Japan is a country full of contrasts and surprises — and its language is not an exception. For most westerners, the hieroglyphic language of the Land of the Rising Sun is absolutely indecipherable and inscrutable. However, everything is possible and the most persistent and diligent gaijins study the language for years and become decent speakers. If you are just in the beginning of your journey to fluency, you must be using tons of text- and exercise books of all kinds. However, if you want to bring some interactivity into the learning process and make it more efficient, try 2000 Kanji!
2000 Kanji is a computer-based language trainer that focuses on kanji — the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system — but also allows you to learn furigana and romaji, which are great for beginners. Words are typed into the answer fields and you know the result immediately and dont have to wait for the end of the test! The software works with vocabularies used on different levels of JLPT — the Japanese Language Proficiency Test — and with Kyoiku-Joyo list — the list of 1945 kanji recommended by the Japanese Ministry of Education. That is why you can be absolutely sure that you are not learning words arbitrarily pulled from a dictionary, but are going the same way all Japanese children go at school. Identical words from different lists are filtered out, so you can rest assured that you will not have to learn them twice. 2000 Kanji enables you to select a group of words — as big as you like — and work with them only, which comes handy for mastering specific language areas or adhering to a strict learning schedule. You can even spend 1 minute of your time to work with 2000 Kanji — this smart software will keep track of your progress and will start from where you left next time.
If you are firmly intended to learn some Japanese, 2000 Kanji will be the best assistant you can dream of. This intuitive, flexible and affordable tool makes your boredom go down and the learning curve up!
Ask Jeeves Launches Japanese-Language Search Ask Jeeves has launched Ask.jp, a beta version of a new Japanese-language search engine. The search vendor joins Google and Yahoo as one of only three search portals in Japan that provide their own search technology.