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Japanese learning apps
For English-Japanese dictionaries, it mostly just comes down to preference in UI, as most of them (especially the good ones) get their raw data from the same source, namely the JMDict, EDICT, and KANJIDIC dictionary files.
Here are a few choices I know people to use:
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.takoboto
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ric.Jsho
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.craxic.akebifree
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.renzo.japanese
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.umibouzu.jed
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cnd.jdict
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.makimono.dictionary (this one is Japanese-English-French-German-Spanish-Portuguese-Russian, but I've never used it personally, so idk how good it is for all those languages)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.space.japanese
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tangorin.app
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joericharduz.akita
Now for Japanese-Japanese dictionaries, which you'll want to start using ASAP, things are a bit trickier. They're usually (always?) not free. They're also not very widely compatible, so check that they'll work on your device before you buy!
Also, unfortunately, all the good ones seem to be made for iPhone. As a result, I don't actually use any of these dictionary apps. I use web-based ones (https://ejje.weblio.jp/ or https://kotobank.jp/ or https://eow.alc.co.jp/ or https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ or https://www.sanseido.biz/ or https://dic.yahoo.co.jp/ or whatever else)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.ne.biglobe.sankoku7.gp
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.naruhodo.imi (unavailable in my country, so I don't know much about it)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.logovista.dic.browser
(Also worth checking out whatever else http://www.logovista.co.jp/LVERP/top/Default.aspx and http://manabi.biglobe.ne.jp/ offer)
You can also find topic-specific dictionaries, which can be useful (food, beer, sushi, etc).
For Kanji-specific study, here are some apps I like.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tr.xip.wanikani is a fan-made app client for https://www.wanikani.com/ which is my favourite kanji-learning tool. I don't actually use this particular mobile app for it, as I use another app that has since been discontinued (but still works fine, so I use it). *WK for WaniKani* itself is free, but WaniKani itself is not. (Also, if you don't like this app, the in-browser version of wanikani works just fine on mobile)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.gakkonet.quizninjategakikanjidrill is an app designed for Japanese schoolkids to practice writing kanji. It's far from perfect, but it's all in Japanese (which is a plus, IMO), and can be nice for revealing just how bad you are at remembering how to write! (NB: I don't recommend putting a lot of effort into learning to write kanji, especially during the early stages. But if it's in line with your language goals, or it really helps you remember them, or you just find it fun, then go right ahead! ^_^ )
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inkren.skritter.japanese is a (non-free) kanji writing SRS app. I've always found it too expensive for my tastes, and too textbook-oriented, but it's a quality service if you have a list of kanji (e.g. from a textbook) that you really need to remember how to write.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.rodriguez.kanjisenpai.android
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mindtwisted.kanjistudy
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kanjirenshuu.license
I also advocate learning phrases from phrasebooks, especially early on. Here are some apps with phrases.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bravolang.japanese
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.japanactivator.android.jasensei&hl=en (The phrasebook in this is actually a minor feature compared to everything else that it has. Fairly comprehensive app, iirc)
Ameba ( https://www.ameba.jp/ ) is a Japanese blogging platform. I have never used it myself, but I know people who have. There is an app, of course ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.ameba ).
NHK's *News Web EASY* ( http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/ ) is their news portal for children, and a really good way of getting into reading/listening to real Japanese. There's a few unofficial apps for it, none of which are great, but perhaps worth your time.
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aovill.language.e2l.ejn
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ilikeblues.nhk.easyNewsReader
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.github.nekotachi.easynews
Human Japanese is a full digital textbook experience. It's pretty good, from what I've seen of it, and I know lots of people who have used it. It has a free lite version, as well as a paid full version. Both are available on pretty much any platform, but the android apps are here:
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.braksoftware.HumanJapaneseLite (lite)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.braksoftware.HumanJapanese (full)
The creators of Human Japanese have also made a neat Japanese reading site called Satori Reader ( https://www.satorireader.com/ ) that is definitely worth checking out. No app, tho.
