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My Japanese Coach (Nintendo DS)

by Ubisoft
Nintendo DS
 Ages 3 and Over
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Game Information

  • Platform:   Nintendo DS
  • PEGI Rating: Ages 3 and Over
  • Media: Video Game

Product details

  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
  • ASIN: B001IWN6LY
  • Release Date: 31 Oct. 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,568 in PC & Video Games (See Top 100 in PC & Video Games)

Product Description

Explore Japan as each point of interest opens up your vocabulary

  • Lesson plans take place within interesting locations ranging from Tokyo to the country side
  • Useful information for first time Japanese speakers planning to visit the country
  • The world map is identical to the Japanese map and the locations of the country

    Learn to pronounce sounds unique to Japanese by comparing your voice to a native speaker
  • Voice recording and playback feature of the DS allows the player to compare his or her accent to a native Japanese speaker
  • Ability to listen and compare phrases not just words but also phrases as well

    Develop your calligraphy skills as you trace over animations showing the proper way to write in Japanese
  • Write Japanese characters using the DS stylus and touch screen
  • Stroke order and comparison ability allows players to properly write hiragana / katakana / kanji

    Participate in mini-games that will test your grasp of the structured lessons featured in the game
  • 12 mini-games reinforce lesson plans and the ability to write in Japanese
  • Variety of mini games ranging from whack-a-mole, word search, bridge builder, and kanji writing

    Use the built in reference tool to look up useful words and phrases
  • Japanese Dictionary and phrasebook with over 12,000 Japanese words and hundreds of useful phrases
  • Strong reference points and serves as an independent tool from the game thats very practical and useful

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful companion to learning Japanese 16 Dec. 2008
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
I studied Japanese and lived there many years ago and have been trying to keep up with the language every since, with varying success. I've purchased some Japanese games for the DS recently, which have been useful for Kanji and Kana learning (Kanji Sonomama DS Rakubikjiten and Tadashii Kanji Kakitori kun - both available from Amazon Japan).

I think this is the first game released for the DS that takes English speakers through the basics of the Japanese language. English learning games for the DS at all levels are very common in Japan, so this is well overdue. The Japanese games for learning English often don't have enough Japanese in them of the right level to be useful to English speakers, so this is a really interesting development.

Unlike books, this is very interactive and the games are very effective for testing your memory and learning. They allow you to practice and learn very efficiently if you are short of time. I don't think you can learn to speak Japanese fluently just on the strength of this game alone, but as a companion to a good teacher or textbook such as Japanese for College Students: Basic Vol 1 (Japanese for College Students Vol. 1), it is very useful. For me, as a revision aid, I have found it very helpful.

The main gripe is, as others have noted, the errors in the stroke order for the Kanji and Kana. You can work round this, but I suggest using a textbook, or Kakitorikun if it is important to you to learn these correctly.

The grammar explanations are complicated, because Japanese grammar is actually quite complicated in places and its difficult to condense into a DS screen.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good 14 Dec. 2008
By kafleen
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Got this game a few days ago and finding it hard to put down. Much as I've wanted to learn Japanese over the previous years, I'm not one to sit down with books. This being a game which also teaches is ideal. Overall very good. You begin with single words, but are introduced to sentence structure as you progress.
When you first switch on, you make a profile where you are given a test of your Japanese knowledge. This then determines which lesson you are started at. But its easy enough to review any previous lessons.
One gripe would be the kana (hiragana and katakana). Having some knowledge of these I was surprised that a few were shown with incorrect stroke order. No big deal you may think but this would make me wary of any kanji that are taught. Especially as the stroke order is a major factor in finding any kanji in dictionaries.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!! 14 Oct. 2009
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Having been to Japan two years ago I fell in love with the place. It is without doubt one of the few places you must visit before your heart stops beating. I used to download my Japanese lessons from ITunes and whilst in Tokyo it proved quite invaluable - one of the locals even asked me if I studied the language (we were in a pub at the time so perhaps the alcohol was the cause of flattery?) made me smile though!

