Dr. Lingua Kana Games (Review)

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I’ve got someone I’d like introduce to parents, home educators, and teachers of children interested in learning Japanese. Say konnichiwa こんにちは to Dr. Lingua.

One of the challenges I’ve had when finding Japanese learning resources for my kids was finding interactive kana (hiragana and katakana) games that were well designed, in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. The resources at Dr.Lingua.com pass the test for both.

These games were created by a game designer and father from Australia for his two young children who study Japanese at school.   His children enjoyed the game so much they got their teachers to share the games with other students, and even others schools in Australia. And after playing the games myself and sharing them with my kids, I can see why they’re such a hit.

The first game we tried it out was Kana Grid.

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Kana grid works best on tablets and computers.

Here’s brief explanation of the game per the website:

 “The user is shown a screen listing games ‘focus’ in a familiar script – starting with a / あ / ア, and a grid of hiragana or katakana kanas, six matching the ‘focus’. Once the player has selected the six matching kana, the round ends, and the game moves onto the next kana. Each game has either 5 or 3 rounds consisting of kanas from a row of the hiragana/katakana chart.” (source Dr.Lingua.com)

The little puffer fish dudes on the right-hand side indicate the number of kana hidden in the grid so you know how many you’ll have to find. For each one you get, a puffer fish puffs up. Incorrect results in a slide whistle sound effect (much better than having to endure a horrible buzzer every time your child makes a mistake, amiright?) and a sad face on or plump little lucky cat friend.

In the above image, the game is Romaji mode (just a regular letter ‘a’), but you can also select hiragana and katakana modes — a super helpful feature to target specific learning areas.

 

The other game we tried was: Kana Bento.

Kana Bento can run on mobiles, tablets, and computers. It can played in a few different modes. Again, I seriously love being able to have both options from a single resource. I cannot stress what an awesome help it is for teaching and learning.

You can pick a romaji chart with hiragana or katakana.

 

You can also pick all hiragana, all katakana, or all romaji. Or just mix it however you’d like.


There is a timer at the bottom to track the completion time, but it’s also easy to ignore if you or your child just want to practice your kana recollection skills without it.

Final Thoughts

The Dr. Lingua resources are excellent tools to add to your Japanese learning toolbox. You can learn more about the Dr. Lingua by clicking HERE. You can also follow them on: Facebook and Twitter.

 

Happy Learning,

Shiga Shar

 

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*I was not paid for this post. All opinions are my own.*

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DuoLingo Japanese is Here!

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わーい!!!

Yay!!!

Duolingo Japanese is here! (iOS only for now)

If you’re not new to learning Japanese, there is an option to test your skills to determine your learning level. Every level has an option for testing out, actually.

I was able to test out of all of the hiragana levels and a few others, which made me feel pretty good about my learning progress so far. 🙂

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My Thoughts So Far

The Duolingo app is another free option for learning Japanese that’s worth giving a try. It has around 40 levels total, covering a wide variety of topics. So far, it’s okay. I’m a bit of a Memrise junkie, though, so that will most likely be my go-to learning application.

If you’ve never used Duolingo for learning, it does take a little getting used to. For example, sometimes words/phrases are introduced without an introduction. To figure out what they are, just tap the colored/underlined section and an explanation should pop up.

I’d never seen the phrase: といいます until I saw it today.  As you can see, it roughly means I am called/it is called/my name is/etc. So when introducing yourself you can say:

はじめまして,(your name)といいます。

hajimemashite,(your name), toiimasu.

Nice to meet you, my name is (your name).

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Have you tried it yet? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!

LET’S CONNECT AT THESE PLACES TOO  🙂

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APP REVIEW: Hiragana Touch Robo Free

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Hiragana Touch Robo

JAPANESE LANGUAGE SKILL LEVEL REQUIRED: Beginner

AGE: Any Age (family friendly)

COST: Free

(Do be aware that there are ads with free apps, including this one, which may occasionally not be suitable for very young children. We played this several times and did not see any inappropriate ads, though.)

Description From the Developer:

“Hiragana. It’s a Japanese curvy letter. Let’s study these letters with fun! Find a ball with Hiragana shown by Robo. (10 letters in all 46 letters will be on the test) When you correct, Robo’s power reduced. Now the time to beat the Robo!”

Review:

Hiragan Touch Robo is a super simple way to familiarize yourself with the hiragana characters. The only problem I had with this app is that the hiragana characters are difficult to read when they’re bouncing and changing directions. Obviously this is part of the challenge, but young players may struggle to identify the characters when they’re wafting about in strange directions. Overall, it’s an entertaining app, but not one we’ll probably delete after a week when the novelty wears off.

 

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See you later! またね! (matane!)

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう/Arigatou/Thank you!