View Full Version : Japanese Language Apps


Dellaster
04-26-2010, 03:03 AM
Four learning and/or reference Android apps that work full screen on the eDGe.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/Kanji-App-Icons.jpg
Screenshots taken of the Android SDK emulator, v1.6 and scaled in the highest standard resolution to approximate the eDGe's 1024x600 (it came out 50-75 pixels less in each dimension). I have them running on my eDGe so I can confirm that this is how they look.

Aedict
Open source. Download the APK here (http://code.google.com/p/aedict/downloads/list).
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/Aedict.jpg
Based on Jim Breen's WWWJDIC (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C), this is a very handy Japanese-English dictionary app that accepts all types of input: romaji (roman alphabetic representation of the kana syllabary), English, Japanese (paste in the text), and handwriting-recognition kanji.

You can see that I input "neko" in the first screenshot. It could have instead been "cat" in the English input, either ねこ, ネコ, or 猫 in the Japanese input (that's hiragana, katakana, or kanji). For any of these the result would be the second screenshot.

The handwritten kanji recognition pad is very strict on stroke count and direction but forgiving with stroke order. The last stroke input is white and, as you can see in the third screenshot, I drew the last two strokes in the wrong order. Nevertheless screen four came up with the "correct" kanji as its first guess. I could then click on that result and get screen two.

This app is incredibly useful to have handy on the LCD screen while (attempting to) read a Japanese text or instructional material on the e-ink screen.

Ankidroid
Open source. Download the APK here (http://code.google.com/p/ankidroid/downloads/list).
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/Ankidroid.jpg
This is the Android version of the popular Anki (http://ichi2.net/anki/) flash card system. On your PC (multiple OS's) you can build your own custom decks, or download one of the hundreds of decks made by other users. There are about a dozen versions for Remembering the Kanji alone (I'm in the process of deciding which one to use). Unfortunately you can't search and download from Android. The decks need to be side-loaded.

Shown is the default Capitals of the World deck with the whiteboard activated. Draw the answer as I did with "Paris" to keep yourself honest (and for practice if the answer is a kanji character, for example).

The following two apps are currently only available through the Android Market, which only phones can access. Getting them off the Market and into the eDGe takes knowledge of the SDK. I include these for people who have that kind of skill and also in case they become more easily available (like, if enTourage gets their app store going).

Kanji Tutor
$1.99 on the Android Market. Home page here (http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-kostmo-kanji-pxnB.aspx).
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/KanjiTutor.jpg
This is a kanji drill app that covers the nearly 2000 most common Chinese characters in use in Japan. (The "jōyō" and "kyōiku" kanji.) The kanji are randomly selected from the "grade" selected in options, from 1-7.

Depending on drill choice, it will display a kanji and you have to click on the correct English meaning, on or kun reading, or it'll display the English meaning and you need to click on the correct kanji. Upon error the correct answer is shown briefly at the bottom in red. It also has a Lookup option to browse through kanji, see their readings and English meanings, or be directed by a link to the online Wiktionary for it.

This is good for building speed in recognition of what you already know. Not so much for learning. Simple but very nicely done. I don't regret spending the two bucks.

JLPT Kanji (demo)
Free on the Android Market for the demo (JLPT 4 only), non-free version covers all of JLPT 1-4. Homepage here (http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-jlptkanji-pCAA.aspx).
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/JLPT-Kanji-demo.jpg
Android app for practicing kanji in preparation for the official Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). It is pretty much what you see on this one screen: a compact and nicely-made flash card system. Written kanji input is recognized and it'll change to red if you get it wrong, green if correct. The self-rating of 1-5 stars will determine how soon/often the kanji will repeat.

I'm not studying for the JLPT at this time so I probably won't use this much.

And that's it for now. I hope these mini-reviews are of aid to someone.

Dellaster
04-26-2010, 03:08 AM
The attachments must have expired or something as I wrote. (No longer needed; inserted pics directly in the first post instead.)

borisb
04-26-2010, 08:56 AM
I could have used these (and an eDGe) 25 years ago when I took a couple of Japanese courses in university... :)

maynard
04-26-2010, 11:31 AM
Are you writing Kanji using the LCD screen with a stylus?

Dellaster
04-26-2010, 11:58 AM
Are you writing Kanji using the LCD screen with a stylus?

Yes. Even if finger writing was accurate enough for recognition (which it often isn't), I prefer to use a pen. Also, I purchased the Wacom Penabled Clip Pen (http://www.amazon.com/Penabled-Tablet-Pc-Clip-Pen/dp/B000085BDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1272296912&sr=8-1) for a better grip and a more natural feel.

Gunnerp245
04-27-2010, 06:58 AM
... purchased the Wacom Penabled Clip Pen (http://www.amazon.com/Penabled-Tablet-Pc-Clip-Pen/dp/B000085BDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1272296912&sr=8-1) for a better grip and a more natural feel.

Unable to tell from the webpage, is it nearer to a real pen in circumference and length?

Gunner...

:thanks:

Dellaster
04-27-2010, 12:17 PM
Unable to tell from the webpage, is it nearer to a real pen in circumference and length?

Yep, it's about the same as an average retractable ballpoint pen.

maynard
04-27-2010, 04:47 PM
Do you get better accuracy with it? I find that I have to use the large brush size to write readable characters, and I can't really fit a quality complex character, like ten strokes or whatever, within the margin lines in notes.

Dellaster
04-27-2010, 05:38 PM
Do you get better accuracy with it? I find that I have to use the large brush size to write readable characters, and I can't really fit a quality complex character, like ten strokes or whatever, within the margin lines in notes.