This game arrived yesterday (just missed the pesky postal strikes - hurrah) and I must say that I am simply blown away! The learning curve is just right and it allows you to go at your own pace. Fun games and the prospect of 'mastery points' keep you coming back for more!

In less than a day I now know my colours, the days of the week and my numbers up to nineteen! (No need for the applause but thank you all the same heh heh)

What is really wonderful about this lil gem is that you can revisit all the lessons you've gone over and repeat them for all eternity! There is also a glossary of words and phrases that range from Entertainment to Conversational - you can tick your favourite words and phrases and they'll appear in your 'favourites' - you can then practice them until your pronunciation is spot on!

Another cool innovation is the 'mimicry feature' which allows you to record your pronunciation and play it in unison with a local, ensuring that you say the correct thing and not something rude by mistake!

I plan to return to Japan again before the year is out and will be taking this brilliant learning tool along with me (who knows I may just click the things I want to say n let the Dsi do all the work for me? : D )

No, no I won't do that especially seeing as I can now say:
"Sumimasen, nomimono wo oggotte mo ii?" (Excuse me, do you want a drink?)

I'm not psychic or anything but something tells me that that lil phrase with come in handy ; )

Get this game - you will love it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and educational for a wide age range 1 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I am not going to repeat the comments from the other reviews. However, I would like to add to those reviews...

I bought this game for myself and my 12-year-old son to use. I studied spoken Japanese 20 years ago and wanted to brush up my Japanese, learn the kana and some kanji and expand my vocabulary. I am now on lesson 29 and my son is a few lessons behind me, and I have to say that so far the game has proved excellent for both of us. I have now learned the Hiragana and I am working on the katakana - thank you previous reviewers for the warning about stroke order as I had not realised there was a problem.

Overall I am very pleased with this game, although I would have a couple of suggestions for the developers if they plan to bring out a revised edition: (i) an expansion of the hiragana and katakana exercises would be good so that you could, for example, go into a game to test only your hiragana; (ii) what has sometimes happened is that I have supposedly 'mastered' a set of words but I really only know the romanized versions and I need more practice on the kana characters (I am not on to kanji yet) and at this point the game takes me on to the next set of words before I feel ready. This could be overcome if the games did not start testing you on new words until you had gone through the lesson in which the new words are introduced; and (iii) it would be good if in Options you could click a button to make all words shown in kana rather than in romaji (and change the option back as needed) to help with learning the kana in some of the games.

Sorry if all that sounds complicated. They are actually only small criticisms of an otherwise EXCELLENT and FUN piece of educational software.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing practice tool but not for much else
Handy for practicing writing kana, but not so much the grammar - it jumps straight into talking about 'bases' without any explanation as to what these even mean! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Beverley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Bought as a gift and it was very much appreciated. Helped with learning the language and it was reasonably priced.
Published 23 months ago by mrs b coll
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help in learning japanese
Great help in learning Japanese! Helpful both in writing and reading, even though I prefer practicing with pen and paper. Very good for beginners as was I!
Published on 20 Jan. 2013 by Marco
4.0 out of 5 stars If you have an iPod touch get the app instead
While this is a very good application for learning Japanese on the Nintendo, people are trying to resell it at stupid prices. Read more
Published on 13 Oct. 2011 by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!
This game is absolutely brilliant!! I've been learning Japanese for around 3 months now, and this is by far the best thing i've bought. Read more
Published on 24 Feb. 2011 by MissZoeAnn
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Game! If you wanna call it that!
Really helpful, I wouldn't use it on it's own though...I have the Pimsleur course and it's great to get a better understanding of the language using both. Read more
Published on 17 Aug. 2010 by Holly
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one for you if you're serious about learning!
This game is very good at teaching you japanese, however only if you want to learn the language. If you're looking for something to teach you just enough to get by on holiday or... Read more
Published on 17 May 2010 by F. Lake
4.0 out of 5 stars Great learning Material
This is a fun way to learn quick Japanese phrases quickly. Lots of fun games to play to keep you occupied and they are no shortage of words to learn. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Miss Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for all round learning
This product is great for many things; improving vocabulary, learning the correct brush strokes for writing and pronunciation. Read more
Published on 26 April 2010 by A. E. Robinson
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