March 11, 2004 13:49 | Bits

Learning Kana from a monkey... or two

In San Francisco I picked up this book. While it is definitly playful and aimed at children, it is a wonderfully effective way to learn Hiragana. (The bookstore had copies of it in both the "Learn Japanese" and "Children's" sections...)

Last night I downloaded Adriaan's awesomely powerful "Kotoba" application as well. I say powerful because you can access web-available "Lexicons" as well as import user-created ones (though cross-checking the Hiragana-Katakana one with the Monkey book, I noticed it is totally wrong... damn...). Shameless plug: Adriaan is also the developper of the fantastic "ecto" Mac-based weblog editor. Adriaan is also a crafty monkey. Hehehehe.

Anyways, once I am through those two, I will use Nuku Japanese kana tutor to do reinforcement testing. Perfect!

Then I'l have to learn what the hell I am reading actually means!

Start slowly.


This is a wonderful book. I bought it in Seattle. It's not just for kids! This book, from what I've read, was designed by cultural anthropologists and human-computer interaction designers apparently so the steps in which you learn a foreign language are structured on the page so as to make the learning process easier--I think they did an excellent job! This is a great book for not only the foreign language learner but any fan of user experience design.

I love this book. I found it in Seattle and like you, I couldn't put it down. It is a fantastic way to learn Japanese. Not to mention Jimi is so adorable!!! Get this book!!!