iKanji touch in Review – a stroke of å’Œ

Learning Kanji (Chinese characters) is the biggest hurdle to pass in attaining Japanese proficiency. In fact, it may be the most important key to unlocking fluency. But Kanji is hard to learn especially if you don’t use it in daily life. ThinkMac Software, author of iKana touch, have really laid the hammer down, pounding a great educational rhythm into iKanji touch for students of all levels of Japanese. Feel free to discuss iKanji touch in our forums.

Just like its analogue, iKana touch, iKanji touch is a fluent creation; it is easy to use, elegant, and helpful. Firstly, it is comprehensive, covering all frequently-used Japanese Kanji (more than 2 000 with more than 16 000 example compounds), and broken into a plethora of study categories. It features several study methods and makes excellent use of the touch screen. Speaking of touch, if you add traditional Chinese to your input menu under Settings, you can draw kanji which the search engine will find – excellent helpful tool for when out and about!

An important point which iKanji touches is primary school kanji study patterns which are added to the standard JPLT study patterns. While non-Japanese struggle through arbitrary levels decided upon by the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Japanese students learn in a completely different manner. Studying both patterns helps to cross-reference study. In fact, studying primary school kanji helps students build vocabularies helpful for every day use. iKanji touch is packed with example words and multiple ways to study specific kanji.

As you progress through study levels, you can opt to add kanji to practice sets, and kanji which you don’t remember will be added into a revision set which can later be edited. The practice system, which allows a number of study methods is excellent. Study methods alow you to study kanji: overviews, meanings, readings, compounds, and stroke order. Each system is straightforward, testing from a number of choices and meandering within practice sets to make sure that study is effective within selected groups.

Again, the only problem with iKanji touch is inherited from the same omission which struck iKana touch: lack of blind tracing. Users can trace kanji’s strokes for practice on order, but without a blank-slate study system, memorisation isn’t as effective as it could be.

I am confident that with daily use, iKanji’s repetition will help users remember the most important part of the Japanese written language. iKanji touch attacks the most important points in order to pass any level of the Japanese language. It is an amazing tool, but unfortunately, it lacks blind tracing. With that one function in place, it would be a full 5/5 app. As it is, it is merely the top of the App Store!

App Summary
Title: iKanji touch Developer: ThinkMac Software
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 2.2
Price: $9.99 App Size: 1.2 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
  • Excellent, easy to use GUI and navigation system
  • Plethora of study styles
  • Covers all daily-use Kanji
  • Great Kanji search engine
  • No blind tracing mode
  • Very little emphasis on writing kanji


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