Learn Japanese with Nihongo Master
With online education options expanding every day, it is no surprise that there is an ever-increasing number of online language learning systems available. I’ve previously written about Duolingo, which is one great option for learning several different languages, but if you have your heart set on teaching yourself Japanese online, Nihongo Master is a new web application that has tackled the complicated process of teaching this language.
Nihongo Master teaches students speaking, reading and writing skills starting with introductory information about how the language works, the role katakana, hiragana and kanji play in the language and how they all come together. According to the introductory materials, the ultimate goal is to teach students all 2,136 generally used kanji, or characters, through bite-size lessons and drills. Through the lessons and drills, students have a chance to practice translating from English into Japanese and vice versa as well as speaking through a recording system very similar to that in Duolingo and other electronic language programs. One particularly nice feature of Nihongo Master is the way that it allows students to see characters being written line by line so that they can understand how each character is constructed. All of these teaching elements are combined with badges and points that gamify the process of learning the language. Each badge is in the form of a cute drawing that fits with the manga-style artwork found throughout the application.
Having tried several lessons from Nihongo Master, I think that it is fun way to start learning the basics of Japanese and would be a great tool to use in connection with a Japanese class. I’m not convinced that many students would be able to take themselves from beginner to fluency with just this tool, but it is nevertheless a fun way to practice Japanese language skills.