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FAQ by tsurara_mai

Updated: 05/20/2007

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             2 0 0   M A N N I N   N O   K A N K E N
                T O K O T O N    K A N J I   N O U

                + English-Language User's Guide +
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                    "Kanji is hard."
                    
                          - Random Japanese Person
                     

====================================================================
                 F A Q    I N F O R M A T I O N
====================================================================

Begun: 5/21/07
Last update: 5/21/07

This FAQ covers how to use this Japanese kanji training program for 
Nintendo DS as well as a number of questions about the program
itself for potential owners.  

This file has been written to aid non-Japanese speaking players 
in getting the most out of the program.  It's designed, when 
possible, to be user-friendly to those who don't read/understand
Japanese, but given the nature of the program, I'm going to assume
you have at least an elementary grasp of Japanese.
 
This guide is not intended to compete with or replace 
any other published game guides.  

I can be contacted about this FAQ at tsurara(a-t)gmail(d-o-t)
com free to email with suggestions/corrections.

Please note that I will not give help to people reguarding further 
translations, bootlegged copies, or technical support.

If you find any mistakes (I'm sure there are a lot) please let me
know.  I'm happy to credit you for any corrections made.



====================================================================
         V I E W I N G   J A P A N E S E   T E X T
====================================================================

Since the #1 Frequently Asked Question about my FAQs has been "How
can I see the Japanese?!"  I figured this addition was in order.

First right-click anywhere on the browser window with your mouse,
choose "Encoding", Choose "Japanese (Shift JIS)" or "Japanese (Auto
Select").

If that doesn't work, you probably don't have Japanese character 
support installed on your browser.  

Try the following websites for more information about installing 
Japanese support for Explorer other browsers.

http://language.uaa.alaska.edu/Japanese/support/installing.html
http://weblog.delacour.net/archives/2003/07/japanese_text.php
http://penguinppc.org/~hollis/linux/nihongo.shtml
http://www.msu.edu/~sunmingy/japanese/font.html



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           P R O G R A M   I N F O R M A T I O N
====================================================================

"200 Mannin no Kanken ~ Tokoton Kanji Nou" is a brain training 
program designed to drill kanji in preparation for the "Nihon Kanji 
Nouryoku Kentei Shiken".  It covers levels 10-1 and, while geared
toward a Japanese audience, is potentially quite helpful to anyone
learning kanji who already has a decent grasp of Japanese. 
 
The game runs "book style" on the DS and is played exclusively 
with the stylus on a DS system held sideways.

It was developed by IE institute and published on 11/8/2006 with 
a CERO rating of "All Ages".

The game retails for 2,499 yen.

The game, like all DS software, is not region-locked and will run
on non-Japanese DS systems without a hitch.

The interface is entirely in Japanese.  There is no English-version
available.

The programs' webpage is located (in Japanese) at 
http://www.kankends.jp/

The program is not currently liscenced outside of Japan.

====================================================================
              T A B L E    O F    C O N T E N T S
====================================================================

I. User's Guide
   A. About Kanken
   B. Getting Started
   C. Using the Program
   D. Technical Issues
II. FAQ
III. Credits


====================================================================
I.                 U S E R ' S    G U I D E
====================================================================

A. ABOUT KANKEN

While nearly all non-native learners of Japanese have heard all 
about the "Japanese Language Proficiency Test" (日本語能力試験), many 
are unfamiliar with the Kanji Kentei or "KanKen".  

The Japanese Kanji Aptitude Test (日本漢字能力検定試験) is an exam 
designed for native Japanese-speakers to discern their ability to
properly read, write and understand kanji.  There are 10 levels 
and two "half" levels varying in number and difficulty of kanji 
covered.

Level 10 - elementary 1st grade - 80 kanji
Level 9 - elementary 2nd grade - 240 kanji
Level 8 - elementary 3rd grade - 440 kanji
Level 7 - elementary 4th grade - 640 kanji
Level 6 - elementary 5th grade - 825 kanji
Level 5 - elementary 6th grade - 1,006 kanji
Level 4 - junior high 1st-2nd grade - 1,300 kanji
Level 3 - junior high 2nd-3rd grade - 1,600 kanji
Level pre2 - high school 1st-2nd grade - 1,945 kanji
Level 2 - high school 3rd grade - 2,229 kanji
Level pre1 - 3,000 kanji
Level 1 - 6,000 kanji

As the tests increase in difficulty, they introduce other elements
of kanji usage: stroke order, radical names, opposites, synonyms,
idiomatic usage, compound words, unusual readings, etc.

Someone who has passed Level 1 of the KanKen is a ridiculous kanji 
genius, knowing about three times as many kanji as "the average Joe"

Though these tests are intended for native Japanese-speakers, it's
just fine for non-Japanese to take them.  Though the application
forms, instructions and test materials are not available in English
nor are they written with non-native learners in mind.

Chances are, you will need a higher functional grasp of Japanese
than you will of kanji to take each level of Kanken.

ie. even if you know 600 kanji, you may find your level of Japanese
has only prepared you to understand and answer the questions for 
level 10 or 9.

The test can be taken on paper, but is most popular in it's 
computerized form:

Registration can be done at ~ http://www.kentei.co.jp/index.html

Kanken's official homepage ~
http://www.kanken.or.jp/index.html

A children's "Kanken" page is located at ~ 
http://www.kanken.or.jp/target/shogaku.html


B. GETTING STARTED

The first thing you need to know about this game is that it runs in
book format.  The first thing you're going to need to do is turn 
your DS on it's side (with the touchpad on your right).


