English is a bit of a tricky language; you’re not always sure whether a CH at the start of a word should be pronounced as it is in Chair or as it is in Character. Then you hear tongue twisters about a woodchuck chucking wood and it gets more confusing. Words you can learn slowly by reading. You will eventually have a bigger vocabulary and hopefully the knowledge to use them properly. The trickier part of a language is the syntax i.e. the grammar. Grammar Nazi is an Android app that, although built to be a game, helps you read books in English (currently only supports TXT files) and improve your grammar.
The app comes with two books in its library, Metamorphosis and The Lost World. You can import a file yourself or you can go with one of those in the library. The excerpts are all purposely filled with mistakes and they are highlighted along with other words that aren’t incorrect.
It’s up to the user to know which word isn’t correct and change it. To change a word, tap it. One mistake will have several or more than one answer and it’s up to you to pick the right one. The words that are correct and highlighted for the sake of testing you do not change or offer alternative words when you tap them. When you’re through with a page, tap the button at the bottom and get your score.
At the bottom right, you have the more button that you can access the app’s settings from. From the settings, you can limit how many lines of text you have to correct in a level (remember that this is a game), increase the font size for more comfortable reading, and make it so the screen doesn’t dim when you’re using the app.
As a concept, the app is nice because it makes learning fun but it needs to support more file formats. RTF, PDF, and maybe a ePUB among others. Besides being able to import documents, the app should allows users to just paste text copied from an online article. The app is a learning tool and a game and something that is common between the two is skill level. There should be an option to choose how easy or difficult it is. Most mobile games don’t have difficulty levels that you can choose from but with a learning app, there should be an exception. The interface is nice enough for reading and as long as you can increase the font size, I’m happy.