How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

Resources

May 17, 2021 — Tatsumoto Ren

This is the Ajatt-Tools Resources List. With the help of our community we've gathered the links to help you in your Japanese studies. We prioritize libre software and content that you can download for free. Everyone is welcome to suggest more resources in our chat.

The third party resources below may contain what Tatsumoto considers to be ineffective language learning advice. If you find something that contradicts what's written in this guide, assume it's wrong or verify by asking people in our chat.


Basics

Kana

Main article: Learning kana in two days

Kanji

Main article: Learning Kanji

Anki decks

Main article: Basic vocabulary

You typically only need one deck to teach you basic vocabulary. All other decks that you download should go in your sentence bank profile.

Grammar

Main article: Learning grammar

JLPT

Examples and pronunciations

Sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where you want to add a word to your SRS but the example sentence you've found the word in is too complicated, or you've lost it because you forgot to save it. In such cases sites with example sentences come to rescue.

Immersion material

Don't use streaming sites and sites for reading manga online if possible. Always download what you consume. Storing immersion material locally makes mining substantially easier.

Can't decide what to immerse in? Explore Japanese Media Recommendations.

Torrent trackers

A torrent tracker is a site that hosts user-uploaded torrent files. To download something (like an anime) using torrents you usually download a torrent file and open it with a torrent client. The torrent client then downloads the actual content. Before using the torrent sites, choose a torrent client.

  • Nyaa. A torrent site with anime, manga, light novels and Japanese dramas. Contains 98% of what you need to actually learn Japanese.

    Unfortunately, Nyaa is blocked in some countries. Accessing it through Tor can be difficult due to DDOS protection. If you can't access the site, use a mirror.

    Available mirrors:

    1. Nyaa ISS.
    2. Nyaa Land.
    3. https://nyaa.mrunblock.bond/
    4. https://nyaa.unblockninja.com/
  • Tokyo Toshokan. A BitTorrent library for Japanese media.

  • Rutracker. Another torrent site. Has lots of Japanese movies, dramas and anime. Ongoing anime gets uploaded with a noticeable delay. Refer to Nyaa first if you watch ongoings.

    This site can be accessed through Tor.

  • Animebytes. A private tracker. Offers content similar to what you find on Nyaa ISS.

  • AvistaZ. A private tracker for Asian movies and TV-shows.

  • AsianCinema.Me. Asian private tracker for Movies only.

  • JPTVTS.US. A private tracker for Japanese content only.

  • JPTV.CLUB. Another private tracker. You can join if you have accounts on other private trackers. Here you can find Japanese TV programs. Most uploads contain Japanese subs straight from the broadcast. It's nice to have them for mining sentences.

  • anisource. An aggregate site for high quality raws from Raws-4U, スカー Raws and Leopard-Raws.

  • Private trackers. Everything else I didn't mention.

Streaming

  • Animelon. Watch anime with Japanese subtitles.
  • Anjsub. A site similar to Animelon.
  • B9GOOD. Watch raw anime online.
  • Aniwatch. Another anime streaming site. You can switch between audio and subtitle tracks in multiple languages.
  • Animerulz. An Anime Streaming Website that Streams anime in many languages like Japanese, English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil.
  • AQStream. Watch Japanese TV.
  • BiliBili. A Chinese website with a bunch of TV shows.
  • jp.m3u. A m3u playlist with Japanese IPTV channels which you can open in mpv. You can switch channels in mpv by pressing < and >.
  • News24.jp. Lets you watch a live stream with news, but you have to allow to run an obscene amount of nonfree JavaScript code. To avoid running nonfree JS, watch the stream in mpv by creating a desktop shortcut.
  • keylabo. Similarly to News24, lists a number of channels you can watch online. Unfortunately, not all of them can be opened in mpv.

YouTube with subtitles

Main article: Immersion with YouTube

Channels for pre-beginner Japanese learners.

Regular channels.

Important: install Privacy Redirect or LibRedirect to safely watch YouTube videos via Invidious.

TikTok

You can watch videos from TikTok via ProxiTok. Browser add-ons like LibRedirect can automatically redirect from tiktok.com to a chosen ProxiTok instance. Public instances are listed here.

Find Japanese videos by tags, for example: tiktokでニュース

Browsing will lead you to more tags.

Downloads

Drama

Manga

  • Torrent sites. Explore them first.

  • 少年マンガのパンツ カウンター. This site can be used to search for manga recommendations. For each series covered, the author notes the number of pages that depict panties. The site doesn't offer download links. When you find a manga you want to read, look it up on torrent sites.

  • Reader Store. Adult manga catalog.

  • nhentai. For a bit of light reading. Many mangas on the site are just 25-30 pages long, which is perfect for beginners who can't bear long reading sessions yet.

    Translations are also available. Make sure to only search in Japanese.

    The site is behind CloudFlare. Since CloudFlare is known to be a type of MITM attack, accessing this site maybe dangerous. I often can't access it at all because it shows a banner saying Checking if the site connection is secure that never disappears.