+ The Title Menu +

   タイトル  メニュー
   (title menu)

   はじめる
   (begin)

   かんたん漢字力チェック
   (easy kanji check)

   通信
   (connect)

Each button on the title menu also has a "?" speech balloon
attached.  When touched with the stylus, an explanation of each
feature will appear in Japanese on the lefthand screen.  The 
righthand side will have buttons reading: 

          すすむ (continue)    and     終了 (quit)


+ Begin (はじめる) +

Choosing the "begin" mode for the first time will trigger a few
questions about you.  The first being, if you are right or left
handed.  Please choose the appropriate writing-hand.

          右 (right)       or        左 (left)

You will then be given a writing box and be instructed to input 
your name.  There is no input for Western characters, so 
non-Japanese users will need to input their names in katakana or
choose a Japanese handle...

When inputting characters, similar characters will appear in the 
コウホ (candidate) box.  Touch the correct character to input it into 
your name (which will appear on the top line).

You're limited to 5 characters.

The option けす (erase) will erase the last character inputted into 
the top line when touched with the stylus.

When you've finished inputting your username, press けってい (decide)
to finalize your decision.

You will now be asked if you are male or female:

           男 (male)       or         女 (female)

After inputting your gender, you'll have to make another, life
altering decision:

          シンプル (simple mode)    or    ストーリー (story mode)

Choosing simple mode will get you the bare-bones studying portions
without any story to tie them together.  Story mode will follow a
little pixel character's quest to become a kanji-master with cute 
little illustrations to compliment the storyline.

After choosing your mode, you'll be asked whether you'd like to 
leave the automatic kanji recognition (自動認識) on or off.  Choosing
"on" will result in the character you right being automatically
inputted after a certain amount of time while turning this option 
off will make the program wait until you press the confirmation 
button yourself.


- Story Mode (ストーリー) -

Story mode will begin with a rather frightening encounter with the 
Goddess of Kanji, an unstable diety who seems to think your sorry
ass is going to be able to pass the 1-kyuu.  

You can progress through the story screens by choosing 
すすむ (continue). 

After a bit of introduction, you'll be taken to the "User Menu"
(for how to navigate the user menu, please see "Using the Program")


- Simple Mode (シンプル)-

Simple Mode will bring you directly to the "user Menu" without any
sort of story introduction.
(for how to navigate the user menu, please see "Using the Program")



+ Simple Kanji Check (かんたん漢字力チェック) +

Before your placement test, you'll need to choose which hand you use
to write...  

          右 (right)       or        左 (left)

After choosing your stylus-hand, the test will begin. 

You will be presented with 10 random questions about the kanji
included in the program's database.  Depending on how many you
get right, you will be recommended a level (from 1 to 10).

Each question has a 30 second time limit to answer.

The questions themselves will appear on the left screen while
answers are to be inputted on the right.

Questions appear in two batches, each with a different set of 
directions.

The first 5:
カタカナを漢字にしよう。 (changing katakana to kanji)
漢字の読み方を書こう。 (writing the reading of the kanji in hiragana)

Both style of answers will be inputted using the stylus and the 
game's handwriting recognition.  Many answers in the latter 
section require several characters to answer... so keep inputting 
as many as you need.

Pressing 終了 (quit) during the test will bring up the options:

つづける (continue)   and    やめる (stop)

After your kanji check, you'll get a score, based on your 10
answers along with your recommended level of Kanken.

NOTE: it's kind of a joke to have only 10 questions on a placement
test for a program that spans 6,000 kanji so I would take your
recommended level with a grain of salt.  Don't be devistated if
you're sent back to the first grade with your tail between your
legs.


+ Connect (通信) +

Choosing the "connect" button will pull up the following options:

ミニゲーム (minigames)
ダウンロード (downloads)

As I don't have a wi-fi connection to exploit to this end, I'm
pretty clueless as to what 
these features accomplish.  According
to the manual "You can train by challenging yourself and others to 
a variety of downloadable minigames"


In any case ~ the submenus translate as follows:

 - Under ミニゲーム (minigames)

    親機 (for adults)

    子機 (for children)

 - Under ダウンロード (downloads)

    ふたりで協力 (2-player co-op)
   
    ふたりで対戦 (2-player versus)

    体験版配布 (test distribution)
    

C. USING THE PROGRAM

...coming soon...


D. TECHNICAL ISSUES

...coming soon...
 

====================================================================
III.    F R E Q U E N T L Y   A S K E D    Q U E S T I O N S
====================================================================

Q.  Is there an English menu?

A.  No.  This is a Japanese release of software targetted 
    exclusively at a Japanese audience.  Menus, interface and the 
    manual are entirely in Japanese.

Q.  I want to learn Japanese?  Will this program teach me?

A.  This is not a Japanese-instruction program.  It assumes 
    pre-existing knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and both phonetic
    writing systems (hiragana and katakana).  While useful for 
    drilling kanji this program will not "teach you" Japanese.  
    Nor is it recommended for total beginners.

Q.  How much Japanese do I need to know to be able to use this 
    program?

A.  You need to be able to navigate the menus and speak/read 
    Japanese on, at the very least, the same level as a Japanese
    1st grader.  You should know hiragana and katakana, basic
    grammar and enough vocabulary to understand the context and 
    meaning of the characters you're going to drill.

Q.  Will this program come to the US/EU/AUS in English?

A.  I doubt it.  While English is compulsory in Japanese schools,
    Japanese is still rather rare as a second-language in the US,
    Canada, Australia and England.  There isn't a great demand for
    Japanese educational software on handhelds and the demand that
    does exist is largely for materials catering to total beginners.

Q.  Will this program run on my DS?

A.  DS software is not region-coded.  This program will run on a 
    DS from any region.


====================================================================
IV.                         C R E D I T S
====================================================================

FAQ and translations by tsurara.

This FAQ has been written up with the help of the original program
instruction manual.

I would like to thank Nintendo and the IE Institute (over and over 
and over) for glossing said manual in furigana.

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