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wakan / Tips

Things to do with Wakan

Wondering what you can use Wakan for? Here are some cool things you can do:

  • Look up words in multiple dictionaries at once, Ctrl-C and paste to your friends in forum or IM conversations.
  • Show popular words which include some kanji to understand its meaning. Ctrl-C and paste to your Anki deck as usage examples.
  • Copy paragraph into Wakan, auto-translate, copy back and post it with kanji readings provided.
  • Open a book, auto-translate and save as text with ruby. Read in your favourite Aozora-Bunko reader.
  • Open Aozora-Ruby book with Wakan, Select All and Clear Translations. Save the text to have it without ruby.
  • Auto-translate text and copy it with ruby to HTML, OpenOffice, Word.
  • Activate "clipboard mode" in the dictionary, read japanese websites, highlight and Ctrl-C unknown words to instantly get translations in Wakan.
  • Right-click any dictionary result and click "意味" or other links to google its definition or see it in online dictionaries.
  • Mark those kanji and words you know and they won't be annotated with readings to force you to remember them.
  • Pin Wakan to Task bar to have it at a click's length. Look up any unknown words you encounter.


Frequently asked questions, or the question which would have been asked frequently if anyone asked any questions about Wakan at all.

  • Where to get UNICONV.exe required by Wakan for dictionary import? Issue #67.
  • Where to get the WORDFREQ_CK file required by Wakan for frequency information? Issue #66.

Building vocabulary

Parts of this page have been ported from the old Wakan help and has not yet been updated. The information may be obsolete.

The most effective way in my opinion is trying to read an authentic Japanese or Chinese text. When you encounter some words you do not know, try to locate them in the dictionary. If it is a word you would like to know, you can immediately add it to vocabulary. Assign all the words from one source to one category. When you finish reading the text, you can then print all the unknown words from the text by printing vocabulary words from the category you added them to. You can use the printed list as a help for building clues to remember the words or simply as a reference when you will read the text again. Do not try to learn large lists of vocabulary. It is the most ineffective and most boring method. Instead look at some words on the list you would like to learn, try to build some entertaining clues (like building a story from the characters they consist of) and then go on reading some other text or doing something else. When you encounter the words again, the program will hint you that you have already added them to vocabulary and from the category they are assigned to you will know where you have encountered them first.

If you would like to check whether you have remembered some of the words you added to vocabulary before, you can use the learning list option in vocabulary window to randomly select words for checking. You can set words you knew well as "mastered" to prevent selecting them again.

If you are working with a Japanese text, you can use the text translator tool to add furigana to unknown characters and fill meaning for words you don't know (which are not in your vocabulary). You can print the text including furigana and word meanings. If you are learning katakana, you can print the text with hiragana transcript above katakana.

Learning characters

Parts of this page have been ported from the old Wakan help and has not yet been updated. The information may be obsolete. You can add interesting characters to the clipboard and then print character cards. For learning reading of characters, it is very effective to look at the compounds in your vocabulary. Maybe you already know some word that contains the character and that can hint you on the reading.

If you would like to learn some new characters but don't know which, you can either select suitable characters by frequency or by Jouyou grade (for Japanese) or you can use the Recommend kanji option in vocabulary window.