Archive for the ‘Study Resources’ Category

Japanese Learning App Review: iKnow

in Study Resources, Study Resources Review

What is iKnow?

iKnow is a supercharged flash card system to learn new vocabulary on iOS, Android and the web. It uses a smart spaced recognition system to determine when a new word appears or learned word reappears in your next study session. It also comes with audio recordings to help you pronounce the word and to hear how it’s used in a sentence.

Right now, there are courses for Japanese, Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified) and English vocab. There are about 6000 words for Japanese, over 2000 for Chinese and over 500 SAT or higher level words for English.

For power users, you can also create your own flash cards with the iKnow system.

The Good

It’s been about a year since I used iKnow. It’s my go-to app during my 20-minute morning commutes. I just plug in my headphones, choose “learn 10 words”, do what it says. It’s quick and pain-free.

I’ve definitely learned new words but surprisingly what I learned most is good pronunciation. I went to Japan last month and my language partner commented that my Japanese has improved a lot since he last met me a year ago. This whole time, I had not taken any formal classes and not done much studying outside of iKnow, so I must credit much of it to the app. A few shopkeepers have also commented that they mistook me for a Japanese person because my 「発音がいい」(pronunciation is good).

The Bad

With that said, I found the categorization of the vocabulary iffy. There were words in the beginner level that I’ve never seen before and words in the intermediate level that I learned within my first 2 months of Japanese class. It makes learning a bit painful as I have to curate each level before I start.

For those whose hoping this to be an all-round study – it’s not. There is no way to test your writing, since you type your answers. So while you’ll be able to recognize, read and pronounce the words well, you’re going to have to do your own due diligence when it comes to writing.

The Verdict

Rating:

At a yearly subscription rate of ¥9,360 (approx 75 USD / 100 SGD), it’s a cheaper alternative than language schools. While it is not as comprehensive as a full-fledged class, it makes language learning more convenient since you can access it anytime, anywhere.

I would recommend it to busy people who want a quick and easy way to keep in touch with the language. I would also highly recommend iKnow for those of you who want to work on your vocab and/or pronunciation.

Screenshots of iKnow

iKnow Android Screenshot
Android Screenshot

iKnow-iOS-Screenshot
iOS / iPad Mini Screenshot

iKnow-Web-Screenshot
Web Screenshot

一分間英語学習教材 / 1-Minute English Study Materials

in Study Resources

[February 18 Edit: Special thanks to K-san for editing my mistakes!]

英語を勉強中の皆さん、今日はお勧めの英語の学習教材をご紹介します。
To all English learners, today I’m going to recommend an English study resource.

YouTubeで英語の心理学チャネルがあります。
On YouTube, there is a psychology channel in English.

ビデオはすべて一分です。
All the videos are 1 minute each.

テーマもなかなか興味深いんです。
The topics are pretty interesting.

このビデオは、人の性格や考え方を簡単に簡単に読む方法を教えてくれます。
These videos will teach you how to easily read people’s personalities and their way of thinking.

その方法は、飲み会とか合コンなどで、よく使えます。(笑)
You can use them often at drinking parties or group dates etc. LOL!

さらに、英語の字幕もあるし、言葉もあまり難しくないので、いい教材だと思います。
On top of that, there are English captions and the language is not very difficult, so I think it’s a good study resource.

ぜひお楽しんでください!
Please enjoy!

リンク/Link: In59Seconds