Kanji Exercises No.1 (Anonae Software; distributors include Lingo Fun)

System Requirements: HyperCard 1.2 or higher, 1MB of free RAM, 3MB of disk space; JLK not required
Price: $65
Review by Atsushi Fukada, Purdue University (IN)

Kanji Exercises No.1 is the first installment in Anonae's kanji exercise series containing 319 kanji and 900 words. The manufacturer's plan is to complete the series with the total of 2,000 kanji. The main part of the program consists of three HyperCard stacks organically linked to one another: character presentation, character reading exercises, and quizzes. There is also a sound stack containing model pronunciations.

The character presentation stack functions as a reference source providing KUN and ON readings, meaning in English, animated stroke order presentation, and pointers to other kanji with the same radical. Many characters have audio (KUN reading only) recorded for immediate play-back. In the character reading section, characters are grouped by subject matter into manageable sizes. When you choose a subject area, you are presented with two characters, each with three compound words. You can click on a word to display its reading. Clicking on the reading will give you its meaning. Clicking on an individual character will take you to an appropriate card in the reference stack. Words are carefully chosen so that the user can practice various readings of the kanji. This environment allows the learner to work on recognizing readings and meaning.

In the quizzes, characters are grouped by subject matter again. When you choose a subject area, 10 or more characters or words are displayed. At this point, you are to press either the "kana" button and/or the "English" button to reveal the reading and/or the meaning of the word in question to be used as a cue. You then answer by clicking on a word in the pool of choices. The reading of the word you choose is displayed separately, so that you can check your answer yourself. No judging is performed by the program.

The program lacks the ability to create a personalized list of kanji and it apparently does not go along with any textbook. Therefore, it might be difficult to use this program as a supplement to class work. It was probably designed for use in self-study, and it should serve this purpose well.

Most appro. venues: CmpLb, RscRm, SlfSt