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Freeware: Kana MIDlet

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Kana is a freeware Java MIDlet for mobile phones that helps you to learn Japanese Hiragana characters and allows to convert strings in Latin script to Hiragana.

For download see below.

Because of very modest requirements (it only requires MIDP 1.0/CLDC 1.0) it should run on practically any Java-enabled mobile phone that has about 60 kB free memory to store the MIDlet.

In the Learn mode the program shows you first a Hiragana character and afterwards reveals the "meaning" / the pronounciation written in normal Latin letters, as can be seen on the first two screenshots:


This way the program goes through all the 70+ Hiragana characters, but every time in another random order. Of course you can stop at any time you like and leave the program. If you answer correctly "Yes" and "No" after each character is reveiled the program can show you on a summary page at the end how good you were.

In the Convert mode as shown in the second two screenshots the MIDlet first asks for a string in Latin script and then converts it to Hiragana. If there are combinations of Latin letters that do not match any Hiragana they are just copied as such. Caution: The conversion is just an approximation and thus sometimes not correct. If it is important consult your resident Japanese instead!

The MIDlet is probably most useful for somebody who has already some knowledge and knows many of the Hiragana characters, but needs to "drill" to learn them all and memorize them well.

If you have a way to transfer MIDlets from your PC to your mobile phone (which is possible for most "smartphones" like e.g. Sony Ericsson P800/P900 or the Nokia Communicator) you can download the "jad" and the "jar" file with the links below and install the MIDlet on the phone afterwards:

Download Kana10.jad
Download Kana10.jar (60 kB)

If you can only install Java MIDlets "over the air" (OTA) on your phone, point the WAP browser on your phone to the following litte WAP page which has a link to the "jad" file:


After you select that link the phone fetches the "jar" which contains the MIDlet and installs it. Please note: The program is freeware and does not cost anything, but you will almost certainly have to pay your network operator for the download.