Advice, Blog

Browser extensions for reading Japanese

Are you reading a lot in your browser? News sites, social media and blog posts don’t always provide helpful furigana to help look up and understand the vocabulary used. A browser addon can really speed up this process!

Whether you use chrome, firefox, safari, opera or edge as your preferred browser, there are extensions to download and integrate that improve your internet experience. For reading in Japanese, I want to recommend you addons that – just by hovering over a Japanese word – provide you with the reading and suggested translations.

Most addons play with the word “rikai” (理解), meaning ‘comprehension’.

Addons for Chrome

Addons for Firefox

Addons for Opera

  • Because Opera is Chromium based, the same addons as those for Chrome should work through the same links.
  • If you have another Chromium based browser (Brave, Vibaldi, etc.) check if that works for you as well!

Addons for Safari

Addons for Edge

How to use

All of these listed basically work the same: After installation, you click on the addon’s icon in your browser. Next, go to your Japanese website of choice that doesn’t have furigana and hover over a kanji you can’t read or a word you don’t know the meaning of.

As in my example here (I use 10ten for firefox), you can switch between ‘Words’ and ‘Kanji’ and in some cases even ‘Names’ to make sense of unknown kanji. In the case of 10ten, I was also able to install both German and English as languages to translate to. This has already saved me so much time, as German, English and Japanese do get mixed up in my brain sometimes. On most days, I just need the Japanese reading though – and in that case I can just turn off the translations in the addon’s settings.

Installing an addon like this was quite the game changer for me and I hope it will be just as helpful to you. If you know more, please comment here and I will add them!

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