Jan 12, 2010

Learning Japanese the iPhone way #1

Recently I've joined the iPhone club as well, as more and more of my friends and colleagues become enthusiastic ambassadors of iPhones, a possible side-effect of new owners. :P

Just as enthusiastic, I immediately tried downloading Japanese learning applications from the App Store, too, after I've downloaded the essentials like Facebook, Plurk, Tweetdeck, etc.

There are dozens of iPhone applications on learning Japanese language, but mostly they are paid applications. Currently, my reviews are on some selected free applications. They were picked mostly based on the users' reviews provided by the App Store, hence, there might be many good ones outta which I've missed. I shall update as I stumble upon other useful Japanese learning applications.

To kick-start, let's begin with dictionaries. A must-have for all foreign language learners!

The application you MUST get...
This application.. long before the iPhone craze started, I've seen ex-classmates using on their iTouch, and is deeply fascinated by it. It is so much like a functional dictionary which costs hundreds of dollars, and probably needs to be bought in Japan itself. There aren't many places selling electronic Japanese dictionaries in Singapore, especially the ones which has handwriting recognition.

And.. the application is Kotoba! A fully functional English-Japanese dictionary. Occasionally it offers other languages as well in the explanations. Here's how to use Kotaba!:

1. Either type the English/ romanji term in the search bar.
Type in the hiragana term.
Write the kanji term:

2. Select "Search"

3. Vola... here's the searched result, it has sample sentences as well:

This is the only bilingual dictionary that I've downloaded on my iPhone so far. Go, give it a try.

In my next entry, I will cover on 2 language learning applications for beginners. They provide more structured lesson plans. Stay tuned! :)