I’m not sure where this “leave a reply” goes, I hope I’m not polluting the website.
Anyway, I was really looking forward to a kanji learning application. There are many options, but none actually reach the goal. Kanji flip only goes from the kanji to the translation, and does not quiz the stroke order. Your application has a stroke order system, but does not use it for quizzes. To sum it up, I would really be interested into an application that could:
- Quiz kanji, according to a learning curve e.g. SuperMemo2;
- Quiz to/from all the meaningful components, in particular kanji=>reading, kanji=>meaning, meaning=>kanji;
- Allow kanji input using the stroke system, and provide feedback on erroneous order or poorly adjusted lines (like King Kanji did);
- If possible, allowing custom lists or multiplatform clients would be awesome, but that might be pushing it a bit.
So basically, my question is whether or not you’ll be implementing a quiz/learning curve system. Ironically, even though your application is the nearest to my “dream app”, it is of no use to me as it is now…
Being a coder myself I might be willing to invest limited amounts of time were it to help towards that end.
Thanks for taking the time to read my suggestion.
I completely agree with chyro! Even up to helping with the coding. In fact, if chyro hadn’t posted such a suggestion, I would have.
I would also REALLY like that you can turn off romaji. That really annoys me with other programs.
Also, maybe associate a picture with the kanji, rather than the English word.
But these are only hopeful suggestions! Hope to hear from you soon!
Me too! I would vote for turning of romaji and having stroke order quiz!
about turning off the romaji, it is possible today and when a quizz will be available it will be possible
Thank you, I see it now that the Romaji can be replaced with Kana, that’s really good.
I have some other remarks, they maybe of help. One thing is that the interface is a bit sluggish (I see that this is meant to be developed now) and has too many small elements. When using the application for a bit longer or not too good conditions (sunlight, crowded train), this is going to make eyes tired. So I would love an option to turn of those red boxes in the kanji diagrams (or replacing them with red starting points of strokes), and yet another thing is that fonts with Serifs (Times New Roman for example) are wearisome to the eyes when not on paper and in proper light conditions. I suggest you use everywhere only fonts without Serifs (arial etc). Having much small elements in UI is really bad in longer perspective. Designers say that KISS principle (Keep It Simple and Stupid — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle) is most important one. Also the background image is not really user friendly thing (although it can be turned off).
Also can handwriting input be configured in “pro” version? I mean the density of reading finger movement and swithcing on/off the grid, and changing background color? The stroke width? I feel a lot of apps have much better drawing ergonomics than ShinKanji…
But I am planning to buy the application in near future. Good luck!
I knew that I liked this program, but yesterday I spent 10 minutes watching some of the videos provided here; and now that I understand it better, I LOVE this program! I agree with others that testing – especially testing for a specific list – would be a nice addition. I also request lists for compounds. But this is already a wonderful study tool. Thanks.
it took me a long time to reply to your comment, I am sorry but I hadn’t noticed it.
Regarding the many small elements in the interface, this is too sweeping a comment for me to reply too. Just know that I am trying to simplify the interface but I also need to be able to offer the expected functionality in an easy to access way.
To answer to the more specific points, having a setting to disable the red squares at the start of the stroke is certainly feasible. I think it is important to know where is the start of the stroke so I would probably want to offer options to customize the way those are drawn. I am not sure what you mean by red points, do you mean a red circle which would have the same radius as the cap of the stroke? Or a circle the same size as the rect with the stroke overlaid on top? I’ll send you mockups by mail.
Regarding the font with serifs there are not many but there are some in the section titles, I am redesigning the look anyway and maybe adding themes so I will take this into account. The way the interface is laid out a theme can easily be done using css the issue is more about the designing of nice themes.
Regarding configuring handwriting input, I can certainly offer many parameters such as like you suggested the density of reading of strokes but also many other tuning parameters, I am afraid of overloading the settings though but I’ll experiment with it and wee what my testers think.
