Best free apps to learn Japanese: Kanji Senpai

Best Free Japanese Apps
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One thing I don’t like about freemium apps to learn Japanese is that most of them have free beginner levels and paid intermediate/advanced ones. I understand the (market) reason behind it, but it’s really annoying to be forced to waste time on easy kanji (or, even worse, hiragana) to understand if an app is worth buying or not. That’s why I highly appreciate apps like Kanji Senpai, that you can test effectively whatever level you are at. Continue reading

Best free apps to learn Japanese: 小学生手書き漢字ドリル1006 

Best Free Japanese Apps
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One of the hurdles you bump into with Japanese is that, unless you constantly make time for it, you start forgetting how to write kanji by hand. Generally speaking, if you are above an intermediate level (and are not enrolled in a Japanese class/ working in a Japanese environment) that may be totally fine, as long as you can recognize them and type them correctly. In the worst case, hiragana is there to help you 😀 (I wish Chinese had that, too).

However, you might still need or want to write stuff in Japanese by hand, so making sure you know how to write at least the most common kanji is a good idea. Continue reading

Best free apps to learn Japanese: Akebi

Best Free Japanese Apps
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One of the most important things for busy students is to be able to study wherever you are. A good set of mobile apps can make the difference to turn idle time into productive time.

This is the first of a series of posts in which I’m going to share with you my favourite apps for studying Japanese (trust me, in over six years of studying Japanese I tried A LOT of them). I’m going to focus on free or freemium apps.

First thing you need is a good dictionary. Continue reading

Language based riddles in Japanese mobile games: 遊園地からの脱出

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I like to play Japanese mobile games to expand my vocabulary while having fun. Visual novels are quite an obvious choice when it comes to text-heavy games, but I also play a lot of escape games (脱出ゲーム) and puzzle-adventure games (謎解きゲーム), two genres that often overlap.

Whenever I play, I can’t help but think about potential localisation issues and challenges. 

One aspect that often comes up is the presence of language based puzzles and riddles, usually Japanese or Japanese + English. Continue reading