More study tool time!
The creators of Japanese Flash for iPhone gave me a free copy in exchange for a review. So here we go!
My first impression of Japanese Flash was that it is very colorful. Blue, yellow, red. Looks sort of like a super hero iPhone App – perhaps appropriate, as being able to speak Japanese seems to appear super-power-like to some people… Anyway, the visuals are not the main point of this app, the Japanese content is!
Japanese Flash has a lot of content. The current version has something like 145,000 words, in more than 180 different sets. Some (or all?) of the vocabulary is from the EDICT dictionary files, so you can be sure it’s accurate.
The set organization is interesting as well. The sets include the usual stuff like JLPT sets and Greetings, but they even have off-the-wall stuff like Kansai and Ryuukyuu dialect, Edo period words, and a section for “Fantasy” with stuff like 妖精 yousei for “fairy.” It’s enough content and random categories to help you to kill even the most boring bus ride to work. Great conversation starter I imagine too… if you’re around a bunch of Japanese language geeks that is.
The quiz/study mode is pretty smart, it keeps tracks of what you know and what you don’t, and there is a happy character in the corner making sure you know how many you have missed. It doesn’t seem to be a full-fledged SRS system, but it gets the job done. You can also chose to keep lame cards out of your study session by pressing “go away.”
From the "political language" category.
Finally, this app also has a Search Feature that allows you to use it like a dictionary to find any of the items included in the app. Since the amount of vocab included in the app is so extensive, this could work as a simple English-Japanese dictionary for those who don’t have one on their phone yet. (Then again, if you don’t have a dictionary on your phone you should go download Kotoba! It’s free. And good.)
Dictionary search Example
As of writing Japanese Flash costs $6.99 in the App Store, so it’s not cheap, but considering the massive amount of content it contains I think it’s worth it.
I’m not sure what future updates have in store for Japanese Flash, but I know for a fact that they’re working on a significant update as I write this. Keep your eye on this one.
A huge database of vocabulary – like 145,000 words.
It has a section for Kansai-dialect!!!
Fun categories for the vocabulary.
The search feature is pretty slick.
No example sentences, so you get zero context with the words.
A bit tough to read black text on a deep red background in the “fire” theme, but you can switch the theme in the app settings to alleviate this problem.
To summarize, you can’t go wrong by having quality Japanese study content on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s really valuable to be able to kill 5 minutes of downtime by pulling out your iPhone and learning a new word or two. Even if you already have a ton of Japanese learning apps on your device I doubt if they all contain -all- of the vocab in this one. I mean, come on, this thing has a category for “Constellations.” Did you know that 山猫座 yamaneko za is… “lynx”? Huh? Why?? Me either. But now I do.
www.longweekendmobile.com – the company behind Japanese Flash!