Kanji Flash

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General Info:

Kanji Flash is a flash card based study system for learning written Japanese. In addition to flash cards, Kanji Flash has a multiple choice quiz system. The flash card and test engines drive vocabulary lists of 50 vocabulary records each. Each record has 6 components. The free trial version has several lists to help you evaluate the program and help get you started. The full version comes with the first 1000 Joyo Kanji. This is an excellent selection of kanji to begin study of the Japanese language. Expansion packs for Joyo 1000-2000 and Newspaper compounds are also available.

Kanji Flash allows you to edit and create new word lists so you can use it to study vocabulary from classes and texts that you are using. Word lists can be created in Kanji Flash, or they can be created using any word processor that supports Japanese and will save using Unicode format UTF-8. An example of this type of word processor is Notepad, which is included with most versions of Windows.

Vocabulary lists are in a constant state of development making Kanji Flash a very powerful tool for studying Japanese.

Flash Card System:

Kanji Flash's main delivery method is based on the proven flash card style of vocabulary study. Simply, there is a front and back of a virtual card that you can look at. We have tried to make this as flexible as possible by allowing the student to decide what to see on the front and what to see on the back.


The Quiz System:

Kanji Flash's Test System is designed to test the limits of your Japanese ability. The NM Test System is very flexible allowing you to set the question type and the answer type as well as the number of answer choices presented. The quizes are 10 multiple choice questions each and when you are done a breakdown of your performance is given. You will see the list of questions, the list of answers, and the number of attempts required to get the correct answer.

The Vocabulary Lists:

By far, the strongest point of Kanji Flash, the vocabulary lists are big and very powerful. Each list contains 50 vocabulary records. Each vocabulary record contains 6 fields of information. A typical record will contain the following fields:

1. Kanji - often combined with hiragana - this is the main object of study.
2. Kana - for pronunciation.
3. English Meaning - the English meaning of the Kanji.
4. Sample phrase/sentence using Kanji.
5. Sample phrase using Kana only.
6. English translation of the phrase.

See the screenshots for a better idea of the exact field types and what they can contain.

The demo version of Kanji Flash contains lists for beginners, intermediates and advanced students of Japanese. The full version comes with the first 1000 Joyo kanji and a sample from the Newspaper Kanji expansion pack.

We already the entire Joyo 2000 catalog and dozens of theme based lists are in the works - based on grammar grouping like adjectives, nouns and verbs and based on subjects like art, music, business, food, restaurant, health and on and on. New lists will be made available when ready and will be modular in nature, meaning you will be able to purchase lists separately.

Expansion Packs

  • Win 2000/XP - Joyo 1001 - 2000 Expansion Pack

    This is an expansion pack that works with Kanji Flash. It contains 20 wordlists (1000 Kanji characters) that are for the Joyo Kanji 1001 - 2000. This is an advanced collection of Kanji that follows after the Joyo wordlists that are bundled with Kanji Flash.

  • Win 2000/XP - Newspaper Compounds Expansion Pack

    This is an expansion pack that works with Kanji Flash. It contains 19 wordlists of 50 records each that are compounds (two or more kanji) commonly found in the average Japanese newspaper. This is an advanced collection of 950 Kanji compounds. It is recommended for people who are familiar with all of the Joyo Kanji.

Note: These expansion packs requires the use of Kanji Flash in order to view the wordlists. They are available via download only.

Note: These expansion packs do not work with Nihongo Machine Kanji Game Pack.

Kanji Flash History:

Version 1.0 of Kanji Flash was originally developed back in the early nineties as a HyperCard Stack that ran on Mac only, the original Kanji Flash was a great study aid and really helped us study. Since then it has been rewritten in SuperFlash (version 2) and Macromedia Director (version 3). These programs were called the Nihongo Machine. The most recent version of the Nihongo Machine is still available and has a different feature set (doesnt require Japanese text input, doesn't allow you to edit or create word lists, and includes 2 free games.)

This being the fourth incarnation, we have reconstructed the entire program from scratch to bring out the best flash card based software for studying Japanese. It is still in development and upgraded versions with additional features will continue to appear.


Who we are:

Kanji Flash was programmed and designed by Neil Birch and Daniel Huang. Neil lived in Japan from 1990 to 2003. Daniel lives in China and has proven that Kanji Flash will support Chinese in addition to Japanese. They are both students of Japanese and created Kanji Flash as a way to improve their knowledge of written Japanese.


Some Screenshots and Explanations:


Flash Card Mode

The first thing you do with Kanji Flash is Load a Word List. (See the Loading Word Lists section of the User Guide for details on this simple procedure.) The Word Lists contain all of the study material. Each list has 50 target vocabulary words and each word has six different fields of study material.

The Flash Card Screen is the main study screen in the Kanji Flash. From this screen you can view the study material as a series of virtual word cards. You can go through a Word List from front to back or back to front. You can view the front only or the front and back of the virtual card. With the Word List Summary Display, you can view a summary of the loaded Word List and jump directly to the card you want to see. From the Flash Card screen you can also access the Flash Card Mode Preferences to customize the way you study.

Flashcard screen


Flash Card Settings


From this screen you can adjust many of the settings of the flashcard screen. This allows you view the flash cards in a way that matches your particular study habits. See details below about the features found on the Flash Card Settings screen.

Each card contains 6 fields of information. You can choose which fields you want to have displayed when the card is shown. For example, you may want to see only the Kanji on the front of the card and then have Kanji and English displayed on the back of the card.



Create / Edit Word List

The purpose of this screen is to allow the user to create new word lists, or edit word lists that have already been saved.

The word lists are text files that can be edited in any word processing program that will support Japanese input and save the text file in the Unicode UTF-8 format. (eg. Microsoft Notepad, which is included with most Windows operating systems will support this format)


Quiz Mode


This is where you find out just how well you know the material in the currently loaded Word List.

From this screen you can take short multiple choice quizzes of varying difficulty. When you take a test using the Kanji Flash, a test is created that contains 10 questions based on the currently loaded Word List. The words used in the test are selected randomly. The tests are in multiple choice formats. To select the answer, click on the word(s)/phrase in the Answer Field that you think is correct. If your selection is correct, the next question will be displayed. If your selection is incorrect, you must click on different answers until you choose the correct one. To change the Test settings click on the Preferences Button and see the Test Preferences section.



Quiz Settings


When you take a test using the Kanji Flash, a test is created that contains 10 questions based on the currently open word list. The tests are multiple choice, you can choose the type of question that is asked and the type of answer that is given by selecting the appropriate fields. For example, if you want to take a test where the question is a Kanji and the type of answer is the English meaning of that Kanji then, select 'Kanji' in the Question Type and 'English Meaning' in the Answer Type.


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