Japanese learning materials and software
20.08.2014 [Languages]



  • http://wadoku.de
    *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.

  • http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi
    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.

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

  • http://ejje.weblio.jp/
    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 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 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa".
To use the local keyboard layout in Windows when using IMEs, you have to set the registry-key
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \\ SYSTEM \\ CurrentControlSet \\ services \\ i8042prt \\ Parameters \\ LayerDriverJPN"
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. 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)