Japanese Alphabet Study Guide

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Japanese Alphabet Study Guide App Poster Image
All-in-one tool for learning Japanese characters.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of play

The app is easy to use and well-organized. Characters can be learned, browsed, and tested based on their difficulty level.

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The "About" page has a link to the iTunes App Store to download another product by the same publisher. A link to the "About" page appears at the bottom of all of the other pages on the app.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Japanese Alphabet Study Guide is a resource for learning and practicing Japanese characters. As most Japanese words are not written phonetically (you typically can't pronounce new words based on familiarity with the characters -- you need to memorize pronunciation), this is not the app you want to learn to speak Japanese. It is for learning the written alphabet, which consists of several thousand characters. This app includes more than 2,000 of the common characters. It includes flash cards to test yourself, as well as multiple-choice quizzes. Each Hiragana and Katakana entry includes stroke order and an audio clip of the pronunciation. The Kanji include written pronunciations, as well as sample usage charts that list words that include the character and their pronunciations (written). The app allows you to search for characters, create multiple "favorite" lists (ideal for studying for a vocab test), and track your statistics over time.

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Is it any good?

JAPANESE LANGUAGE ALPHABET GUIDE is a powerful tool for anyone hoping to learn to read Japanese, a language with a notoriously complicated alphabet. The content is comprehensive and is presented and tested in multiple ways. It encompasses Hiragana, Katakana, and all of the common Kanji characters, making it a quick and portable way to reinforce Japanese language study. This is a supplemental tool to be used in conjunction with a comprehensive language course.

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