My top 10 Skritter Japanese app wish list (with sub wishes)

Here is just a bunch of stuff I would like to see in the Skritter app someday (some are way out there and I know will most likely never happen) it’s in no particular order of priority though I am numbering them to make it easier to comment on. Also I know I have mention some of these things in the past but since this is my Skritter wish list I’m going to be mentioning some of them again. Please keep in mind I am studying Japanese and my personal desires will be different from others. What do you desire for the future of the app? Were any of them the same as mine?

  1. I always hear about how the Pelco dictionary integration is loved by the Chinese students. And well surprise that sounds good to me too. I hope it comes to the Japanese app someday.

  2. I would like to have a text editor to italicize, bold and edit text rather that relying on using tags.

  3. I would like to have a VR version of Skritter (a great stepping stone to AR).

  4. I would like to have an AR version of Skritter (I know this one seems really far off but I do think it is the future and someday it will replace the cell phone).

  5. I would like to have example sentences.

5a I would like to have sentences with close deletions.

5b I would like to have sentences with audio read by professional voice actors. Also please have the ability to store them on the app and not just streamed when needed.

5c I would like to have a pitch mark up for Japanese sentences too (and for that matter individual words). Although it’s not necessary for speaking Japanese (like it is for Chinese) it is helpful in reducing accents. I only know of one book that uses the accents (my old Ohio State textbook: Japanese the Spoken Language) but I know of no app, font nor program that can mark up the text. It would really set Skritter apart if it had the ability to do so.

5d I would like to have professional images to go with the sentences. Also please have the ability to store them on the app and not as web links.

5e I would like to have sentences with furigana for the close deletions as you will only be focused on the words missing in the close deletions and don’t want to get bogged down by not knowing the others.

  1. I would like a much more sophisticated mnemonic system. My current way of writing mnemonics is to include the mnemonics that make each character and the mnemonics for the primitives in the mnemonic for the word. This leads to very long mnemonics that are hard to edit if you want to make changes at the character level or primitive level. They are hard to edit because changing the character mnemonic or radical mnemonic will result in it needing to be changed in all of your words or having a different mnemonic than the rest. Them being long makes them less appealing to others who probably don’t use the same character and primitives as me.

6a When a word is made of more than one character I would like to make a mnemonic for the word. Under that mnemonic I would like to see the characters for the word in tabs followed by another mnemonic area that shows the mnemonic for the first character in the word. Touching the second character tab would then take you to the mnemonic for the second character in the box bellow. Any change within the mnemonic for the character should cause a change for all the times that character is used in different words for the user. For example if 男 is changed in 男性 then it should also change in 長男, 男の子, 男 and so on.

6b I would like all the character mnemonics to be followed by their primitive mnemonics (and those primitive followed by their primitives). Any change within the primitive mnemonic for that character should change for all the times that radical is used for the user. For example if the 女 radical mnemonic is changed in 案 then it should also change in 安, 要, 好, 女 and so on.

6c I would like to be able to create my own primitives. I imagine it would work somewhat like this. You click on the strokes that make up the primitive in the character. Label it then select an option like create new primitive. Skritter then shows the character but with only the strokes selected previously. The user is able to link that user created primitive to any character they come across that uses it.

  1. I would like to have integrated YouTube video lessons. Imagine watching a lesson on Youtube in the app then going straight from the lesson to studying with Skritter. This would bring the same benifits as number 1; both can be done currently but integrating them would make things smother and easier.

  2. Bring progress graphs to the app. At this point the graphs have been gone for so long I am starting to wonder if it’s just me experiencing a bug or if they really are still on the back burner.

  3. Change the equal sign to an up and down arrow for list editing. I had no idea I could rearrange the items in lists until I accidentally dragged it one time.

  4. Bring the ability to add words that are not in Skritter’s database like the Legacy web does to the app.


Jisho or Midori (or perhaps another dictionary) integration is definitely coming. Which dictionary do you prefer?

This could be a possibility down the road, not a bad idea if you’re doing a lot of definition editing or mnemonic writing etc

There are built in sentences for N5, and we’re still working on adding more in. The first step is to complete sentences for all the JLPT lists.

Me too! And to turn off definitions / reading, so you only rely on the cloze deletion.

Yep! Our most recent audio recordings for Japanese were done by a professional voice actor (who’s been doing this for a long time and has worked for Japanese TV and radio stations for instance)!

I’ve brought this up a few times before. I also want this badly. There are still so many things to improve though before we could get to this.

This one is a maybe down the road idea, in the meantime though we do have images for some things like single kana mnemonic images!

We’re currently in the process of reworking the mnemonic system :slight_smile:

We’ve started doing this! Some lists have videos embedded in them and we’ll be focusing on this more as well.

We’ll be reworking the progress views.

Yes, definitely!

