I haven’t gotten round to doing one of these posts in a while (believe me, it’s not down to lack of apps to review!) but I was inspired to write one after coming across the app TangoRisto.
This app is a reading app but is tailored towards the needs of Japanese learners. Some reading apps are better suited to intermediate or advanced learners, but this has a lot of features which enable beginners to get reading in Japanese as soon as possible.
TangoRisto takes its articles from NHK News Web Easy (for beginner-intermediate learners), Top NHK News (for intermediate-advanced learners) and Hukumusume (fairy tales in Japanese).
When you select one of these from the main menu you can choose an article to read. Once selected, you can view the article with a few extra features including:
- Toggle furigana on or off, or toggle furigana on for kanji split by JLPT level
- Option to bookmark articles for offline viewing
- Tap on any word for an English definition
- If a verb has been conjugated it will indicate how it has been conjugated/ the politeness level as well as the verb in its dictionary form.
- When you tap on the vocabulary again you get further information on the word: it can then be bookmarked and added to a vocabulary list to review later offline.
- There is an option to search the word on websites such as jisho.org, Tangorin, Google as well as the Japanese Stack Exchange where you can ask questions on usage.
- Toggle the glasses on or off to see different vocabulary highlighted in different colours according to their JLPT level (eg. N5 words and grammar are underlined in orange)
- Full vocabulary list for each article
The ‘glasses’ feature on this app I think is especially useful for learners because it helps learners identify what kind of vocabulary or grammar they tend to get stuck on, which you can then use to adapt your learning – particularly useful if you are working towards the JLPT. Being able to view articles and vocabulary lists online is also a really useful feature to have (I wish more apps had this to be honest!)
All in all, a great app that I am sure will get even better over time 🙂
The app is available for free on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store, so there really is no reason not to check this out! Find out more on the app’s official website.