State of Japanese Kanji Learning Apps, 2009
April 23, 2009 11:36 AM Subscribe
Of all the web applications, Nintendo DS games, iphone/ipod touch apps, and other technology-based methods available for learning Japanese Kanji, what do you recommend?
posted by Vorteks to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I have been searching for a long time for a "killer app" for learning Japanese Kanji. There are a number of different software options out there, but none of them have hit the "sweet spot" for me. What I'm looking for, in order of priority, is this:
- A good automated review system. The software should keep track of how well you know each kanji, and periodically show you kanji that you've seen before. The more often you answer questions related to a certain kanji correctly, the less often it will show up. (Leitner system, or anything similar is fine)
- Effective teaching of the WRITING of the characters, including stroke order. Animations or writing exercises strongly prefered.
- Effective teaching of the MEANING of the characters.
- Effective teaching of the READING (onyomi/kunyomi) of the characters.
- Example vocabulary a plus, but not essential.
- Following the Heisig order would be a nice bonus, but I don't expect it.
Now, here's what I've tried so far:
- http://kanji.koohi.com - This web app has a GREAT review system, and follows the Heisig order. It's my favorite app to date. But the downside is, it isn't portable, doesn't teach you much by itself (it's more for reviewing what you've learned in Heisig's book on your own), and doesn't show stroke order animations. Also it doesn't seem to be working right now.
- Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshu DS - This Nintendo DS game is GREAT for handwriting practice, using the stylus to trace the characters. However, there's no built-in-review process. Once you move on, characters will never be shown to you again unless you deliberately go back and review them manually. Also, the game doesn't teach the meaning of the characters, and assumes a considerable mastery of Japanese from the get-go
- Tadashii Kakitori-kun DS, other DS games - Not as good as the one above, and has the same limitations.
- Declan Software's Japanese Flash Cards - A good attempt, but the lack of a review system really kills it for me. Once the software decides that you've "learned" a kanji, it never shows it to you again, and even manually reviewing things is very tedious
It's been 6 months to a year since I last looked for software, so I thought I'd see if anything I'm not aware of is availble. Price is not an issue, I'll gladly buy an iPhone/iPod Touch / PDA / other gaming system / Nintendo DS card / expensive software suite if it allows me to use software that truly suits my needs.
Can anyone help me? I'd really appreciate it.