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Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Got a great resource to talk about? Share info on Japanese language learning websites, Kanji and Japanese Alphabet learning methods, Japanese language books, Japanese dictionaries and more.

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ryowarrior18
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Recommendations for iTouch/iPhone Apps

Postby ryowarrior18 » April 16th, 2009 12:17 am

So i decided to buy an iTouch, and I've found my head is spinning after looking at all the Japanese Apps available on iTunes. So I did some research, and read all your past posts, and I just wanted to ask your opinion on some of them. Since I'm a beginner at Japanese, I figured you guys would know better at what Apps would be the best.

I need a good Japanese dictionary, one that uses romaji as well as Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana. Preferably able to use offline, since I may not always be near a wifi point.

I've read that WWWJDIC is good (needs internet connection)
And JAPANESE is good as well. (costs $20.00 17.8mb)
Or Kotoba! (which is free, and 62.7mb)

Which would you recommend? I would like one that is easy to navigate, and will be able to find definitions of words that I don't know. Do any of these show verb conjugations as well? Sample sentences?

I also need a good Katakana and Hiragana memorization program. I have both memorized already, I just want a good program for practice.

Katakana (The Evil Boss) 2.99
Hiragana (The Evil Boss) 2.99

Both got good reviews.I'd have to buy them separately.

Or Kana Flip, which has both. ( 2.99 Also good reviews)

I would also like a program to help me memorize Kanji.

I've heard Kanji Flip is good, and it has good reviews too. (5.99)

I kind of just want your recommendations, and opinions on each one. Thanks so much for your patience, guys! I'm really hoping to kick-start my learning with these.

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » April 16th, 2009 4:42 am

I use Japanese mostly, although it's quite expensive. There's going to be a big update soon, although I'm not sure when, which is going to add example sentences, a built-in flashcard function and some other little features. You can already make vocabulary lists very easily, but I don't find it practical to review them in the current format. You might as well try Kotoba first, since it's free, and upgrade to Japanese if you feel you need to, especially after the update.

You will have great difficulty learning kanji using Kanji Flip. It's simply something for reviewing them, and depending how you choose to learn them, the order may be an issue. I'd recommend Heisig's Remembering the Kanji for memorising them quickly. You'll find a lot said about it if you search the forum, even recently, as well as some alternatives if it doesn't appeal to you. Essentially, you're going to want to learn about radicals, so that more complicated characters and things like stroke order pose less of a problem.

You might also want to start using Anki. It's an excellent SRS flashcard program, with a far superior scheduling system to the Flip series, and you can make whatever kind of cards you want. It's a desktop application that allows you to sync with a free online account (displays nicely in Safari) or directly to your iPod.

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ryowarrior18
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Postby ryowarrior18 » April 16th, 2009 5:40 am

Thank you so much for that information!

I have looked at Anki before, but I'm intimidated by trying to get it to actually work on the iTouch. The directions seem a little intense to me, but maybe now that I have the iTouch maybe I can walk myself through it.

Also, does anyone know how to make the iTouch show Japanese characters? I have songs and stuff that are written in Japanese on my computer, but when I sync them they look quite strange with odd symbols and stuff.

I will be sure to pick up Heisig's Remembering the Kanji very soon. I assume it's a book?

thanks again for your reply!

chorismos
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Postby chorismos » April 16th, 2009 9:39 pm

There are two lengthy forums on this on another site which you may have already perused:
http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=2999
http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=1948

Don't want to seed a method war but I highly recommend the Heisig approach, worked wonders for me and above all made learning the characters enjoyable.

I'm getting an iTouch myself in a couple of weeks, mainly for mp3 Nihongo playback such as Jpod101 and audio books. Already have a Denshi Jisho so won't need dictionary apps.

I've also been impressed with the DS apps for kanji learning (other threads on this) and would love someone to script an iPhone app of the same nature...

