Japanese Learning Tool

Well I’m not sure exactly how relevant this may be to Game Development on the whole, but I don’t really have anywhere else to post useful things. Warning preamble out of the way now.

I’ve been off-and-on learning the Japanese language since my teens; I’ve been interested in manga/anime, and Japanese games since I started playing them on my NES (I knew I could tie it back to games somehow). Of course, back then I didn’t know that the games I enjoyed most were originally Japanese. When I learned this, I immediately started doing research into this fact – and discovered a myriad of games I may never have known about otherwise. It’s a fact that there are many games I would love to play, had I a proper grasp on Japanese, that I’m not likely going to without it.

In my recent Japanese learning, I’ve come across a very useful online tool that I’ve been using extensively over the last couple of weeks. With it, you’re randomly given a Japanese character and you have to guess what the romanized version of it is. That is, any given “kana” (simple Japanese symbol) can be written out with English letters and still be understood. When presented with a Japanese kana, you’re prompted to give the “romaji” for it. It’s basically a computerized flashcard system.

With the turmoil that suddenly presents itself in my life, I suddenly worried that I might not have access to the internet, or I might not be able to pay the site I use anymore, or some other of the 1,000,000 reasons I’ll come up with if given the chance.  So why not “borrow” the format and build my own? To be honest, I’m not sure where the line is between “borrowing” and “stealing” when you’re considering designs.. but that’s a topic for another discussion.

After about a day’s worth of work, I present my Japanese Kana Recognition Practice app!

Japanese Kana Recognition Practice

Download JapaneseKanaRecognition.zip (17.5 KB)
Requirements: .NET 3.5 and Japanese Language Support

I think I’ve covered all possible issues, but I might have messed up somewhere; if anyone has any problems with it, feel free to drop me a comment.

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4 Responses to “Japanese Learning Tool”

  1. PlayDeez Games Says:

    can you fix it up to do hebrew?

  2. SteelGolem Says:

    well, i don’t know the first thing about hebrew, so i might not be the best person to try it 🙂

  3. Philip Seyfi Says:

    I just finished my new Japanese educational game and reviewing tool Nihongoup. It can improve one’s kana typing speed as well as help one review the kanji, vocab and particles.

    Feel free to try it out at http://nihongoup.com/ and, if you have any ideas on how to improve it, please drop me a mail ^^

  4. Toxic Wolf Says:

    Hey, nice work! I learnt the whole Hiragana alphabet in a day, it was really easy with your program.

    At the moment I can only recognise Hiragana symbols when I see them, I can picture them in my head and write them down. So I looked at the vowels and wrote them down. Thing is, it’s hard to write them down randomly, so I really only know them in sequence.
    I was wondering if you could make a sound chooser, you tick what row you are learning like in your Kana program, then click choose and it randomly chooses a sound from the ones you ticked and displays it in Romaji, so you can write it down. Then you click show and it shows you what the symbol should look like, then click next and do the next one.

    If you could make something like this it would be very handy to learn how to write the Hiragana and Katakana!

    Thanks, TW

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