One can already turn on/off the grid. Regarding changing the background color and the line width why not but that is really far down the priority list as I am not making a drawing application but a kanji lookup fonction in a kanji dictionary. For instance I don’t remember that apple has many options to configure their chinese IME (which is not a good reason since I had to develop a handwriting recognition functionality to compensate how bad their ergonomics is with no undo redo and too small a drawing area and too small a number of potential results)
thanks for the support, the lists of compound will certainly come soon as this is but an extension of the existing features, the testing will come in time but as it is to be a whole new application it will be much later.
I’m close to join the iPhone community (one main reason is ShinKanji!) and have the following question:
Do you have any plans to later implement a learning tool for people learning Kanji according to the Heisig-Method (J. W. Heisig -Remembering the Kanji).
I’m currently using a WM5 PPC which enables Kanji reviewing (which is explained here):
(I have the KanjiGym Light program for Palm OS with Styletap emulator).
The (KanjiGym Light)-learning software will present by random the “Heisig” key word for the Kanji; after the handwritten input of the Kanji it can be checked if the Kanji was remembered correctly.
The addition of such a tool would be of essential value for all people learning Kanji according Heisig-Method and using the iPhone for reviewing the learned Kanji group (depending on progress).
Thanks a lot for your answer, Hilmar
I am glad to hear that you think highly of ShinKanji. Do you mind telling me how you heard about it?
Regarding your question, I do have plans to eventually create such an app, however I don’t have any target date set for it.
thanks a lot for quick reply!
Before possibly buying an iPhone, I was searching the web (Google and iPhone apps store) if there’s serious Japanese language/Kanji support that will replace my WM5 PPC (iPAQ rx5935 with installed Mobem CE-Star Suite, Ookii.org “Japanese Input” and “Pocket Dictionary 1.2″, PAdict, and Styletap enabling “KanjiGym Light” to run under WM.
I found ShinKanji mentioned on following websites:
…forgot to mention; adding German language for the Kanji meaning (translation) would be a big plus.
Sorry, please delete my last comment concerning German Kanji meaning.
I learned on your webpage that German is already implemented (although it is not yet mentioned on the webpage http://www.mrbass.org/iphone/japanese/kanji/ (updated March 28, 2009(!)))
in fact German is implemented for the compound words but not for the kanji. The reason is that the free kanjidic2 dictionary which I use to retrieve the kanji meaning does not contain german.
However I have licensed a for pay german kanji dictionary. It will be available as an in app purchase so as not to impact on all users the price of the license. The development work is mostly done (except for the in app purchase part) but this feature is not yet available.
it is interesting that you are a Padict user as I was one of the main developers of that program and it was a source of inspiration for ShinKanji.
Compare to padict the handwriting recognition uses a different algorithm but I think it works better. The main draw back is that I cannot color the strokes based on how close they were to the chosen result which I could do in padict and which I want to do when I implement a quizz functionality.
I was wondering if an update is planned where you can add sound files to all the vocabulary in the app like on WWWJDIC
it is not planned yet but would be a nice feature. The reason it is not planned yet is that I don’t have access to the material, I need to have a license agreement with japanesepod101
We corresponded a bit during the PADict days before I peeled off into Windows Mobile land because of the great Japanese support on that platform. I’m wondering if you’re considering adding more dictionaries–to look up entire words, not just single kanji. I’ve just ordered an iPod Touch, largely to see how well your kanji handwriting input works. I’ve developed (under a licensing agreement) a version of Eijiro with yomigana added (the yomigana make it much easier for foreigners to use and make it possible to look up words by hiragana or kanji). I haven’t pushed it for iPhone, though it’ll run under a couple of iPhone apps, because of the iPhone’s lousy Japanese support. But the Japanese input methods in your program could really make it worthwhile to put Eijiro on the iPhone.
One comment on the suggestion for adding sound files from japanesepod101: you may want to listen to a few before putting any effort into that–on a lot of them it really sounds like a foreigner, not a Japanese, speaking, and on many that could be a Japanese, the pronunciations sound far too casual–check out the usual “hashi” vs. “hashi” and see if you agree (maybe it’s just my bad Japanese rather than something wrong with the pronunciations, but when I compare them with the pronunciations in PlaySay [expensive, but you can get free samples] the difference is dramatic).
