Being able to understand a language literally can be very useful. You want to develop your vocabulary and make use of proper grammar. That much is clear. However, if you want to be truly fluent in a language, you need to also know about the culture-specific idioms. That’s where this iPhone app comes into play.
If you’re planning a quick jaunt over to Akihabara or Mount Fuji in Japan, you may want to pick up a Japanese phrase book, since most of the locals aren’t exactly fluent in English. The iPhone already has some apps that do that, but the new Japanese Idiom app takes it further with 101 useful idioms in Japanese.
In English, the literal meanings of “raining cats and dogs” or “break a leg” don’t make very much sense. Likewise, Japanese idioms don’t make literal sense either. This application will help you overcome some of those idiomatic struggles that you may encounter.
For example, goma wo suru literally translates to grinding sesame, but it really means to kiss up to someone. Every phrase in this idiom app is also spoken, so you don’t have to worry too much about guessing the correct pronunciation either.
The Japanese Idiom app sells for $1.99.