iPhones Apps for Japanese/Korean studies

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.

Japanese Apps

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.

Korean Apps

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.

About Doug 陀愚

A Buddhist, Father and Japanophile / Koreaphile.
This entry was posted in Japanese, JLPT, Korean, Language, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to iPhones Apps for Japanese/Korean studies

  1. elfira says:

    Hello, I’ve been following your blog for a while and I enjoy your posts~ ^^
    I am learning Korean and my favorite app is Dongsa, an app to show you verb conjugations. I’m using the android version but they have one for iPhone too. :D

  2. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi Elfira and selamat datang (I noticed you were from Indonesia). Thanks for the tip. I’ve been looking for something like that! :)

  3. ArcticGirl says:

    I don’t have an iPhone, but have been playing with the thought lately… I’ve been using Skritter online earlier (excellent way to study kanji) and heard they have released an iPhone app. I actually started thinking about finally purchasing iPhone to get to use it, the reviews of this app are so good. And I already know Skritter is great.

    Turns out the Japanese version is still on Beta, the Chinese is finished, but it shouldn’t be too long now! Just a heads up for anyone looking for a kanji learning aid. :)

  4. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi ArcticGirl (great name, by the way),

    Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll take a look.

  5. yogahz says:

    My library (Sno-Isle) just offered the Mango language apps to card holders. It’s basic and assumes you know hangul but the PC version allows you to compare your vocalization with the native speaker (the iPod/iPhone app does not). Check if your library is part of this program (thank you library).


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