  • Bilingualmanga. Bilingual manga reader where you can switch from English to Japanese with furigana.

  • Raw Senmanga. View raw manga online.

    • Make sure you disable JavaScript before opening the site.
    • Don't click on any Discord links.
  • Manga-zip. Manga archive.

  • MANGA ZIP. A site that hosts download links to manga and novels.

  • Rawdevart. Raw manga online.

  • 同人あんてな. Free eromanga and doujinshi.

  • raw-cans. This website has scans of a lot of manga, as well as shounen jump, young jump and other manga magazines.

  • Itazuraneko 漫画.

  • shinmoemanga.

  • Manga Raw. Read manga online.

  • MIKARAW. Read manga online.

    • The site does not work with JavaScript disabled.
  • マンガ図書館Z. Manga library. Read manga for free.

  • となりのヤングジャンプ. A site where you can read manga online.

  • DLRAW. Raw manga archived as zip and rar files.

  • RAWKUMA. Like Senmanga, hosts manga online.

    • The site does not work with JavaScript disabled.
    • Don't click on any Discord links.
  • Manga on 千手柱間

Books

Audiobooks

Podcasts

Visual Novels and Games

There's a list of visual novels on Arch Wiki. Beware that most games that exist today are proprietary. Proprietary software should not exist and should not be used if you want to have freedom.

Japanese boards

You may need a Japanese IP address for some of these.

Japanese subtitles

See also: Mining from movies and TV-shows and Retiming subtitles.

Fonts

Software

Recommendations

General

  • LibreWolf. A web browser based on Firefox that comes with an Ad Block by default.

    I recommend getting LibreWolf from Chaotic or from archlinuxcn so that you don't have to build it yourself, but you can also get it from the AUR.

    Additionally, there's pyllyukko user.js to harden the configuration. Before installing I recommend reading the user.js and commenting out the settings you don't need because no user.js can suit everybody's needs unmodified.

  • Anki A free/libre flashcard application.

  • Trackma. Track your immersion on one of the supported sites.

Localization

Morphological analysis

Productivity

Main article: Timeboxing

  • tatsumato. Tatsumoto's Pomodoro timer.
  • potato. A pomodoro timer for the shell.
  • pomodoro. A simple dmenu pomodoro timer tool.

Image viewers

  • nsxiv An image viewer perfect for reading manga. Arch Linux package.
  • sxiv-manga-reader. Simple manga reader made from a patched nsxiv. It extracts archives for you and opens them automatically with sxiv. It keeps your progress.
  • Gomicsv. A very fast manga reader that can read zip/cbz files directly. It has a lot of features, like double-page mode and smart resizing to make the manga fit on your screen.

Work with subtitles

  • subs2srs. Takes video files and subtitle files and creates cards with screenshots and/or audio for each line in the sub file. Useful for batch extracting audio from videos.
  • subtitleedit. A subtitle editor. It can convert image-based subtitles (.sup, .sub) to text-based (.srt) via an OCR engine such as Tesseract.
  • pyTranscriber. A GUI program for generating subtitles using Google Speech Recognition. You can use it to generate subtitles for video files that don't have any subtitles or for audiobooks. The produced subs will contain errors due to the nature of speech recognition.
  • kitsunekko-tools. A set of scripts for creating a local kitsunekko mirror.

OCR for manga

Main article: Mining from manga

Optical character recognition (OCR) tools convert text in manga into a digital form.

  • transformers-ocr. A powerful tool for mining from manga. Press a configured keyboard shortcut and select the portion of the manga page to convert. The text is then recognized and copied to the clipboard. This makes it easy to look up words with Rikaitan Search.
  • mokuro. Can be used to OCR Japanese text instead of Tesseract.
  • Poricom. Manga OCR desktop application.
  • kanjitomo. An OCR program written in Java. Note that you can't use Japanese to Japanese dictionaries with it.

Reading eBooks

Main article Reading books

  • crqt-ng. E-book reader. AUR package.

    After installation open Settings, go to "Styles" and set "Default font" to your Japanese font of choice to avoid Chinese fallbacks. Yu Mincho worked for me. Japanese Noto fonts did not, some text was still in Chinese. On the "Page" tab you can choose View Mode. I have it set to "Scroll View". On the "Window" tab you can tell the program to apply your kvantum theme. crqt-ng can automatically copy selected text to the clipboard, which is handy when using Rikaitan Search. To enable the feature, under the "Window" tab check "automatically copy when selected."

    To add a bookmark, select some text and press Ctrl+B. To view saved bookmarks, press F6.

  • Foliate. A simple and modern eBook viewer. Arch Linux package.

    If you can't open books, run the chmod command from their issue tracker. In Preferences, set "When a word is selected" to "Copy" and "When multiple words are selected" to "Copy". This should be enough to comfortably use Foliate with Rikaitan Search. Change Layout to "Scrolled" in Advanced section of the menu to prevent lags and ensure a consistent layout.

    Use keyboard shortcuts, "n" to go to the next page and "p" to go to the previous page. To scroll without the mouse, press "j" and "k".

