scerenshot of a page from the midori app

    Midori, like most other dictionary apps out there, includes entries based on JMdict, a large, free multilingual lexical database. This allows users to search over 190,000 word entries in-app and offline in the app's "General" category. Each entry comes with, of course, English definitions, example sentences, kanji breakdowns, a conjugation table, and a space for notes. Other categories you can search through in-app are "Names" (a database of Japanese names) and "Examples" (example sentences using a searched term will appear).

    The settings screen also allows a little customization in regards to what is seen on each entry page. One feature that is not commonly seen in other dictionary apps is the option to include "Pitch Accent" – something particularly useful for learners who care about sounding as native as possible. Entries dedicated to kanji characters contain a few features: stroke order animations and diagrams, possible readings, components, radicals, and any words that use the character in question.

    As with other popular dictionary apps, you have a few different search options: typing in Japanese, typing in English, typing the romaji spelling, writing out characters with your finger, or choosing radicals and components. The predictive character generator in Midori seems to perform better than other dictionary apps out there. You can also save words and study them later in a spaced-repetition format if you desire. The reference section contains pre-made lists with entries based on JLPT level, grade level, parts of speech, loanwords, and more. Finally, the app has a “translate” page that parses Japanese text you write or copy into the app, and allows you to see a dictionary entry for each word in the text. At least, that's the theory behind this feature. Currently, it seems to only recognize words with kanji in them, totally excluding kana-only terms.

    While there are several apps out there similar to Midori, it is still a nice option to have if you need quick access to a Japanese-English dictionary. Compared to some other apps, it may seem a little limited in features and appear rather clunky. However, the option to see a word's pitch accent is very appealing.

    Update: Midori has added a camera feature where you can take a picture of Japanese text and see the definition of each word.

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