Hope that helps.

ryowarrior18
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Postby ryowarrior18 » April 16th, 2009 11:40 pm

So far I REALLY love my iTouch - and I only got it yesterday. I bought the 16g one, which actually seems kind of large. I still have lots of memory space after putting on everything I wanted to. (Including ALL of Beginner Season 1).

I found some other free apps that I am thinking of buying for the upgraded versions.

Human Japanese Lite is very interesting. You get to learn cultural tidbits as well as HOW and WHY the language works like it does now. I think by knowing the history, I've come to actually understand the language itself better.

I downloaded Kanji as well, and it has all the kanji broken up into the JLPT levels. You can browse, study, and etc.

I bought Kana Flip to study both Hiragana and Katakana. Very useful - I memorized both in about 3 hours.

I also got KanaQuiz. It's a chart of both hiragana and Katakana (FREE) along with a quiz to study.

What I think is REALLY neat is that you can listen to the Jpods, or other Japanese material WHILE using the applications. I found a really neat link to Japanese audio books for beginners somewhere on here, and I just listen to the stories while I study. I'm actually quite proud that I can pick out some sentences in the audio books.

Kotoba! turned out to be a great Japanese dictionary. I'm going to print out some of the transcripts of the Japanese audio stories and attempt to translate some of the words.

All in all, I thought the iTouch was DEFINITELY a great, awesome buy. I don't regret it at all, and I can already see myself improving much faster, since I don't have to be sitting at my computer to learn.

Aristy
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Postby Aristy » April 21st, 2009 9:11 pm

Couple days ago I bought an iPhone/iPod Touch app named ShinKanji. Not sure who makes it, but it's simply amazing:

Up until now, whenever I found a compounded word (made up of more than one kanji) that I didn't know, I'd look it up on my Japanese dictionary, and finding it, I wondered what each kanji on that word meant. Well, ShinKanji does that for me and more!

Basically, when it shows you a word definition, you are able to touch each individual component, see its meaning, and then come back to the original word. Not to mention, it shows animations for the stroke order for most kanji, and you can even zoom on the animation to see it better!

I don't know who the developer is, but I'm loving this app 8)

ryowarrior18
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Postby ryowarrior18 » April 24th, 2009 6:16 am

After you posted this, I checked out this app as well. There's a free version for others who would like to take a look. ( I LOVE free versions)

Anyway, the stroke order animation is pretty cool, definitely something that I can use. But the rest of it seems (to me) to be a bit clunky. Maybe I have to use it a bit more to become more comfortable. Definitely worth a try, though, especially because it's free for a trial version.

Gianz
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Postby Gianz » May 2nd, 2009 12:40 pm

Hi,

You might want to check out Zen Nihongo. I made it myself. :) It contains kana, kanji, and vocabulary cards all in one package. In addition, the kanji also includes stroke order animations. I'm open to any suggestions for the improvement of the application. :)

terrinecold
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Postby terrinecold » May 28th, 2009 9:20 am

Aristy wrote:Couple days ago I bought an iPhone/iPod Touch app named ShinKanji. Not sure who makes it, but it's simply amazing:

Up until now, whenever I found a compounded word (made up of more than one kanji) that I didn't know, I'd look it up on my Japanese dictionary, and finding it, I wondered what each kanji on that word meant. Well, ShinKanji does that for me and more!

Basically, when it shows you a word definition, you are able to touch each individual component, see its meaning, and then come back to the original word. Not to mention, it shows animations for the stroke order for most kanji, and you can even zoom on the animation to see it better!

I don't know who the developer is, but I'm loving this app 8)

Hello,
I am the author, thank you for the nice comment. By the way a new version is coming soon, I sent it to apple for approval today.
Benoit Cerrina

terrinecold
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Postby terrinecold » May 28th, 2009 9:22 am

ryowarrior18 wrote:After you posted this, I checked out this app as well. There's a free version for others who would like to take a look. ( I LOVE free versions)

Anyway, the stroke order animation is pretty cool, definitely something that I can use. But the rest of it seems (to me) to be a bit clunky. Maybe I have to use it a bit more to become more comfortable. Definitely worth a try, though, especially because it's free for a trial version.

