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Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

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Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kentaku_sama » Sun 04.19.2009 12:25 pm

This game sounds and looks AWESOME!!! I really want to get great at writing and reading kanji but my problem with this game is that I'm a upper beginner close to innermediate but I can't read japanese other than sayings, questions , greetings, and (very little) description of something. Will this game benefit me even If I can't read everything?
I really want it but I'm not sure if it could help me.
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby JaySee » Sun 04.19.2009 1:22 pm

The problem with most (if not all) of these games is that they are geared towards native speakers of Japanese to brush up on their knowledge of kanji. That means it is assumed that you speak the language fluently and know the words, just not necessarily the kanji used to write them. If your language skills aren't that great this might be a problem, because if you don't know the meaning of the word you need to write in kanji, and don't understand the context (sentence) it is given in (often needed to disabiguate the many homophones that exist in Japanese), it becomes impossible to fill in the right characters.

Edit: That said, I do think most of these games start out with the easiest kanji, so if you can read and understand basic Japanese maybe you'll be able to get something out of the lower levels.
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kentaku_sama » Sun 04.19.2009 5:15 pm

That isn't fair!! Why the heck dosen't nintendo make an english addition or some other game to learn japanese!!?
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby JaySee » Sun 04.19.2009 5:31 pm

There actually is an English game for learning Japanese called My Japanese Coach. I haven't used it myself so I can't really give you any details on it, but I've seen other people talk about it on this forum and apparently it's not all that bad.

Edit: Here's a website with more info. Since it's a blog, you have to start at the bottom post and read up.
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 04.19.2009 5:42 pm

JaySee wrote:The problem with most (if not all) of these games is that they are geared towards native speakers of Japanese to brush up on their knowledge of kanji. That means it is assumed that you speak the language fluently and know the words, just not necessarily the kanji used to write them. If your language skills aren't that great this might be a problem, because if you don't know the meaning of the word you need to write in kanji, and don't understand the context (sentence) it is given in (often needed to disabiguate the many homophones that exist in Japanese), it becomes impossible to fill in the right characters.


The other problem with kanken-related materials is that they purposely include uncommon or unusual words that would trip up many Japanese people, so it tends not to be as useful for foreigners who generally need to learn more basic vocabulary before dealing with the less common stuff.

This example is from the kanken intended for elementary school third graders (8-9 year olds), with the kanji you have to write in parentheses:
学校で、お(せ)話になった人にお(れい)の手紙を書く学(しゅう)をした。わたしはしかけんしんをする(はいしゃ)さんに気(も)ちをこめて書いた。
And this one is from the one for 5th-graders:
葉が落ちて(ぞうき)林が明るくなった。

The 3rd grade example doesn't have any particularly rare words on it although I even got confused by しかけんしんをする(はいしゃ)さん -- however, the grammar of the sentence is fairly complex from a second language-learner standpoint, with the multiple relative clauses. The example in the 5th graders is what I was talking about; the word 雑木林(ぞうきばやし) is intended to trip up native speakers, so it's a word that many of them wouldn't even necessarily know that well, or at least how to write it (since 雑 is most commonly read as ざつ).
-Chris Kern
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kurisuto » Sun 04.19.2009 6:19 pm

I have a kanken-type game and I have to say the only thing it was useful for was revising the kanji I already knew : make no mistake, it doesn't teach them at all. If you give the wrong answer, it only gives you the right one (I mean, in my game, you had absolutely no details, not even the meaning). And as was already pointed out, you have to master Japanese relatively well in order to simply understand the context, so I wouldn't recommend you to buy it (well, I don't know for the one you mentioned but I guess it's pretty much the same thing since its aim is native speakers too). However, you could follow JaySee's suggestion : with My Japanese Coach, you learn some kanjis, grammar and vocabulary, and it begins from complete beginner level (I don't really know how far it teaches because I haven't played much, but I think it's good at least until intermediate level).
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kentaku_sama » Sun 04.19.2009 6:51 pm

May'be I should get Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten. It gives you sentences and meanings in english and japanese.
I wonder if it will translate a grammar term...
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kurisuto » Sun 04.19.2009 7:32 pm

I'm addicted to it ! Really great dictionary, use it a lot. Now it depends on what you mean by "grammatical term", but for instance it has explanations about things like potential (but you have to know what to type, in this instance it was "rareru"). And you'll see there are some hidden bonus (you'll have to find the good terms !).
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kentaku_sama » Mon 04.20.2009 11:19 am

I mean if you enter "ことが" Will it tell you what that means. or give you the verb forms of a dictionary form:

enter "洗う"

Get:

洗います 洗いました 洗って  ect... 
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Re: Should I get 500 Mannichi kanken Kanji game?

Postby kurisuto » Mon 04.20.2009 12:59 pm

First, the thing you have to understand is that it's a J-E-J/J-J dictionary, not a textbook.

Now, you can enter "koto" (not koto ga), and you'll have lots of sample sentences translated in English, which I think is fine in itself and very useful to get a feel of how it's used and what it means, and there's much more entries than some of the online J-E-J dictionaries I used to use. That's the main reason why I love it. But if you want real grammatical explanations, you will have to understand Japanese because they are given in the J-J part.

As for conjugations, if you're lucky you'll find them in the sample sentences, but unfortunately, that's all.
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