Learn Your Numbers With Dinosaurs And Hiragana (Bonus Contest!)

By Spencer . January 25, 2009 . 12:01pm

imageGet far enough into Dinosaurs and Hiragana and you enter word mode where you’re quizzed on words instead of hiragana. Word mode is random, but you can use a password to focus on numbers. Enter countchocula in the password box to skip straight to the number section.


Also if you play Dinosaurs and Hiragana this weekend you could win a prize. Ten people, selected by random, will receive an Ar Tonelico II body pillow! All you need to do is play the game and register your score at the end of the game. Please make sure you put in your e-mail address to enter the contest.


Here’s a picture of what the pillowcase will look like:




Good luck!


Images courtesy of NIS America / Siliconera.

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  • Ooh, definitely going to try for this! I need to brush up on my numbers, anyway.

  • lostinblue

    sorry to barge in on this, I have a 1 month vacation coming in and I’m thinking of finally tackling Japanese; and of course I can’t read hiragana or katakana.

    So… my question would be, since I’m looking for effective “prove and proven” ways to learn (and have limited time to go through trial and error) can anyone give me feedback on the aforementioned games? did someone really learned/improved a lot based on them?

    And… would you recommend starting with it, or starting with stuff like grammar and vocabulary?

    • You find a chart online or get a decent book*. Then you buy a small erasable board. You drill hiragana and katakana every day for 30 days until they appear in your dreams.

      THEN and ONLY THEN should you start looking into the language. Alternately, look into your nearest university’s Japanese program to see if they offer night classes (assuming you have a day job). If you’re in a bigger city you could also resort to a small language school (I used to get 15$/hour lessons in groups of 4-5, tons of fun).

      *Genki I & II are the standard recommendations. There are plenty of others but they are a mainstay.

      • lostinblue

        I think I’ll go for the books, I feel better with them for refference.

        Btw, Genki I and II are separate volumes right? so I should get the first and then make the second optional but never ever, buy only genki II skipping genki I right?

        I don’t have a day job, instead I go to university, never checked if they have a japanese program though, I’ll look into that; as for language school… there’s pretty much only “learn English” schools in here ^^’ so I don’t think I can resource to that.

        • Aoshi00

          Genki is definitely one of the most intuitive texts, I remember my classmates hated it when we switched to something else. The first one’s red and 2nd is green if I remember correctly. If the credit is not too expensive, taking a foreign language course in college is the best way to go because you have a set schedule of 2-3 classes a week, reinforcing what you learn. Also, get a native Jpn sensei if you can, I remember avoiding this white woman teacher. I grew to dislike her because she made fun of manga (specifically Rurouni Kenshin) w/ her higher than thou literature attitude.

          Hiragana was quite easy for me since I was quite a japanophile when I was a kid (memorized it in a week..) Katakana was a little harder since they don’t appear as frequently, back then I would recognize DBZ’s chars’ names in katakana. I have only taken it for half a year until I studied it formally again years later in college.

          @lostinblue – Just wondering.. I’ve always assumed you have a basic knowledge of Jpn because you mentioned importing Tales of Symphonia 2. Best of luck, Jpn is quite a relatively easy language to learn because I find it very systematic.

          • lostinblue

            Hmmm, I guess it depends on what you mean by basic knowledge, I import japanese RPG’s often, yes, and I understand I’d say, 30 to 50% of the japanese spoken in anime/average RPG (as you say, because it’s systematic), sometimes more depending on how cliched the anime/game expressions are.

            That allows me to understand at least vaguely what they’re implying, meaning full voice acted games in particular are pretty nice, although I don’t understand everything in it. Text though… Can’t figure it out at all, so I memorize “patterns” like how “yes” and “no” look like.

            My “biggest achievement” when it comes to games in japanese though, still has to be Tales of Phantasia, whom I finished in Japanese before the translation was out (long time ago) to this day I don’t know how I did it, and with that of knowledge (zero). As for ToSDotNW that’s a pretty linear game (and loads of voice acting where the plot advances, so it’s pretty manageable, but other example of imports would be Tales of Destiny 2, whom I canĀ“t really beat without a guide with my current ability.

            This said, from the aforementioned understanding I have, I certainly don’t have the basis for it and I know very little about grammar (meaning I can understand what a phrase is implying, but I can’t compose an articulated answer), in short, I only know vocabulary and then recognize some patterns in between; feels like walking on thin ice, really, going by gut feeling mostly.

    • Try to learn 5 characters a week (1 per day) and do a sort of review on the weekends. Just take a page and write the same character hundreds of times. You’ll eventually get to know them all by heart. Also, learn hiragana first, not katakana.

      I also suggest those two websites:
      1) http://web.archive.org/web/20080117094326/http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/nihongo/index.html
      2) http://yosida.com/en/hiragana.html

      Website #1 should be used if you have trouble remembering the characters; it contains mnemonics for every hiragana and katakana character. Website #2 should be used to learn the stroke order of the characters (very important once you start learning kanji!)

      • Hell yes, kakijun (stroke order) is a must. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

      • lostinblue

        Thanks for the advise, (and sites) I’m pumped up now :D, will get into it *bookmarks page*

  • hankjmatt

    I don’t have a day job, instead I go to university, never checked if they have a japanese program though, I’ll look into that; as for language school… there’s pretty much only “learn English” schools in here ^^’ so I don’t think I can resource to that.
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