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My Japanese Coach is selling well

My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS is selling really well on amazon.com. It is ranked #1 in its category ahead of titles like Spore Creature, Cooking Mama, and Nintendogs. It’s in the top 10 for all DS games. I hope this shows other game developers that there is demand out there for a product that teaches Japanese to those who speak English. After playing the game for a few hours now, I’m hoping a Japanese company produces a similar title without all of the mistakes.

And what are the problems? As mentioned previously, intermediate students of the language are going to have to play the game for hours, maybe even days or weeks, before they learn something new. There is a way to skip to Lesson 30, but the developer has yet to reveal that cheat code. Hiragana yo and na, as well as katakana ka, ne, no, hi, and wa, show an incorrect stroke order. The characters are sometimes drawn poorly. Katakana i, for instance, shows the middle line way over to the right when it should be right down the center of the screen. The character recognition is not nearly as good as in some other kanji learning games like Nazotte….

Something else that would be nice to have in this game is a kanji lookup dictionary like that found in Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu Kanzenhan or Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten.

Based on the popularity of this title I hope Ubisoft will employ a native Japanese person to improve a second version of My Japanese Coach. If they don’t, maybe some other company will take up the charge to create a bug-free Japanese learning game that will be of use to both beginners and more experienced Japanese learners. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Until then, My Japanese Coach is still good for beginners who don’t mind learning a few things incorrectly but is frustrating to those past the beginner level who will get more out of Nazotte… and other titles aimed at Japanese people.

5 Responses to “My Japanese Coach is selling well”

  1. 1
    Christopher:

    Would hiragana [i]ki[/i] be considered incorrect as well? Or at least debatable. I was taught to write it in four strokes while the game only uses three. I know three strokes are used in regards to typing on the computer. But to me, if it’s going to teach us how to write characters, then they should have considered the more common writing.

    Of course, besides it being one of those incorrect stroke orders, it could have been a simple error in development. The programmers could have had a sheet typed up rather than handwritten. Oh well…

  2. 2
    admin:

    I don’t think the hiragana ki is incorrect as shown, but My Japanese Coach should allow the user to write it either way without marking it wrong like it does now. Japanese people write it both ways. The same goes for hiragana sa.

  3. 3
    Micah Cowan:

    FWIW, “the developer has yet to reveal the cheat code” is no longer accurate, and in fact your link currently takes me directly to the blog post that reveals it. 🙂

  4. 4
    admin:

    Cool. Thanks for letting me, and other readers, know.

  5. 5
    acase:

    Note that while Nazotte… is no longer available, Kanken 3 is better and is available for free international shipping here.