I’ve talked about some great apps for learning Japanese but that was years ago and technology has changed! I’ve been playing with a lot of apps recently and come across some goodies as well as re-discovered some classics.

The following list isn’t in any particular order, but each of them is very different from one another. When I’ve found similar apps I’ve selected the best one out of them (i.e the best dictionary app). I’ve tried all of these apps myself and tried to give a fair pros and cons list.

The following top 10 Japanese language android apps are just my opinion, if you have any apps you love or think are better feel free to share them on our Facebook Page.

Memrise – Flashcard Program

People who read this site know already how much I love Memrise. It’s a free community created flashcard program where you can study anything. There are lots of Japanese courses already made on there (including a large number by myself) or you can create your own flashcard decks (you can see how-to guide here)!

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps memrisePros

  • Free
  • Can make your own flashcard decks
  • Spaced repetition
  • Collect points as you learn (great for motivation)
  • Various topics (kanji, vocabulary, grammar etc) for all levels beginner to advance
  • Updates regularly and take people’s suggestions for improvement into account
  • Can use offline, online, on mobile and website


  • Community created means there’s often no set structure and badly made courses

Japanese Kanji Study – Kanji

I discovered this app recently and is the best app for learning Kanji. It motivates you to do at least 10 minutes a day and lets you study in your own way using a variety of methods. Click here for a full review of this app.

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps kanji study appPros

  • All N5-N1 kanji and covers hiragana and katakana
  • Practice kanji through flashcards, writing, and readings
  • All kanji has vocabulary lists, example sentences, how to write and radicals
  • Can learn radicals as well as kanji
  • Keeps track of days practiced, for how long and how long you’ve spent on each kanji
  • Free for beginner levels (kanas and N5)
  • Nice layout and easy to use


  • Pricey for N4-N1 levels (but I think worth it)
  • Teaches you all readings at all levels (even uncommon readings) – can be overwhelming for beginners

Simply Learn Japanese – Useful Phrases

This is a great little app that teaches you useful phrases for visiting Japan. It focuses on teaching you how to speak and listen rather than read so there’s no kanji and only hiragana, romaji and audio. It covers very basics (numbers, hiragana etc), traveller phrases, and advanced levels for people staying or living in Japan for a long time.

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps simply learn japaneseGreat for learning useful phrases, but not useful for teaching you how to make your own sentences.


  • Useful and natural phrases used in Japan
  • Uses hiragana, romaji, and audio for every item
  • Quizzes you on phrases
  • Can create custom favorites list


  • Have to pay for advanced levels
  • Doesn’t teach individual vocabulary, only long sentences
  • Doesn’t teach grammatical structures

JED – Japanese Dictionary

This is a great dictionary which you can use offline and even provides different language combinations (French-Japanese and Spanish-Japanese).


  • Can use offline
  • Can search using a variety of functions (English, romaji, kana, kanji, radicals)
  • Can tag words you might like to study later (can export to Google Docs and Anki)
  • Has example sentences
  • Breaks down vocabulary by kanji which you can use to look up kanji


  • If you don’t click on the word it won’t show up in your history
  • Tagging can be a bit tedious

Tae Kims’s Learning Japanese – Grammar

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps tae kim's grammarThis is like a condense text book on your phone and it’s great! The app was not developed by Tae Kim himself but uses his online lesson content so you have everything you need on your phone and don’t have to search via the internet.


  • Good grammar explanations
  • Good lesson structure
  • Gives you vocabulary list for each lesson
  • Gives you exercises for each lesson
  • Great for beginners and intermediate levels
  • Free


  • Will probably need to practice grammar elsewhere/with another resource to remember it


NHK Easy Japanese News – Reading

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps nhk easy japaneseThis is a fantastic app for intermediate and advanced levels to practice reading comprehension. It has real news articles from NHK with furigana over the kanji and well paces audio that you can listen to while reading.


  • Real news articles
  • Furigana with kanji (can also hide furigana)
  • Articles come with audio
  • Gives you Japanese definitions for vocabulary (improve comprehension more)
  • Great for intermediate levels (N4-N3)
  • Free


  • Not good for beginners
  • Gives Japanese definitions for vocabulary (again, not good for beginners)
  • Does not provide all vocabulary from text
  • Ads (unless you pay extra)

The team that developed this app have also made NHK News Reader with Furigana for more advance levels (N2-N1)

NHK Video News with Furigana – Reading and Listening

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps nhk news videoThis is practically the same as the NHK Easy Japanese News app but with real news articles and footage from the last few days. It updates regularly with new news and divides each news by categories (such as culture, science, politics etc)

Similar to NHK News Reader with Furigana, this is for more advance levels (N2-N1).


  • Real news articles
  • Furigana with kanji (can also hide furigana)
  • Articles come with videos
  • Great for advanced levels (N2-N1)
  • Free


  • No explanation for vocabulary
  • Ads (unless you pay extra)

Learning Japanese by sagetsang – Vocabulary

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps learning japaneseDesigned to teach you the kanas and JLPT vocabulary with levels N5-N2 free.


  • Levels N5-N2 Free
  • Includes beginner vocab by categories (food, colors etc)
  • Quizzes
  • Quizzes similar sounds – similar to how they will appear in JLPT (i.e たへます、だへます、たべます、だべます)
  • Marks words you got wrong in quizzes to quiz yourself again with


  • No flashcard type programming (learn through quizzes)
  • Really annoying ads (unless you pay)
  • Pay for Level N1

JLPT Words & JLPT Verbs – Vocabulary

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps jlpt wordsThese two apps are very similar to the last app but different enough that I felt it was ok to include them on this list. These apps are very simple programs that teach you vocabulary through quizzes letting you steam through about 100 vocabulary at a time and learning from your mistakes. I actually prefer these apps from the Learning Japanese because it suits my learning better.


  • JLPT N5-N4 free
  • Can combine different levels together (i.e go over N5 & N4 vocabulary at the same time)
  • Can progress of each level
  • Can test self using just kanji, kana or romaji
  • Also has a dictionary for looking up words


  • No flashcard type program (teaches you through trial and error quizzes)
  • Ads


Hello Talk – Talk to Natives

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps hello talkA language exchange app that connects you to natives of your target language in a WhatsApp type program where you can talk to language partners. One of the best ways to learn a language is just to use it to communicate with others and this app lets you type, read, speak and listen to Japanese natives.


  • Connect to native Japanese speakers (good way to make Japanese friends)
  • Can ask/answer community questions about English/Japanese
  • Can make notes for self
  • Make Tweet-like moments (which people can correct for you)
  • Comes with Google Translate type translator (not accurate but can be useful)
  • Can adjust what people know about you


  • Do have to help others with English
  • People on there aren’t teachers so even native answers might be wrong

It took me a while to go through these apps and try them before writing anything about them. A number of them I use regularly anyway, but I was also able to find some great new one! I also found a number I thought would be good but turned out to be rubbish -__-

If you have any apps you love or think are better feel free to share them on our Facebook Page.

Top 10 Japanese Language Android Apps
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