‘SanjigenJiten’ Uses Gameplay To Teach You New Languages

Rob Howland’s scholarship backed SanjigenJiten uses a 3D environment to increase your vocabulary across three different languages: English, Japanese and Chinese.


Picking up another language is not an easy thing for anyone and there are many varying techniques suggested to those in the pursuit of such tongue forgery. The truth is the same with any type of learning: different things work for different people. If you have been told that you are a visual learner before, then things like flash cards and pictures will likely propel your progress. Why not combine these sorts of visual aids though? SanjigenJiten hopes to do this by using gameplay inside a house to help its players gradually pick up another language.


SanjigenJiten has been developed under the Monbukagakusho Research Scholarship at the University of Tsukuba’s Entertainment Computing Laboratory in an effort to use computer games to enhance learning – something we have all heard about before.


There are three different game types within SanjigenJiten. Explore Mode has the player finding unique words by clicking on objects and bringing up the written word at the bottom of the screen. The second game type is a Time Attack Mode which brings up one of the discovered words and tasks the player with matching it to the correct object. Lastly is Story Mode which has the player carrying out everyday tasks and using the words to progress. A 3 star system also rewards players adequately for their consistency; the stars are used to unlock the different modes.


You can download SanjigenJiten for Windows and Mac right now. The developers are also asking for the willing to fill out a feedback survey.


The official website is still under construction as the developers have had to concentrate efforts on their upcoming presentation at Tokyo University, however, Rob Howland’s official site has links and more information at the moment.

Valuing gameplay and innovation over everything, Chris has a keen eye for the most obscure titles unknown to man and gets a buzz from finding fantastic games that are not getting enough love. Chris Priestman, Editor-in-Chief of IGM

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