We live in a time where we can learn so much due to the internet, YouTube, Anime (including hentai), and a number of smartphone applications. Well that is when you’re not posting your topless bathroom pics.
If you are not looking to physically attend a Japanese language class, this approach can be a leisurely way to get you started, or an intensive way for you to learn to speak Japanese, along with reading (kana) and writing Japanese (Nihongo).
Learn Japanese in 4 hours – All the basics you will need to continual lessons all for FREE
Btw, before you read on, I get absolutely nothing to promote these individuals/apps/companies, etc, not a thanks, a side-eye, or even a glance of acknowledgement – I just do it because they don’t suck.
The channel learn Japanese with JapanesePod101 is a FREE channel, but the reason why I recommend it, is because it’s not a struggle to watch (it’s enjoyable because everything is very well done from the camera work, sound, motion graphics, etc.)
Now that you spent 4 hours learning the basics, try learning how to put that new found knowledge to practical use.
In her own words: “Hi, I’m Miku. My mission is to teach Japanese in fun and effective way! I’d like to connect Japan and the world.
I hope my videos can help people who love Japan and Japanese language. Thank you so much for learning my language!”
The best thing about her vids, nothing feels totally staged like it’s an online course, but it feels more real because she’ll do skits (roleplay where she plays both roles dressed up or with a partner).
You Only Need the Kana App to Start Off With
Yes, only one app that I am recommending because I have been through a number of them, and I concluded this is the best one out of the bunch, and I’ll explain why.
The Features of the Kana App
A lot of the other apps have the same basic features, but like with anything, it’s all about the execution and Kana is a step above in regards to the overall UX (user experience), and especially with their UI (user interface) which is something I have a background in.
This is Why I Love the Kana App
The biggest issue that I see with competing apps is with their UI (user interface) because some are beautifully designed (Drops being one), but they fail because of the user experience which is predictable/deductive (it is fluff over substance).
The main opening screen.
Starting off, I start only with learning hiragana because my small brain has a hard time remembering things, and I literally have to pummel things repetitively into my brain till it finally sinks in. Oh, and like they say, if you don’t use it, you…. (I haven’t said that phrase in a while, but it was related to the point I was trying to make).
The visual design is very intuitive because it mimics the design language and interaction design that is not that far off from iOS (maybe that’s why they do not have an Android version). Since, I actively use this app, I can tell you how smartly designed the app is.
This is the kana table which is only ONE click away from the opening screen which is why it’s super useful.
If you have ever used the Drops app, their focus is on their iconography and excessive interaction design (it feels and looks cool tho) that has you learning anything but increasing your vocabulary. Instead, you inadvertently start to remember what their illustration of an almond looks like versus remembering “almond” is アーモンド (an illustration isn’t necessary).
The other aspect I like is that you are not locked into a set curriculum, and you can take on as much as you can handle which can be broken down into sets:
Gojuon (basic kana)
Dakuon & Handakuon
This is where the app really starts to shine which is with the way the quiz works which has two levels: easy and hard.
This is the approach most apps take which gives you a question with 4 options to choose from which is easier because you can make a total guess.
This is my favorite mode because you are required to type in the correct response with your keyboard, and to draw input for the writing portion (a few other apps have the latter feature too).
In this mode, the quiz gets harder if you got the question right last time, easy if not.
Just type in the correct answer (if it were only that easy).
This is also the part that makes this app a thousand times more effective than others. The reason that is, is because other apps will have their cutesy little icons, along with a multiple choice answer which makes it all too easy to guess. This is something that is not going to help you in real life, so all you’re doing is playing a game – till we have augmented reality where options appear in real time, this does nothing to help me learn.
My lil smokie like little sausage fingers will sometimes fumble over the keyboard causing an incorrect answer, but the developers have thought out everything, and they allow you to give yourself a pass for the questions you incorrectly typed in. Also, if you don’t want to form the bad habit of using romaji (a crutch), you can go to the harder level where you are required to draw out the character although I know there have been times I have been off, but the app read it as a correct which is why the app update no longer relies on your ability to “come close” to the character. They now allow you to do things on the honor system by asking you if you got it correct (I love this app and the developers are extremely good).
Just like slot machines in Vegas that no longer has real change dispensing from it (they still have the sound of change hitting the metal tray), this game has a very rewarding chime when you get the answer correct which is why I turn on the sound when I play.
Every time you take the quiz it gets tallied up, so you’ll be able to see all of your results which will let you know how much progress you’re making.
You will know how much time it takes you to answer each question correctly to how many you got correct/incorrect.
I could go on and on with an in-depth breakdown of their UX, UI and possibly the interaction design, but that would only appeal to the designers of the app and other User Experience designers which this blog post is not gear toward. It was meant for you, the person looking for an app that will effectively help you learn because you need all the help you can get (I say that because I’m a slow learner, and I can’t wait for Elon Musk’s neuralink).
Sorry, iPhone users only
Seller Romain PELLEN
Size 83.2 MB
Compatibility Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Language English, French
Age Rating 4+
Copyright © 2020 Romain PELLEN
I’m sure once you use this app, you’ll realize that is one of, if not the best app to learn Japanese…. just saying.