My Japanese Coach
Why are they doing this?
This game is utterly confusing when it comes to attempting to learn anything. They have no logic to when you learn your grammar, don't teach you the alphabets before starting in on words, and are magically anal about some characters while others they couldn't care less if you draw a heart on the screen. Using little to no knowledge I stumbled through the pretest to test ahead several lessons, this is where my first problem came up. They really didn't test any knowledge just "how good is your multiple choice luck?" Yes you can go back and do the lessons on your own, but it doesn't mean you are learning anything. As long as you play your favorite game enough times you can progress forward. Then you get more confusing grammar which isn't even properly translated, the game horribly pronouncing words at you, and just in general frustration if you know anything about the language. If you want to learn Japanese buy a Genki textbook, you'll learn a lot more even if you are studying on your own.
Great for beginning and vocab!
In my experience, I've found that this game definitely imprints hundreds of words into your mind for the longrun. The games aren't as quick to bore as has been said, with a little dedication, you'll get over the repitition. After all, learning anything requires repitition! The order of lessons actually makes sense, I would advise completely disregarding comments on the lessons skipping around as learning numbers definitely helps when it comes to months and such. it can be very vague when it comes to grammar and kanji is limited, so i recomend this to start off with After getting most of this game down, I recommend cds, books, videos, lessons, and possibly even immersion into a japanese society. A quick wrap-up, a great first step.
Kudos to Ubisoft for creating a gaming outlet for learning a new language! Gamers, if you want to learn Japanese in a cheap, yet quality way, look no further then My Japanese Coach. Whether it's for a class, personal knowledge, or you plan to go to Japan prepared with their language, this a great buy. You begin your game by taking a placement test that determines where you begin the game. Do good, and you might skip a few lessons, yet if you are new to the language, you will start at lesson 1. You are greeted by an animated native of Japan who helps get started. Unlike the early language coach games, she is much more interactive as she expresses large hand and body motions. A lesson has primarily 10 words. You memorize these words visually, as well as being able to listen and speak them thanks to the DS mic. You may also practice writing it on the innovative touch screen using the kana alphabet or Kanji. You will then play games to master your words by earning points to advance to the next lesson. After you master your words, you advance to the next lesson which introduces around 10 more words. The music and native speakers sound great and are even better with headphones. The music is presented in traditional Japanese, which is presented well and is a cool add-on to the gameplay. The mini games that reinforce your lessons no longer have annoying music and really help you learn the words in an effective manner. I would highly recommend purchasing this game if you want to learn Japanese. If you truly are serious about learning Japanese, I would also recommend to purchase a workbook to help you learn the alphabets.
A True Beginner's Opinion!!
I've been trying to find a way to learn Japanese, but I'm not a big book person. I like something interactive and fun to mess around, then my friend game me this game. I was hooked! The first few lessons are easy, greetings, numbers, months, days, etc.... And you are able to skip those few with the test at the beginning (but you don't really skip that much, even if you got every question right). This was all fun games (mostly just memorizing), until you get to the Kana lessons (one of 2 writing styles in Japanese). Kana is when stuff gets serious (Kanji is 100x harder btw). To be honest I had quit playing the game for about 2 weeks due to extreme a brain teaser headache, but i finally mastered all of it. After I mastered it, that's when I got serious! I took notes (silly for a DS game) about verbs and sentence structure, and writing down all the vocabulary. Basically treating this as a real Japanese class! The thing I like about this game is it doesn't baby you that much (but the games are really kiddish) and sometimes in the game it gets head of itself and you got to figure some things on your own. WARNING THIS GAMES IS NOT FOR KIDS!! THIS IS THE HARDEST GAME TO BEAT IN HISTORY OF GAME KIND.
