It’s no secret that the Rikaichan and Rikaikun extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome respectively, have improved the lives of countless Japanese learners on the Internet. Turn it on, hover over words or kanji you don’t know, and that beautiful, blue popup appears with English definitions, parts of speech, and kana pronunciations. I’m sure most of you use one of these extensions every day.
Well, step back Rikaichan/kun, there’s a new kid in town and their name is Rikaigu. Rikaigu is one step above Rikaikun. It has the same basic functionality, but improved content and features. It understands more complicated phrases, is better at parsing, and knows more place and human names. You are able to choose your default dictionary (don’t want vocabulary, just kanji? No problem!). It also includes possible shorthand and slang versions of different words in gray, something Rikaikun sorely needed. There is even a "Scratchpad," which is basically a tab in which you can copy and paste Japanese text so that you can use the extension without dealing with a website trying to block it.
Whether you’ve used one of these Rikai extensions before or not, Rikaigu is a great addition to Chrome. It makes looking up words, kanji, grammar, and place names a breeze and keeps you from having to constantly keep jisho.org open in another tab all day long.