Saturday, March 08, 2008

Nihongo Benkyou: The Nintendo DS

Being a more-than-full-time student here in Japan, it's hard to find regular, dedicated time for studying Japanese. Nonetheless, it's a very important part of my time here, so any tools that make the process easier are quite welcome.

Enter the Genius Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten, a Nintendo-developed electronic dictionary for the Nintendo DS. Since it takes advantage of the DS stylus for written kanji recognition, the student of Japanese can look up words whose readings they don't yet know.

This has been my primary method of deciphering Japanese text "in the field" while living in Osaka. There are some drawbacks, but if you already own a DS the roughly 4000 yen price tag makes it an obvious choice. I've linked to The Japan Times' review, but if you want to buy it, here's a direct link to Play Asia's product page.