I know there are many pieces of software including webapps with the aim of teach either Chinese or Japanese.

There are also app makers which have versions of the same app targeting Chinese learners and Japanese learners separately.

But as somebody who is learning both languages, and having recently met quite a few other people while travelling around Asia who are learning both, I'd be very interested in finding a piece of educational software that aims to help people who are learning both.

There are two main areas where knowledge in Chinese and Japanese learning have a very large overlap that could be leveraged by the right software to help bridge the gap between different teaching traditions:

  1. Characters (Hanzi, Kanji)
    Many characters are identical between the languages
    Many characters are related variants

  2. Common shared vocabulary due to extensive borrowing from Chinese into Japanese
    By learning the usual sound correspondences between the languages it can be easier to remember and even to guess the pronunciation and meaning of new multi-character words.

The main benefit would be the reduction of time and effort in vocabulary learning.


  • Only that the app be designed to help people learning both languages.

I'm assuming that this would be a small niche with not many apps, hence I don't feel adding more requirements would be beneficial.

  • So, any price is OK, and you are OK with it running only on a particular OS, right?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    May 2, 2014 at 2:56
  • 1
    @NicolasRaoul: Yes since this question should benefit all people learning both languages and not just me, even if I might not go ahead a purchase a product I would still accept a good answer. If it turns out my assumption was wrong about how many packages exist for this niche then I may refine my question. May 2, 2014 at 3:04
  • An interesting idea, but Hanzi and Kanji can also vary widely, have an evolved character one way, or different readings / interpretations. Any idea how this would ideally be handled? And I assume you want something more unified than Rosetta Stone with two language packs? May 3, 2014 at 0:02
  • @AustinFrench: Yes that's the kind of thing such software would be designed to help with. But this SE site is not for us to design an ideal new package, just to help find an existing one. Yes I want something unified. May 3, 2014 at 2:05


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