In a recent post, I showed a screenshot of my iPhone, and I got some interested comments about the apps I use. So, I wanted to post a list of apps I regular use for Japanese and for Korean studies. This was inspired in part by a helpful tip from a reader, but also based on some experience in the past year or two.
The apps listed here are the ones I used regularly. I’ve purchased or downloaded other apps in the past, but they didn’t meet my needs, so they are not listed. These are the ones that have “passed the acid test”. If you have other apps you recommend, don’t hesitate to update the comments section below.
I used to have a number of JLPT-focused apps on my iPhone, but over time I found them all generally useless in one way or another. The apps were nice, but were purely for passing the exam, and not for actually learning the language (which was the whole point of the exam), so these are the two apps I still use very frequently.
- Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese – A must-have app for the serious Japanese language student. This is the iPhone app version of Tae Kim’s helpful website, and very useful when you’re studying somewhere with a bad connection.
- Naver’s English-Japanese dictionary – Ironically made by a Korean company, this is the best English-Japanese dictionary I could find. I particularly like the practical example sentences.
Unlike Japanese, I haven’t found a iPhone-friendly guide to Korean language with the same level of thoroughness as Tae Kim’s site on Japanese. I do recommend Park’s excellent Korean Language Guide for web-browsers though. Still, I’ve found a couple helpful apps and dictionaries I wanted to share. I’ve seen other “word banks” and such, but I was hoping for something more in-depth.
- Naver Web Portal – Naver is a big company in Korea that has email services, dictionaries and its own search engine. This app is a good way to get exposure to Korean, but also it comes with 3 useful dictionaries (Korean to English, Korean to Japanese, Hanja dictionary). If you’re new to Korean, look for 사전 (dictionary) or 영어사전 (English dictionary) and you’ll be fine.
- Daum Web Portal – Daum is a rival web company like Naver. I like it’s dictionary because it’s all in one. If you look up word, it will provide translations in English, Japanese, etc. However, the one annoyance I have is the ad banners, and the “cuter” interface. Where Naver looks more professional, Daum looks like it is geared toward younger audiences.
For Language Studies in General
Last by not least….
- Anki Mobile – This SRS (spaced repition service?) tool is still the supreme tool for learning a language, or memorzing things in general. I’ve used it first for Japanese, and later for Korean and Latin. It works well on my phone, and can be sync’ed with my deck on other computers as well.
So that’s a brief list. I’m sure there are other apps out there and I am certainly open to recommendations, even non-free ones.