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Wakaru - Learn Japanese by reading

By Miho Matsuoka

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Wakaru is a powerful study aid, exclusively created for learners of the Japanese language.

Wakaru is equipped with a fully functional WEB BROWSER and an EBOOK READER. It can help to make reading and deciphering Japanese text with its robust search algorithm, enabling you to lookup any word simply by touching and highlighting them. An elegant pop-up displaying the readings as well as the definitions appear without interrupting your flow of reading. You can also save words and review them later with the built-in flashcards module.
The ebook reader is versatile and allows vertical and horizontal direction of Japanese text layout, various font sizes, customisable text, background colours and textures as well as proper support for Ruby annotations to display furigana for documents that provide them.
Wakaru comes built-in with the following dictionaries:

•Japanese-English Dictionary (165,000 entries)

•Japanese-French Dictionary (15,000 entries)

•Japanese Proper Names Dictionary (700,000 entries)

The built-in iOS Dictionary can be accessed directly from the app. In addition to that, you can also make cross references in several web dictionaries, namely:

•Google Translate

•Goo jisho


You can also jump into a wide range of other popular external dictionary applications directly from Wakaru, making full use of other dictionaries you own. Wakaru currently supports:






•ウィズダム英和・和英辞典 (Wisdom)

•ウィズダム英和・和英辞典 2 (Wisdom 2)




•大辞林 (Daijirin)



Wakaru is integrated with two online Japanese libraries, Aozora Bunko and Hoshizora Bunko, allowing you to browse and download over a total of 18,000 free Japanese ebooks directly from the app. These ebooks can be sorted according to their kanji difficulty level to help you find text adapted to your Japanese level. You may also import your own text documents via copy and paste, through iTunes sharing or by downloading directly into the app using the built-in browser.

The ebook module is also be upgradable to open PDF documents via in-app purchase for only $3.99.

Video demo:
Retina display for iPhone (including iPhone 5) and iPad is supported.

Wakaru is rated 17+ simply because the built-in browser has unrestricted access to the Internet.
Wakaru uses the JMDICT ( and JMnedict dictionary files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group (, and are used in conformance with the Group's license (

What's New in Version 2.4.6

Fixed bug preventing the deletion of ebooks

Corrected bug related to improper display of preference menu when taping on appearance button
Text selection is not cleared after dictionary panel is dismissed when autolookup is enabled
Added an option to short tap duration for text selection


iPhone Screenshot 1
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Customer Reviews

One of my TOP 3 tools for learning Japanese and...

Wakaru is vital for my work in Japan. As a staff person at a local city Board of Education office, it's helpful to read PDFs and articles online in Japanese about teaching English in Japan. Using the Wakaru app for these reading tasks makes it possible. The main app and optional PDF reader have long ago paid for themselves by saving me time and making many Japanese articles and documents accessible to me. It's a definite 5-star app, and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see dramatic improvement in their 日本語 reading skills and understanding.

Does not work well with imported PDFs

I paid for the full version, and then about 30 minutes into reading an imported PDF, the app prompts me to pay another 3.99. Annoyed, I paid the fee. However, there are so many words in the PDF that say "not found!" when I try to retrieve the definition.

Also, when trying to turn the pages, it is almost impossible. I understand that the text goes from right to left, but the next page motion just doesn't work. Also, there are no page numbers on the thumbnail view, so whenever I turn the page, it is difficult to find the exact page I was on before.

Works all right with the books that come with it, but not well with imported PDFs.

Great app for reading Japanese

I'm really liking this app. It comes loaded with some good stories so you can get started without much hassle. The ebook reader is great and the web browser is pretty good too. Looking up words and saving them for later study is pretty smooth. Using this app has made my iPhone and iPad into a fun, effective tool for studying Japanese.

Wakaru - Learn Japanese by reading
View In iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $6.99
  • Category: Reference
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.4.6
  • Size: 154 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application.
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Top In-App Purchases

  1. PDF Support$3.99