Rocket Japanese Overall Verdict
Rocket Japanese is a solid, well structured, “no frills” option for learning language.
I’ve given it an average 3.5 stars out of five. Rocket Japanese doesn’t really “excel” in anyone area, but does give you a good broad grounding. I recommend this program for beginner to intermediate or business level Japanese learners that want an all inclusive online program that gives you well rounded approach encompassing listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and culture.
See my full Japanese Language Resource List here.
About The Rocket Japanese approach
Rocket Languages for Japanese as takes a fairly “white bread” approach, it just gets on and gives you the basics without really doing anything fancy. At the end of the day, no language program is going to be able to take you all the way to fluency in and of itself, and you’ll need to combine different tools, learning approaches and environments. But most of us want to minimize the chopping and changing where we can. Rocket Japanese does a pretty good job of tying everything up in a neat package.
It’s structure is a fairly “conversational” approach, with an emphasis on listening to conversations and asking you to play the role of different people within different situations. These conversations are natural enough, giving you a real sense of the language.
There is not nearly as much emphasis in Rocket Japanese on listening as you get in programs such as Pimsleur Japanese. Personally, I’m a big fan of learning predominantly through listening, so I would like to see Rocket Japanese really throwing you in the deep end a bit more with listening to more conversation unassisted by text prompts all of the way. This brings us to the issue of language and practice pacing.
Rocket Languages Japanese Pacing
Rocket languages progresses at a slow and steady pace. Many of the example sentences even in the most advanced lessons are spoken at a very slow pace – not even close to what is used in everyday language. This is fine for beginners, but not so good as you progress and for those that want to challenge themselves. Indeed, quite a few people find the pace of the program leads to boredom and lack of motivation.
Things I like about Rocket Japanese
Things I don’t like about Rocket Japanese
Is Rocket Japanese good value for money?
Rocket Languages pricing is reasonable at around $260 with a coupon, compared to Pimsleur at $550 outright for complete course or ongoing subscriptions for other courses.
Overall, Rocket Japanese is a solid, no-nonsense program for beginner to intermediate & business level Japanese learners.
Combine with other platforms to create your own learning suite:
- Japanoscope Japanese Resources List
- Pimsleur – for a focus on listening and speaking backed by a scientific approach (Japanoscope Review here)
- Memrise – for a duolingo style app built around videos of real native speakers (Memrise vs. Duolingo Review here)
- Duolingo – For well designed, gamified, entry-level practice (Japanoscope Review here)
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About the reviewer
I’m Peter Head. I have succesfully completed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1). I lived in Japan for four years as a student and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.