Learn Japanese from your iPhone

The other day, I was thinking of enrolling for a crash course in Japanese when my friend, Gina, recommended an app which she said was as good as having a personal tutor. On her advice, I downloaded the Japanese Phrases iPhone app and found it to be a handy application that helps users sharpen their listening, pronunciation, reading and speaking skills. It lets you learn conversational Nihongo (the Japanese lingo) wherever you are – at school, at home, while commuting to office or at the gym.

The Japanese Phrases app is more than just a learning resource. It gives users adequate training and practice to pick up a language that is not their own. The app teaches the basics of the language through more than 700 words and phrases that are used in day-to-day conversations.

Japanese Phrases iPhone App Screenshot

It is a practical app that has the right tools to facilitate easy comprehension and retention. As the phrases are voiced by a native speaker, users learn them with the correct pronunciation. And by repeating the phrases continuously, it becomes easy to memorize them. As all the phrases are displayed as flashcards, learning the language is quick and interactive. The grammar lessons are interesting and I was able to grasp the concepts almost instantly although a little effort was needed. There is also an email option that helps users to mail phrases and I used it to get a few clarifications from Sun, my friend who introduced this app to me in the first place.

I like the idea of displaying phrases and words in a random manner as it helps me recall the familiar ones and learn the new ones as well. The study bank helps in saving favourite phrases or ones that you would like to refer to later. The phrases are categorized to make learning easy. Japanese Phrases has also a search tool that helps in looking up phrases both in Japanese and English.

This app helps you learn the language at your own pace. You can quiz yourself to find out about the progress you are making, The app eliminated all the apprehension I had about learning a foreign language. It made me feel confident and helped me build my Japanese vocabulary in no time.

All said and done, this app will attract only a few people as it caters to a very niche audience. The app is available in the Apple iTunes store and can be downloaded for free.

EuroBasket 2011 Cards – Fantasy Basketball Manager iPhone App

The biggest basketball event in Europe is currently going on in Lithuania and as a hoops fan, I was searching for apps in the Apple iTunes Store. That’s when I came across the EuroBasket 2011 Cards iPhone app, a fantasy basketball manager game.

A short disclaimer to begin with, if you are not a basketball fan or if you aren’t acquainted with top European players like Nowitzki, Parker and Gasol, you may find it a little difficult to get a hang of this app. This app has been created with hardcore basketball fans in mind.

Now that I have informed you, let’s come back to the app. The app is based on the EuroBasket 2011 Championship and player’s scores are updated based on their live performances in the court. Once you have installed & opened the app, the UI is pretty simple – name your team, pick your players within the credits allowed and wait for them to perform in the Championship so that the score of your team gets updated based on it.

EuroBasket 2011 Cards iPhone App - Dirk Nowitzki's ProfileNow the trick, as in the case of any fantasy manager app, is with the budget. So you don’t get to pick all the top players. No point in that, right? But what’s more interesting here, is that the ratings of the players are based on their live performances in the EuroBasket championship and this means you’ve got to be on top of all the games, identify the best players and then buy/sell to improve your team’s overall score. Don’t be surprised if you see no scores once you have set your team. The ratings get updated only when your players have played.

So what are you waiting for? Download the EuroBasket 2011 Cards app from iTunes now, for free. Be quick, as the Championship is already in the second round and it ends on the 18th of this month. So don’t miss out on this chance to catch up with the latest basketball action. Make sure you add in comments about your take on this app.

Worldictionary – The Perfect Travel Companion

Have you found yourself staring at signboards in an attempt to decode the unfamiliar words written in a foreign tongue? Have you sighed in despair wondering why you didn’t think of carrying that bulky multilingual dictionary when you set out on your world tour? Wouldn’t it be unnerving to find yourself lost in a strange land?

If it wasn’t for Worldictionary, I would have felt like a fish out of water during my recent trip to Germany. Thankfully, a friend of mine had told me about it earlier and I was able to make the most of my vacation. With the simplest and most efficient translation tool in my hand, I didn’t have to pore over tourist brochures or look for assistance from locals.Worldictionary iPhone App Translation ScreenshotDesigned to be the best travel tool, Worldictionary is an iPhone app that provides instantaneous translation of words. It recognizes words in several languages like traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Germany, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Czech, Slovak and Romanian and translates them immediately.
This app is synonymous with versatility. All I had to do was point my iPhone’s camera at a word and Worldictionary swung into action! The word was translated in a flash. And I didn’t have to manually type it in or take a snap of the word. This is indeed technology at its best.

Worldictionary keeps a record of the words you’ve searched for, making it easy to come back to them for later reference. This feature is indeed of great help to those who are interested in learning a new language. There is also an option of taking a picture of a line of text and getting it translated word by word. I found this feature to be quite helpful. Images of words saved in your phone can be easily translated too, without any typing.

The only improvement I would hope for this app is the ability to recognize and translate handwritten fonts too. Though there were places where I couldn’t use this app due to the unavailability of a network connection, I still think it is the perfect travel companion one can find.Worldictionary iPhone App Dictionary ScreenshotThanks to this app’s instantaneous translation services, you need not fret when you come across words on a signboard, in a menu or in a newspaper that are in a language that’s not your own.

Download Worldictionary now and visit exotic holiday destinations all around the world. Its available in iTunes for £3.99.