Nova Usagi (nova_usagi) wrote in nihongo,
Nova Usagi

Nintendo DS and Japanese Studies

ell, I bought a Nintendo DS Lite. I got the "Coral Pink" which is also known as "Noble Pink" (ノーブルピンク) in Japan. Japan currently has the most colors available for DS Lites as of now.

Crystal White, Jet Black, Noble Pink, Ice Blue, and Enamel Navy.

But why get a DS Lite? Well, I'm not really a fan of most of the games out there. Out of the 900 of them, I probably am only interested in 20-30 of them. That's still a lot of games though, especially if some of them are Kanji dictionaries. All DS systems can play all games, save for Chinese games. So any DS Lite can play any Japanese game. In fact, when I first fired up my DS, I chose the main settings to be in Japanese. And unlike the very expensive Japanese electronic dictionaries, you can draw or try to draw the characters on the screen. For example, for 「漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典」, the first page of its site alone gives you a good idea of how convenient it is to be able to write out the characters on the screen.

The top screen gives you definitions, related words, and examples sentences. It also will give the word and example sentences in English as well. This page shows how you use the game. It's a English learning tool, but it can be used the other way. And if you're linked up with another DS Lite user who also has this game in Picto Chat, you can use it to write back and forth to each other. Unlike normal typing, in order to produce messages with kanji in them, the user must write out the kanji or find it via writing it out with the stylus (ie DS pen). ...So when reading a book it Japanese, if I come across a kanji that I don't know off the top of my head (which is often), I can scribble it down on the DS and it'll tell me what it is. I don't have to try to look up the kanji via radical and/or stroke count.

Along with these Kanji/English games, there are a couple that popped up when I searched for Japanese language on the Japanese Amazon site (Here). And if you don't want to try to buy Japanese DS games from, then Play-Asia is another source. The prices are about the same, but it's all in English so it might be easier to navigate through. If you have your heart set on some other color that you can't get outside of Japan in stores maybe you'll want to order your DS or DS Lite from here or some other online site. If not, is pretty good about it's shipping if you want to just order it online. But I'd suggest trying to walk into a Circuit City, Toys'R'Us, Best Buy, or something for it.
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