Top 5 Most Effective and Useful Japanese Dictionary Apps! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
japanese dictionary app

Top 5 Most Effective and Useful Japanese Dictionary Apps!

By Steffie Josephine Aug 25, 2018

When learning Japanese to study or travel to the Sakura country, it’s useful to have some basic Japanese ability. More importantly, we need to translate Japanese words which surely requires a dictionary. A dictionary helps people find the meaning of words that were not previously known. Although most people are familiar with hard copy dictionaries, there are also several dictionary apps. This time, I will introduce 5 of the most effective and useful dictionary apps to expand your vocabulary that are easy to download onto your smartphone or computer.

  1. FluentU

FluentU is not just a dictionary. Users of the app can also learn about Japan’s culture and daily activities by watching videos. From these videos, users will gain vocabulary in an authentic context. Users looking for real-world videos will enjoy this unique way of learning.

More specifically, each video shows a conversation on one topic and users can follow along with the available translation. We can also test ourselves after watching the videos by taking a mini-quiz. By using this real-world study method, users can expect to remember vocabulary more easily. This way of learning will certainly be more fun than learning Japanese in the classroom, which only makes people sleepy.

The app is not only for the Japanese language: FluentU also offers other languages such as Chinese, Spanish, German, and many more.

This app can be downloaded by iPhone users, but unfortunately, Android users currently don’t have access to the app. Don’t be sad though, you still can access this app through the website:

2. Imiwa

Imiwa is an app that allow users to search for the meaning of Japanese Kanji, Kana, and Romaji. The meaning is also explained through sentences with furigana. So, users will be more accustomed to choosing words used in daily life. Not only that, users are also able to listen to an appropriate pronunciation of the words. The other features in this app, are conjunctions, verbs, and also a notebook where you can keep favorite words from users, and many more. Another feature that becomes the mainstay of this Japanese dictionary application is Kanji. Users can write Kanji from the touch screen on their phones to find the meaning of the word. Then Imiwa will give some words related to the Kanji. Users can learn to write Kanji in this app.

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

  1. Zkanji

If you want to learn Japanese on your pc, there is a cool application we can recommend. Zkanji is a Japanese language study tool and kanji dictionary for Windows. Zkanji is able to translate 210.000 Kanji words. This app also provides various interesting learning systems, including Japanese dictionaries, Animation Kanji, Japanese Characters, and Kanji Vocabulary. Also, this app has several kanji look-up methods, optional example sentences for many words, vocabulary printing, and for those of you learning JLPT, this app also indicates the words and kanji for all N levels, and a spaced-repetition system for studying and more. I recommend you this cool Kanji dictionary app to master your kanji ability!

You can download the app from

  1. Yomiwa

Still related to kanji, yomiwa is an application to translate kanji language words. The advantage of this app is, users can take various pictures directly from the kanji words that they find in the street or anywhere else, or upload the pictures from their smartphone’s gallery. This app will translate the kanji word from the picture into English and show the furigana automatically. You can use up to 10 translations each day. Not only is it convenient, it means you won’t have any troubles reading kanji you haven’t learned yet if you download this application.

Available on iPhone and Android

  1. Takoboto

When you are in the middle of class and want to research a word, Takoboto is really practical and easy to use. I personally use this app.  Just like Imiwa, users are able to search words in Japanese using the words Kanji, Kana, and Romaji. Besides that, there are examples of phrases on how to use the words, how to write kanji, and the category of the words (noun, adjective, etc).

Available on iPhone and Android

Here are 5 dictionaries that I recommend and I think it’s the most effective way to expand new vocabulary in your Japanese language learning!