tech

iPhone tool Japanese Flash opens up 'social learning'

6 Comments

Japanese Flash, the vocabulary study app for iPhone and iPad, on Friday introduced a social aspect to studying Japanese in its new version. Users can now "crowdsource" their own knowledge to help others in the community.

The release is the first step by developers Long Weekend LLC to transform language learning by empowering students to develop study materials socially, directly on their mobile device.

"Experienced Japanese learners can now tell us when an example sentence has a problem, or add a definition if a dictionary entry doesn't include all usages. We're now laying the groundwork to push the updated information back out to everyone, so everyone benefits - like a Wikipedia for learning Japanese," explained Ross Sharrott, one of Long Weekend's founders.

"At some point, every learner has said a new vocabulary word to a Japanese person, and then be told, 'we never use that word.' Dictionaries don't have this sort of detail, and so we intend to build it socially," Sharrott added.

Japanese Flash was released in April 2010 to favorable reviews in the Apple App Store, and has been featured on many Japan-focused blogs and websites. It helps learners remember Japanese vocabulary, contains a 149,000+ word dictionary, and has access to over 50,000 example sentences.

The new version is available on the Apple App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/japanese-flash/id367216357?mt=8

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6 Comments
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‘we never use that word.’

There are many examples of this and it's frustrating to learn a new word only to discover We Japanese don't use it. However, tests use it and sometimes the word is used in special circumstances (keigo or technical terms plus certain social situations 90% of Japanese will never be in). So it is good to at least be aware the word exists.

Also, editors, you have links in articles like this one and commentaries taken from Metropolitan magazine. Why aren't they live so readers can just click on through rather than copy and paste first?

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If there was a FREE Version of the app available I would consider trying it, but only paid apps with no free versions are just money hungry. Also I heard that you can buy it and then return it anytime for 30 days. Thought about doing this, but didn't after I learned that the company still must pay Apple their cut of the profit, even if there was none. So, I'll wait until a free version is available.

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Also I heard that you can buy it and then return it anytime for 30 days.

This is not true to my knowledge, at least in the US. Maybe Japan as special laws in regard to the app store.

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Generally, Apple doesn't openly support refunds in a stated policy (Android has a specific time limit, I think it's 24 hours), but if there is a good reason, they'll do it. As motogaijin suggests, part of the reason it's not clear is that the laws vary country to country.

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Social learning? Users can now “crowdsource” their own knowledge to help others in the community.

Kinda like pooled ignorance, I'd say. "Social graces" might be a better place to start, like not picking nose in public, showering in the morning, eating without porcine manners.....do they have an app for that? Crowdsource deodorant too! Can we scratch and sniff the iPhone?

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Kinda like pooled ignorance, I'd say.

Wikipedia being another example of a pooled ignorance?

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