A List of Japanese Study Apps for the iPhone from my Twitter Friends
One of the things I really love about Twitter is that the reward of cultivating positive working relationships with people on the network means that I can gather information that would otherwise have taken weeks. All I needed to do is ask.
I'm not an iPhone user, but when a student of mine on eduFire asked for a recommendation for an iPhone app to help them learn Japanese I remembered that some of my friends on Twitter were iPhone users and developers. Being eager to please, I sourced recommendations from my Personal Learning Network.
Harvey is an iPhone user and developer of an app for learning Hiragana (his self-endorsement below is strictly toungue-in-cheek). He recently featured a selection of iPhone apps for learning Japanese on his site JapanNewbie.com. I'm particularly interested in the Giongo-Gitaigo and Kotowaza apps. Both Harvey and I share a love for Kansai-ben, the dialect spoken in Osaka, and his site has plenty of lessons on arguably the most colourful dialect of Japanese.
Sami, another student on eduFire, suggested Kotoba, a free Japanese dictionary based on the work of Jim Breen on the EDICT project. Kana Flip is available for $1.99 and is currently featured in the app store. It's big brother Kanji Flip is $5.99, also featured, and both remember the characters you have trouble with, learning with you as you go.
Joseph is a pioneer in extreme iPhone sports, live streaming the Tokyo Marathon with one strapped to his hat. When he speaks iPhone people listen. The Japanese app (denshi jisho) he mentions is by a bunch of people called Code From Tokyo.
Andrew is a guy I respect for his uwavering commitment to teaching Japanese and his ability to bring technology into the classroom. Kotoba gets another mention here, and one I hadn't heard of before, ShinKanji, a kanji dictionary with stroke order.
Jyuichi recommended KanjiBox and Kotoba, thanks for the recent follow!
Will is so crazy about Japan he is TurningOtaku! He recently posted a review of the iKnow app on his blog. He also shelled out for the Japanese dictionary that Joseph mentioned earlier.
As I was putting this post together I noticed this update from NihongoUp surface in my Twitter stream. It was a good thing I didn't miss it, because I really like what Philip has done with NihongoUp, now an educational tool for learning Japanese on the iPhone. I reviewed the Adobe Air Version of this game for learning Japanese in May, and was fortunate enough to be able to give a copy of it away. Thanks Philip!
So there you have it, the power of a well developed Personal Learning Network. Thank you to everyone that contributed. If you have any other apps that you think people should check out please drop them into the comments below. Follow me on Twitter now to join in the conversation.