Evangelion in Kansai-ben

This is quite possibly the coolest Kansai-ben thing ever.

3:54 これで死んでもうたらしゃれならへんな。

Kansai-ben is an international language. You must learn it.

Near the end it busts into Yappa Sukiyanen by Yashiki Takajin, quite possibly the most famous songs in Kansai-ben ever (except maybe some of Ulfuls tracks).

And… don’t miss part 2!

If you’re curious about Kansai-ben check out our Kansai-ben lessons, and also check out the Kansai-ben iPhone application if you haven’t already!

– Harvey

Study Joyo Kanji on your iPhone with iKIC

Yet another iPod Touch or iPhone App to help you learn Japanese has been released. This one was released my my former school, IUC Japan.

iKIC is available as a free limited download, and as a iKIC full paid version with more content. You can also purchase add-ons for the paid version that adds even more content.



iKIC stands for “i-Kanji in Context” The content from the app is taken from IUC’s very intense SKIP program that the students at IUC use every day to learn the Kanji.

The strong points of iKIC are that it includes 1,947 characters (given you upgrade to the full version) and it gives example sentences (most of the time) that gives context to help you understand how the vocabulary is used. The example sentences it gives are serious and sometimes pretty academic, so it’s good practice for advanced learners.

You can get audio files for the vocabulary and sentences as an add-on pack. I haven’t tried the upgrades beyond the basic paid version, but if it is like the SKIP program which is available at the school that this is based on it should be quality natural Japanese read by the teachers at the school.

Here are a ton of images that should explain what the app is all about.

Note, iKIC also has a simple quiz mode that works like a flashcard program where you grade yourself whether you guessed right or wrong.

iKIC information on IUC Webpage.

Here’s those download links again:



For more on IUC check out my IUC as an Advanced Student post.

Happy Kanji-ing!


Kana Balls for iPhone and iPod Touch

My good Twitter buddy @papajohn let me know that he had a new Japanese-related application called Kana Balls in the iTunes Store so I gave it a try.

Fun stuff! Despite the possibly awkward name… Kana Balls is a slick application!

This app will help you learn to read Japanese Hiragana and Katakana quickly. It doesn’t teach you Japanese vocabulary or how to use the Hiragana and Katakana, but after a few rounds with this you’ll really feel the speed reading workout. It’s good frantic fun and a great addition to any Japanese study routine.

Touch the red ぷ to proceed, starts off easy, only 2 balls.
It quickly becomes a madhouse though. Remember, those balls are bouncing!
Good score for 1st game while taking screen shots huh?

@papajohn gave me some promotion codes to distribute so if you’re fast you can try it out for free. If you’re not fast, don’t worry, Kana Balls costs less than a cheeseburger in the iTunes Store and is well worth the money if you value your Japanese skillz.

To use the codes, go to the iTunes Store, click REDEEM on the far right under QUICK LINKS, and enter the code to download the app for free. Unfortunately the promo codes only work for customers with a U.S. iTunes Store account.

Promo Codes for Kana Balls:

Each code can only be used once. First come first served!

Here is a link back to @papajohn’s blog with his post introducing Kana Balls.



Rock in Direct Translation with Osama

Get ready for Highway Star and Smoke on the Water Japanese Style!

Highway Star in DIRECT translation.

The musician went by the name of Ousama 王様 (king) and was a musician engaging in this style called “chokuyaku rock” 直訳ロック. Here is Ousama on Wikipedia (Japanese). The focus of this music is on the lyrics, because they’re just direct translations of the English lyrics. Not interpretations… but direct, translations.

So “highway star” becomes 高速道路星。Literally, Highway. Star. (as in the stars you can see in the sky at night).

He also did Smoke on the Water. 湖上の煙.


Click the above image for a Japanese interview with Ousama.

[UPDATE] If you like this stuff you can get all of Osama’s albums on HearJapan.com! Smoke on the Water is on the Koutetu Densetu -Kin No Maki- Fukkatu Oto Nomi Album.



By the way, here is the original Highway Star and Smoke on the Water.


PlaySay Revisited

Learn Japanese Vocab on your iPod-like Device with PlaySay

You may have noticed mention of PlaySay on and off on this blog over the past year so. Recently Ryan, the head Japan-head at PlaySay, contacted me to let me know that PlaySay has really been taking off. You can read a quick article about Ryan and PlaySay on YoungUpStarts here.

Some of the major changes to PlaySay include that now they not only cover Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (JLPT) stuff, but they do Genki Textbook Vocabulary and also cover content from the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar. The products have also been updated to cover the new JLPT N1-N5 levels.

Here’s a quick video showing how the product works.

More information on the PlaySay Japanese products can be found on our PlaySay introduction page. If you’re looking for one more way to supplement your Japanese environment, check it out!

You may have noticed I was careful to say PlaySay “Japanese” products. They also do Chinese and Spanish. I’m going to take a look at the Chinese stuff 今すぐ!

Happy learning!