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My Japanese Coach

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My Japanese Coach

Postby laurina890 » Sun 10.26.2008 2:55 pm

Have you heard about that game? It's so much fun, not only you can learn how to read and speak japanese but you will
learn how to write in japanese too! I got mine the other day, it's a little hard at first but you'll learn pretty good. It's in stores in America now so go ahead and get that game. I gerenty it. :)
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby Infidel » Wed 10.29.2008 9:34 pm

It's nice, but it's not a substitute for a textbook. Ultimately, it's just a glorified flash chard program. Other than giving a couple of example sentences, all of the exercises are word recall, it doesn't teach sentences.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby phreadom » Wed 10.29.2008 11:20 pm

I was considering picking it up to use as just that (a flash card type app) for when I'm *cough* sitting around now and then. ;) I could really use some work on expanding my vocabulary if nothing else.

I have Bimoji, but I feel a little too inexperienced to get a lot of use out of that so far because of how little I can understand the interface etc, and really that's mostly just for learning how to write the kanji and kana as far as I know.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby ニッキー » Sat 11.01.2008 3:23 pm

I finally got this (and My Chinese Coach)...

It is quite cool, not as bad as I was expecting it to be. It's not very good for non-beginners though - it asks questions at the beginning to decide which lessson to start at, I got them all correct and it started at lesson 11. It doesn't even finish teaching katakana until lesson 24. Nevertheless, I've played it to lesson 27 so far (and I still haven't really learnt anything new except a couple of odd verbs - I'll definitely need 輝く! :lol:).

The big problem I see is that it has a lot of stroke order errors. It even says "Don't forget to see how they are written! The WAY that you write something is much more important in Japanese than it is in English." The ones I noticed are:

き - it writes it with an unbroken curve (3 strokes) and won't accept the 4 stroke one
さ - again, writes it with an unbroken curve (2 strokes) and won't accept the 3 stroke one
な - writes the upper-right dash last
も - writes the horizontal strokes first
や - writes the vertical stroke first
よ - writes the loop first and won't accept it last

エ - writes the vertical stroke last
カ - writes the vertical stroke first and won't accept it last
チ - writes the top stroke left to right and won't accept it right to left
ネ - writes the "フ"-shaped bit first
ノ - writes it bottom to top and won't accept it top to bottom
ヒ - writes the "L"-shape first and won't accept it last
メ - writes the short stroke first and won't accept it last
ワ - it writes it fine, but when the user writes it, it only accepts one stroke (so you actually have to write フ for it to accept it)

At first I was surprised and thought maybe I was writing them wrong, but I've checked several things which have the stroke order and they all agree with me.

The other problems are fairly minor. When it shows you how to write the characters, it's too fast. I can only just follow it and I already know how to write them... although given what I've just said about stroke order, that's probably a good thing. :D

There's no way to disable audio when you're in a situation where listening is difficult. I had to wait before I could start using it because the test at the beginning involved listening to some words.

The handwriting recognition is not very good. It's pretty lenient in the order of strokes, it will accept things like あ or か being written vertical first. It also can't tell the difference between some similar characters (e.g. る/ろ and ね/れ/わ...). It does however insist on a certain number of strokes and the right direction for them.

The order the material is presented is odd. It doesn't cover greetings until lesson 18(!). It covers colours in lesson 4 and covers pronouns in lesson 9, which I think isn't so useful. It has only taught a handful of nouns by lesson 4, so there's not much to use the colours with and pronouns just aren't used much in Japanese anyway. I very rarely use anything other than 私 and I've definitely never needed to use 彼女たち yet and I know a lot more than the game has covered so far. I would just ignore it, but the games are designed to use words from earlier lessons, so you can't avoid words you don't think are useful. It even says that it's not very polite to refer to other people using pronouns, which makes it seem even more pointless. "Here's a load of pronouns, but people will think you're rude if you use them".

It also doesn't limit the number of points I can get for each level for each game. It would be better for it to force the user to use different games to make sure they get practice using the words in more than one situation (the word searches are fastest for me, so I just do those until I unlock the next lesson).

