In the last few years there have been quite a few tools coming out to help students learn Japanese. One of my favorites is Rikaichan. Rikaichan is an add-on for Firefox that will give you the readings and definitions for Japanese characters when you mouse over them. It is a great tool for anyone learning Japanese or for someone who wants to read a Japanese website.
But what about a way to learn Japanese when you are reading websites in English? That’s where Kanjilish comes in. It is another add-on for Firefox that, when active, changes the first letter of English words into the equivalent Japanese Kanji. For example, the word “new” will become “新ew”.
Now to be honest I wasn’t really thrilled with this idea. I felt it is better to learn Japanese by studying Japanese. However, after a recommendation from @zirchi on twitter, I gave it a try. It turns out it is a great way to review the meanings of Kanji and a great companion to Remember the Kanji.
Kanjilish gives you options of which word meanings you would like to choose based on a few popular systems, Kanji in Context, Remembering the Kanji, KanjiDic, and remembering Traditional Hanzi.
The only bad thing I have to say about it, is that it does require slightly longer for pages to load. Not ridiculously long, but longer.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. Combined with Remembering the Kanji and Rikaichan, I think it’s a pretty good tool for learning Japanese.