Pink Starhime
i bleed pink.


 So today I thought I would write about all the apps that I use for my iOS devices. For those of you who don’t know, this would be my iPhone/iPod/iPad devices. Some of these are free of charge to download and use, some are not. Although, I will have to say that the ones that you have to pay for, sometimes have a “lite” version that you can test for free, and decide if you like it or not. That is always useful! So here we go~

Let’s start with ones for iPhone. Keep in mind apps that are on your iPhone, you can also see on your iPad (if applicable, bear with me). Sometimes there are two versions, one for each. I’ll come back to this later, but my point is when I list apps for iPhone, you can still use them on your iPad but the quality is very low since it’s meant for a smaller screen. Also a little note: my iPod touch is 2nd generation, so these do not apply for my iPod. I think most iPhone apps you can also use on your newer iPod touches, but I am not 100% certain. Anyway without further ado!

iPhone Apps:

JapaneseJapanese: This is an app that is a paid app. For around $10* you can get this wicked awesome reference app. Your go-to source for looking things up and has so many other fun tools to use. So originally I bought this app because it was like a compressed pocket dictionary. I could type in anything in Japanese, or in English, and it would search to find what I was looking for. In the menu there are several tools. The first one is “All Entries” this is your search. Then it has the kana syllabaries listed, you can click these and it shows all the kana, and if you click on a particular one, it shows the stroke order. There is no audio though, just keep that in mind. It even has the odd forms like 「ふぃ」、「ふぉ」、etc. It has a history option, so you can see what you’ve been looking at. The vocab lists I haven’t gotten much chance to play with, but from what I  can tell it seems like a really handy tool to sort vocab that you want to study. There’s also a classification tab, so if you were looking for something specific, but don’t know how to type it, or not exactly sure what you’re looking for, these are categories such as “Anthroplogy”, “Computer”, “Colors”, “Medicine”, “Transportation”, etc. Handy tool to have for search. :) There’s a lexical category also, another handy tool for searching, these are for your nouns, verbs, adjectives. Last but definitely not least is the Study tool, for the JLPT test. It says at the top how many days until the next test, and then from there you can pick your level, and what you want to study. Over all this app is fantastic, I would say it’s definitely worth the $10* I paid for it! My rating: ★★★★★

Learning JapaneseTae KIm’s Learning Japanese: This app is a free* app. It has sooooo much information in it, I can’t begin to cover it all. It has tons and tons of lessons to learn from, and it’s really just so much information. It’s got lessons on the writing system, basic grammar lessons, essential grammar lessons, expressions, and some advanced topics. Since it’s free* you should just go see for yourself! It’s really a great learning app to have in your library. :) There’s not a whole lot I can go over, but I can say it’s a great resource to look into. My rating: ★★★★★


Japanese PhrasesJapanese Phrases and Lessons: This app is about $10, but again, has some really neat features. There is a FREE version of this that’s a lite version, if you want to check that out first. :D The main page has several things to choose from for study. Under the study card tab it has two choices: Study Cards, and Flash Cards. The study cards have all the information at once, the flash cards you have to flip over, which seems pretty self explanatory but I wrote it anyway. There are also progress bars on how well you have done with these. It goes into some depth too, so for example you were studying the kana, it doesn’t JUST do the kana, it does words using kana. Pretty helpful really. Back on the main page the next  tab is Lessons. These include an intro, the kana syllabaries, grammar, kanji, some stories, there’s a tab for other lessons that goes more in depth like using counters, family words, Keigo polite Japanese, and more. There’s even videos you can watch, but you need to have internet connection for that part. The next tab on the main page is quizzes. This is my favorite part. I love taking the quizzes to see how much I have learned. The only thing I don’t really like is that it’s multiple choice, so you can use the process of elimination to get your answer rather than just knowing it. But it’s still a great tool. This app DOES have audio files with it, so you can hear how things are supposed to sound. That’s a huge plus. The other two tabs are Study Bank, and oMise. The study bank is for words you have missed, and may not know as well and need to study. oMise requires internet connection, and when you click on it it’s just a bunch of ads really. :P That’s Japanese Phrases in a nutshell. My rating: ★★★★☆

