This is the first of a sequence of posts in which I will give a quick review of a website I found useful for studying Japanese. Some of these are purely about informing people about the history, others are about testing. At the end of this sequence of posts I’ll try and summarise what I’ve found.
First up is Kanji Practice:
This link leads to an extensive Japanese language learning site focussing primarily on Kanji for the students of Dartmouth College. The Kanji are put into sets of 50 as the students might learn it. As a result, navigation is affected. Getting around the site is easy enough but without a course outline you’re hostage to using indexes which could be made more user friendly with a description of what they hold. Furthermore, clicking on links causes a new window to pop up instead of opening a new tab or just going to the site. Obviously, being a student at the college, their lesson plan will differ from everybody else’s.
The important thing is the display of the Kanji. The colours are good and allow easy viewing of the Kanji. The large Kanji symbols are accompanied by a display of the different On-yomi and Kun-yomi meanings. There are also audio files and accompanying videos which display the symbol being drawn stroke by stroke by a person with a calligraphy brush. The calligraphy aspect is nice and drives home the origins of these symbols whilst showing the correct stroke order needed. As you search through the sets of Kanji, the website gives a search option with a good layout with a choice of Kanji on the left hand window and the details of the Kanji selected in the centre.
You will need Quicktime player to view the videos. Other than that, a great website!