Chinese or Japanese?

Learning Japanese or Chinese?What do you think, between Japanese and Chinese, what language is easier to learn?

Both languages have those Chinese characters, called Kanji for Japanese. A meaning and a sound are associated with a sign with no information on how to pronounce it. This must be memorized for achieving a high level in the language.

Fortunately, both have a phonetic alphabet. The Chinese Pinyin was officially adopted in 1979 and uses the Latin alphabet. This makes the Mandarin language easier to learn for foreigners.

Japanese has 2 phonetic alphabets: Hiragana and Karakana. New learners must learn them – this makes the language learning challenging and funny. Another phonetic based on the Latin alphabet (Romaji) makes it easier to learn the first words.

VocaBattle contains some quiz that mix the alphabets and help a quick immersion in the language. For example, for the word とり (“tori” – bird), the とり<-> bird association won’t be asked in the easiest level, but there will be some quiz for associating とり with “tori” and another one “tori” with “bird”. The entry level is low and the alphabets become quickly familiar.

In Chinese, the first VocaBattle levels only use pinyin. The focus on the speed and on the score makes the regular repetition entertaining. The resulting reflex memorization is an advantage for students having the translations coming instantly in the head during a course or during a live conversation.

So, back to our main topic: what is easier, Chinese or Japanese?

The big difference is indeed the pronunciation. Chinese have phonetic tons, which makes a syllabus such as “ma” have different meaning depending on the way you pronounce it!

VocaBattle : Update 1.3

May has been a busy month for us with new improvements and fixes for Vocabattle. We are so excited about our new release we even wanted to offer you free gift!




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The World Champion is Swedish!

The world champion at VocaBattle is Swedish!Today I would like to share a great news: the world champion at VocaBattle is Swedish! This person has played every day since the publication of the application.

Our statistics are anonymous, and we don’t know who this person is. And this person doesn’t know that she or he is the world champion. What a pity!

We have very little information about this person: she or he is playing VocaBattle in Stockholm and is learning Spanish, which is one of the 6 languages that can be learned with those 2 minutes quiz games.

Can you imagine, if you were a world champion, would you like to know it? I guess you would!

This is why we have decided to launch an appeal with this article and the YouTube video below. If you know anybody living in Sweden or in Stockholm, please forward them this article. If you are yourself living in Stockholm, could you please check around you if anybody heard about a VocaBattle player?

Thank you very much!

VocaBattle: Laureate at Orange StartUp Days

VocaBattle Laureate at the Orange Startup Days The Orange StartUp Days have been organized in Alsace on February 5th. The Mulhouse event happened in KM0, which is a former industrial building that will host the local startups.

VocaBattle was selected as a Laureate and won the opportunity to enter in contact with Orange’s customers and to present them the benefits of this new language learning method.

We appreciated the contact with Orange’s team and we want to express our gratefulness for the organisation of this event.


Languages and communication

Hello, I’m Nicolas Gros, how are you doing?

English is not my mother tongue but still… I’m communicating with you. Do you understand French? Would you understand the same words in my language? If not: you’re lucky that I learnt English!

The main reason to learn languages is basically: communication. Human beings have developed so many languages, and if we were all limited to one language, there would be no way to understand each other.

Learning a language is a first step toward other cultures – but it’s not the only one. Culture differences need some attention in order to understand how other people think and how we can communicate with them.

The complexity of a language formats the thinking. Some words can be very hard to translate, just because a concept is not shared among cultures and needs a few words of explanation.

There are thousands of examples, such as “friendly” in English that relates to a respectful positive attitude, while the direct translation in French “amical” will not carry the same intensity. A well-known book “How to win friend?” from Dale Canergie has a poor translation in French “Comment se faire des amis ?” and is perceived as Machiavellian book on how to manipulate other people by making them think you are their friend. A better translation would have carried the message that creating positive relationships is a more human and respectful attitude than keeping distance with others.

So… should such cultural differences retain us from learning languages?

No! It’s true that many translations are dependent on the context and that mastering a language takes many years. But perfection is not a reasonable goal at the beginning.

Every journey starts somewhere, and it starts with the first step. So the first goal should be to spend a few minutes a day and to concentrate on the funny part of learning languages.

VocaBattle has been designed on this purpose: it allows a few steps every day. The logo-vocabattle (2)time-limited quiz games are a funny and addicting experience. Everything is easy, because the teacher is always here to help.

Lao Tzu once said: “There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path”. In the same way we could say:  “Learning a language is not the path to happiness, happiness is the path to learn languages”!

So … enjoy your path!

A new logo for VocaBattle

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are please to announce that VocaBattle has a new logo.

You can see it on our FaceBook page.

We welcome you to click “I Like” on the page!

VocaBattle is in final test phase and will be published soon.

850 words

Did you know that the basic English was invented in 1940? This simplified version of the language contains 850 words and is enough for basic communication. It was based on Charles Kay Ogden’s work. The teaching of English was made easier. Many books and documents were translated into this subset of the language.

The words in VocaBattle’s basic levels were selected with a similar goal: helping you to memorize a minimal amount of words that will allow you to communicate in a foreign language.