KotobaKotoba!: Another great reference app. This app is free*! To be perfectly honest I haven’t had this app for very long. This has so much information in it, I don’t think I’ve even seen it all! So let’s start with the basics. At the bottom of the page when you open Kotoba! is a bar with some options. The first one is Dictionary. This is pretty obvious. Type it in, like you would in the Japanese app, and it gives you all the matches. When you type, for example, 「猫」the character for “cat”, it not only gives you the single kanji but also a HUGE list of compounds. Handy right? The next icon on the bar is Kanji. You click this one, and and there’s MORE options, a text-based search, SKIP (never used this, not sure what it is), multi-radical, JLPT levels, School grades in the Japanese educational system,  and by Chinese radicals. If you click on a kanji, it shows you the kanji, the meaning, the readings, a little animation of the stroke order, chinese pinyin (if you don’t know what this is, it’s best to google it), and even the korean. The meaning is given in English, French, Spanish, and Portugese. It tells you how many strokes the kanji has, which radicals it has, the components, which grade it would be, which level in the JLPT it would be, and then a list of compounds. But wait! That’s not all! It has Character sets (unicode 4.0 for example) and Query codes (not sure what this is), and External references (such as Japanese for Busy People, Heisigs, Tuttle Kanji Cards, etc. etc.). The next icon on the bar is for examples, you enter a search term, it gives you examples of that term in sentences or situations. The other two icons are lists (history/favorites) and then ・・・ more for about information. Overall, pretty awesome app for being free*! My rating: ★★★★★

Japanese Verb Conjugator FreeJapanese Verb Conjugator Free: This next one is also free*, as the name states. This is a pretty straightforward app. There’s not much overlap like there is for some of the others. This is a verb conjugator, and that’s pretty much all it does. However if you know anything about Japanese, that’s the one thing, at least for THIS girl, to get the hang of, and memorize. For me Japanese is pretty easy until you get to the verb conjugation, then I have a hard time remembering all the rules. Not only that but there seems to be like 25 ways to conjugate just ONE verb. There’s two little wheels. On the left there is the kanji, or the verb to conjugate. On the right side is the conjugation. So for 「会う」you can change it to 「会います」、「会いました」、「会いません」、「会いませんでした」、「会いましょう」、「会う」、「会った」、「会わない」、「会わなかった」、「会えば」、「会ったら」、「会われる」、「会わせる」、「合わせられる」、「会おう」、「会える」、「会え」、「会って」。That’s just one verb, crazy right? It tells you at the bottom which conjugation it is, past/polite, past/negative, etc. So that helps out a lot. I will admit it’s really difficult not to use this as a crutch to cheat on verb conjugations, but it’s still really nice to have it. Over all My rating: ★★★★★

J-grammarJ-Grammar: Another free* app. This one is pretty straightforward and basic, meaning it doesn’t really go into a lot of detail to get you to learn things. 「XはYです」X is Y. Pretty much… If you don’t already know some Japanese, this won’t be of much help to you I don’t think. It won’t give you much detail about why things are they way they are it just assumes you are taking it’s word for it. Not to say it’s not helpful, but going in blind would get you nowhere. This app is good if you know the basics, but need a reminder with out going through all those tutorials with text about WHY things are they way they are. My rating: ★★★☆☆


Learn Japanese with Japancast FreeLearn Japanese with Japancasts Free: This is a free* app as well. This app doesn’t really impress me all that much, but it DOES give you practice writing if you don’t have a pen/pencil handy. It is a bit hard to trace things on a touch screen and have nice smooth, fluid movements, but it does an okay job. Practicing writing by hand though is far superior than trying to trace it . But that’s just my opinion. My rating: ★★☆☆☆



iPad apps (these won’t work in any smaller devices, they are iPad only. Remember though sometimes there are versions for both but are listed separate.)

