Tools

Japanese Learning Games – Guess What I Found

Hey guys, I was reading another language learning blog and they had a section talking about different language learning games (or apps) for mobile phones.

I was already familiar with Duolingo which is probably the best marketed language learning app out there right now.

However, it doesn’t have Japanese as one of the available languages – bummer…

(UPDATE: They just released it recently!)

So I started checking out the other apps that were recommended and then BAM – I FOUND IT!

BUSUU. HAS. JAPANESE.

BUSUU

Heck yeah, I was super excited so I download it onto my phone and starting playing it. You have to register an account, but you can just click the Facebook or Google+ button to do so.

Easy!

You pick a language and then your level of knowledge (beginner/more advanced). The interface on the phone looks nice and smooth. It uses pictures to assist in learning the vocabulary, which is nice. And it will test you on what you have learned throughout the lesson so that you can reinforce it before the quiz at the end.

Some of the things I really liked were:

  1. Convenient translate button that switches the language from Hiragana/Kanji to Romaji
  2. Like I said, pictures help to visualize what you’re learning
  3. Native speakers. Always important when learning a language
  4.  A text message conversation.  This was the coolest thing ever. Just like a group message
  5. It has a free version

I do believe that there is a subscription mode that will unlock much more, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

(Another UPDATE: I have tried out the paid version and it’s even better. Read about it by clicking here)

I’ll let you know with an update if I do decide to subscribe.

So Check It Out

I am really impressed with it so far. If you’re looking for a way to practice your Japanese on the go, then getting this is a must!

It incorporates Japanese reading, listening, and you can always repeat after it yourself to work on your pronunciation. It’s on both the iOS and Android so you should all be able to download it.

You could also play it on your computer if you wanted… But come on. Laaaaame.

Have you already been using it before reading this post? Let me know what you think of it, or if you know of another useful phone app for Japanese.

10 Comments

  • Tony

    Interesting. I wonder if it has the functionality that allows you to translate what someone has said (from Japanese to English) using voice recognition. Or is that still too futuristic?

    • Nick

      I don’t think that this app has that functionality, but I have heard of a few companies that are developing products that do exactly what you said. If they can really make a device that translates when you speak into it, that’d be awesome!

  • Stephen

    Hi Nick, you’ve got a great website there. I really appreciate how you show the good things about the app. I will definitely be taking a look at it. Its very good to know that there you can have fun and still learn a language at the same time.
    Great stuff!

  • Marley Dawkins

    Thanks for sharing this Nick, ive got solid basic Japanese, so im confident about introducing myself small talk, and getting my basics. I was out there for a few weeks a few years back.

    I have to say that if and when i go again, i want to have improved Japanese again to further my communication options, so im definitely bookmarking this page right now 🙂 and this game is going on my download list.

    Thanks again!

    • Nick

      Hey Marley, that’s awesome! I love hearing from people who’ve spent time in Japan.

      I’ll focus on putting up some conversational stuff that you might find useful. Some stuff that everyone can use.

      Thanks!

  • Cathy

    Hey Nick, this article is timely. My Japanese language has rusted over the years (I used to live in Japan some 15 years ago) and I am now limited to counting numbers and listening only.

    I’ve been getting some Japanese clients at my work place and finding it hard to construct a full sentence without stammering. It’s really embarrassing. I downloaded an app in the past and the experience was like learning for Japanese Proficiency Test all over again – boring.

    I will check out this app – Busuu – what a name 🙂 and hopefully this would be something fun to help me improve on the language.

    Arigatou ne ~

    • Nick

      Hey Cathy, that is so cool that you lived in Japan!

      When I started, I studied for a few years and then stopped for a while :/ . But I picked up the Rocket Japanese Course at the beginning of the year and have been back at it in a serious way for all of 2016 so I can certainly appreciate having to relearn the language.

      Check out my review by clicking the link below. You might find it helpful.

      How to Learn Japanese – a Rocket Review

      Arigatou gozaimasu!

  • ariefw

    I couldn’t be more agree. Games are the easiest way to learn a new language.

    I can safely say that my English has been improved since I played an RPG game like Final Fantasy VIII.
    It is still one of my favorite game with a good storyline.

    I might have to check Busuu to help me learn Japanese and of course, dualect too. I still need to improve my Mandarin.

    • Nick

      Final Fantasy VIII is one of the best! It’s so cool that you play it.

      Yeah, I just found out about Busuu and was really impressed. I had to share it with everyone in case they didn’t know about it.

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