Obenkyo ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Obenkyo ) is an app with a fairly good set of quizzes for kana, kanji, vobab, and even particles. It even has a bunch of grammar explanations. Fugly as buttholes tho, iirc.
There's a whole bunch of language exchange apps, few of which I've tried and none of which I've stuck with, but they're really great resources for some people. Some of the more popular ones are:
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sg.creatella.bilingua
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hellotalk
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hellopal.android
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.tandem
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appli.speaky.com
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.idyoma.idyoma
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.italki.app
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fztech.teacher.funchat
HiNative ( https://hinative.com/ ) is primarily a language-based question-asking platform, and a really good way to ask natives etc how to say stuff, etc. The same developers also created Lang-8 ( https://www.lang-8.com/ ), which sadly seems to have been left by the wayside. The HiNative app can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lang8.hinative
I mentioned Lingodeer before as a great app for staring Japanese. The developers are wonderfully responsive and experienced, and it shows. Click: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lingodeer (Don't tell anyone that I told you, but they're also working on adding Vietnamese, which will be sweet! ^_^ )
Anki ( https://apps.ankiweb.net/ ) is the premier SRS flashcard program, and AnkiDroid ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ichi2.anki ) is an open source Android version that works pretty damn well. If you're not using Anki, then I highly doubt you're learning as effectively as you could be. Don't be scared off by the UI, it's worth the time it takes to learn the tool. :)
Rosetta Stone cops a lot of flack for being an overpriced piece of junk, but except for the price thing (their courses are deffo expensive), they're actually pretty good. They're probably better for other languages than for Japanese, but still worth considering. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.rosettastone.mobile.CoursePlayer
There's a bunch of audio courses available, some of which have apps that are worth a damn *and* have Japanese. The only ones I can speak for are:
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rocketlanguages.app
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.innovativelanguage.innovativelanguage101 (this is the app for the JapanesePod101 podcast series)
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.earworms.japaneseversionone this isn't so much an audio *course* as it is an audio phrasebook. BUT! the Earworm series is based on an awesome piece of science that I haven't seen used much: the Earworm effect (for more info, read http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/5755/1/earworms_write-upBJP.pdf ). I haven't actually used their Japanese stuff, but I've used it for French, and it was highly effective. Also, iirc the app was kinda garbage, so I recommend just buying the MP3 from their website ( http://earwormslearning.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=104 )
iKnow (https://iknow.jp/) is a really well made tool to help learn the 6000 most common Japanese words. It has audio, sentences, and multi-faceted testing. Highly recommended, if not free. App click: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cerego.iknow
Beelinguapp is an app that lets you read stories in your target language while listening to audio of it. It has at least a few stories in Japanese, and it's a great tool. App click: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.david.android.languageswitch
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If you're using Genki (especially if you're doing it in a class), there's a neat app to help you study the vocab. It's not free, and I've not used it myself, but it looks polished, and I've heard good things. App click: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.japantimes.genkivocab&hl=en
For more audio stuff, this app has JLPT-style listening quizzes, and is worth spending some time with: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ohayou.japanese
Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese ( http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/ ) is a fantastic free resource, and one of the most commonly cited by people self-studying on the internet. There's an an app that has most of the content: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alexisblaze.japanese_grammar&hl=en
While I'm at it: There's no app for Imabi, but as the *other* highly cited free Japanese grammar resource, I'd be amiss not to mention it. Warning, verbose technicality inbound: http://www.imabi.net/
A new addition that has been *sorely* needed is Tangoristo ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tangoristo ), which is a fantastic reading app. Unlike several Chinese-learning apps that come to mind, this one doesn't write its own material, and merely processes existing native material (including the previously mentioned NHK News Web EASY), which means that the content isn't quite as learner-friendly as it *could* be, but it's a great step in the right direction. :)
An app that I haven't tried yet, but it looks very promising: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.binarystudio.easyjapanese
Aaaand that's it for now. As you can see, I started out trying to put things into categories, but kinda got tired of that, so it's just a jumbled mess for now. I've also definitely missed a whole bunch of stuff, but that can be fixed later.
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