Human Japanese HDHuman Japanese HD: This app costs about $15*. This does have a lite version that is free to try, which I did before I purchased it. This has so much information in it. Not ONLY little lessons on Japanese, but culture lessons too! The guy who wrote this put more into it than just “Here’s the kana, now run with it!” which I appreciate a whole lot. He broke up the lessons with little cultural excerpts to break the monotony a little bit. Every time you click on something written in Japanese, there’s audio to go with it. After every lesson there’s two quiz options (usually). You can set it so it’s an English word and you have to pick the Japanese word from the choices, or the other way around. I like the vocabulary this program has to offer. This app is so warm and inviting compared to some of the others. Probably why it’s called “Human” Japanese. Even though I gave the other apps high ratings, this one really brings some personality to the table compared to some of the others. It would be like having a doctor come in and be all “Sit up. Stick out your tongue. Please take two daily. Call me.” compared something like this “Oh so how are we feeling today? Good, could you please sit up and breathe deeply. Good…” maybe that’s a bad comparison, but one is warm and inviting, the other is not as much. If you already know most of your lower level Japanese this is not the app for you. This is meant for beginners, maybe between beginner and intermediate later on. It has 40 chapters of lessons, not including all the cultural notes. I think it’s worth the cost. My rating: ★★★★★

JLPT 500JLPT 500: The real name for this is really long “Preparation Workbook for the JLP test N5-N4 500+ Sample Questions”. There are apps for higher levels that are the same kind of deal. There is also a lite version of this. The full version costs about $14*. This app has a lot to offer. Although I will say, you must absolutely already have knowledge in Japanese before you try this. My Japanese isn’t too good, so even I struggle sometimes with it. This app is so complicated, I don’t even think I can really explain it too well. It would really be best if you’re interested to just go DL the light version and try it out. Basically it asks you questions, in Japanese, and you pick from 4 answers the one that fits the blank. Even the instructions are in Japanese though so like I said, you have to have some knowledge or it will be really overwhelming. It’s a great study app though! Especially if you’re really hardcore about learning. So go check it out! My rating: ★★★★★


These are the best apps that I have found. There are TONS and TONS of Japanese learning apps, but these are the best ones that I have come across. I have several more that are fun little games, but are really not geared towards adults. They are fun none the less, but not as educational. I use all my phone apps on my iPad too, except perhaps a couple. :)  Thanks so much for reading my website! I hope you enjoyed my review. ありがとうございました!


*Prices are always subject to change, while it may be free now it might not be later. So keep this in mind.  ^_^

2 comments on 日本語のiOSのアプリケーション

  1. Jonathan
    01/03/2012 at 18:58

    I have the “Japanese” app as well and I although I think it’s one of the better apps, it does have a few faults. The biggest problem with it is that it has TOO many definitions. While this is great that you can type in a word and it comes up with many, many suggestions, the problem with that is often those words are esoteric and even Japanese people have a hard time understanding the meaning. That means it’s really difficult knowing what the proper Japanese word is. Works much better the opposite way around though.

    One thing you didn’t mention about it shows the conjugation of most of the verbs. Not all, but many. Very handy. Although it does use romanji and or hiragana you need to know a bi of kanji as well as it will often show the kanji but not show the hiragna if you look at a word in the conjugation list.

    There are at least 2 other programs that I would recommend. The first one is iKanji. This is a paid app (around $10) that basically teaches you all the kanji in the required levels of Japanese. It shows you the reading, meaning and stroke order and then tests you on those. It uses the spaced repetition model for testing. You can choose to learn which sets of kanji you wish to learn (JLPT1-JLPT4 or N1-N5) or by grades 1-6 and then high school or by jooyoo (I have no idea what that one is). Finally, you can also create your own set to practice.

    The next one is Ninja Words. The last time I checked, this app was free. It’s another kanji learning app but it’s free. While it doesn’t have all the kanji you need (very limited in fact) what it does is teach you to recognize the meanings of the kanji by playing a game. Lots of fun and KIDS really love it. However, it doesn’t teach you anything about the on or kun sounds which is unfortunate. Also the set of kanji seems rather small. Also, I find that it is only good for quick recognition within a certain set of kanji but does little for recognizing a kanji on it’s own. Still, it’s fun. If the other apps were able to combine their features with the fun of this one, it would be a best seller I think.

    Some other ones that I would mention are JLPT study, KanjiBox and Japanese Flip. Those ones LOOK good but although I downloaded them I find that I rarely even use them. Maybe they lack something like fun as they seem to have all the tools you need to learn stuff.

    • starhime
      01/03/2012 at 19:05

      Well said! Thanks so much for your input! :) I appreciate it a whole lot! I’m new at reviewing things, so I’m sure there are plenty of things I missed with the other ones too. XD


Leave a reply