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Posts with tag english

DS is an excellent tool for teaching Japanese students English

Japanese students at Tokyo's Joshi Gakuen all-girls junior high school are getting DS handhelds for the classroom, but they're not playing New Super Mario Bros. on them. They're using them to learn a new language: English. What makes it such a great tool in aiding their studies? Perhaps it's familiarity ...

The handheld system is incredibly popular in the country and many students have one they enjoy using to play games on a regular basis. It's a system they're comfortable with, has an easy interface, and mixes a bit of fun in with the learning. If we would've had the option when learning another language in our schooltime studies, we'd probably remember how to ask where the bathroom is in German.

Sketchy English training: officially a trend

Moe and English training apparently go well together, because, as Akibablog reports, another English language learning DS game full of cute anime girls is on the way. Moesta: Moeru Toudai Eigo Juku (Moesta Burn! Tokyo University English Cram School) features 5,000 quiz questions ranging from middle-school level to those found on the Tokyo University entrance exam.

Your training is supervised by three angels named Grammar, Idiom, and Word. They're also the subjects of the irritating/catchy music video being used to promote the game, which (of course!) contains transformation sequences that border the indecent. While Moetan DS seemed to be a parody of otaku culture, this appears to authentically pander to otaku's obsessions with magical girls and anime choreography.

[Via Kotaku]

Learn English, sort of, with Moetan

Moetan is a series of English lesson books which follow Nao, a high school student, and Ink-chan, an underdeveloped magical girl who is the subject of the moe content. The series combines bizarre, terrible Engrish with inappropriate-looking young girls to create something that is, of course, popular.

While we are, of course, fairly disgusted with the depictions of the girls in here (magical girl transformation scenes in particular are always off-putting), we're more worried about what passes for English teaching. Just as in the books and anime, the English text is far from native-speaker quality. An example sentence found in Moetan DS: "They say lunatic people are making the English word book."

[Image via ITMedia]

English of the Demo

Start your Friday with a bit of an English refresher -- and some zombie-dispatching! Sega has created a short Flash demo for English of the Dead, recreating the multiple-choice training mode. In this mode, a zombie will run out and threaten you with two rubber mallets. Then, a Japanese sentence (our Flash player doesn't have Japanese language support, hence the gibberish) and a partial English translation will appear. It's up to you to choose the correct English word on the bottom screen, and compel the zombie to jump into a trap door!

You actually have to wait a long time before the zombie will attack you. Presumably this is more challenging if you don't know English.

[Via Siliconera]

D3 teaches Simple English

We knew about the last two volumes in D3 Publisher's Simple DS series: Vol. 39 THE Shouboutai (Firefighter) and Vol. 40 THE Gekai (Surgeon), both of which are games that involve real-world tasks. But the three entries in the series preceding those were unknown to us. They happen to be rooted in the everyday world as well, in a much less game-like way than the others. In fact, they're training non-games for the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication).

Vol. 36 THE Arc de Minitsuku! TOEIC Test Bunpou Tokkun (Master the Arc! TOEIC Intensive Grammar Training), Vol. 37 THE Arc de Minitsuku! TOEIC Test Listening Kyoka (TOEIC Listening Enhancement), and Vol. 38 THE Arc de Manabu! TOEIC Test Hajimete (Study the Arc! Beginning the TOEIC) all focus on different aspects of the English test, which is used to determine English proficiency for business use. We hope they were at least made to a higher standard than other Simple titles, or that nobody relies on them as study aids. If they are actually okay, D3 may be on to something: their usual low budgets would translate excellently to "games" that rely almost entirely on text menus.

Read: Vol. 36 THE Arc de Minitsuku! TOEIC Test Bunpou Tokkun
Read: Vol. 37 THE Arc de Minitsuku! TOEIC Test Listening Kyoka
Read: Vol. 38 THE Arc de Manabu! TOEIC Test Hajimete

Backpack Identification of the Dead

Hey, look, even more English of the Dead stuff! A lot of the screens in the latest update from GAME Watch showed up in yesterday's bundle of screens, but we think this is worth a look anyway. The new screens are organized by chapter and by mode, for a complete overview of the new training game (which means you can see what the Magician boss, and the others we had yet to see, look like on the DS).

Most importantly (to our curiosity), the new screens include this straight-on shot of the new backpack. It's clearly (as clearly as it can be in that resolution) a Japanese Mega Drive in the second model, with the blue button and the red cartridge slot (and the fact that the game is Japanese) distinguishing it from other Model 2 Mega Drive/Genesis systems.

A feast of English of the Dead screens

IGN seems to have developed a hunger for screenshots of English of the Dead, much like we have. We cannot be stopped. We remain unfazed by bodily harm as we wander the Earth endlessly in search of screenshots. "screeeeeeeeeens," we intone in an inhumanly low growl. We are driven by an insatiable desire to direct-feed.

They've posted the biggest, most delicious screen update ever for the zombie English trainer, featuring screens of multiple modes and levels, and finally -- sort of -- answering the question of what the dogs of the AMS will wield in the DS game. It looks like maybe a Genesis? The thing in their hands is a big rectangular tablet for writing. And not a Sega Pico, which would have been really funny.

English of the Judo chop

If we lived in Japan and needed to learn English, English of the Dead would clearly be our choice of software. Yet, we're not saying that Paon doesn't have a fun idea for their English training game, too. New Horizon English Training Course DS might not have zombies, but it does have Judo.

