IconKana Program Layout

Iconkana Program Layout

IconKana is a computer program to help you learn Hiragana and KataKana.

( Note ) T

he color renditions for IconKana ( Hiragana and Katakana ) are much more vivid in a dimly lit room, much like the color renditions are more vivid in a movie theater when the lights are turned down.

The IconKana - Main Screen:

* The IconKana - Main Screen is the primary viewing screen for learning and review. It can be resized to your liking. 
* The IconKana - Main Screen has a menu bar that will allow you to learn and review, or test and review, the Hiragana and Katakana characters.
* If you select file, exit, the program will shut down.

Hiragana & Katakana Selections

The Selections Windows

* The Selections Windows are where you select the characters that you wish to practice. 
* When the program starts, all of the characters are selected.
* Choose which characters you wish to practice by placing check marks next to them or, 
* Choose a group of characters by checking the box above a group.
* There are also two check boxes on the lower-right corner of the Selections Window to toggle on & off the frames and kana selections check boxes. 
* Additional character selections can be made by using the kana selections options located on the Hiragana or Katakana Controllers, ( below ). 

The Selections Windows, continued

* This picture shows the Katakana Selections & the Katakana Controller. 
* The Katakana Controller ( Kana Selections Option ) is selected to Group 1. 
* Group 1 displays a similar looking set of characters. 
* It is hoped that, by grouping the characters based on similarity, it would be easier to distinguish between them. 
* ( Note ) Some groups of characters will not look similar.

The Hiragana & Katakana Controllers

The Hiragana & Katakana Controllers are used to control the methods in which the IconKana Learn-and-Review slide show is displayed. Most of the controls are self explanatory. A few notes about the Controller(s) are as follows:

The Controller's title bar displays which controller is in use at the time. 

The Kana Controller has eight primary parts:

  1. The View Screen
  2. The Primary Controls
  3. The View-Screen Options
  4. The Sound Button
  5. The Direction Controls
  6. The Speed Controls
  7. The Kana Selections, and finally
  8. The Group Selections

A. The View Screen:
The View Screen window has three parts, the Icon, the Kana, and the Captions.

  1. The icon is displayed in the upper left corner of the view screen. The Icon is a picture. It is used as a visual reference to jog the mind into remembering the kana.
  2. The kana is in the center of the view screen. It is a Japanese character.
  3. The captions can be found on the bottom and top right sides of the view screen. As your proficiency increases, you will begin to be able to read and understand the captions. Hiragana is used for Japanese words whereas Katakana is used for words that are foreign to the Japanese language. Therefore, nearly all of the Hiragana characters will refer to a Japanese word and all of the Katakana characters will refer to a word that is foreign to the Japanese Language with the exception of Kani. Kani is a Japanese word that is written in Katakana.

B. The Primary Controls:
The six buttons located in the center of the Kana Controller are the Primary Controls.

  1. The + button is used to manually scroll forward, one frame at a time.
  2. The - button is used to manually scroll in reverse, one frame at a time.
  3. The start button activates automatic frame advance.
  4. The stop button stops automatic frame advance.
  5. The Min/Max button will either reduce or enlarge the size of the Kana controller.
  6. The Exit button is used to exit the program.

C. View Screen Options:
The View Screen Options are used to toggle on and off the Icons, the Kanas, and the Captions.

D. The Sound Button :
The Sound Button is used to activate a voice pronunciation of the character and word displayed in the Kana Controller's view screen.

E. The Direction Controls:
The Direction Controls are used to select which direction the IconKana slide show runs. Use the selection controls with the start button to activate the automatic frame-advance feature.

F. The Speed Controls:
The Speed Controls are labeled Slow, Medium, Medium +, & Fast. At medium speed, the frames advance at about 1 frame per second.

G. The Kana Selections:
The Kana selections are used in conjunction with the Selections Window (above). The Kana Selections Frame has two parts. On the left side of the frame are the Kana Selections. On the right side of the frame are the Group Selections. All of these controls work independently of each other. The Kana selections are used to select all of the kanas, only the even numbered kanas, only the odd numbered kanas, or none of the kanas. (Note) If none of the kanas are selected and you press the +, the -, or the Start, control buttons, then IconKana will default to the A selection.

H. The Group Selections:
The Group Selections are used to select like-type kanas. What is meant by this is, many kanas look similar to each other. As an example, the kana for, Me (め),. looks similar to the kana for, .Nu (ぬ).. They both look like fish. The Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 selections attempt to group the Kanas into similar looking groups. In that way, if you select a group of similar looking kanas, it will make it easier to distinguish between those that are similar in appearance as you learn the characters. It is a way to isolate those that look alike, in the same place, so they can be studied more carefully. 

The Test Controllers

The Test Controllers are used to control the methods in which the IconKana Test-and-Review module is displayed. The test controllers provide the user with multiple choice quizzes of Hiragana and Katakana.

The Test Controller's title bar will be displayed as the, Hiragana Test. in the Hiragana Mode, or the, .Katakana Test,. in the Katakana mode. The Test Controller has six primary parts:

  1. Menu Options,
  2. Feedback and scoring displays,
  3. An Object Window,
  4. Four Selection Windows,
  5. A Next Button, and,
  6. An End Button

The Menu Options allow you to choose how the Test is displayed. When you view it in the Hiragana or Katakana mode, the Object Window displays a kana symbol. In the Romaji mode, the Object Window displays a Romaji symbol. (See screen shots 7 & 8, above)

There is also an option to either Start or Stop Scoring. When the Start Scoring option is selected, a feedback message will appear and the percentage-scored-correct is displayed to the right of a feedback message. To make a selection, simply click one of the four selection windows with your mouse. When you click the next button, the next question will appear.

When the Stop Scoring selection is made, the Test Controller will not display a Percentage-Scored-Correct or a Feedback message.

When you click the next button, the next question will appear.

When you click the End Button, the Test Controller will close.


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