Shingo Japanese Trainer at


This is a free Japanese trainer/tester/drill web-app, for learning or practicing various aspects (not all of them!) of the language; it's handy for students of Japanese who want to speed up their learning or keep sharp, but can even be used to learn things from scratch! It should be usable with most computers, having minimal requirements explained in the FAQ.

Though it's ready to use, there's a lot more to come- so if what you see so far isn't useful to you at all, bookmark it and in a few weeks or so you might find there's something else that is!

Read more, or scroll down to choose something to learn and jump straight in!
(NB: That'd be Kana for now, unless you want to try the Kanji prototype)

Info page: about the whole trainer, plus about the info page itself (opens in new window)

the FAQ for the Shingo Japanese Trainer

Japanese language links, not much so far.


June 2009:

Kana Trainer
"Kana" are the two Japanese syllabaries, "Hiragana" and "Katakana", used by Japanese people for spelling (the former for Japanese words, the latter mostly for foreign words and loanwords). The Kana trainer part is ready to use! Various improvements are also planned for the future.

Kana character tables for reference. Both sets on one page, so you can see the difference (and similarities).

Kana tester selector page, ready to use if you want to try it! It lets you pick from various sets of kana to learn.

Kanji Trainer
"Kanji" are the very large set of characters the Japanese borrowed centuries ago from Chinese (where they are called "Hanzi" or other similar names; it literally means "Chinese Characters") for writing words and parts of words etc. Whereas Kana represent sounds for spelling with, Kanji represent concepts and things. Kanji can be either replaced by or annotated with the Hiragana characters that spell them, where the text is for (or by) children or the Kanji in question are unusual, or for various other reasons. In most Japanese text however, you will see Kanji used quite a lot, so it's a good idea to learn at least a few of the most common ones.

Unfortunately, making a reasonable Kanji trainer is rather more complicated than the Kana trainer in various ways. However, the Kanji trainer (at least the one that teaches meanings) will be the one that I make available next. There is already a simple usable prototype linked, which has one set of kanji hardcoded into it. A more complete version will require extra data (besides what is in the Kanji dictionary files), which I'm working on but will take time.

Early prototype version of Kanji trainer, only covers one very small set of Kanji, and meanings only, rather than readings. Just so you can see it's not vapourware, and get the general idea of it whilst you wait for the full version.

You will probably want to check the browser compatibility test page first, to switch the text display mode if you find you have to. (For this prototype there's nowhere more appropriate for that control to go yet)

When the full version (including some data) is reasonably ready, I'll link a lesson selector page for that here. The page will be pretty similar to the one for the kana trainer (including having the display mode control).

Other things?
More may come later, I have quite a few ideas for further trainers, but software doesn't write itself. One step at a time! Meanwhile, the odds are you can benefit from spending some time with the trainers already implemented in Shingo!

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