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My Japanese Coach is a great idea that's well implemented and definitely worth investing in if you're trying to learn Japanese. Instead of carrying around a heavy dictionary or book, all you need is your pocket-sized DS, and of course a book can't pronounce words or record and playback your own speech. There are many lessons and games available and if you're on holiday and trying to learn some basic phrases then this is ideal. The only real drawback is that the title only teaches you words and doesn't really touch on bringing all the words together into sentences and grammar, beyond those in the Phrasebook. Nevertheless, I thoroughly recommend My Japanese Coach, as I had a lot of fun while spending time with it and I can still remember the words that I have learned so far. Enjoy, or should I say "Kyou!"
My time with the game has proven to be quite productive as I’ve managed to learn a few words, count and introduce myself. I need to play it often so that I don’t forget but the game has done a pretty good job of slowly teaching me how to speak the language. I will say however that alone, My Japanese Coach won’t get you conversing like a pro, but if you just want some basics or if you’re using it in combination with a class, the software will keep you sharp and in the know.
Due to the sometimes confusing explanations and quirky vocabulary, it's hard to offer this game to serious students of Japanese. The language is just too hard to try and cram into a handheld game that consists of a handful of mini-games. If you just need to ask for directions or order food at a restaurant, though, this should suffice to educate and entertain you on the long plane ride to Tokyo.
Though a nice alternative to textbooks, My Japanese Coach isn’t going to help you master Japanese; it will only give you a brief insight to the language. The game puts way too much emphasis on vocabulary and not enough on grammar, Japanese characters, comprehension etc. If you’re looking to scratch the surface of the language, My Japanese Coach is for you. If not, save your money and try to find another way to learn Japanese.
With its touchscreen and easy portability, the DS is a perfect system for a really good language-learning game. All it needs is some clearly-explained grammar lessons, arranged in a logical order, punctuated by a good mix of mini-games; a spaced repetition flashcard game for learning vocab; more and better grammar games tied to the new points in each lesson; and a more systematised approach to learning kanji (perhaps even tied in to a decent kanji textbook, such as Remembering the Kanji, or Basic Kanji). That would make a really good language learning game. Unfortunately, My Japanese Coach doesn't.