When I was first given my Nintendo DS, I knew that in Japan people used them to learn English. Now THAT’s useful, I said to my husband, who of course was the one who told me about it. They should have a program so I can learn Japanese.
Well, now they do, so I bought it. I can say yes, no, bad, good, hello, goodbye, and thank you, and I am learning how to correctly pronounce karaoke, karate, futon, ninja, anime, manga, tsunami, and samurai. “Futon” is difficult for me! It is more of a sound effect than a word, as I hear it.
One of the really neat features is that you can listen to the nice Japanese lady say each word, then record your own pronunciation, then listen to your pronunciation, then listen to you and the nice Japanese lady saying the word in unison (or not in unison…darn futon!)
There are silly little games, like whack-a-mole, well, tap-a-gopher, where you have to tap the correct gopher according to the words shown on little placards below each hole. And word search. The first time I looked for kamikaze in a word search, it was tough! The letter combinations are not what I’m used to!
So far I have only done the very tiniest first bit. But there are supposedly 10,000 vocabulary words and 1,000 lessons. You can use it to learn to write kanji too, so maybe I will learn that as well. There is a dictionary/phrasebook contained in the program for use when you travel to Japan, and if you fail to speak you can use the sketchbook function to draw a picture of what you need!
I do not have any current plans to visit Japan, however. Maybe someday!