Sunday, August 9, 2009

FREE SOFTWARE REVIEW: Byki Express Japanese Language Software

I have a cousin that lives in Japan now and I am very much interested in learning Japanese. That is why I was on the hunt for Free Foreign Language Learning Software this morning. Fortunately, the search was not that hard. There are dozens of free programs that teach the Japanese language. One of those which I downloaded is the FREE Byki Express Desktop Software.

Basically, Byki is not merely focused on teaching the Japanese language. Rather, it is a language learning system that you can use to learn sixty-four different languages (Afrikaans, Albanian, Altai, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Belorussian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Buriat, Chechen, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malay, Mirandese, Mongolian, Norwegian, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Scottish, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajiki, Thai, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Zulu).

After downloading the software, you can now download a list of flashcards containing words written in Japanese matched with their English translations. Lists vary in the number of flash cards that they contain. Some only contain six while others are composed of fifty. You are free to choose which lists you will download and you can preview the list on their site (Byki List Central). The lists are made by Transparent Language (the product distributor) and other Byki users. You can download lists in multiple languages, and you can also download all the languages if you want to.

An important feature of this language learning software is the fact that you can review and study your downloaded lists anytime you want. You can do this even when you’re offline. The flashcards come with a “native speaker sound” functioning so you’ll know how the words are properly pronounced. If you can’t understand it, you can also slow down the sound and adjust the sound volume. You can also choose between text only cards and video with text cards.

With Byki’s language learning system, you can also track your progress through its Step 2: Recognition Test. You will be asked to identify the English translations of the words and then record it through the program’s Self Reporting Recognition Mode or Written Recognition Mode. Basically, this process is like an on-the-spot test and you will be able to check your total learned items presented in a pie graph. Another test, Step 3, will help you perfect your skills. If you are done with your downloaded set, you can delete it and then access more lists for more words to learn. I guess this program is perfect for people who want to study a second language at their own pace and schedule.

DETAILS: Your computer should have Windows Vista, Windows XP SP 2, Windows XP, or Mac. The total file size (excluding the lists) is 21.23MB.