Please help me find an automated desktop japanese flashcard system!
August 30, 2006 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Are there any desktop widgets to help me learn japanese? Ideally it would give me a word in english and the japanese pronunciation of it. Rotated daily.

I am looking for something like this but with the japanese pronunciation instead of the Kanji.
I have been teaching myself Japanese over the past few months, but I would like something daily on my desktop to help me learn new words. I have a few Japanese coworkers in my office, but I want to flesh out my grasp of the language before I start practicing with them, and I think something like this would help me alot.
posted by JonnyRotten to Education (5 answers total)
I guess I should elaborate. I'm learning Japanese with the pimsleur system. I would just like this to expand my vocabulary, and for a daily practice system.
posted by JonnyRotten at 7:14 PM on August 30, 2006

The one you linked to has hiragana as well as kanji readings, and is quite good. I don't know about the pimsleur system specifically, but it is a good idea to start your Japanese studies with hiragana and katakana instead of roman characters. It's harder at first but well worth it later on.

A lot of people like the trashier looking but more powerful KanjiGold program as well.
posted by ejoey at 7:33 PM on August 30, 2006

You can grab the google toolbar, and set the autotranslate gadget in the options to Japanese (as I do for Korean): when you hover your cursor over any word in English, anywhere, it'll pop up a tooltip with the Japanese equivalent. Very cool, very useful.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:41 PM on August 30, 2006

I agree with ejoey that should should really learn hiragana and katakana at some point.
However that widget does accept any EDICT file, and there is a romaji version of Jim Breen's dictionary available.
The problem is that it is the full dictionary (60,000 words) so you might be better off building your own subset from lists of common vocab you can find.

also checkout the free resources from Meguro Language Center.
posted by cwhitfcd at 11:32 PM on August 30, 2006

I realize this isn't the answer you're looking for, but I'd just like to 3rd what ejoey and cwhitfcd said: learn hiragana and katakana (the phonetic syllabary...not the pictographs). It will take you the better part of a weekend with some flashcards. It will definitely help your pronunciation, in that when we (as Westerners using the Roman alphabet) read romaji we tend to read it according to our own pronunciation rules (magic e and all that) which is very different from Japanese pronunciation. When you're looking at hiragana and katakana you confine yourself to Japanese pronunciation rules. Once you get hiragana and katakana down, you'll never go back to romaji. :)
posted by snwod at 11:55 PM on August 30, 2006

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