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That is all good to hear. I knew about the April Fools day joke already but it did get me thinking that maybe you should take 180 or 360 photos even if you don’t intend to use them now. That way you can crop them and use the photos for the cellphone but if in the future you do decide to really make a VR app you won’t need to do re-shoots. On a side note have you seen this?

I don’t know how applicable it would be for you guys (or if the tech is still usable) but it seems that since your app is also a web app it might not be impossible to do a quick and dirty port with this kind of tech without a need for a complete rewrite.
—Sorry for some reason I remembered it as him creating a version of Javascript to do this but I guess it was Racket. This site however does seem to go with Javascript to create VR if I am not mistaken again.

As for which dictionary I prefer I would say neither. Only Jisho works on iOS and Android. Midori only seems to be available for iOS. And although Jisho is supposed to be able to take photos and translate the Japanese in them it doesn’t work on my phone. On a side note I have been using an app call Easy Japanese recently for practicing reading real news (it underlines the JLPT levels of kanji by color) I like it and wish it integrated with Skritter too. They also make a dictionary app called Mazii and it is on both Android and iOS and it’s photo recognition does work. I don’t know if they have public APIs though. The creators seem to be native Vietnamese but are good at English and Japanese as well. I would suggest contacting them if you are interested in integration. For now I’ll just stick with using google translate and copying and pasting from there unless you have anymore suggestions on dictionaries. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

I found this page on Japanese OCR api that I thought might be have some useful info on OCR.
It also mentions Yomiwa which is works on iOS and android. I tested it on my phone and Yomiwa works better than Mazii in my opinion but still not better than Google translate.

By the way I have no burning desire to use Skritter in VR at the present time. I just think it’s good to plan for the future and get in on the ground floor in promising emerging markets.

(Relates to 5c) I have just come across a gaijin YouTuber with one of the best Japanese accents I have ever heard. He does stand-up in Japanese.
He is creating his own course on Patreon and I thought to myself if you guys ever decide to add pitch marks for Japanese that this is the guy you definitely want to be leading the effort if possible.

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This video of his in particular has some good resources.

I like the dot’s with the line used in apple’s Japanese dictionary as I find it easiest to read. But I like how he uses that with the lines on top of the Hiragana the best. When I studied with “Japanese the Spoken Language” it was unpleasant using that old form of romaji mixed with pitch marks above the romaji.

I know Chinese uses pitch marks similar to JTSL but pitch marks haven’t really been standardized for the most part in Japanese and I don’t think their is any harm doing it that way. Also Prosody Tutor’s method of using waves is nice but it is clearer where rises and falls begin and start with the dot line method in my opinion. I kind of feel it’s like looking at a google satellite image of the train system vs a map with smooth lines and dot’s showing the stations. Both give the same info but the second is much easier to follow.

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I imagine it could also work like karaoke game mode they have in japanese karaoke machines. The best example of this I could find is this video of Smule starting at the 7 second mark.

Just image tapping a mic that takes you into a mini karaoke session for reading sentences with live feedback. That would be totally awesome.

I don’t even speak Japanese and I love watching Dogen videos :slight_smile:

Also, just chiming in on this thread because I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to ruminate on ways of taking the Japanese apps to the next level someday!

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I just came across this guy who color codes his words based on their accent.
Go to 4:10.

I thought that while this is not as awesome as the Karaoke idea it should be relatively easy to implement in Skritter. It would be nice if Skritter let us color code the words. I imagine you could provide a key (like the line dots apple uses) to the 4 main types of accents and their associated colors in the (i)info panel . Then users could understand better how the words should be pronounced.

I had another idea. I don’t know how feasible it is but here goes. In the apple dictionary Dogen showed how each word had a number by it that corresponded to it’s accent type. What if you could run a script that would import those numbers and and add them to the Skritter database. You could then color all of the words based on those numbers. This would be much faster than if it were all done by user input.

In the Chinese legacy app, this is already a feature. It is sadly and bizarrely missing from the new Chinese app.

I find mnemonics for words to be useless and I never use them, whereas the mnemonics for characters within a word are what I need, even after many years of study.

I agree! A word is a mnemonic in itself which is why a word has the characters it does. A silly example like 回転木馬 – rotating, wood, horse-- carousel. I don’t know if it works that way always for Chinese vs Japanese, though I do remember a computer in Chinese is 電脳 – electric brain, which I think is brilliant and am a bit sad Japanese uses loanwords for it.

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And in terms of memory, it’s not the word I forget usually, it’s which characters are in the word.

So I need access to the mnemonics for each character within the word while I study, not access to a mnemonic for the entire word.

I find they are more useful at the character level too but only slightly. I find mnemonics at the word level are still useful to me. I haven’t done mnemonics for the sounds (Remembering the Kanji 2) though I suspect that would be useful as well. I kind of wish Skritter would create something like a clean (no record of the learning progress and no mnemonics) sub account for those who want to go on to the second book. This is due to the way Skritter combines the readings and meanings while at the same time I don’t want to remove my old mnemonics. I really should have put that in my wish list as well.