About

Perapera is a pop-up dictionary and study tool for Japanese and Chinese. It works as a free add-on for Firefox and Chrome.

I started studying Chinese in around 2005 and one of my roommates at the time (we were teaching English in Japan) challenged me to make this plugin after I made a comment that this sort of software would be the best way to study Chinese.

He bet me I couldn’t make it and I’m not one to turn down a wager, so I took 2 weeks to create the first version just for us. Once it was done, I thought many students of Chinese and Japanese would also find this useful, so I released it on Firefox.

Some years later, we joined forces again and started Perapera Language Tools. We have many ideas for more optimal ways to study different languages and are planning the release of more apps in the future. We will also introduce study resources and methods that we personally found useful.

Look out for some exciting new developments in the near future! Follow us on Facebook for news and updates on our ongoing projects.

143 thoughts on “About

  1. Just downloaded your extension. Are you the same Justin who used to work at JTOC with me, but had to leave to take care of his sick Mom?

  2. This is the best Chinese language learning tool I have seen. One of the difficulty for Chinese learners is how to segment the sentence into words, this tool does it for you automatically. I have recommended this tool to all my friends whose kids are studying Chinese, since I don’t know their kids directly. Way to go! Big Thanks!

  3. Hey Perapera gang, excellent tool. I just stumbled across your site and have only been using it since this afternoon, but I’m impressed to say the least. I hope you don’t take offense to this question, but what are the odds of an Ipad app in the future? Excuse my ignorance, as I know nothing about what it takes to develop something like this, but I have to ask. I’m a big user of nciku.com, which is a very useful tool, but their tooltip dictionary doesn’t work with the latest versions of Firefox (my browser of choice), hence the relief of coming across your work. Anyway, thanks again – you are doing a great job.

    JB

  4. I was wondering if a chrome extension would be coming out at any point. If you haven’t made any plans, would you like to work together to make the port?

      1. Hi! Big fan on your Chinese PeraPera on FF. But was also wondering if a version will be done for Safari as well? Chinese PeraPera is the only reason why I stay with FF instead of using Safari completely.

        1. Hi David. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 At the moment our focus is on developing a Chrome version of PeraPera due to the tons of mails we get about this. If there is enough demand on here we will consider a Safari version too. People?

  5. Im having problems with the new version. My icon or on/off switch went from the default icon (the default icon you can select in the options) to a mix-match of different symbols that don’t do anything. I try clicking on it to activate pera but nothing, and then I try to activate it by right-clicking and pressing the perapera Chinese button, but nothing.

    I really enjoyed this add-on but I cant use it now. HELP!!!!!!

      1. Yea I have the latest version of Firefox and I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the new version of perapeara a couple times. Usually right after I reinstall pera, I have this small icon in the top right hand corner of my screen (similar to the older versions), it works and everythings ok. But as soon as I close my browser and reopen firefox it ether goes away (happened one time) or turns into several small white icons all bunched together (looks like a the go back, home, reload, and other buttons that are part of firefox). Any help?

        Any way U can shoot you a screen shot to help figure this out?

        Thanks

          1. UPDATE!!!!

            I just installed an old version of firefox (version 7 something) and it fixed the problem.

            No longer do I have a random collection of icons where the pera icon should be, AND the translator works once its activated.

            Must be a compatibility problem with both versions.

  6. I’ve been using your PeraPeraKun software for a few years now, and I have to say I love it.

    After reading your “about” section on your website, I am quite impressed with what you’ve been able to accomplish. I have a similar background, although chronologically reversed, I began learning Chinese first about five years ago, and have only recently gotten into Computer Science. I am curious about a few things:

    How have you learned/taught yourself to program such a comprehensive/complex program such as PeraPeraKun. I am really interested in improving my knowledge of programming and would appreciate any tips you may have for me.

    Also, I’m guessing you’ve already mastered the language to have been able to develop a dictionary of it! How did you do it so quickly?

    Anyway,
    Fan of the product!

    Keep up the good work,
    Fellow student of Chinese language

    1. Hi Daniel. Thanks very much for the comment! The dictionary is open source and not developed by us. As for the programming, I have been tinkering with programs since I was a teenager and it’s been something of a hobby. Programming is something I enjoy..at least most of the time!

