだです。

正解:D
:shock:
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby Jetsi » Wed 10.29.2008 5:45 pm

Added a small bit of info on Lesson 2.

Also, if I can sign you up as a friend of mine to help grade my lessons, let me know. Same user name, Jetsi.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby ss » Fri 10.31.2008 12:43 pm

I got 9/10 and was told to enroll in Japanese 202 too.

It's quite fun. Haven't tried the rest, I think it needs a bit of common sense when choosing the answer, like when you see the picture showing ferry, the answer can't be "waiting for a bus for 15 mins" or "waiting for the aeroplane ....." etc etc ... BUT, I took some times to figure out the picture, though. I got this one wrong because I didn't understand this picture. ^_^''
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby Jetsi » Tue 11.04.2008 1:29 pm

I don't know what the choices were, but I would have thought it would be something to do with getting seated at a restaurant.

Updated with info from Unit 4 of Lesson 1.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Mon 11.10.2008 1:46 pm

I suggest that anybody interested in LiveMocha actually getting good lessons (for Japanese or any language) vote on this. I think their entire method of designing lessons is wrongheaded, but they're never gonna know it if we don't speak up and demand better lessons.

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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby hackules » Thu 12.11.2008 9:05 pm

I am a beginner in Japanese and I found livemocha a great way to practice what I already knew; although some times I learn new stuff.

I don't know if I'll still have this opinion when I start learning new grammar there!.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Fri 12.12.2008 8:35 pm

This doesn't pertain to the lessons or Japanese per se, but I might as well complain about it here...

It seems that Livemocha has the same incompetent customer service that it seems every company has. You report a problem, and you'll get back a form letter that has nothing to do with your problem. You point this out to them and you'll get a personalized response that still shows they did not actually read your message.

This is the report I had originally submitted:

My report wrote:In Spanish 102, Unit 4, lesson 1, I have a score of 92% on the Read exercise. I actually did this Read exercise before Livemocha conflated the Read, Listen, and Magnet exercises into Review. What happened was I somehow ended up submitting the exercise twice (resulting in two icons on my Course Home) and I only got one of them to 100% on a second review -- apparently only the score from the first review is showing. Now it shows only the 92%, and it will not change even if I retake it and get a perfect score. Do you think you could fix it for me, please?


I think I stated my problem very clearly. They responded with a form letter (sigh) reassuring me that the Read exercise had not been removed, with instructions on how to find it. (They had recently redesigned their site, which involved the conflation that I mentioned of the three exercises into a new exercise, so no doubt some people have complained about its "removal".) I responded:

My response wrote:I'm sorry, but your form letter had nothing to do with what I asked about. I was not complaining about missing exercises, I was complaining that a previous bug in the program caused me to have less than a perfect score in the "Read" exercise and there was no way for me to fix it. Please read my original message again (at the bottom of this e-mail).


They responded with only these two sentences:

Livemocha wrote:We did not remove "Read". It's still there under optional exercises.


Sigh. I can't be this bad at communicating my problem, can I?

Just now I responded, restating my problem in no uncertain terms:

Me again wrote:I never said or implied that you removed "read", or indeed that you have removed anything at all. Where are you getting this idea from? I said I have a score of 92% on the reading exercise (of Spanish 102, Unit 4, lesson 1) that I cannot fix, even if I get a perfect score on it when I retake it.

I see now that the score says 93% and not my previous 92%. I'm not sure if the number actually changed or I had misremembered it when I first reported the bug. It could be the case that a score of 92.5% used to round down and somebody changed it the other day so that it rounds up. But in any case, I don't want it to say 92% or 93% -- I want it to say 100%, since I've done it correctly at least three times now, the first time being before the exercises were merged. The only reason that the old score stuck around was because of a bug that caused me to submit it twice, causing two "Read" icons to appear in the Course Home; when I redid the exercise, only the second button showed that I'd gotten a perfect score. After the redesign, the duplicate button went away, but the old score was used, not the new one.


(It was very hard to resist pointing out the irony of the situation: you would think people who create reading exercises would know how to read.)

The ball's back in their court now. Five bucks says their response is still going to show that they don't understand my problem, even though I think I've stated it very clearly from the very beginning.

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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Thu 12.18.2008 1:40 am

Livemocha has not responded to my previous comment. I wonder if they rolled their eyes, marked it "closed", and forgot about it.
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Re: LiveMocha discussion thread

Postby furrykef » Fri 12.26.2008 7:51 am

A few days ago I sent another e-mail asking if the issue was still open and if they understood what the problem was. I still have not received a response to that, either. Oddly enough, I did receive a response to an unrelated query that I'd submitted a month or two before.

On a scale from A to F, I give Livemocha's customer support an F. I would have given it an F minus, but it could be worse. Just... not very much.

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