Please recommend a dictionary + flashcard app or combo

When I was a beginner Japanese student I used Anki a lot. For a while I hand-made thousands of cards, and also modified and tried to use some pre-made shared decks. But since switching to Wanikani (december 2020) my kanji and vocabulary acquisition speed has skyrocketed, not to mention retention rate, while taking up much less daily time.

By the way, I have always used the Android apps for both (AnkiDroid and Jakeipuu.) I have many reasons for that: I want to be able to SRS in any situation I may find myself with time to waste; I want not to have excuses not to review (picking up my phone takes a fraction of a second, while sitting in front of a PC takes a bit more organization); I actually want the “REVIEWS ARE DUE” notification to bug me all day long, wherever I may be; I want my SRS time to feel more like play than work (I work on computers, so sitting on there causes a mental shift for me); and so on. Whenever I have 30+ reviews due I use a bluetooth keyboard, otherwise the screen keyboard is ok.

Additionally, since WK level 1 I turned on the back to back option in the app I’m using, so that each review consists in 1) reading out loud the kanji or word, if I can; 2) typing in the reading; 3) typing in the meaning. This has worked wonders, compared to Anki (where there was no typing involved*) and so these are features that I now consider essential in any SRS language app.

(*) yes I know Anki has a builtin option for typing in the answer (only one though, while I need two per card) and that you can make cards with complex Javascript, but the entire process is too convoluted and fragile and the end result is way less polished than with a dedicated app. Not to mention I ended up disliking Anki’s algorithm. Maybe you can tune the dozens of parameters to approximate WK’s SRS curve, but I’d like to avoid that entire can of worms if I can.

In any case, I’m at a level now where I’m reading material (manga) and looking up words every few sentences. When it’s a word with kanji I haven’t seen yet, I just use the dictionary to read that sentence and move on. But when it’s an unknown word in kana or with kanji I know, I would like to input it into some kind of SRS to make sure I commit it to memory.

Therefore my question is: What combination of JP-EN dictionary and SRS app would you recommend that would allow me to:

  1. easily create a card from the dictionary entry (1 click or so, maybe choosing one meaning if it has more than one, but hopefully without manual copy-and-paste, which on mobile is cumbersome);
  2. have a SRS interface that requires writing the answers, both reading and meaning back-to-back;
  3. have a good SRS algorithm (unlike Anki’s default, which would inevitably smother me with hundreds of reviews until would I give up on it.)

I have looked into but discarded it because the dictionary-to-card function is too complicated (point 1 above); it does not make me type in the reading and meaning (point 2); the mobile interface looks like a second thought; and I have an issue with its learn / review queue interface (I got stuck between screens and couldn’t figure out how it works.)

Right now, my best bet is using AnkiDroid and the function that some dictionary apps have to export cards to it (such as Aedict3). But before I start using it again, which would entail wasting time trying to tune its parameters and probably give up on being able to type the answers in the cards, I thought I’d ask here for recommendations.

Does anybody have any good recommendation?

Yomichan (dictionary browser extension) has integration with Anki to create flashcards

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What about it is complicated? You search, you select the relevant definitions, you create a card. I’m asking because I avoided Anki for being overly complex and have found Kitsun to have a reasonable learning curve and experience. So I’m actually curious.


You can choose to type or flip the flashcards. Did you select the “default card” option in the dictionary? If so, cards look like this:

You won’t be able to type during lessons, because the point is for you to read the card’s information. Once you reach the Quiz/Review Stage, you are able to type by default. Maybe that’s where your issue is coming from?

The apps for iOS and Android should be soon available. You can see some screenshots here: Mobile Apps Preview [Update #2: Awaiting app store approval] - Announcements - Kitsun Community

Would you mind explaining this part in a bit more detail? Maybe I can figure out what you mean and help.


It’s not quite as easy as “1-click” but I used to do the last option you mentioned, where I used the Android dictionary app “Takoboto” to look up words and add them to word lists, and if I look up a word more than once (i.e. I look it up and see that it is already in a word list) then I add it to a separate “export” list and use the “send to AnkiDroid” option to export that list when I wanted to push them into Anki.

Lately I have found that too much SRS just doesn’t work for me (makes me burn out) so instead of doing any SRS for vocab, I just review the word lists in Takoboto directly whenever I feel like studying.

I should maybe also mention that for ease of lookups I also use a supplemental dictionary app “Akebi” to look up words with no furigana for which I have to draw out the kanji, or to do wildcard searches where I know one of the kanji in a compound word and not the other.


Thank you for your comment. You made me try out Takoboto again, and I found that I prefer it to the dictionary I had been using so far. Maybe they improved it since I originally tried it, or maybe my needs changed.

So I’ve been using the word lists in Takoboto and it’s a great way to mark words I don’t know while reading. And then I can review the lists or export them to Anki (which I haven’t done yet.)

As for words with no furigana, I originally configured the Gboard keyboard on my phone to have 3 modes: Qwerty with “sliding” (for English and for my native language), the あかさ… type of keyboard for Japanese, and then a handwritten kanji recognition pad. You can cycle between them by hitting the globe key and they switch instantly, and of course you can use it on any app or website. I found that Gboard (Google’s) kanji recognition is better than any app I’ve tried, so I just use that. Additionally it has a mic button to do voice recognition, which can be faster than typing when you know how a word is pronounced. (Yes, they may send my voice to Google servers to do the recognition… not a big deal to me.)

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