The remarkable site called POPjisyo.com describes itself as “a web based pop-up dictionary for Japanese, Chinese, Korean and other languages.” I found it via mj klein of Metrolingua (an excellent language-oriented site), who says:

What you do is paste in Japanese words in a text box to look up both the meaning and the correct reading of the word, plus the correct reading of the individual kanji. For instance, if you see a word that contains two or more kanji (such as 国連)but don’t know the correct reading, just type in the kanji, press “Word Lookup” and it will provide the meaning of the word. Plus, when you move the cursor over each kanji, it will give you all the readings and meanings of each one (like a dictionary).
But that’s not all–you can also create your own study list. All you do is double click on the word, and it will add it to your list, and every time you go back to the site, your list is sitting there, waiting for you. And, if that’s not impressive enough, you can email your study list to yourself! I have at least 50 words on my list, which is also sitting in my email inbox.

You can also create a bookmarklet that will allow you to go to, say, a Japanese site and find the meaning of any word by holding the cursor over it. Amazing.


  1. If only there was a version for Russian!

  2. I’ve been using this for a while and it really is great. I’ve run into some issues with the pop-ups being obscured by other elements (a layering issue?), but there’s probably not much they can do about that. And, of course, Japanese being Japanese there are some occasional lookup glitches. But overall it’s an amazing tool and makes browsing Japanese websites immensely easier.

  3. This looks like an advanced version of rikai.com (which does Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and English).

  4. An older Windows program with a similar idea is Read Japanese: not through the browser, but it works fine with text in the browser.

  5. I’ve been using it in Chinese for a while – it works pretty well when you understand the language a bit – my situation with Chinese – but works badly when you know the language very poorly or not at all – my situation with Japanese. This really does make it a good learning tool

  6. Anyone interested in Chinese annotation should check out http://www.adsotrans.com. A news blog powered by the software is at http://www.newsinchinese.com
    The major differences between the sites: (1) Adso unifies dates, times, names, etc., and actively selects a single definition for each word rather than provide a list of all possible translations. (2) There is a much larger backend dictionary (over 135,000 entries). (3) Users are welcome to contribute and tag content in real time. (4) There are more annotation/tanslation options, and (5) everything is open source and can be downloaded and run locally.
    If you have the software installed locally with Apache, it’s possible to get it processing (annotating/translating/whatever) webpages as they are requested in real time.

  7. what is family in chinese

  8. i must say popjisyo.com has helped my jap class so much!!! 🙂 it works to well!!! thankfully i know kanji and chinese so it works well for both chinese and japanese when i forget how to read a word~~~ It is such a helpful site! Family in chinese is 家人 jia ren (mandarin pin ying) Gah yan (cantonese pin ying) and if anyone wants to know that japanese it is 家族(かぞく)Ka-Zo-Ku

  9. and the good thing is it’s easy to use for High School students like me~~~ lolz 🙂

  10. The site is either down or has been discontinued 🙁

  11. Thanks for the heads-up; I’ve substituted an archived link. Nice to see that Metrolingua is still going strong!

  12. It was there on 10 June 2021; maybe the owner forgot to renew the domain name and it might come back. The archive link is a memorial, non-functional since the back-end service is not offline. I think the creator tweets very occasionally as @arex.

  13. Hello again! Yes, my blog is still going–I still love posting/blogging! I just went to Popjisyo and it’s back! It was down for a bit, as if it wasn’t renewed or was removed. I’m so glad! This is the link that worked https://www.popjisyo.com/WebHint/Portal_e.aspx

  14. Margaret! Great to see you again, and I’ve substituted your link for the archived one. Bloggers forever!

Speak Your Mind