It does focus a lot on words rather than sentences. After lesson 20 it gives the user a word order game, but until then it doesn't test word order at all.

I'm going to keep on playing it to see what the later levels are like anyway. It did say that after lesson 30 there will be less romaji (at last!)...

Edit: メ is wrong too.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby Flik » Mon 02.23.2009 7:13 pm

I got this software (not really a game) a few weeks ago. While I have learned a few new words from it so far, I find it to be better for reviewing and retaining what one already knows. I absolutely despise the kana writing practice, though. It strictly requires you to move the stylus in a certain order or it says you're wrong -- even if the character you drew looks perfect. For just $20, it was worth getting. :D
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby Amathev » Sun 03.01.2009 12:05 pm

I had really low expectations for this, but it actually turned out to be pretty good.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby pomka » Wed 10.20.2010 3:17 am

I play My Japanese Coach during my lunch breaks at work~ it's nifty for that. ;D
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby phreadom » Wed 10.20.2010 4:24 am

pomka wrote:I play My Japanese Coach during my lunch breaks at work~ it's nifty for that. ;D


You might want to read through my thread: "My Japanese Coach" Nintendo DS game errors and bugs. :doh:

It's still ok to use for certain things, but you should be aware of the problem sections (stroke order etc) so that you don't end up learning incorrect stroke orders etc. :colonthree:
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby Jerrid » Sun 10.24.2010 2:30 am

I can not really comment on the My Japanese Coach for the DS, but I know that the My Spanish Coach worked very well. I was actually doing very well with it until I lost the game... still looking for it. Now I just wish they would come out with a My Arabic Coach and a My Russian Coach and I would be set.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby phreadom » Sun 10.24.2010 6:31 am

Yeah, other than the stroke order problems, I really enjoy it overall. I spend most of my time on it doing the matching games to help memory, and the sentence construction "bridge building" games. My big disappointment with My Japanese Coach was just the huge failure on stroke order and some other little bugs here and there. But the stroke order one was such a big deal because Japanese stresses proper stroke order as one of the fundamental aspects of writing kana and kanji, and they couldn't even get the basic kana right, much less many of the kanji. :doh:

Anyway, I'm beating a dead horse. ;) Glad the Spanish one seems to work well.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby micahcowan » Mon 10.25.2010 11:18 pm

I didn't see it pointed out elsewhere (maybe it was and I missed it), but aside from stroke order problems in the kana, there are severe problems with the kanji as well. Not only are there stroke order problems (replicated every time that radical appears somewhere in a character, thus impacting a significant percentage of characters), but the character (and radical) 山 (yama/mountain) is taught as consisting of four strokes(!).

It's such a pity, really, because these problems combine to make the software more or less completely useless (IMO). The system is great, and I would've loved to see it properly executed; I would've recommended it widely (as an introduction, to be followed by a real textbook). But as it is, it is just too hugely flawed to recommend to anybody, most especially to beginners who need to learn the characters correctly.
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Re: My Japanese Coach

Postby phreadom » Mon 10.25.2010 11:48 pm

micahcowan wrote:I didn't see it pointed out elsewhere (maybe it was and I missed it), but aside from stroke order problems in the kana, there are severe problems with the kanji as well. Not only are there stroke order problems (replicated every time that radical appears somewhere in a character, thus impacting a significant percentage of characters), but the character (and radical) 山 (yama/mountain) is taught as consisting of four strokes(!).

It's such a pity, really, because these problems combine to make the software more or less completely useless (IMO). The system is great, and I would've loved to see it properly executed; I would've recommended it widely (as an introduction, to be followed by a real textbook). But as it is, it is just too hugely flawed to recommend to anybody, most especially to beginners who need to learn the characters correctly.


I think if you look at the post I linked to a couple comments up, you'd see that I cover some (most?) of those problems in detail, and come to the same conclusion. :(

You'll even discover some even more frustrating and disappointing developments beyond just the DS version, such as the fact that when they made an iPhone port, they didn't bother to fix any of the problems that seemed to be very well known for quite awhile beforehand etc. :(
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