  • KOreader. KOreader is a book reader application that was designed to be used on E-ink devices, but it can also be used on a PC. It properly displays furigana.

    The best way to install it is to use the appimage AUR package Alternatively, the koreader-bin AUR package can be used, but it may not work for everyone.

    This app supports StarDict dictionaries. You can download the dictionaries from here, or you can use your own dictionaries, converting them to the StarDict format with PyGlossary. The dictionaries should be placed in ~/.config/koreader/data/dict if you're on GNU/Linux. Refer to the Wiki for other platforms.

    Under "Font" check "Enable system fonts" (the checkbox is at the beginning of the font list) to have access to your Japanese fonts. Then in document settings set the font to Noto Serif CJK JP or a similar Japanese font.

    If you want to create Anki cards, install Anki plugin for KOreader.

  • Zathura. A minimalistic document viewer. Can be used to read novels. Doesn't display furigana correctly.

  • calibre. Ebook management application. This program is primarily used to convert from various formats (including azw3) to epub. It's not very good as a reader app.

MPV

mpv is the best video player for language learning.

Make Anki cards in mpv:

mpd

With mpd you can listen to condensed audio, audiobooks and Japanese music.

Torrent clients

  • qBittorrent. A free/libre torrent client alternative to µTorrent. Use search plugins, they save you so much time that you'd otherwise spend going to each torrent site individually.
  • KTorrent. A BitTorrent client for KDE.
  • Transmission. A light-weight and cross-platform BitTorrent client. See transmission-gtk.

Downloading

  • yt-dlp. A command-line program that lets you download videos and audio from YouTube and more than a thousand other sites.

  • mangadesk. Download manga directly from your terminal.

  • HakuNeko. A cross-platform downloader for manga and anime from various websites.

  • Megatools. A command line client for Mega.

Subtitle retiming

Tools for condensing audio

  • impd. Create condensed audio and automatically rotate your mpd playlist.
  • subs2cia

Tools for extracting audio

Android software

Note: Please read our recommendations regarding using an Android device.

General

  • Mozc for Android. A Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) for typing Japanese text on a phone.
  • AnkiDroid. A free/libre flashcard application, Android version.
  • AnkiConnect for Android. A program that helps create Anki cards on Android. Probably not needed because AnkiDroid has AnkiDroid API.
  • SimplyTranslate Mobile. An alternative front-end to Google Translate.

Manga readers

  • Tachiyomi. Free/libre manga reader for Android.
  • Mihon (mihon.app) is a successor to Tachiyomi. Not in F-Droid.
  • tachiyomiJ2K is a fork of Tachiyomi. Not in F-Droid.
  • OCR Manga Reader. Android Manga reader with Japanese OCR and dictionary capabilities. Supports EPWING monolingual dictionaries.

Book readers

  • Librera Reader. App for reading books. Was recommended in ラノベスレ.
  • KOreader. A book reader.
  • Typhon Reader. An EPUB reader for Android that lets you look up words as you read, similarly to Rikaitan. Also supports EPWING dictionaries.

Video players

  • mpv for Android. See the mpv section.
  • VLC. A fast and user-friendly video player for Android.
  • Jidoujisho. A mobile video player tailored for Japanese language learners.
  • CloudStream. Lets you stream and download anime.

Audio players

Audio players are used to play locally stored audio files. Although their primary purpose is to play music, for language learning a better choice would be to listen to audiobooks, podcasts or audio extracted from movies and TV shows.

All available players are listed on F-Droid catalog.

Dictionaries

Offline

Online dictionaries

Android

Something else

Epistularum's Converted Dictionary Collection. Dictionary files. Stardict files are meant to be used with KOreader, Mdict with GoldenDict.

Sentence banks

Main article: Cross Profile Search And Import

Any Anki decks with voiced sentences can be used to build a sentence bank. Most decks linked below are made with subs2srs.

Translators

The quality of machine translation is very low. Your goal is not to translate Japanese but to be able to understand it the first time. Don't use translators for anything serious. You've been warned.

Pronunciation and Pitch accent

Past-beginner

Grammar in Japanese

Kanken (漢字検定)

Language guides

AJATT

How to learn Japanese on your own, having fun and to fluency. Should I read the AJATT site?

Notable articles:

Anti-features:

  • Includes links to the Amazon website. Amazon is known for spying on and politically suppressing its users.
  • Contains outdated information.
  • Talks about MCD, which is a flashcard format that hasn't received much adoption over the years due to being too difficult and complicated.
  • Advertises unnecessary paid products.
  • Tries to harvest Email addresses.

Epub book version: link.

Itazuraneko

A collection of guides for those interested in learning Japanese.

Anti-features:

  • Includes links to non-free software, non-free games.
  • Includes links to Discord servers. Discord is known for spying on and politically suppressing its users.
  • Contains outdated information.

Antimoon

A site on how to learn English. Made by Poles who learned English to native-level fluency. What they used to learn English can be applied for learning any other language, including Japanese.

Notable articles:

Misc

Tags: guide