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Japanese ChatGPT Limitations

March 17 at 16:08

I've experimented with asking for Japanese stories and essays and have come to the conclusion that ChatGPT does not always give you what you ask for.

In another thread, someone was elated that they asked ChatGPT to provide a story only using only the most common 1000 words in Japanese, and they got their story.

I would impress upon this story that just because ChatGPT gives an answer, it isn't always per your instructions.

I asked for a story about going for a walk and finding a lost dog and I asked for it using the most common 2000 words, 1000 words, 800 words, and 500 words and got nearly EXACTLY the same results for each query. I also dabbled with asking for unique Kanji rather than vocabulary and got the same results.

Here is what I've discovered. ChatGPT will give you an easier story if you ask for it in Easy Japanese or Simple Japanese. If you just say "Japanese" the vocab will be a bit harder. If you ask for a story in "Difficult Japanese" it will be nearly identical to "Japanese". It doesn't raise the bar. Also, when I ask for "Very Easy Japanese" or "Very Simple Japanese", the "very" doesn't do anything. I also found no difference asking for the story in N5, N4, or N3 Japanese.

If I ask for "Simplish Japanese" which is a registered trademark for a language using the top 1000 vocab, it gives me an output but uses more advanced vocab than top 1000.

Bottom line, saying top "1000 Kanji" or "1000 Vocab" doesn't work. "Easy Japanese" & "Simple Japanese" work. "Difficult Japanese" just spits out regular Japanese.

"Easy" and "Simple" Japanese gives an output that includes vocab and kanji more obscure than the top 1000. Trust me, I'm familar with more than 2000 Kanji but fuzzy on a lot of them but not the top 1000. If I see an output with Kanji I don't immediately recognize, it's not giving me top 1000 even though it might be easier than full-blown regular when just asking for a story in "Japanese".

The only other parameter I've found helpful is asking for a 200 word story, 300 word story, 500 word story, etc. and it does that pretty well, although it doesn't match exactly with LingQ's counting which is no big deal.

I like choosing 300 or 500 words because it gives me a bit of vocabulary repetition and I ALWAYS read the story in ChatGPT without LingQ training wheels first. There's no reason to mindlessly import everything. I like to give my brain an exercise with no help, no dictionaries, no LingQ. Then, if the story was interesting enough, and I had several unknown vocabs then I will import it into LingQ. If I pretty much nailed the whole story comprehension-wise, I don't import it and I just ask for another story on a different subject.