GENKI Kanji Cards- Learning Basic Kanji through Vocabulary
By The Japan Times, Ltd.
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Learn basic kanji through kanji words:
GENKI Kanji Cards is a digital card app that helps users become able to recognize 317 basic kanji by studying more than 1,100 kanji words at their own pace!
This is the second official iPhone app to be released for “GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese,” a best-selling series of Japanese learning materials boasting more than 1.2 million copies sold.
◆ Users can view the cards as they like, enabling them to study at their own pace.
◆ By repeating a process of memorization and self-checking, learners can master readings of kanji words and recognition of basic kanji.
◆ Cards already mastered are progressively removed from the card deck, so users can concentrate on just the kanji that challenge them, making for a more efficient approach to learning.
Study methods and functions
◇ “MyDeck” allows users to view the cards over and over, so they can take their time learning.
・Users memorize the kanji by freely displaying or hiding each card’s kanji word or reading.
・Basic information on the target kanji is provided on the back of each card.
・Fun illustrations and mnemonic hints help users to better retain the kanji studied.
(The illustrations and hints are taken from the very popular learning resource “Kanji Look and Learn.”)
◇ “Check” helps learners to track their mastery.
・Users check their understanding of the cards studied and sort them into those mastered and those not yet retained.
・Retention can be checked by going from Reading to Kanji, or vice-versa.
・The cards already mastered are taken out of the set, leaving behind just those that still need to be worked on.
◇ “List” displays a list of all the words and kanji covered by the app so that users can see their progress and review them.
・In the lists arranged in lesson order, a-i-u-e-o order, or alphabetical order, checkmarks are automatically placed next to words that have been mastered. The cards can be displayed from the list entries, enabling quick review.
・Kanji information on the cards can be displayed from the entries in the On/Kun list.
○Ads: The app does not display any ads that might interfere with learning.
○iOS 7 or later is required to install this application.
What's New in Version 2.1.0
Fixed problems that have occurred on some devices installed with iOS 9.1, including app launch failure.
Needs a Trace Function
If you're using Genki then this app is alright. It gives you all the kanji from book books, with each one including a brief animation showing stroke order, along with all the Kanji words and some mnemonics to help remember. As a general Kanji app though it's missing a key feature: the ability to actually trace each Kanji with your finger/stylus.
At the menu page of this Genji Kanji app, you get to choose a lesson, starting with Lesson 3. If you try to scroll up to Lesson 1 or 2, you see the message “Start by mastering the words in Set 1 and 2. Genki Lessons 1 & 2 contain no kanji to be learned.” I tried everything but could never access Lessons 1 & 2, or the words in Set 1 and 2. Oh well.
Let’s start with Lesson 3 then. It is divided into Set 1, 2, 3 and 4, but 3 and 4 are greyed out. I will click on Set 1 which becomes highlighted. Nothing else happens.
At the top of the screen are two buttons: Kanji and Reading. Let’s click on Kanji. Still nothing happens.
At the bottom of the screen are two buttons: My Deck and Check. Let’s click on My Deck.
Now I see a blank box at the top of the screen. In the middle of the screen is the word “one.” At the bottom of the screen is the word いち。 There are two ways that I can interact with this screen. If I touch the blank box, the kanji character for “one” appears in the box. So what? I haven’t learned anything by doing this.
On the other hand, if I click on a button at the bottom of the screen, showing a circle in an arrow configuration, again I see the kanji for “one.” Again, I haven’t learned anything.
At the top of the screen are three pronunciations for “one”: いち、いっ、ひと。If I click on them, nothing happens.
At the bottom of the screen are two icons. One looks like a deck of cards. If I click on it, a “mnemonic hint” appears on the screen consisting of a fat index finger protruding from a hand. This is the way that I am supposed to remember “one."
The second icon at the bottom of the screen looks like a brush. If I click on this, I come to a screen titled Stroke Order, which shows a horizontal line in the middle. If I click on the Play button at the bottom of this screen, the software draws the line from left to right. I still haven’t learned anything.
OK. Let’s go back to the first screen, where Lesson 3, Set 1 is still highlighted. This time, instead of clicking MyDeck, I will click Check, the only other choice. This takes me to a screen called "Remember the kanji?" In the middle of this screen is a word consisting of two kanji. There are furigana at the top of these kanji, but the one on the right is represented by an empty box. The kanji on the left is し, and the one on the right (which is hidden) is かい, judging from the furigana above the box. If I click on the empty box, the kanji かい magically appears. So what? I still haven’t learned anything that I couldn’t have learned from any dictionary.
This app is pointless. What are they trying to achieve? I would like to offer some advice to the developers. If you want to teach Japanese to gaijin (foreigners), please get some gaijin involved in your development process. Ask them what works for them.
When gaijin try to learn kanji, the first thing we want to know is what each kanji looks like, how it is pronounced, what its meanings are and how it is used in sentences.
The second thing we want to know is whether you have any good mnemonics to help us to remember the kanji. There are at least three kinds of mnemonics that are helpful: a) you can give names to the subcomponents of the kanji and make phrases with them (of course, this doesn’t work with simple kanji like いち); b) you can find English words that are pronounced in the same way that the kanji is pronounced and make phrases with them (for example, I have one itchy dog); and c) you can show similar kanji side-by-side so that students learn to recognize the differences between kanji that look very much alike.
The third thing that gaijin need from an app like this is a chance to practice reading the kanji you are trying to teach them. This means that you have to show the kanji all by itself on the screen. No hints are allowed! If you show a hint, like “one” or “いち,” the student doesn’t have a chance to find out whether or not he or she can get the correct answer. You are spoiling the learning experience with those hints.
I am sorry to be so critical. I can see that you spent a lot of time developing this. Please try again and think about what your students need before you start working.
Great for learning Kanji
For learning the on-yomi and kun-yomi reading of the kanji, this is a great app. I learned a lot of kanji compound words using this great app. It really extended my vocabulary beyong the textbook. I do wish that the app contains audio recording of each compoung words. This is great for preparting JLPT N4 and N5. Thank you so much.
- Category: Education
- Updated: Dec 12, 2015
- Version: 2.1.0
- Size: 177 MB
- Language: English
- Seller: JAPAN TIMES, LTD.
- © The Japan Times, Ltd.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.