Admittedly, this is one of those Mac apps that won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’ve ever wanted to learn a little of the Japanese phonetic alphabets before stepping into the complex world of Kanji, uCan with iKana.
iKana Because iCan
Compared to learning Kanji, Japan’s official writing system (derived and adopted from logographic Chinese characters), the phonetic system of Katakana and Hiragana are a breeze.
Think of iKana as a digital flash card-like learning system complete with a workflow, a browser, study aides, and a built-in testing system.
For those Mac users interest in learning the Japanese writing system, starting with iKana makes it much easier to learn Kanji later on.
iKana comes with three basic components in the learning system– flash cards, speed recognition, and a vocabulary training test.
The flash card viewer helps you to memorize the different forms of kana in Katakana and Hiragana.
The speed recognition test helps you to improve your memory and reading speed by competing against the built-in clock in a multiple choice test.
The vocabulary training tool built in to iKana helps you grow your vocabulary once you’ve mastered the basics of Katakana and Hiragana (nearly 750 additional and common Japanese words).
iKana can also be controlled using Apple’s remote control.
What I would like to see in the vocabulary training tool is an option to hear the words with an audio or vocal component.