Hello,
the problem is that I haven't updated the free version as my time developing shinkanji goes completely to the pay version (logical no?).
You could take a look at the videos on the web site to see what is different between the 2 versions:
http://shinkanji.bcerrina.com/videos/

untmdsprt
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Postby untmdsprt » July 21st, 2009 10:09 am

Hello all,

I've made this into a sticky because I've gotten an iPhone and have found the benefits of having good quality apps to learn Japanese. Hopefully more people will share their opinions on good apps with everyone.

The ones I use most are Japanese flip, air sharing, and Kotoba! If smart.fm would ever finish their iPhone app, I'll be downloading that as well to finish my lists.

If you want to be more in depth about an app, please state price, store bought from, minimum reading level, and if it deals with the JLPT

For example:

Japanese flip, around 1000 yen, bought from Japanese store, hiragana level, and all JLPT

If the app can do other languages other than English, please let us know.

ShiroiNeko
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Postby ShiroiNeko » July 27th, 2009 8:34 am

Here is a list of the current apps I have on my i-Touch, and some comments ....
F means free app, P = pay to buy. Number () = my rating out of 10
Some of these apps also had lite versions, which I tried before I paid for the full app.
I have also reviewed some of them directly in i-Tunes - look for "Fiercecat" reviews.

P Human Japanese - Full version: ( 10 ) Excellent, especially for grammar
P Japanese Flash cards: ( 3 ) Very good word lists and quizzes, but you need advanced kanji skills to progress. Expensive.
P Japanese Phrases: ( 7 ) Good for beginners, with flash cards and quizzes. New content is often added.
F Kotoba: ( 10 ) A ** must have ** - reference dictionary
P iKanji: ( 10 ) The best kanji learning app I have found. JLPT. Separate quizzes for stroke order, meanings, readings, and compounds. Lots of examples for readings usage.
P Kanji: ( 3 ) Nowhere near as good as iKanji
P KanjiPop: ( 5 ) A nice little revision tool, but not for learning. It needs a level select feature, otherwise it automatically starts you on the highest level you have opened.
F Simply Kana: ( 8 ) Great for beginner study and revision. One of the very few free kana apps that includes all variants.
F KanaQuiz: ( 9 ) Another good beginners kana revision tool
F KanaStrokes ( 8 ) Excellent animations for stroke order
F As you like : ( 8 ) Japanese dating game ?? Menu in English, but all in-game text and audio in Japanese. Good for reading and listening practice.

untmdsprt
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Postby untmdsprt » July 27th, 2009 9:05 am

ShiroiNeko wrote:F As you like : ( 8 ) Japanese dating game ?? Menu in English, but all in-game text and audio in Japanese. Good for reading and listening practice.


The author of this game needs a lesson or two in marketing. :D His description is in English, and then he/she apologizes because everything in the game is in Japanese. Not exactly something that's going to reach out and grab people to buy it. Although from the screenshots, it looks like a toned down hentaish anime.

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Starting over..

Postby Merryl » July 27th, 2009 8:00 pm

I'm not sure which package would be more suitable for what I'm looking for ... I only want things I can take with me.
Preferably the audio lessons. I've sort of skipped around learning on my own and don't have time to be trapped at a desk.
Will I still be able to download ... say the beginner lessons or survival phrases with the basic subscription?

untmdsprt
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Re: Starting over..

Postby untmdsprt » July 27th, 2009 8:56 pm

Merryl wrote:I'm not sure which package would be more suitable for what I'm looking for ... I only want things I can take with me.
Preferably the audio lessons. I've sort of skipped around learning on my own and don't have time to be trapped at a desk.
Will I still be able to download ... say the beginner lessons or survival phrases with the basic subscription?


Merryl, does this have to do with an app or are you needing assistance regarding what to download?


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