Learning to read and write Japanese? Have trouble remembering stroke order? Kanji Sketch Pad will ease the pain. Turn your phone into an intelligent drawing pad. Draw the kanji with your finger and get instant feedback on the position, shape and sequence of the strokes. Stuck? Ask for a hint: the start of the next stroke, a memory-jogging picture of the next radical, or an animation of the entire kanji.
The app will watch your progress, keeping track of how well you know each individual kanji, and automatically schedule reviews at progressively longer intervals, using a spaced repetition system tailored to your learning habits. It will introduce new kanji when you are ready. Optionally, you can post reminders when you have overdue revisions or you are falling behind your custom learning rate. How quickly do you want to learn: 5 kanji per day, 10 kanji per day, 20 per day? The app will plot your progress against your goals and help you achieve them
Choose between a Heisig approach, with English prompts or keywords for each kanji, or a more natural approach, with Japanese words as prompts - or choose a mixture of the two. Incorporate your own personalised written and pictographic mnemonics directly into the learning process. Divide complex kanji into radicals and assign recurring patterns your own names and pictures, or use the provided mnemonics. You can even swap mnemonics with other users. Definitions from a simplified Japanese dictionary and examples of Japanese usage are just a click away.
The kanji are introduced in logical sequence, minimising how much you need to learn at each step, and all kanji are linked to lessons that incorporate mnemonics, pictures, and even some kanji-to-picture morphing animations.
KSP will not only teach you the kanji characters you need to know; it will make sure you have so much fun learning them you can't forget them.
The trial version of KSP is free but it only offers full-featured access to 125 kanji, enough to decide if you find the app useful. In-app purchases through Google Play store (or free upgrades via the beta testers group) provide access to >2000 kanji, at a cost of AU 1$ per 500 kanji for the first 2000 kanji, and then free unlimited access for subsequent kanji. To learn the 2136 joyo kanji - the official set of must-know kanji needed to read a Japanese newspaper - would cost a total of AU $4, about the cost of a cappucino and much less than a phrasebook.
The app can be linked to a Dropbox account to provide automated backup and to allow access to a master list of mnemonics that can be shared and edited off-phone. The app needs access to your SD card to save your mnemonics and learning data. It also needs network access intermittently, to allow you to download mnemonic pictures and view online learning aids. Optionally, you can have feeds from the KSP community appear right on your drawing pad, so help from other students is only a click away. These permissions are used sparingly and the app only has access to its own folder in Dropbox and the SD card.
Coming soon: speed trials, with a direct link from the app to the KSP website. Can you be the fastest to stroke out the monthly challenge?
Acknowledgements: The kanji vectors used in this app were provided by KanjiVG. KanjiVG is copyright © 2009-2013 Ulrich Apel and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Kanji Sketch Pad - Japanese
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