I remember our exchange. I have just moved to a new appartment and so not have Internet access yet outside of my iPhone so this will be short.
There is already support for searching whole words in shinkanji but it could be improved. I suggest we talk more when I have a connection again
First, I would like to thank you for your time. There’s no huge rush in replying to this, as I realize it’s long and some of my feature questions are in the works. Please know that I appreciate all of your hard work (past and present) and look forward to hopefully becoming a ShinKanji user in the near future.
I’ve been using PADict for many years now and I would like say “Thank you!” for helping to develop such a wonderful program. I’m currently running it on a Sony Clie (PEG-NX80V – Japanese OS, wife’s family helped me acquire through an auction site in Japan), but it’s starting to have hardware issues. All I use it for is PADict and that program only runs on Palm OS. So now I’m trying to find an application with the same features as PADict and found your current program.
In reading through the ShinKanji site, the planned features and all of the comments, it looks really close to PADict’s features. But I wanted to check on a few things – I apologize in advance if you have already answered some of these in other sections, but at this point I would really appreciate the clarification.
Does ShinKanji do the following (or will it in the future):
1) Word lookup via Kana (Hiragana/Katakana). It obviously looks up words by Kanji, but a good number of words I look up don’t use Kanji. Being able to tap out words using the Hiragan/Katakana screens in PADict makes looking up words very fast, especially while watching Japanese shows or during conversations when I have no idea which Kanji is being used. It’s also how I frequently encounter new Kanji, which is also very useful.
2) Custom vocabulary lists – I typically look up words (both Kanji and Kana) while I’m reading and save new words to custom lists. For example, I’ll create a list for a book/manga I’m reading, study the list, then re-read the sections with the new vocabulary using my list when I need a refresher. One of the Nintendo DS dictionary programs has a lists feature, but they aren’t customizable by name and only limited to a few, so that greatly limits my usage of the program. Also, it would be great to have a slide/scroll feature in the lists screen (or even “jump to page ## buttons), similar to how I use the scroll wheel on my Clie. Have to tap a button to progress screen by screen through lists with hundreds of words can be very tiresome.
3) I see you have support for EPWING format dictionaries planned – is there any chance of being able to use Jim Breen’s EDICT? Also, are you planning on making this feature customizable so that users can add/remove dictionaries as they like? This probably goes along with my questions about the other two features, so I’m sorry for any repetition. I just truly love PADict on the Clie and have not been happy with any other (portable) solution I’ve tried.
Again, I thank you for your time and dedication, and apologize if you have already addressed my questions elsewhere on this site. I wish you luck with the further development of ShinKanji and hope that it might grow into a program I can that use to finally move away from my very old Clie.
A final thought – if adding these to the current ShinKani is beyond the scope of what it was meant to be, I would gladly pay more for a program that combines the features of ShinKanji and the features I listed above. Thank you again.
thanks for the comments on padict. I’ll try to answer to some of your questions.
1) you can look up both words and kanji using kana. It will work both to look up word by reading which are normally written with kanji or to look up kana only words.
There is no kana entry screen, to do this you use the iphone/ipod built in japanese keyboard.
2) there are custom kanji lists in the form of bookmark lists, there is no custom word list yet although it is planned (will come after the iPad port though).
3) the EPWING support is actually in the back burner as it is a huge work which may not pay off. However the included dictionary is already Jim Breen’s EDICT, so the two things are independant. The plan for the EPWING support is effectively to let the user add their own dictionary but now it is not possible, the app comes with EDICT and KANJIDICT
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! It sounds like ShinKanji will be the perfect replacement for PADict once the custom word list feature has been implemented, and I will be keeping tabs on your progress to see when I can switch over to it.
I wish you the best of luck with the iPad port and hope it goes quickly and smoothly. ^_^
Keep up the great work!
thanks for your support
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