Japanese difficulty

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#1 by LinLinLavender
2021-12-19 at 08:20
< report >I've been wondering whether you could add a section for each (Japanese) game, where one can add the language difficulty level. I come from the otome community and there are a lot of people wanting to learn Japanese with otome games and I'm sure this also applies to visual novels in general.
#2 by shinytentacool
2021-12-19 at 10:54
< report >This would be nice but I doubt they'd do it. Also I recall there being a different website that catalogued that (number of unique kanji)Last modified on 2021-12-19 at 10:54
#3 by harleyquin
2021-12-19 at 11:32
< report >Pointless. 90% of the users here need machine crutches to read works in Japanese, while the other 10% know enough that they can read whatever work they please with minimal to no help from dictionaries.

If it's in an 18+ work, safe to say it's written for 18 year old Japanese nationals to understand easily. That's high-school Japanese, but a lot of works don't even need a 1/4 of the vocabulary that the average high school Japanese student has learnt up to that age.Last modified on 2021-12-19 at 11:35
#4 by tester
2021-12-19 at 11:34
< report >This feature would be very beneficial to learning Japanese ones. Still it may be problematic just to define some "difficulty score", before it may defend on how it was calculated. And difficulty could be very different.

There is a different website for it, jpdb.io, and a good one (and it's data more or less matches mine), yet one cannot just simply add data to it. And where are quite few visual novels listed in it (currently 344 entries). Also it does not tell for which release of each entry it's data is.

It would be beneficial to add in each release difficulty data. And even not for Japanese. Yes, not just simple "difficulty mark". And the fields may be: "Unique kanji number" (always 0 for non-kanji/Chinese symbols languages), "Unique words number" (including expressions), "Kanji total number", "Words total number". Maybe even add some fields for grammar?..

But these raw data may be not enough for all users. Not all users know, how much, for instance, unqiue kanji contains "normal visual novel" (as I remember, there was one man in one thread, who said that with 500 kanji one can read almost anything; even Hanahira, being not super short, has about 1000 unique ones).
Therefore it would be good to add some sort of "Kanji difficulty scale" (something like this: 0-1000 is "Very easy", 1000-1750 is "Easy", 1750-2500 is "Medium", 2500-3000 is "Hard", 3000-inf is "Very hard", 5000-inf is "For very educated men of early Meiji")) and something for words. Still this data may be misleading for short enough visual novels.

You may counter my point with "simple users cannot know this data" argument, yet there are some tools to get data from Japanese scripts (for instance, I made one of them myself) and there are tools to extract script or at least texts from the games (the easiest one would be Textractor). So it is possible for an average user to get all data (but it may somewhat differ depending on text analyzer tool).Last modified on 2021-12-19 at 11:57
#5 by gambs
2021-12-19 at 22:26
< report >Unfortunately jpdb.io language difficulty scores are a meme. They trained the neural network that outputs those scores in a weird way (due to data collection difficulty issues) and they are clearly wildly inaccurate

Honestly almost all VNs are in the "stupidly easy to read tier" relative to actual Japanese literature, then you have "slightly hard I guess tier" with Nasu and Setoguchi, followed by the "native speakers are having difficulty tier" with Masada, Mareni, Urobuchi, etc.

Difficulty generally varies by author more than anything else
#6 by Mutsuki
2021-12-20 at 01:25
< report >i agree with #5 tbh. your average moege could probably be played by a 7-10 year old native. there's also the question of "what is hard" which varies person to person. personally i'd rather take words i've never seen before and will never see again over loads of archaic and hard to understand grammar, but that could be different for someone else. in fact this could even become worse because some vns just randomly ramp up the difficulty at one point in the story.

look at the screenshots and author (and screenshots of other games by author), and play the demo before buying.
#7 by 043
2021-12-21 at 09:41
< report >I think it is impractical.

If I were to talk about my experience that noone asked:
For me after first two-three vns I was already able to read anything with no difficulty. I didn't read too much literature, just used anki for every new word that came up.
After a certain point "difficulty" just becomes irrelevant for any (text) material. That point is when you can play moege/read manga/watch (daily life genre) anime. Simply said, when you know the basics. After that, all becomes basically the same difficulty. So just read what you like after that, shouldn't be too hard.

Maybe this way reading becomes time consuming, but I think there is no real need to think deeply about this at all. Personally, I would rather read one interesting vn where I need to look up words every minute than multiple generic easy moege.

tl;dr: You don't need to think too deeply. If you know some basics and read 3-4 vns beforehand, you can probably already start reading literally anything you want now.


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