Learn Japanese By Yourself With These Great Apps
How to Learn Japanese on Your iPad or iPhone
iOS devices (such as the iPad and iPhone) offer a lot of advantages in terms of media consumption and light productivity. They can also be a great study tool for those who enjoy learning foreign languages like Japanese. In this article I'm going to talk about three of the best Japanese learning tools that the App Store has to offer, and the benefits you can get from each.
First off is Midori. Midori serves mainly as a Japanese to English dictionary, but offers a lot of other features to make your learning go as smoothly as possible. For example, it comes with a great flashcard system, which has a load of pre-set lists for you to study with. These lists vary from kanji to JLPT words sorted by level.
You can also easily create your own flashcards through its bookmarks system. Simply look up the word that you don't know through the program's dictionary, and with a click you can add it to a bookmarks list of your own.
The real highlight, however, is Midori's Translate feature. This allows you to copy and paste text from the web, and with a click of a button it will look up every unknown word for you. The words are then listed on the right side of the program, where you can easily study them and add them to your bookmarks list. For a language where looking up words can be very time consuming, the Translate feature makes the reading process much smoother.
Next up is Wakaru. "Wakaru" means "understand" in Japanese, and it has many of the basic features you'd expect from a Japanese learning app (such as a dictionary). It has two features that make it stand out, however. First is the web browser, where you can browse Japanese webpages and highlight the words that you don't understand (and of course, add them to a flashcard list).
Second is the e-reader function. Wakaru serves as an e-reader for books from Aozora Bunko, which is a free online book site similar to Project Gutenberg. For advanced learners who want to try their hand at older Japanese books and other things, this is an excellent feature.
Lastly is imiwa. This is a standard Japanese learning application with a lot of the same features that make the other two mentioned here great. One thing that makes it stand out, however, is the Examples dictionary. With this you can easily look up words and get a lot of example sentences that help you understand their meaning and usage more easily.
Learning Japanese can be a challenge, but there are plenty of tools out there to help you out. These are just a few of the many great study programs available for iOS, and they're sure to make your studies as pain-free as possible.
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(price as of Jun 25, 2013)