Outlier Kanji Dictionary – Outlier Linguistics

Groundbreaking Kanji dictionary
for iOS and Android!

by Outlier Linguistics

Understand the logic behind kanji and learn them more effectively!

Revealing the logic of the Japanese writing system

Kanji are composed of functional components—components which express sound and meaning

Our dictionary explains why each kanji looks the way it does, what its components are, and how they function

This will help you recall kanji you've learned and to learn new kanji more efficiently in the future

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The Essentials Edition of our Dictionary includes:

  • ◆ 1200+ kanji (will be expanded to 3000+ total)
  • ◆ Form explanation for every entry: why does the kanji look the way it does?
  • ◆ Component analyses for all multi-component kanji: what are the functional components and how do they function in this kanji?
  • ◆ Meaning tree for every kanji: how are all the kanji's meanings related to each other?
  • ◆ Ancient forms for all kanji which can function as semantic components
  • Example vocabulary for each kanji, separated by reading type (On and Kun)
  • We're currently testing and fixing bugs in preparation for release, and it will be released very soon! You'll receive an activation code and installation instructions via email immediately upon release.

"Although the editors' explanations of the origins and meanings of the Sinographs (kanji) in their dictionary are written in simple, straightforward language, they are based on a wealth of learning, and that includes a correct understanding of the nature and construction of the characters and their components — a rare commodity." —Prof. Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania

What our customers are saying:

"I bought this. It has helped me recognise and even pronounce characters I have never seen before thanks to my recognition of patterns from the explanations."

Soroush Torkian (Canada)

"After a lot (really a lot) of failed tests with different books, apps and methods, the only way that the hanzi sticks in my mind is your brief, concise and REAL explanation!"

Alessandro Agostinetti (Italy)

"This project is exactly what i was wishing for since i started learning years ago."


Wieland Schultz (Germany)


(praise for the Chinese version)

"Every so often a really good resource comes along. It's The Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters."

-Prof. Victor Mair
University of Pennsylvania

"I feel like I have a virtual 1-on-1 Chinese teacher, giving me a better sense of how the writing system functions."

-Dr. David Moser
Yenching Academy, Peking University

"They have put a lot of thought into how foreigners learn Chinese, and they’ve come up with a better way to learn characters."

-John Pasden
AllSet Learning & Mandarin Companion

Kick your kanji learning into overdrive!