I got a gift the other day from Dr Moku! We like gifts, especially when they’re cute, fun and educational like Dr Moku’s new app to help you learn Japanese.
Despite having visited Japan three times, I can’t speak or read Japanese. You can get by fine without it in the major cities but I can’t deny it would be useful to know what you’re buying, instead of just thinking well, it’s got a picture of a potato on it and Rilakkuma’s eating it so it must be okay.
Enter Dr Moku! Using kawaii and mnemonics, Dr Moku aims to teach you all the Japanese Hiragana symbols. Mnemonics are memory tricks, to help you remember more complicated things. They can be songs or phrases or in Dr Moku’s app, cartoons and puns! The app shows you each symbol which has been doodled on to make it look like a fun picture and there’s also a little phrase that links the picture and the sound of the character. Take a look at the examples below (click the image to see it bigger).
It’s really well done too – not only are the drawings fun and clever, they really do stick in the mind. I did the quiz after one run through the symbols and got 80% correct! This is a great app for those spare moments – while you’re on a bus or waiting for a friend you can be brushing up your Japanese.
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.