Learning Japanese?  Have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad?  Then you have to check out this app!  Kotoba! is one of the best electronic dictionaries I’ve ever come across – scratch that, it’s possibly the best overall app that I’ve ever come across.  I use it almost every single day and it’s helped me tremendously with my Japanese.


  • Look up words in either Japanese or English
  • Look up a word using Kanji (make sure to install the Traditional Chinese keyboard on your device), kana, or Romaji (yes, even Romaji!)
  • In each entry, you get the reading, the part of speech, the major conjugations (if it’s a verb), the type of adjective (い- or な-), example sentences, and Kanji decomposition.
  • If it’s a verb you can view the following conjugations:  present/future tense, past tense, continuative/て-form, presumptive, past presumptive, provisional, conditional, and alternative forms.
  • If it’s a compound word, you can click on the individual Kanji and get 音読み (onyomi) and 訓読み (kunyomi) readings IN ADDITION to pinyin and Korean readings!
  • MY FAVORITE FEATURE:  Animations of Kanji stroke order!  I love using this to learn how to write new Kanji!
  • Search for Kanji based on reading, Korean, pinyin, meaning, or Chinese radical
  • View Kanji compounds, stroke count, JLPT level
  • Browse JLPT Kanji
  • Browse Japanese “school grade” Kanji (that is, the Kanji that Japanese students learn at each grade level)
  • Does not require internet

And the best thing about this app is that it is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY FREE. Yes, you read that right.  It’s unbelievable.  I’ve seen super-expensive apps and electronic dictionaries that can’t do half of the things this app does.

For more information and screenshots, check out the official website.

Like what you see?  Download from iTunes.

Seriously people, this app is a dream come true.

2 thoughts on “Kotoba!

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