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My Japanese Coach
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30 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/19/08 , edited 3/8/09



My Japanese Coach
Genre: Learning Software (English to Japanese)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: Available now internationally.
Price: Ranging from $15-35 US
Reviewed by Riavan

Learning Japanese is a long and hard road, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Normally the best way to attack this task is to enroll in Japanese language classes, which unfortunatly is not always an option due to availability, cost, or being a social shut in. The second best route is to use a text book or internet site, unfortunately text books are often very boring and don't provide any verbal training. Internet sites are only available whilst sitting in front of a computer and more often than not are just mere supplements to their text book counter parts.

Luckily Ubisoft have bridged the gap between language classes and text books with My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS, giving your the ability to learn Japanese words, sentence structure, draw kana as well as use a variety of solo-able memory assisting mini-games. All this without having to pay a high price, annoy someone by asking them to help you with your flash cards as well as providing the ability to carry it around in your pocket and get some practice in on the bus or during a break.

Starting off you're tasked with setting up a personal profile. The game allows a total of 3 separate profiles, so family members, roomies or friends can share the same singular software. You are then given a quick multiple choice quiz to see how much you know. Don't worry if you know nothing, the game was designed for someone with no knowledge of the language, this quiz is merely so the people who have already studied Japanese can skip the easier lessons.

Lessons are organized into segments consisting of 10-15 words or characters that are in the same category. For example, a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko in hiragana, or Konnichiwa, Ohayoo, Konbanwa, Sayoonara. The lessons contain all kana, romaji readings and Japanese verbal pronunciation for their chosen words or characters. Lessons are small and bite size, containing brief, but well written explanations. Estimated lesson total would be around 200. They can be revisited and revised at any time. Once a lesson has been read through, you are required to gain 25 points for each word or character before the next lesson can be unlocked. Points are acquired through the mini games. Obviously sometimes you will need to go over a lesson multiple times, just looking at the lesson once will not be enough for new comers to the language, remember learning Japanese is a hard and long process, you need to stick with it and repeat until you remember.

There are 12 entirely different games all up, including whack a mole, word search, multiple choice and flash cards. The word(s) you are asked to identify in these mini games are sometimes written in romaji, sometimes spoken and sometimes in kana, obviously to begin with most is in romaji (that's Japanese with english letters) as to make it easier for new comers to the language. There are games like fading characters and write cards which are used to assist with stroke order/drawing characters by drawing straight onto the DS screen with the stylus. There is also a few games like bridge builder, which helps the user by getting them to arrange words to make a specific sentence, helping greatly with vocab and sentence structure. These mini-games really give My Japanese Coach a big edge on all it's competition.

If the above features haven't already sold you this piece of software, it's also an electronic dictionary and phrasebook. You can type any word in english or romaji and the translator will show you it in romaji, kana and english with a description. It will also provide a verbal pronunciation of the word if you touch the word with the stylus. If you own a DS, don't know Japanese and are going there for a holiday/work, this feature would be your best friend.

My Japanese Coach is probably the best Japanese solo-learning tool available, obviously, a class room environment is still preferable, but then this would also be the best supplementary study tool available, so purchasing this title is win-win for anyone who is keen to learn the Japanese language.


From issue 17 of the onigiri, check out more news and reviews here.
http://issue17.theonigirimagazine.com/
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27 / M / California
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Posted 10/19/08
That's actually pretty cool if you want to learn Japanese. Kind of surprised Ubisoft made it though because it sounds like something Nintendo would make. (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, etc., just gotta name this Wii Speak Japanese)
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30 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/19/08

Cyclone003 wrote:

That's actually pretty cool if you want to learn Japanese. Kind of surprised Ubisoft made it though because it sounds like something Nintendo would make. (Wii Sports, Wii Fit, etc., just gotta name this Wii Speak Japanese)


Yeah, nintendo made a Japanese game to learn english. But ubisoft are the only english company who seem to be making these kind of games, they started with my french learning coach like 6 months ago or so.
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21 / M / 大迷宮
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Posted 10/19/08
It looks interesting, since it IS from Ubisoft.
Useful too.
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30 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/19/08 , edited 10/19/08
Some in-game pictures.








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22 / M / SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAA...
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Posted 10/19/08
MORE shovleware form ubisoft
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23 / M / Over there ------->
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Posted 10/19/08

riavan wrote:

Some in-game pictures.










DESU~
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76 / M / california
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Posted 10/19/08
looks like they're targeting weaboos
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30 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/19/08
Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.
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Posted 10/20/08

riavan wrote:

Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.

and THAT makes it shovelware
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Posted 10/20/08 , edited 10/20/08

um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:

Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.

and THAT makes it shovelware


No, I think shovelware is more like "my pony brushing simulator."

Seeing as there's no other Japanese learning game available for English users, I wouldn't consider it to be shovelware. The language titles have come out months apart. I'm sure they're very hard to program, especially the ones involving stroke count and pictograph characters.

Perhaps when it gets to titles such as "my ancient greek language coach" I would consider it shovelware :P



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Posted 10/20/08

riavan wrote:


um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:

Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.

and THAT makes it shovelware


No, I think shovelware is more like "my pony brushing simulator."

Seeing as there's no other Japanese learning game available for English users, I wouldn't consider it to be shovelware. The language titles have come out months apart. I'm sure they're very hard to program, especially the ones involving stroke count and pictograph characters.

Perhaps when it gets to titles such as "my ancient greek language coach" I would consider it shovelware :P





this is ubisoft trying to cashin on nintendo's English Training: Have Fun Improving Your Skills. ubisoft has done this on nintendogs with petz. it is shovelware
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30 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/20/08

um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:


um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:

Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.

and THAT makes it shovelware


No, I think shovelware is more like "my pony brushing simulator."

Seeing as there's no other Japanese learning game available for English users, I wouldn't consider it to be shovelware. The language titles have come out months apart. I'm sure they're very hard to program, especially the ones involving stroke count and pictograph characters.

Perhaps when it gets to titles such as "my ancient greek language coach" I would consider it shovelware :P





this is ubisoft trying to cashin on nintendo's English Training: Have Fun Improving Your Skills. ubisoft has done this on nintendogs with petz. it is shovelware


Except English training wasn't the first language training game on the DS.
So therefore english training by nintendo was shovelware as well, according to that train of thought.

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Posted 10/20/08

riavan wrote:


um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:


um2456 wrote:


riavan wrote:

Still, there's not a lot of language learning programs out there.
I'm surprised how offended some of you seem to be.
They're actually releasing this along their other language learning titles, including Spanish, french, Chinese, etc.

and THAT makes it shovelware


No, I think shovelware is more like "my pony brushing simulator."

Seeing as there's no other Japanese learning game available for English users, I wouldn't consider it to be shovelware. The language titles have come out months apart. I'm sure they're very hard to program, especially the ones involving stroke count and pictograph characters.

Perhaps when it gets to titles such as "my ancient greek language coach" I would consider it shovelware :P





this is ubisoft trying to cashin on nintendo's English Training: Have Fun Improving Your Skills. ubisoft has done this on nintendogs with petz. it is shovelware


Except English training wasn't the first language training game on the DS.
So therefore english training by nintendo was shovelware as well, according to that train of thought.


ubisoft is still trying to cashin that makes it shovelware makeing a hole bunch of language training games just like they did with petz that makes it shovelware
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28 / M / Huntington Beach,...
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Posted 10/20/08
Who cares if its shovelware~ At least it was made, and I for one look forward to playing this game ^^.
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