Learning Japanese Through the Japan iTunes Store.
As you may know, my two great passions in life is gaming and Japanese language and culture. As a person who has studied Japanese for well over half a decade, I understand now what is needed to help immerse yourself into the language with ease. One of my greatest pastimes is to take a look at children's games and apps on the Japan iTunes Store. When learning a language, you have to start at the very beginning, so the more you inject a language at a basic level (children's games is a great way!) into your everyday life the more you will succeed. Today, I am going to show you a game called どうぶつしょうぎ (Doubutsu Shougi), or roughly translated as "Animal Chess". This game is incredibly simple, but the fact that the menus are in very basic Japanese kana will help a new learner of the language get comfortable with Hiragana and Katakana characters.
The object of the game is simple: You swipe to match animals to get points. A bit of strategy and a bit of puzzle to this simplistic game. Luckily, no real language skill is required to begin playing. The interface of the game is written in very simplistic Japanese, which has been tailored for children. The reason that I find this so important, is that if you are just starting to learn Japanese it will help reinforce the characters into your memory, because you are using them. When you do not use a language you tend to lose your skill. The advantage of this game on the Japan iTunes Store is that it is available for both iPhone and iPad, so if you are looking for a bigger experience on your tablet, look no further! Below, I have included a video of どうぶつしょうぎ (Doubutsu Shougi) on an iPad. Enjoy!
I found this game to be awesome for the beginner of the Japanese language. It may seem minimal, but your skill will go a long way if you practice in very small steps, as shown through this game. For only ¥100 (Roughly 1 US dollar) you can't go wrong picking up this app, for your Japanese language-learning-Adventure. どうぶつしょうぎ (Doubutsu Shougi) or "Animal Chess" is exclusive to the Japan iTunes Store. Pick up your Japan iTunes Gift Card and Credit at JapanCodeSupply.