Thursday, 6 February 2014
The two best apps for learning Japanese on Iphone and Android (so far)
Since it's in my reach to use both Android and Apple devices I'm going to review a few apps which claim to help you with your Japanese. In daily life I use a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and I also own a tablet from Samsung. My boyfriend is a huge fan of Apple so he has an Iphone 5S and an Ipad Mini. With so many devices lying around it wasn't really that difficult to test a couple of apps on these popular devices. Today I will give an introduction to the two best apps I have found so far.
Human Japanese;web page
Supported on; PC, Mac, Iphone, Android, Windows Phone
Highly praised by the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal this is indeed quite an amazing app.
You can download two versions; Human Japanese and Human Japanese Intermediate. I have downloaded the first version which is free. It takes some time to download though. When I opened the app it gives an easy introduction on how to navigate trough the app. When you have finished the introduction you can start with the first chapter. The first chapter is another introduction, this time they will introduce the Japanese language to you. The explanation is easy to read and very detailed. If you don't like a lot of reading this might not be the right app for you though, after six pages of reading we arrive at the next chapter. The next chapter covers pronunciation. After ten pages of detailed information there is a quiz to put your fresh skills to the test. After that there is a short summary on chapter two and then we arrive at the next chapter. This is basically how the whole app works. There are seven chapters which you can study for free. For the other 33 chapters you need to upgrade to the full version. The main menu allows you to fast forward to the quizzes and have a look at the dictionary. Although it is a lot of reading, the subjects are very interesting and easy explained.
The full version is available for +/- $9,99.
If you think you've got the basics down you can download Human Japanese Intermediate. In this version they will explain more advanced topics and you can practice your Kanji. I suggest you to go trough the free seven lessons first and have a look. It is really worth it!
Overall rating; Human Japanese
Visual / layout; 4/5
- Clean layout
- Detailed information
- The amount of reading can get a little boring for some people.
- The layout looks really large and a little ugly on my tablet.
- Only seven lessons in the free version.
Mirai iStart Japanese;web page
Supported on; Apple devices only
I don't want to be mean but the app I thought of most useful was this one, which is only available for Apple devices. (Don't be sad though, I'm still on my journey finding even more useful apps which are compatible with other devices too!) Mirai is a Japanese study app which let's you listen to a series of Japanese pod casts all under the supervision of a penguin with glasses. In every lesson you will follow a basic conversation visualized with speech bubbles that have English grammar explanations. For the Japanese bubbles you can toggle between romanized words and Japanese script. For every lesson there is a vocab section an a quiz at the end. You will even learn how to write some Kanji in the writing section where they show you the correct stroke order. The free version has 20 lessons for the full version you have to purchase a subscription which costs +/- $3,60 a month. Although you get some good things for your money, I still don't like the idea of a monthly subscription. I really hope you give this a try because the free lessons can teach you a lot of new information. If you have conquered all the 20 lessons you can just delete the app and search for a new one right? If you're really interested in this app but don't have an Apple device you can check out their blog here, where you can learn the Kanji of the day (with stroke order!) and listen to 10 Japanese pod cast lessons!
Overall rating; Mirai iStart Japanese
Visual / layout; 5/5
- Beautiful layout
- Informative lessons which don't take a lot of time
- Writing section
- 20 (!) free lessons
- Not completely free either
- Only compatible with Apple devices
Actually these aren't the best apps out there I think, I will have to continue searching for even better ones. If you want me to test out a particular app please let me know. You can comment below or send me a message and I will be happy to try out some new apps for you.
Thank you for reading.
~ Mei mei