World Geography (Kazumi Hatasa and Sayuri Kubata)

System Requirements: HyperCard Player 2.1 or higher, 2.9MB of disk space; JLK not required
Price: Freeware available for download at
(or through
Review by Atsushi Fukada, Purdue University (IN)

World Geography is a collection of HyperCard stacks which provide students with practice in reading katakana through recognizing and producing katakana words. For this practice, names of countries in the world and US state names are used, most of which are written in katakana. Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, USA are covered. When you open each stack, you are presented with a map of a region. There are two modes of operation: look-up and exercises. In the look-up mode, you can click on any country or US state to hear it pronounced and see how it is written in katakana at the same time. When you switch to the exercise mode, you can specify the number of items to include in one session (randomly selected) and what type of exercise you want. There are three types: "click country", "listen name", and "type name", which are described below. "click country" - A country name is displayed at the top as a cue. You are to identify that country on the map by clicking on it. If you get it right, you will hear the name pronounced. If you make two mistakes, the program tells you the correct answer. "listen name" - A "let me listen" button appears at the top. You are to click on it to hear a country name and identify it on the map. "type name" - A question mark appears on a map. You are to identify that country and type in its name correctly in katakana using roomaji input. When your answer contains mistakes, the program provides useful feedback in the form of spelling error markup. For this purpose a small set of symbols are defined, which tells the user things like "there is a character missing here", "the voicing marker is missing", "the smaller version of this character is called for here", "this character doesn't belong here", etc. For each of the exercises, there is a review feature which automatically brings back items you have missed before for reinforcement. In short, this program provides a lot of practice in katakana and foreign names, and you can be sure that you will learn a lot about world geography at the same time.

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