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DS Daily: I think I'm learning Japanese, I really think so

My Japanese Coach is probably one of the most anticipated games hitting the DS. After our week with My French Coach, we can say that piece of software was effective. So, how many of you are looking to pick this up to learn Japanese?

Any of you learn another language through the aid of software before? Did you pick up any of the other language coach games? Or are you not excited by My Japanese Coach at all?

Gallery: My Japanese Coach

My Japanese Coach needs a release date coach

It's a little odd when Amazon is the main source of information on a game, and when it comes to My Japanese Coach, nearly all the substantive news has come from the online retailer, from screenshots to release dates. According to Amazon, the training title, which was originally scheduled for September 18, has been delayed to October 14. My Japanese Coach was already previously bumped, but only for a week.

There were some concerns over the game when those first, very early (and very rough, in places) screens appeared, and that, combined with the double delay, makes us wonder if there aren't some fixes in the works for the title. But who knows? It could be something as simple as inauspicious scheduling.

We hope to actually see My Japanese Coach in mid-October.

Gallery: My Japanese Coach

DS Daily: In desperate need of a coach

For many people, My Japanese Coach is like the best thing ever. It seems like such an awesome idea to help gamers learn the language of the land that has all of the best games (well, maybe that's up for debate, but that discussion is for another time and place). We know many of you can't wait to check it out. Heck, neither can we!

But, brushing the My Japanese Coach aside, what other languages do you wish they'd make helpful software for? My Klingon Coach? How about My Simlish Coach? Do you want something a little more grounded in reality, like My Greek Coach or something?

My Screenshot Coaches

We know My Chinese Coach and My Japanese Coach are coming, but we haven't seen much of them ... or anything, really. We didn't need to, though, to get excited about these titles; after all, people have been begging for a Japanese language trainer for a long time, and a Chinese language coach is just neat.

But if you were holding out, just to see what the titles included and whether or not they were set up like Ubisoft's previous language coaches, many of your questions will now be answered. Screenshots have turned up at Amazon, of all places, and while they seem to be pretty early shots -- there are in-game pictures missing -- they do give a good idea of what sort of things are included in the titles.

In other news, they look pretty difficult! As masochistic as we are, we can't wait to try them out.

Gallery: My Japanese Coach

Gallery: My Chinese Coach

[Thanks, Feba!]

ESRB says 'konnichiwa' to My Japanese Coach

Following the listing that was found on Gamefly, the ESRB has revealed the above listing for My Japanese Coach, yet another language coaching title. Searching for My Chinese Coach comes up empty, but at least we can all be pretty certain that My Japanese Coach will be releasing to North America. We're totally expecting to hear about it next week at E3.

English of the Dead teaches Japanese to the living

As if the English of the Dead game itself wasn't appealing enough, those with a mind to learn the language of the Land of the Rising Fun can make strides with Sega's DS title. It may not be as full-fledged as a product aimed specifically at teaching English-language natives the language of Japanese, but it's surprisingly useful.

You see, there's this mini-game included with the title that has zombies running about, with English words above their heads. You, the backpack-wearing son-of-a-gun, are then presented with three different words in kanji, one of which matches the English word. Pretty neat, huh?

Gallery: English of the Dead

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.

I'm learnding -- UK school picks up the DS

Awright, what's all this then? Clunbury Primary School in merry old England has brought on a fleet of DS Lites to help combat stupidity in children. It's safe to say the kids aren't sitting around playing Mario Kart, but instead picking up any one of the maths, language or brain games available.

It's not just one tyke campaigning for Ninteducational powers. Head teacher Andrew Davies said using DS software is an "exciting and alternative way of approaching education." Capital idea, old bean. Just make sure this mother's kid doesn't enrol at your school anytime soon.

Clunbury was voted as the top Information and Communications Technology (ICT) school in England, using mp3 recorders, blogs and podcasts to teach the tots. Where was all the awesome technology when this blogger was battling with the Commodore 64?

Learn Chinese with the DS ...

If you already read Japanese really well, that is -- because Touch de Nihao is a Chinese language-learning program for Japan.

Touch de Nihao is a utility program designed to help Japanese people get around in Chinese (Mandarin, we assume). It features a translation function that translates words written on the screen, as well as subway maps of Shanghai and Beijing.

