Version: 2.0.7 || Release Date: 2014-03-15 || License: Shareware (€12) Developer: ThinkMac Software | App Owner: thinkmac

Learn Hiragana, Katakana and Japanese vocab on your Mac!

iKana is a Japanese learning aide which helps to teach you the two Japanese phonetic alphabets Hiragana and Katakana. iKana can also be extended to teach other alphabets and Kanji.

iKana has three main learning components - flash cards, speed recognition and a Romanization test.

Flash cards are the starting point for beginners new to kana. Use the flash card viewer to help you memorize the different kana. The flash card viewer can be controlled with an Apple Remote.

The speed recognition test helps to reinforce your memory and improve your reading speed with an 'against the clock' multiple-choice test. The speed recognition test can also be controlled with an Apple Remote.

The word Romanization test helps you practice reading whole words by translating them from kana into Romaji. This test helps you learn some Japanese vocabulary as well as improving your translation and reading skills.

The vocabulary module lets you further practice your kana reading skills and learn Japanese words. Using a flash card like interface you can quickly create and browse vocabulary sets. Words can be added from the dictionary or imported from tab-delimited word lists.

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1 Opinion

Hiragana and katakana aren't hard to pick up. And, after poking through it a bit, they definitely need more stroke images (only the "basic" ones are included) by default.

That said, it's easy to add, remove, and modify current entries in a dictionary. That part of this app is impressively easy and well developed, as are most areas. There are a fair amount of things possible with this program, but it's still lacking some things IMO to make it worth $18. $10, maybe. If they added (for example) a stroke-image creator/modifier, it might be worth it. And support for alternate translations of Kanji (it only gives one field for romanization... many Kanji have more than one pronunciation).

So, yes, again, I still haven't found a flash-card app of any kind that I truly like. This one, though, is one of the best I've seen (though it's primarily for Japanese). For anyone looking for a flash-card app, this one is DEFINITELY worth a try, especially for the ways of displaying and quizzing with the cards, which are quite nice. And look! Apple Remote support! Great idea ;)

To the developer: occasionally, in the speed recognition mode, more than one of the same romanization appears as an option. Unfortunately, one is right and one isn't, though they are identical. I've seen both "i" and "ki" come up doubled as options in a single run. This should probably be fixed.
Also, when making new character sets, it'll hang on to ones deleted, and sometimes add non-existant entries to the end (seems to only happen with less than 5 entries). 'Tis a bit weird.