*THE* german dictionary. Practically all non-commercial programs make use of wadoku's database nowadays if they offer some japanese-german translation. The database can be downloaded and freely used unless you incorporate it into a commercial product.

    WWWJDIC is the dinosaur when it comes to online dictionaries. It's quite extensive and offers a wide range from kanji look-up tables to example sentences. Especially the example sentence database is worth a look because it's licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 and can be downloaded.

  • is quite new (maybe 10 years or something like that) and its kanji look-up feature is definitely one of the best out there.

    Weblio is quite good when it comes to looking up grammar because the search also does some fuzzing when pasting text snippets.

Newspapers & Media


Machine translators




  • Rikaichan
    Rikaichan shows translations when hovering the mouse over a word.
    The Chrome version is called rikaikun.
    Update 2017/11: Starting with Firefox 57 I recommend Rikaichamp instead.

  • Furigana Inserter
    This one adds furigana.

Tagaini Jisho

The best dictionary you will ever find. Anywhere. I am donating to this project every year since it was first released in 2007 and I just couldn't live without it. I recommend to add all of the JLPT vocabulary and kanji to the program's study list because then you will immediately know by its background-color whether the word or kanji is worth to spent your time on or not when generating vocabulary lists.


KanjiTomo is similar to Rikaichan but uses OCR to recognize the characters. It can therefore be used to translate text in games, images, manga etc.

The Google IME

The Google IME is cross-platform and the default japanese IME in Chrome OS and Android. It usually gives better results in the candidates list than Anthy or the Microsoft IME.
Installation instructions for Ubuntu can be found in my article "Writing japanese with Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr".
To use the local keyboard layout in Windows when using IMEs, you have to set the registry-key
to the desired value (e.g. kbdgr.dll for the german layout).


KanjiStrokeOrders is a truetype font which indicates the stroke orders with small digits.


Anki is the ultimate flashcard software. Seriously. It's worth each and every donated cent. There's nothing you can't edit or tweak to your liking because it's open-source and uses HTML to display the cards.

My current study deck for example makes use of

  • the wadoku database
  • the WWWJDIC examples
  • images from google images
  • voice generated by the google TTS engine
  • the KanjiStrokeOrders font
  • and the JLPT vocabulary list taken from Tagaini Jisho

I also have some out-of-tree patches to control it via the arrow keys and my gamepad. (See How to set custom keyboard shortcuts in Anki 2 as a reference)



4 Responses to “Japanese learning materials and software”

  1. Suzuki
    October 5th, 2016 at 11:52

    Thank you for such a usefull ressources! I didn’t knew about KanjiTomo, it’s great!

  2. Yufie
    November 24th, 2016 at 11:52

    Many thanks for this resource sharing! I am learning Japanese to go work there and approach the Onee-san I have crush on.

    Wish me luck :D

  3. altaku
    September 29th, 2019 at 17:36


  4. John
    April 11th, 2020 at 09:35

    Thank you

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