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Thread: japanese study on the DS

  1. #1
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    Default japanese study on the DS

    i saw a post in another thread about some homebrew kanji software for the DS...

    what official titles/homebrew apps are there for studying japanese on the DS? whether it's grammar, vocab, kanji, anything. is there anything targeted at native english speakers?

    please do NOT suggest the kanji dictionary - everyone has it by now and we all know how great it is. post the stuff that you use and have found useful!

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    200万人の漢検 is the only thing ive tried, and it's pretty nice. Haven't used it for a while though. You had no Japanese before coming here right? Of course, all of the software is aimed at Japanese people learning more Japanese rather than English people learning Japanese, so it's hard to use much of it without a reasonable base.

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    shh, don't tell everyone!

    ...but you're right. i'm learning though! or...trying to.

    so nobody can tell me the names of those homebrew apps?

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    Member pinch_me's Avatar
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    This comes out pretty soon and is aimed at for English speaking wanting to learn Japanese. It's one of a series which has covered French, German etc

    http://www.amazon.com/My-Japanese-Co.../dp/B001BZ8EX8


    I will be getting it when it comes out so i will let you know how it is.

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    that looks pretty cool I think i will be picking that up as well.
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    this was finally released (leaked) recently and it's not bad!

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    Senior Member jonesinjapan's Avatar
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    I found it on the play-asia website, it will be available there on the 20th, so I think i will buy it when it comes out.
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    Member pinch_me's Avatar
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    I've been playing it for a couple of weeks now and it's not bad at all The electronic kimono clad woman sometimes does some usual gestures but other than that it's great. It also relies on you practicing outside the game.

    One of the major drawbacks i think is that as soon as the game thinks you have "mastered" a word i.e. got it right 3 or four times in the mini games, you can't really practice it any further. Later on in the game, it brings previously learned words into the mini games at random. This means that if you want to really practice for example verbs, there is no opportunity to do so.

    Hope this helps!

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    The Quail Eye I Am Quailman's Avatar
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    What level is that game? Beginners, intermediate, advanced?
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    Senior Member kredman's Avatar
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    It starts from the VERY VERY VERY begining. There is a short quiz at the start that will allow you to skip ahead if your answers are correct, but in all honesty you don't skip that far ahead. I also have the My Spanish Coach, and all it was was a giant vocab lesson. I was worried this would be the same, but it seems to be a little more in depth.

    I'm enjoying it so far though...it occupies my time on the subway at least....


    Pinch-me: If you select the 'mastered' option and unselect the 'open' option at the begining of a game, you should be able to practice ONLY the words/hiragana and katakana that you have mastered.
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    I'm buying it as I type this. I hope it's useful.
    Last edited by enigmaneo; November 27th, 2008 at 10:11.

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    Default GREAT Japanese study games for DS

    My Japanese Coach is at first blush a useful beginner's guide but a frustrating crutch for anyone already proficient in basic Japanese, and even more of one for brand-new learners since it only teaches you to recognize patterns and not technically learn how to read or interpret. The furthest one may "test ahead" is Lesson 11, which is still very entry level, and there are no options to isolate hiragana, romaji, etc. 3/10

    Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten is the most effective tool I have found for improving my Japanese. It accepts written kanji, hiragana, katakana and English and is basically a DS version of a touch electronic dictionary. Because it is marketed to Japanese, it has a rather high learning curve, but the functions are simple and it's a lifesaving alternative to looking up something online. I fully recommend this dictionary. It can be purchased on Amazon or eBay. 9/10

    Eigo ga Nigate series is also pretty fantastic, again aimed at Japanese, but can be inverted to improve Japanese reading and comprehension skills. It provides simple "games" which give English listening examples and Japanese written translations to challenge users how to SPELL words and phrases. Since it uses extremely common Japanese and has a gentle learning curve it's very easy to get into. My preferred method is to turn off the sound and use the Japanese written prompts to figure out English phrases. Many of the mini-games are timed and impose penalties which are good for legitimizing self-study. There are two generations of this game and I own and play them both regularly. 8/10

    Our son speaks NO ENGLISH and so I have a very large library of DS kanji and education games geared toward Japanese which increase Japanese fluency. These are quite challenging -- Nihongo Kentei DS, Nihongo de Asobo, etc. They're really more for ages 13-18, and have difficulty settings for Japanese adults, so my son dislikes them and they're way over my head. But I keep on buying and testing. Even Quiz Magic Academy and seemingly useful study games like TOEIC training are beyond all of us.

    But check the links above! The Sonomama dictionary is a great investment!
    Last edited by reed; December 3rd, 2008 at 10:33. Reason: Sandwich forgotten in previous post.

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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    Why doesnt your son speak english?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    He is Japanese, of course!

