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Finished “Otona no Kanji Renshuu” Level 7

After many attempts I finally passed the seventh level tests on Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu Kanzenhan (なぞっておぼえる大人の漢字練習完全版) for the Nintendo DS. If you can read the above Japanese and are wondering what アル is, that’s my name–Al.

The first six levels corresponded to how Japanese kids learn kanji in school–200 or less a year. The 7th level was a giant leap forward and hence was much more difficult to get through. Not only are the kanji much more difficult, on average, than those in the first 6 grades (kyōiku kanji 教育漢字), but there are also over 315 to learn and be tested on in Level 7. Ouch!

Level 8 appears to give users a minor break with “only” 286 kanji to learn. Would you believe me if I said I’m not that excited to jump into another 286 characters right away? 😉

The above screenshot shows that I can read kanji better than I can write them which is good for me since I rarely have to write them.

Here are a few more screen shots I haven’t previously shown. I’ll walk you through them in case you are thinking about purchasing this game. Explanations will be below the photos.

My normal routine is to do “Today’s practice” (the upper left big button). There you get 5 new kanji to learn and practice reading and writing. After doing 4 of these for a total of 20 characters I move on to “Promotion test” (the middle left big button). To pass the test you have to read all 20 of the kanji recently learned in “Today’s practice.” The characters are presented in random order and you never know if you will have to provide an on or a kun reading. The jukugo words may, or may not, be the same as those you were given in “Today’s practice.”

After passing the reading test, I take the writing test for the same 20 characters. Again, the questions are presented in random order. The recognition of my writing is very good by the program–much better than My Japanese Coach, but sometimes you are given a false positive if you are slightly off or haven’t drawn the last stroke.

After completing all of “Today’s practice” and “Promotion tests” for a level (except the final comprehensive exam for a level which is much more than 50% more difficult when it is over 300 characters instead of 200 characters or less) I go into “Weaknesses” (the middle big button on the right).

The above screen shows that I cleared out the final 4 kanji I previously made a mistake on by correctly writing them this time.

Once you have mastered all of your previously missed kanji under “Weaknesses” you earn the above certificate.

The above screen indicates that you have no previously missed kanji to review since the top button is grayed out. The lower button can never be cleared out. It provides short, 10-question quizzes (5 reading and 5 writing) for any kanji you have ever missed in the program. If you click on the lower button you see the following:

This means that at some point I incorrectly read 260 kanji and incorrectly wrote 541 of the 1,322 kanji studied so far. You can’t reduce these numbers by taking the 10 question quizzes and answering them correctly. This is good as you can always come back to review these kanji that you may now know fairly well without having to wade through the ones that you know really well and never miss.

The 60% indicates that when I have taken these 10 question quizzes of previously mistaken kanji I score an average of 6 out of 10 correct (usually 4 or 5 out of 5 for the reading and 1 or 2 out of 5 on the writing in my case).

I would like to see the creators (Nowpro) of this program put out a new edition of Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu Kanzenhan. While this is the best DS game for learning Japanese that I have tried so far, three enhancements would make it even better.

1) On the screen showing the on and kun readings, include a definition in Japanese and English.
2) On that same screen include three or four example jukugo.
3) When a user makes a mistake reading or writing a kanji (in any setting including the tests), take the user (or at least allow the user via a button option) to go to the on and kun reading page mentioned in 1 and 2.

If you have mastered this DS game then you are in luck. Nowpro is coming out with a variation early in 2009. Advanced students of the Japanese language will want to check out the latest offering in this series: Imi made Wakaru Otona no Jukugo Renshuu Kadokawa Ruigo Shinjiten Kara 5-Man Mon (意味までわかる大人の熟語練習 角川類語新辞典から5万問).

4 Responses to “Finished “Otona no Kanji Renshuu” Level 7”

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    Hi, I’m currently deciding whether to buy:
    Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu (なぞっておぼえる大人の漢字練習)
    or the new version:
    Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu Kanzenhan (なぞっておぼえる大人の漢字練習 完全版)

    Maybe you can help me – just a few questions:
    1) In the old version, the mini-games included:
    * food-related kanji mini-games or practicing read food/recipe-related words
    * a game where you are given several bushus/primitives and you have to write a kanji using all the parts
    Does the new version include these same games?
    2) About stroke order – do both games show you an animation of the correct stroke order for drawing a kanji character before you practise writing it yourself?
    (I read that the new version includes models showing the proper way to write each character – how does this differ from the old version?)
    3) Any information about the kinds of mini-games that the new version includes?
    4) Lastly – I guess that neither game *forces* you to use correct stroke order – i.e. it will recognise kanji drawn with a different stroke order, or even if they are drawn a little incorrectly? I can live with this as long as it has an animation showing me the correct stroke order, so I can try to copy it.
    5) Are there any really great extras that the new game has, which the old one didn’t have?

    Sorry for all the questions – thanks in advance for answers to even one or two of my questions (especially interested whether the food-kanji mini-games are in the new version) … looking forward to buying one of these great games soon.

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    1) I don’t know as I never played the mini games.
    2) Sort of. It shows a gray kanji with the next stroke in red. You write over the red until you complete the strokes. You can then do it without the gray kanji there to practice after you have it down.
    3) Not really as I haven’t played them. I think you are right about there being one about food though. I think there is also one for place names. There are a whole bunch, but unless you know kanji really well they aren’t very fun for someone trying to learn kanji for the first time IMO.
    4) If you are way off on stroke order I don’t think it will recognize the kanji. A little off–especially on the last stroke or two–is usually OK.
    5) It has been so long since I used the original version that I can’t remember all of the differences. The new game has something like 400 more kanji in it. It has the ability to look up unknown kanji for you when you draw the unknown kanji on the screen. (Unfortunately you are only given readings–both on and kun–not definitions.) There are two levels of “missed kanji” for more practice of kanji you missed the first time you were tested on it. I think the original version only had one level. I think those are the three main new features. There are probably several mini games in the second version that weren’t in the first too I’m guessing.

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