Any option for Romaji (English character set) subtitles?

Hi - is there any option for Romaji (English character set) subtitles? It’s impossible for me to use the app if I can’t read the kanji/hiragana to know which words are which! Thanks!

-David

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Hey David. We are working to provide that option as soon as possible. It will be the best option for beginners to follow up the content. Thank you for the comment

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Well, until then I guess I will cancel my subscription. When do you plan to have that option up and running? I’ll re-subscribe then.

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Personally, I’m against this feature.

Romaji does a poor job representing Japanese syllables as a whole, and as a crutch, it slows down learning in every other area. You can listen to the word to get the sound and transcribe it on your own; that’s probably better for learning anyway.

If you crack down on the alphabets you can learn 'em in a week (each).

I’d be more in favor of a true beginner section that includes a katakana and hiragana teaching component. Something like Duolingo’s “Learn the Characters” feature with more interaction via text in videos.

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Hey Vainoni

I totally agree with you. We are working on building this category with educational show including videos teaching hiragana and katakana. We have an english letter subtitle option but we still need to correct it to make it accurate and ready to use

Thanks for the feedback

I say, why not have both? Different people learn differently.

David

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Sure…I just think romaji is the long slow painful way to learn this language, especially if the plan is to learn it to fluency.

I’ve been doing this for a while, and tried almost everything out there at one point or another. I think it’s entirely dependent on goals. People who only want to speak and listen (and not read and write) could benefit from a romaji approach, but only if that romaji includes pitch-accent designations (like what you see in “Japanese: The Spoken Language,” or on Kanshudo.com). Most representations of Japanese characters lack this critical information and don’t do anything but encourage incorrect, English-sounding pronunciation.

I’ve seen it set people back in the long run, and if you’re learning Japanese from English, it’ll be a long enough process in any case. Use a resource (any resource: there are tons of good free ones) to learn the two main alphabets (not kanji) in a week or so, and then there’ll be no need for romaji ever again. I spent my first month learning in romaji as a necessity and was terribly confused the whole time. Any ideas how many meanings a work like “shita” has? (Four, off the top of my head.) Or “hana” (means “nose” and “flower”), or “koshou” (32 possible meanings, 10 of them common). Wading through the identical homophones gets real old real fast in romaji.

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Yes, you are right.
It all depends on your goal. Some people just want the romaji here to be able to read the subtitles as thet don’t know the kana or kanji yet, but in long terms we know that romaji is not the best option. But, as David said, the best thing is to have all the options available to suit all the different moments and stages of learning for the ones who use our platform. Hope we can provide this to you guys soon.

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Once that feature is in place, I’ll renew my subscription.

David

Hi I came to the forums to ask the same question regardless what other people think is the best or worst way- I would say (as a language teacher, teaching English) that writing is irrelevant to learning to speak a language fluently with other people- which is the actual goal. I don’t intend to learn kanji at all until my fluency is pretty good, because then it will zip by. I teach people to -speak- not to -read-.

Anyway I’m desperately wanting a toggle for romaji because I know how to pronounce Japanese just fine from it and it would speed up my referencing by many times. I’m also on the boat of being so very disappointed it wasn’t available from the first day I was eager to sign up for this service, and am looking for my best alternatives. :frowning:

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I couldn’t agree more!
I speak 5 languages fluently, I can easily have a conversation with native speakers but my writing skills are not the best.
Despite that, I know that I can learn because I already know the basics.
Good luck with your learning process!!

I have noticed that some content has been uploaded with English characters, but I have no idea what in the world is going on. It is simply flat out wrong, a mix of Chinese and Japanese. This is immediately apparent on episode 7 of Swimming in the Dark, but also on other content as well. This doesn’t seem to be done by a human and a machine translation going off the Japanese script will yield accurate romaji if desired. So… I do not know what is happening.

Personally, I am against romaji as a learning crutch because it severely reduces the ability to recognize kanji and discern actual meaning. I do recognize new learners wanting to have some aspect of familiarity in Japanese and it can be helpful for helping to recall words, but that is best done in Hiragana and Katakana. As others have said, learning hiragana and katakana is beginner stuff. On the way to fluency, it is like 0.5% of what you need to know. Language learning has an incredible drop off rate, but I would be hard pressed to justify the seriousness of a learner wanting Romaji and yet pays a subscription for native content. I firmly believe they are uninformed or perhaps have been misled to believe Romaji is going to be helpful. Simply put, any Japanese material for Japanese people will not use Romaji. Not even elementary school student materials use it.

(No offense meant to any learner, I am just looking at it from a cut and dry perspective from having already gone down the paths. It gets complicated on Kanji being ideograms with multiple homophones and the ability to discern them and be able to parse the language. As would be converting everything into Kana (stripping out the Kanji) would equally be a mess. The validity of my words will be self-evident to nearly any intermediate learner and beyond. Japanese uses ideograms, English does not.)

Furigana in subtitles would be nice, but probably not possible to implement. I noticed the subtitle can be expanded for some selections and that makes me wonder about what is happening. I often see the honorific ‘o’ attached in subtitle descriptions as meaning “Oh my God” for example. This is using the in-show only pop up with the “show details” on phrasing. Not sure what happened with this either, but I am getting to the point in listening I can accurately identify the sounds to not need kana anymore. It seems like something may exist to incorporate furigana in the future easily, but I have no idea how best to do that.

Ideally, it would be possible to do everything with a proper machine sequence beginning with the official script or a transcribed script I suppose.
Official Script → Convert Kanji to Kana for flash cards, script to the form of (Kanji)(Furigana)? → Take that and do the Romaji, use bold for Katakana perhaps? → export to separate scripts?

If it is not possible to do Furigana over Kanji then how about putting it on the flash card in parenthesis? Sorry to go a bit off topic here, but I did not think making a separate topic would be helpful since this is all related to displaying Japanese in a simple and better way for learners to grasp.

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Christopher, thank you very much for your precious comment. I do understand and agree with your point. We are now trying to implement captions only in kana, also captions with the furigana, the same way Netflix does, and the romaji option not as the best solution in terms of learning, but as an option for the ones who feel comfortable in looking at it, since we are having a great demand from users. We are trying to provide all the possible caption options, and at the moment we are talking with some of our content providers to see if they have some software that they use to generate some of the captions we need.

Nevertheless we are also trying to add to the catalog some material to help at least with the process of learning the kana.

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Thank you for the update.

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