    He's 10 years old and heading into 5th grade very soon, with increasing responsibility in all areas of study, so we don't push him on English. He'll pick it up or he won't, but I'm unsalvageably disgusted with the Japanese education system and will never, ever subject my son to the kind of language "education" that I'm forced to teach in schools, and which he has no interest in anyway. We will study it together in the USA, if he asks, and he will benefit from real-life use and exposure then, but as long as we're in Japan we speak Japanese. I suddenly sound defensive, don't I! The funny thing is that I met him and my wife when as students at my eikaiwa. And while they continued as students for a while after that, we all felt it was ridiculous, and so real learning happens in much smaller steps, in real ways, at home in private. But I'm combating six hours of school a day and as many as five hours of homework a night, in Japanese, with barely enough energy or stability to even keep the family together. English is one of the least important things these days.

    Imagine your father as an oil prospect and rig man. He comes home every day exhausted and dirty and says the business is crap, it's crap, it's so horrible, but it pays the bills. Then imagine you go to work with your dad once a week to "learn the oil biz", and discover that his job is actually mixing black ink with syrup and squirting it on the heads of other people who laugh and swallow and imagine they are making progress. Your dad is spouting ridiculous simple facts about oil, laughing with them, sort of maniacal. Not your dad at all. We felt that way as a family about me "teaching English" to them, and go to lengths to avoid it at home, which means not really doing it in a structural real way either. We're tired. We all pop in Spongebob and then a few episodes of CSI, English dialogue Japanese subtitles, and get more out of that. Then we buy cheap Walmart books aimed at English-speaking 10 year olds, stuff about spiders or snakes, educational stuff that uses simple language but doesn't treat its audiences like fools. His comprehension is always higher than I expect. I don't translate when we do this stuff. Well, okay, I do sometimes. But it's more for me.


    How did this get so long?!

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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    But you speak English. Did you not live with your son or something?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    I received My Japanese Coach, it kind of sucks but it keeps me busy. It helps learn new words, but I haven't gotten to the kanji part. That's frustrating since I really didn't need to relearn hiragana or katakana. I was surprised to find a few new words I didn't know. It wasn't horribly expensive so I'm happy with my purchase. The games are kind of fun and will keep me busy on the train.

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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    was definitely thinking about buying a DS lite to supplant both boredom and my total lack of Japanese....but now I'm rethinking it? i might get the My Japanese Coach since I have no basic understanding of Japanese and to convince myself to drop that much on a DS.

    so a few questions:

    - DS lite or DSi?
    - If I get a DS lite should I order from amazon or buy it here in Japan? I don't know if there's something I should be wary of in regards to the technology..
    - Would it be a good and useful tool to learn Japanese with?

  18. #18
    Member aidee's Avatar
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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    I just got a DS lite for Christmas, and My Japanese Coach.

    I obviously can't speak to how useful My Japanese Coach is because I have nearly no experience with Japanese, but I do know that the lessons are pretty interesting and combine reading, pronunciation and writing of the hiragana and katakana. There are lots of games to drill you, and while I hate the excessive romaji, once you get a little further along you can unlock some writing games that drill you on the hiragana and katakana writings of various words and sounds. For someone like me, who has not yet learned hiragana and katakana, this is extremely useful. I just wish they had a tool that straight-up drilled the alphabet, though I admit seeing the words they're used in is also helpful.

    It starts you off by making a profile and giving you a quiz. You have a set amount of time to answer as many multiple choice questions as you can. If you miss two in a row, it stops you right then. Once you're done, it comes up with a placement level for you. By pure guessing and peripheral knowledge, I managed to get to lesson 5 (Days of the Week!), but I have been going back and working from lesson 1 as well

    As it goes along, it introduces little grammatical points using the words you've been drilling. The early sections are pretty simple -- numbers up to 15, colors, days of the week -- but it's still a little overwhelming to me since I'm still starting. Already learning how to say "green car" and "Tomorrow is Friday". :P

    It's expensive for a little DS game, but I think it's pretty useful for people who are just starting out. If you know more Japanese, well... can't tell you a thing about it.

  19. #19
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    I find My Japanese Coach to be pretty useful so far. I'm a complete beginner, but the lessons seem to be sticking so far.

    The only thing I hate about it is how you can't practice the words you've mastered unless you go to each and every individual lesson. It seems to give you the option to practice mastered words only, but for some reason it never works for me. So once I earn enough points to unlock a new lesson, even if I haven't opened the lesson yet, all of the games will include the new words that I haven't learned yet and I'm all "sheeiit why can't this game be smart enough to realize I don't know what that means yet!"

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    Default Re: japanese study on the DS

    I'll swear on Kanji Kanken 2, it might be a common name but it's made by Rocket Company. If you want to learn kanji with no BS or hand-holding, this game helps. That game taught me a shitload of kanji, although I would recommend playing it with a dictionary so you actually know what it means.

    There's also the Kageyama method game, which is a little more hand-holding. You go through each grade level, learn stroke order, and then practice the readings for each one. Much easier than Kanken, but I didn't find it to be as effective.
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