Midori is a Japanese dictionary for iOS. It translates words from Japanese to English and vice-versa, and includes a variety of other lookup and study tools.
- Lots of different lookup methods, including handwriting recognition and search by kanji radical.
- Detailed information about kanji including stroke order, example words, JLPT level, and more.
- Vocab lookup includes conjugation information for verbs and adjectives.
- Name dictionary included.
- Can generate flashcards.
- Tons of advanced options for power users.
- Price ($9.99) may be too steep for some.
- Handwriting recognition sensitive about number of strokes and stroke order.
Aside from the basic Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese lookup you expect from any Japanese dictionary, Midori has loads of other useful features that are hard to come by in other dictionaries.
The killer features for me are its handwriting recognition and search by kanji radical. Either write the Japanese character you want to look up, or build kanji using its radicals.
My only qualm with the handwriting recognition feature is that it’s very particular about what it accepts. The stroke order and number of strokes both have to be correct, or Midori won’t recognize the character you’re trying to write. This shouldn’t be a big problem for people who’ve got their kanji stroke orders down, but it can be an obstacle for beginners.
(If you don’t understand kanji stroke orders, take a look at our guide on how to guess a kanji’s stroke order.)
You can also use Midori’s “translate” feature to translate key words in blocks of text. It won’t give you the exact meaning of the text, but it helps you break it down piece by piece into more manageable parts.
Aside from lookup tools, Midori offers a ton of other great translation and study features too. You bookmark any kanji or vocab, or you can turn them into flashcards. The flashcards have a surprising number of options, and can even be set up into an SRS (spaced repetition system).
Midori is a simple app, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsophisticated. There are lots of advanced features under the hood that power users will love. You can enable even more information about kanji, like its Heisig or Unicode number
At $9.99, some people might balk at this app. After all, most people are used to paying about $0.99 for iOS apps. However, I really think that Midori is a great app, and well worth the money.