As you may have guessed, the way in which this title handles its English quizzes is through sports minigames. It's unclear how exactly the Judo game works, but there's also a marathon event (during which players must write out the correct letters quickly in order to run fast), and a weight training game (which has players identify whether or not a translation is correct).

Of course, in our hearts, zombies still win -- every time.

[Via Siliconera]

New trailer confirms English of the Dead's status as best zombie language game

Sega is really proud of their funny zombie drawings. Of course they have every right to be, since the funny zombie drawings are in fact funny, but we are still surprised by how heavily this trailer for English of the Dead relies upon them. Of course, if you had an excuse to create an animation of a zombie being served your game's modes on separate plates, wouldn't you?

In addition to being hilarious and enthusiastic, this trailer provides our first brief look at the game's engine in motion. It's so smooth! Again we must register our disbelief that Sega has ported The House of the Dead 2 down so well, for a training game.

[Via Inside Games]

Screenshots of the Dead

Not actual screenshots of the dead, obviously -- that would be horrendous, and would shatter all boundaries of good taste.

No, we're actually referring to new shots of Sega's English of the Dead, which just shambled our way from Japanese site Gemaga, and which are now waiting for your fleshy, delicious EYES in the gallery below.

Incidentally, the image for this post is taken from a promotional flier for the game (full version viewable here). We just put it there because a zombie in a mortarboard best sums up the inherent hilarity of Sega's game, a title in which gigantic, two-headed serpents can teach us the Japanese word for "bicycle."

Gallery: English of the Dead

[Via Go Nintendo]

English (and Zombie Weighing) of the Dead

As if we didn't already have enough reason to love the bizarre English of the Dead: the latest update to the official website reveals this little wonder here. It's one of the ways that the game records your progress -- in addition to an accuracy percentage and medal rankings, there's a measure of the amount (by head weight) of zombies killed. In the screenshot here, it's revealed that 646 zombies weigh roughly the same as one elephant.

Assuming a weight of 10,000 pounds for an average elephant, that means that the average zombie head weighs about 15.5 pounds. That's pretty heavy for a head! Ah, we can't wait for the inevitable arguments elephant and human head weight.

English of the Dead from Website of the French

Childishly, we think it's kind of funny that new screens of an English training game for Japanese people were available on a French website. It illustrates the fact that the English learning is not what matters about English of the Dead. It's the zombie killing. It's enjoying the bizarro juxtaposition of edutainment and gore. It's about it being time for the dogs of the AMS to make a move.

That's why it is of interest to a website whose operators understand neither the Japanese nor the English text -- the awesomeness of this language game transcends actual language.

The box on the bottom screen is a handwriting interface, used for the default style of fighting. Bosses will mix it up, putting pre-printed multiple choices on the bottom screen. But before the bosses, your life depends on your penmanship.

Website of the Dead now live

Speaking of official websites: Sega has put up a teaser site for their absolutely enchanting zombie-shooting/English-training game The English of the Dead. It doesn't contain much in the way of screens, but it does have some wonderful chibi zombie art which is not to be missed.

And it's not like you're being cheated out of screens, because Famitsu totally put some up! It might be an academic distinction, but this appears to be a ported version of The Typing of the Dead rather than The House of the Dead 2, in that the axe-zombie guy has his red mallet from the typing game here, and the ranking display looks the same. It's kind of hard to pinpoint the source of a port when both Dreamcast games are the same game running on the same engine. Whichever game it started from, we have to admit that we're impressed with Sega's ability to shrink it down to the DS.

We want to learn English now.

Learn English like G did

The latest issue of Famitsu has revealed something bizarre and magical from Sega: English of the Dead. Like Typing of the Dead, English is a conversion of House of the Dead 2 in which players must write words to defeat zombies. In English of the Dead, however, the zombies' words are in Japanese and players must translate them into English in order to score a kill. There's also a listening mode in which the zombies speak English, and boss battles with varying gameplay -- the Hydra, for example, is a multiple-choice translation test. This is a training game we could get very excited about, and we know English.

The most amazing thing about this game, to us, is that Sega ported House of the Dead 2 to the DS just to do this. Maybe they're trying to teach English to ... the people who wrote House of the Dead 2's script. They could use the help. Go, Kuarl (past the post break for the full scan)!

Continue reading Learn English like G did

Snoopy teaches English, despite inability to speak out loud

Talk about overcoming adversity: Snoopy, the lovable beagle from Peanuts, is getting his own English training game in Japan, despite being a dog. And despite the fact that the comic from which spinoff products would spin off no longer exists.

English Lessons With Snoopy isn't all learning words and phrases from a cartoon dog, however; the whole Peanuts gang, including chronically depressed Charlie Brown, anxiety-ridden Linus, and Lucy, who is just a jerk, will join in the learning fun. Who's more qualified to assist a dog in teaching language skills than five-year-olds?

The main game, "Event Mode," involves touching everything in a scene to see its English spelling and pronunciation. As you explore, you'll trigger animated events within the scene. There is also a selection of English training minigames, and a number of unlockable non-training minigames, including slide puzzles and a Charlie Brown dress-up game. Surprisingly, his clothing choices are not limited to hundreds of identical yellow shirts.

We are impressed by the size and breadth of the Japanese DS market. We still have yet to get one foreign-language program for the DS, and licensed cash-in language training games are already being released in Japan.

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