I take it you mean on the e-ink side, like in the Journal? (None of the Android apps I checked offer brush sizes.)

I'm definitely better with it compared to the skinny little thing that comes standard. Can't speak for anyone else. It's still woefully short of the kind of accuracy you get with ballpoint pen on paper.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a162/Dellaster/eBook%20Related/brush-size-kanji.jpg
My Journal doodles, exported as PDF, etc. (I'm getting a little embarrassed of posting pics of my sloppy writing. :o )

Medium brush seems to be my personal sweet spot, at least with an 11-stroke kanji like this. The small brush improved tremendously after I "cheated" the calibration to match how I wanted it to write, but it's still sloppy. Maybe with more practice. Large brush - I salute you if you can keep 10+ stroke characters within those lines. ;)

borisb
04-27-2010, 05:45 PM
I've experienced significant improvements in accuracy and neatness when I switch to a larger Wacom pen.

maynard
04-27-2010, 06:42 PM
No way can I keep many stroke characters in the lines with the large brush. I have trouble with it using the medium brush (though I'm getting better with medium). The small brush is just unusable. I can't reliably connect strokes. That said, I'm using the stylus that shipped with the device. Perhaps I ought to buy a better stylus.

BTW: Is that the character in Japanese for "cat"? It's cat in Chinese, pronounced "mao1".

Dellaster
04-27-2010, 07:06 PM
BTW: Is that the character in Japanese for "cat"? It's cat in Chinese, pronounced "mao1".

Indeed it is. A large percentage of kanji still have the same main meaning as the Chinese character, since Japan adopted and adapted Chinese characters starting in the fourth or fifth century A.D. Pronunciation is "neko" in Japanese, however.

miklos.klaar
05-07-2010, 11:08 PM
For me, the most useful of these apps is aedict. I would still like to have an EPWING reader so I can search the 広辞苑 and other native dictionaries.

Unfortunately none of the Japanese IMEs in the marketplace work on the device so its usefulness is limited as far as I'm concerned.

t-town
08-09-2010, 02:42 PM
Yes, I call it google Translate.

cutecolt
07-14-2011, 12:57 AM
Hi,

I have been using aedict for the past 6 months. It is awesome. It has kanji flashcards for new JLPT levels. I have found a way on using aedict in desktops also and have narrated the steps in my blog http://shinobukaneko.blogspot.com/20...n-desktop.html . Those who don't have an android phone can still use aedict. Hope this helps all who want to excel in Japanese.

Kanpai,
Kuppusamy.V.,

mongrelmonkey
09-08-2011, 02:23 AM
Have you guys checked out CueBrain? It's pretty cool! Has a drum machine and leaderboards to keep you entertained, and lots of vocab.

Check their site www.aephid.com

attemptress
09-12-2011, 04:06 PM
Alllllriiight . . . If you're looking for a list of kanji learning software, hold on to your stylus!

Currently on my PE, I have:

1, 2, 3,000 Kanji (mostly a big-long list with definitions and such)
aedict (awesome, of course)
Elementary Kanji (separated by grades 1-6. Good for drilling on an kun readings)
Jishop (decent radical-based dictionary that is really helpful for finding compounds as well)
Kana Quiz (self-explanatory)
Kanji Companion (separated by JLPT level, contains flashcards, multiple choice, and writing modules)
JLPT practice (I especially like the "Kanji of the Day" widget)
Write Kanji (writing practice)
YomirenFF1 (more advanced, gives kanji, you write in readings and meaning)
AzureRuby (reader, lots of free reading material available . . . kinda like Guttenburg Project)
NubiNews (not japanese-specific, but I have it set to automatically download the daily news from Asahi Sinbun--I also have an app for the Mainichi Eigo News)

I've got a .jar for Pocket Sensei, but don't have it currently installed.

I have had in the past Japanese Talker (text-to-voice app), but as I recall it was a paid app with a trial period, so I ended up removing it. I also had Chikara, but ended up removing it as well.

For desktops, check out Slime Forest Adventure (www.lrnj.com) It's a fun little adventure game where you run around saving princesses, killing slimes, and drilling kanji meanings (a little weak on the readings, though).

Regarding Styli and ease of writing: if you don't want to plunk down $50 for a fancy wacom pen, you can stick the standard stylus (or a spare replacement) into almost any plastic pen or .7-.9 mm mechanical pencil casing. All you have to do is remove the guts, and maybe open the end a bit with a drill bit or a grinder. I've done it twice now, and quite like the results. This way, I can pick whatever pen is most comfy for me. Note: pens/pencils with metal tips don't work (at least, they didn't for me).

Happy learning, everyone!

ivanjt
09-12-2011, 06:03 PM
Regarding Styli and ease of writing: if you don't want to plunk down $50 for a fancy wacom pen, you can stick the standard stylus (or a spare replacement) into almost any plastic pen or .7-.9 mm mechanical pencil casing. All you have to do is remove the guts, and maybe open the end a bit with a drill bit or a grinder. I've done it twice now, and quite like the results. This way, I can pick whatever pen is most comfy for me. Note: pens/pencils with metal tips don't work (at least, they didn't for me).
In reply to your Note - by putting the small stylus in anything that will put metal round it you detune the circuitry in it so it will never work.

On another note see http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132878&page=9 post #123 and #128

tarvoke
09-13-2011, 04:59 PM
yeah you don't want to shield the signalling coil, here's a little autopsy I did a while back, of the cheapest pen I could find (sounds like anything "penabled" will work with the EE/PE digitizer)
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50740