The screenshots seem to show some sort of lessons, as well, or a dictionary organized by subject. The screen here, with the, uh, thing enjoying a beverage, is titled Nomimono (drinks) -- indicating some kind of subject page.

We probably won't see an English-Chinese version of Touch de Nihao, but we'd like to. We're fans of DS language learning.

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.

Berlitz language training for kids: yes, it includes Japanese

There's plenty of DS language training available for kids in Japan, but language software elsewhere seems to be focused on either adults or ... whoever Spanish for Everyone was supposed to be for. Virgin PLAY is taking advantage of this gap by releasing a series of language training games designed for kids, based on Berlitz language training materials. The series also covers the one language that gamers always clamor for in language-learning materials: Japanese.

The first two Mind Your Language games planned for release this summer (in Europe, we believe) include Learn English and Learn Spanish. But Berlitz and developer Spiral House are also working on three more programs to teach French, German, and Japanese, to be released this fall.

Gallery: Mind Your Language

Get your kana on with an obscure license from D3

Ojaru-maru: Ojaru to Okeiko Aiueo DS isn't necessarily made for adult learners of Japanese as a second language. In fact, it isn't. It's made for children. But the first thing you learn from trying to learn a new language is that being illiterate is pretty much the same experience whether you're 4 or 40. Materials designed to help kids learn to read in their first language are pretty useful for adults learning it as a second language. Unless they're too hard.

Ojaru-maru DS helps you learn to speak and read very basic Japanese. It contains games that train kids on how to read and write the kana syllabaries, and pick the correct numeral classifier for counting different varieties of objects. There are also speaking exercises that require you to pronounce phrases into the DS mic. It's made for Japanese native speakers, but this vaguely approaches the idea of a My Japanese Coach. It could come in handy for at least learning how to read the Media Create listings every week!

Price drops for everyone

Maybe you think this will help you understand Spanish? Maybe you just want a cheap game to laugh at because, frankly, it's just an incredibly absurd journey the main character embarks upon? Maybe, just maybe, you have a hidden lust for talking bulls?

Whatever your reason may be for wanting to purchase and own a copy of Spanish for Everyone, know that it can be purchased for the low, low price of only $20. Gaming retail mega-corporation EB Games/GameStop is selling the title for the discounted price via their websites. We would imagine it's the same in-store, as well.

DS Daily: Coaching

When we first heard about the My (Language) Coach series, we approached the idea with cautious optimism, and immediately turned to ask your opinion. They're non-games, sure, but they're non-games in an area that may be interesting. The response was overall positive toward the games, though there was plenty of talk (plenty) about wishing for a Japanese edition.

Now that the Coach games have hit, and have been explored in exhaustive detail thanks to Alisha's daily gameplay journal, we thought we would ask again. Anyone out there thinking of picking up a new language with their own personal Coach? Or has Spanish for Everyone undone any goodwill you may possibly have toward DS language training?

Une semaine avec My French Coach: Day Three

It's another day at DS Fanboy, and this week, that means more quality time with Ubisoft's My French Coach. All week long, we're on a mission -- French language mastery! Or at least a valiant attempt to get through as many lessons as possible in seven full days. If you missed the overview on day one, you might want to back up a little. If not, then let's get moving with day three of our language training.

Since I did two lessons yesterday, it only seemed proper to keep that up. Even at this rate, I won't make it halfway through the lessons by Sunday! I may have to step it up to three tomorrow, but that's a lot of French, and my brain is weak and poor, and my mushy Southern accent may get in the way of mastering all that pronunciation. But that's no reason not to try, eh? Today's lessons weren't as complex as yesterday's ... or maybe I'm just getting better!

Continue reading Une semaine avec My French Coach: Day Three

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Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
Bleach: Dark Souls
Oct 6
Legend of Kage 2
Oct 6
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Oct 6
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Oct 6
My Japanese Coach
Oct 14
Korg DS-10
Oct 14
Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 Oct 14
FIFA Soccer 09 Oct 14
Populous Oct 14
Rock Revolution
Oct 14
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Oct 21
Away: Shuffle Dungeon
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Oct 21
What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
Oct 28
Ninjatown Oct 28

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