Manabi Reader – Read Japanese 17+

Learn Japanese by Reading

John A Ehlke

    • 4.2 • 81 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



Expand your Japanese vocabulary and comprehension by getting in the habit of reading short, native content daily. Manabi Reader makes it easy to jump into interesting native reading material without having to worry about your level: just one tap on any word you don't know to see its reading and definition.

Don't waste time trying to find engaging reading material—a curated selection of news feeds, online magazines, blogs, even folktales are collected here for you. You can of course also open any webpage in Manabi Reader to help you through it.

Make a habit out of getting your news in Japanese and you'll find your skills multiply. With even a few minutes each day, reading is essential to picking up Japanese. Memory is one of those things where it sticks best when you're having fun, so dive in!

• Read native texts.
• One-tap word lookups (with audio!).
• Word tracking: you'll see how much of an article's vocabulary is already familiar. New words are highlighted for you.
• Kanji tracking: we'll also track the kanji you're familiar with as you read articles. Check your progress within JLPT levels.
• One-tap flashcard creation: memorize the words you look up.
• Review flashcards from an article once you're done reading it.
• Automatic furigana.
• BYOC (bring your own content) via URL or copy/paste; or, choose from our curated selection of reading materials.
• Reddit category with aggregated Japanese articles and discussions.
• 3rd-party dictionary apps are supported.


The core app is fully functional without payment. Word tracking behaviors are limited to a subset as a preview. The companion Manabi flashcard app is limited to 10 flashcard reviews per day. Full word tracking functionality as well as unlimited flashcard reviews in the companion app may be purchased as a subscription. You may purchase a subscription, which will be charged to your iTunes Account upon purchase and will auto-renew within 24 hours prior to the end of the purchasing period. You can manage this in your Account Settings after purchase. Manabi Reader subscriptions are offered on a monthly or annual basis, with free trials—the annual subscriptions offer a discounted rate. This purchase supports the ongoing development of Manabi.

We offer a substantial discount for students, educators, and parents.

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What’s New

Version 2.3.1

Version 2 is a monumental update! Manabi Reader now tracks which words you've read, you're learning, or already know.

2.3 contains the following:
• Mark Kanji as Known: We chart your kanji familiarity as you read. This makes your learning progress feel tangible. In this update you can now mark kanji as known when you've already learned them before. Tap "Kanji Progress" on the home screen to try it out.
• Various bugfixes and improvements, including fixes for "Mark as Read" button responsiveness, more reliable flashcard integration, dictionary lookup improvements, and more.

2.3.1 contains various bugfixes.

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

AllTheGoodNicknamesreGone ,

Great app for reading; flash card app needs some work

This is a rating for Manabi, which is actually a combination of two different apps, one is a reader for people practicing reading in Japanese, and the other is a flash card application to help you learn the new words you read in the first app. In my opinion, the first app is excellent! It has a wide variety of easy to read articles, and all you have to do is tap on any word in the app in order to see its meaning in English, as well as its pronunciation, and some sample sentences. If you run across a word that you don’t understand, you simply select “make flash card” as an option, and you can create a separate flash card automatically in the second app

The second app, on the other hand could be a lot easier to use, and more helpful. You don’t have the ability to control which cards you’re practicing, you don’t have the ability to make sets, and you don’t even have the ability to change the “flip” direction of the cards (as far as I’m aware). There are a number of different Japanese flash card apps that are much better, and unfortunately the Manabi apps don’t have the ability to transfer your sets from there to those other flash card apps. So I think there’s a lot of work to be done on the second app, but the reader is quite enjoyable and I use it almost daily.

Toch45000 ,


I’ve been using this app to practice my reading skills and it’s simple yet has done wonders for me. I find the kanji tracking feature very convenient as it helps me to see where I stand in terms of literacy. The subscription price is more than fair, other reading apps have such ridiculous prices for so little features, so I appreciate you keeping this one reasonable. What I would like is more distinction between known and unknown words, it gets tiring having to click every word to make sure I marked them as known. Keeping them highlighted could work. A vertical text option would be fun to add too and if it’s possible, could you perhaps add sign-in from Apple and/or Google?

先ちん ,

Great app. But no way to contact support? Won’t recognize my paid subscription

There’s a lot of great content, and I love that I can keep track of kanji read/learned. The accompanying flash card app is really fun to use, and makes it so convenient. I got this over Satori.

I bought a subscription, but the app suddenly won’t recognize it. It logged me out and then won’t log me back in. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter — and can’t find any email to reach out to for support!

App Privacy

The developer, John A Ehlke, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

  • Contact Info
  • User Content
  • Identifiers

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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