Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles One of the most difficult languages in the world to learn is Japanese. And when you've been exposed to English all your life, learning three new alphabet families and a totally alien sentence structure as compared to any Western method is like climbing Mount Fuji itself. Still, giving it a go in this day and age puts you ahead of most, and the more you work at it, the sooner you'll be demonstrating your knowledge to your astonished friends who have nothing but thoughts of sashimi and Akihabara district dancing in their heads. When Ubisoft and Sensory Sweep Studios decided they'd make the Japanese language a target in their My Coach series, which had already touched on French, Spanish and Chinese, DS owners around the USA like myself were licking their chops at the prospect of being able to read all the grab bag manga I've been storing up. This is My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS, a digital boot camp for otaku and weeaboos everywhere! Promising players they can learn Japanese in as little as 15 minutes a day, My Japanese Coach will drill you with minigames after you've reviewed a lesson, starting with the most basic hiragana, the phonetic Japanese alphabet, all the way up to various kanji characters that represent words. Lesson maps will take you through various locations in Japan, starting with the greatest tourist destination of all, Tokyo, and its surrounding areas. Mini games consist of drills like Write Cards which will train you in the way that you write characters, very important in Japanese written language. The developers were keen to the use of the stylus, and it’s this game that I use it more than any other game I've played on the DS. Other minigames like Hit a Word are a version of Whack a Mole that will train you in how quickly you recognize a word. After you complete training in romaji words, you'll move on to hiragana, katakana, and eventually kanji. If you're eager for more knowledge beyond your current lesson, My Japanese Coach has an entire compendium of Japanese words, their pronunciations, and their characters waiting for you when you access the dictionary, where you can practice each word by reading, writing, and even speaking it into the DS microphone. Just as with any video game, My Japanese Coach has an overall difficulty on a learning curve, and my instinct tells me that if you've only been speaking one language your whole life, chances are it will make learning a language entirely unlike English that much more difficult. But with enough hard work and practice, the words and characters will eventually stick, and with learning, my friends, comes confidence. Buyer beware - My Japanese coach should be thought of less as a video game and more as a learning utility. Use it as such and you might learn something. Soon you'll be deciphering those imported Famicom games like a boss, and let's face it, you'll have it easier than teenagers in Japan currently going through exam hell. Ganbatte!