- Platform: Windows 2000 / 98, Mac
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
The basic first speaking topics are covered--food and drink, colours, numbers, first words, first phrases, the body, time, shopping and countries. Each topic has five components, "Word Practice", "East Game", "Hard Game", "Speaking Practice" and "Print Picture Dictionary".
Beginning with "Word Practice", the student is taken through all the relevant vocabulary with the aid of pictures and pronunciation in a male and a female voice. Once the basic words become a little more familiar, you can then move on to "Speaking Practice", where you can record your voice (PC microphone required: not included) and compare your pronunciation with that of a native speaker. Once that's mastered, in the "Easy Game" one of the onscreen characters will read out four basic words, which are identified by their corresponding pictures, then their order will be mixed up while the other on-screen character repeats one word, and you must click on the correct picture. In the "Hard Game", the multiple-choice element is removed, so a word or phrase is read out and you must immediately match it to it's on-screen writing or picture. If you choose to "Print Picture Dictionary", you then have a portable format in which to carry around all your newly stored information.
Talk Now! Learn Japanese is a simple, clear program that has an intuitive interface uncluttered by unnecessarily flashy features. The small screen is surrounded by a large black area, but this tester found this served to focus the mind more on the tasks in hand. The exercises are so simple, it really is easy to pick up quite large amounts of vocabulary in a small amount of time. The sound is clear, the volume adjustable, and the images, though basic, are sharp and serve their illustrative purpose. Perfect for people just cultivating an interest in Japan, or anyone wanting to visit the country for the first time, this really is a great aid to understanding. Though there are no grammar lessons or context explanations for the simple first phrases, (an intermediate program covers those areas) what this CD-Rom does cover, it does so fantastically. Speakers and microphone recommended. (not included)--Lucie Naylor