A poor attempt at educational software for the DS
I have noticed that this software gets high reviews from gamers who want to study the language and lower reviews from reviewers who actually know the language. This software does a very poor job of "teaching" Japanese. I studied Japanese as a university student, and often have to use the language for my job. I have noticed several problems with the software that any prospective buyer should keep in mind. The software focuses heavily on vocabulary. This is a problem because the software does very little to test the players knowledge of grammar. Grammar is essential to understanding Japanese. Simply knowing vocabulary would leave the player lost in a real life situation. The software sometimes teaches the wrong stroke order for kana and Kanji. This won't hurt you too much, but it does instill bad habits. Languages are different and need to be taught differently.The developers clearly tried to cram Japanese into their "My Spanish Coach" mold. This was evident by the rehashed and tired mini-games (which had only a focus on vocab anyway). This game does NOT teach conversational Japanese. This is important, because many of the lessons teach the "right" way to say something (for example chichi for my father) rather than the common use (or conversational) way of saying something (most Japanese people would say otousan when talking about their own father, but the software teaches the dictionary correct otousan meaning your father). The words the software teaches are technically correct in a dictionary, but there is no mention of the more common ways of saying things. The mixture of non-conversational vocabulary, unoriginal mini-games, and a lack of emphasis on grammar, lead me to look skeptically on this software. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to any serious Japanese students.
I'm a Japanese major and I wanted some extra practice before I do my internship in Fukuoka. This game overall was mediocre. It's okay for learning some basic vocab, but the mini games are very boring after a short time and really make you get bored. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. Graphics and interface and everything is great, but the actual important part isn't. Also, the writing games are really bad. I scribbled once because I couldn't remember this one character, and it accepted it. :/ And some characters I would do perfectly, like "a" and it wouldn't take it. The character for "a" was the first one I learned, it's easy.If you want to learn japanese on your own, buy a genki textbook and workbook from the internet and teach yourself. That's how I started.
This game, tells you that it will teach you Japanese, and that its fun and whatever else. Well it's lying. This game will not teach you proper Japanese and it will not help you understand when someone is speaking it around you. Its pretty awful. Aside from that, its the best vocab tool that I have come across next to flash cards. Yea I know I just bashed it in, but its REALLY good. So you can understand what I mean better, you should use this in conjunction with learning Japanese Grammar. Which is ACTUALLY learning Japanese. I would very much recommend this to people, however, I would only recommend it to people learning Japanese prior to getting this. The vocab you go over, is very base and in order. What I mean is, if you can remember how you were taught in Elementary school, this programs do that in a similar way. Animals, colors, hellos and goodbyes, how to write, etc.
I'm an admitted Otaku so I wouldn't pass up the chance to learn Japanese as part of my obsession with their music, art and literature [and all the manga, anime and video games]. I've religiously schooled myself with this game for three months and I've learned one whole phrase 'Konnichiwa, genki desu ka?' and 'Watashi' that's it. In my personal opinion, the lesson style isn't set up very well it jumps around a lot. You go from learning numbers, to Kana, to days of the week, to greetings, back to Kana, etc. and by the time they get around to actually bothering to teach you how to grammatically set up a sentence you've forgotten pretty much everything after spending five lessons learning to write in Kana [which they hardly ever use] and hardly any time on words. [I might've just missed a lesson but:] To make matters worse they totally spring new words on you in the sentence structure game. I was extremely disappointed and eventually abandoned it in favor of watching soap operas and other dramas to teach myself and reading manga to learn Kanji. If you have the money just go to a classroom and get taught, I don't think this game is worth it.
A must buy for people who wish to get into Japanese! I was skeptical with language learning software, as I am currently using Rosetta Stone and have found it quite disasspointing. I picked this up in hopes of furthering my language skills. To my surprise this product has out shined my expectations. The games are good and it teaches you at a steady pace but the most important part is the retention quality is high. The writing is an interesting aspect but I wish they would enforce it more upon the user to learn to write vs. just mimicking words. Another thing is I wish they would teach the other forms of Japanese word system. Overall for the price this was is definitely worth the money, and should only be used by beginners or people who wish to rebut their skills as Japanese.
This is a great product for anyone who's learning Japanese. Just don't buy this thinking you can learn the language with JUST this game. Instead this should be used in addition to books and CDs, but it is a great addition to the learning process letting you practice writing with the stylus, and recording your voice and hearing it played back with a native speaker. The graphics are decent, nothing spectacular, but in a language game it's not something that is really needed. They also can confuse a bit teaching informal. I would have perhaps preferred that to be a seperate lesson at the end, since in Japanese its best to just learn the formal to start with to avoid confusion. The only thing I wish this game had was a better reference section, perhaps with flashcards of sorts, but it does have a pretty nice dictionary that you can search through in Japanese (though only romaji) or English.