Manabi Reader – Read Japanese 17+

Learn Japanese by Reading

John A Ehlke

    • 4.4 • 74 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

4.4 out of 5
74 Ratings

74 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?

日本語読解中毒 ,

Amazing Japanese reader app

This is the best Japanese reader app I have tried so far and I have been studying Japanese for over 15 years.

Once you surpass the JLPT N1 level, Japanese textbooks available to you drop off steeply. The obvious answer is to move on to material aimed at native Japanese readers. The problem with just picking up a book or newspaper though is that it can be time consuming to look up words which can really slow your pace and dampen enthusiasm. The words you look up are also going to be ones that aren’t used very frequently, making them harder to memorize. This is why a pop up dictionary along with a good flash card system with example sentences, both of which this app has, are extremely useful. This is better than trying to use Anki to make your own cards, which is time consuming, or just downloading someone else’s deck, which won’t be personalized to you and will lack the context of actually reading a piece of writing.

This review is directed at advanced learners but it should be great for lower levels as well since it includes simple Japanese news sites too.

Developer Response ,

Hi! Where did you reach out to me? I have responded to all Messenger messages that I can find. Please update to the latest version which has resolved the issues you were running into. Very sorry for the trouble caused. Please do reach out in the future via the support chat if you have any other issues or feedback. Thanks.

App Privacy

The developer, John A Ehlke, has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.

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