Dr. Lingua Kana Games (Review)


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.

kana grid

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




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


Practice Using the De で Particle

Whenever I’m learning something new, I like to associate the new material with familiar things to better recall and retain the information.

Today, I thought I’d share how I practiced learning the basic uses of the de で particle using one of my all-time favorite movies, Beetlejuice. I’ve included five example sentences using movie scenes to demonstrate how the de で particle may be used.

First Off, What is the De で Particle?

The de で particle is used to indicate things such as:

  1. where an action takes place,
  2. the means by which an action takes place,
  3. a total, time, or cost,
  4. what something is made of, and
  5. cause.



  1. WHERE AN ACTIONS TAKES PLACE (location: in, at, on, etc.)


いえおどりましよう。       Let’s dance in the house.

We look in front of the で to learn the house [いえ] is where we’re being invited to dance. で is used here, rather than に because the focus of the sentence isn’t the house, it’s the action happening inside the house: dancing.



beetlejuice door

かれはチョークドアをつくった。He made the door with chalk.

We look in front of the で to learn that chalk [チョーク] is the means our subject (は) he [かれ] made [をつくった] the door [ドア].



beetlejuice movie

あなたは1時間半えいがをみることができます。You can watch the movie in an hour and a half.

Notice that the amount of time it takes to watch the movie comes before the で particle.



shimp hand

この手はエビつくられています.    This hand is made of shrimp.

この=this, 手=hand, エビ=shrimp


5. CAUSE (Because of, due to, owing to, etc.)


車が落ちたの、彼らは死んだ。 Because the car fell, they died.

The cause (falling) comes before the de で  particle.


Hopefully this helped give a bit more clarity on the basic uses of the de で  particle. If learning this way isn’t your cup of tea, you can also visit the following resources on the de で  particle:

Japanese Meow: http://japanesemeow.com/lessons/japanese-grammar-particle-de/

PuniPuni Japan: http://www.punipunijapan.com/japanese-particle-de/

Nihongo Ichiban: https://nihongoichiban.com/2011/03/27/particle-%E3%81%A7-de/

ChopsticksNY: http://www.chopsticksny.com/archives/contents/language/2010/02/3788


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!





Usagi’s Hiragana & Katakana Drag-n-Drop Game

usagi chan

Usgai’s Hiragana Drag-n-Drop Game is a simple way to quiz yourself on your hiragana knowledge. Simply click on the hiragana with your mouse and drag it into the correct sound space. There’s also a timer at the bottom of the game square, if you fancy that sort of thing.

I memorized hiragana and katakana using the Memrise app, but enjoyed using these on the side to help reinforce what I’ve learned.

Using multiple learning tools is a great way to strengthen your learning, and keeps you from getting a rut with just one study method or resource. 

There’s also a Katakana version HERE.

Technology Required: PC with Flash Player

Price: FREE

Language Level: Absolute Beginner

Link to the hiragana game here: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/s/sheaa/projects/genki/hiragana-timer.html


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!