      1. which chinese/english dictionary is used by default?

        if only there was a dict with top 4 words that start/end with each character of a word and example phrases… =)

        tnx for the great work

  7. Having a pop-up would be perfect in an e-reader because it’s hard to work on a computer.
    Could I install and use perapera chinese in an e-reader Linux operated Pocketbook 603?
    Or any other e-reader?
    Thanks for more info
    Mitia

    1. Hi Mitia. I’m not sure it will work, although you could try it out in Firefox for Linux. I would also love to use Perapera for myself in an e-reader. Maybe someday! For the time being, I do my “study reading” on the PC and my relaxed, leisurely reading with books or my iPad. Works well enough for me.

  8. Hi there! 🙂
    Chinese Perapera has been so far the most useful Chinese tool I have used. I´ve just got an Android phone for xmas and I wanted to read the Tencent News, when I realised I can´t really use this great tool. Haven´t you been thinking of a mobile version of Perapera? Maybe one that I could use even “outside” Firefox?

    Anyway, great tool and thanks for helping my studies! :))))
    Wishing you a happy new year! 🙂

    1. Cathy,
      We would love to do some kind of mobile app in the future. Mainly it’s down to finding the time…Thank you for commenting! Happy New Year!

  9. hi there!

    I just downloaded the add-on and so far really like it, there is just one thing that kind of bothers me. It’s great that each tone has a colour, that’s how I learn them too, problem though is, your add-on uses the same colours I use for other tones than I do, so I was wondering if, in future, it might be possible for my to select the colours I want a tone to have?
    Thanks a lot and Happy New Year

    1. Hi! This has been raised by a number of people so we are going to add colour customisation in the next update. A Happy New 2012 to you too!

  10. Two questions: (1) what’s the relationship between Perapera and Rikaichan or the original idea, Todd Rudick’s rikai.com? (2) Is there a way for others to build upon your code to create solutions for other languages?

    1. I want to know the same as him…(1) what’s the relationship between Perapera and Rikaichan or the original idea, Todd Rudick’s rikai.com? (2) Is there a way for others to build upon your code to create solutions for other languages?

  11. Guys– will Perepera work on the now-latest FF10? Honestly, they just keep badgering me wih updates. All I am on Firefox for is to use Perapera, or I too would be on Safari!! LOL

    will post over at your FB page too.
    thanks

    1. Have commented on the FB comment but I will answer here too. An update for 10 will be released in the near future but for now please continue with Firefox 9….

      1. Just in case others are wondering, the plugin should now work for FF11. We checked at our end and it there seem to be no problems!

      1. Yes! Cantonese pronunciation would be awesome. It’s the only reason I use CantoFish even though I prefer Perapera’s interface and feature-set.

      2. yes! once you add this “cantonese” function, you will help most of foreigners and even local people who are staying in Hong Kong, Macau, and any Guandong Province area (southern china). can not wait for that! ^^

  12. This really is a wonderful thing you’ve done. I hope more students of East Asian languages find out about it and you begin to receive some royalties for all your hard work.
    Thank you so much.

  13. @Herman
    Been using the Plugin since FF12 was released – no problem.

    In case there are people who hadn’t thought of this:
    I had been wondering whether there was such a tool for MS Word, until I clicked that all I have to do is Save As an htm and open it in FF!

    Well done, Guys! Great Plugin and a great and very useful tool!

  14. Dankon pro tiom bela komputila programo! Vere, ?i mirindas! Kaj feli?e mi povas uzi ?in en Chrome! ^^

  15. Can’t find a way to copy only the first (or other individual) character of an aggregated word to the Word List. Alternatively (or in addition), an option would be welcome to have the individual definition of both (or all) characters of an aggregated word copied to the Word List.

      1. I’ve also just noticed that, when copying a definition to the Word List, only the first definition is copied. E.g. Shu? copies only the surname and not the meaning ‘water’. Am I missing something, or is this a shortfall?

  16. This is wonderful, thanks! I find it extremely helpful, thank you!!!
    I wish it worked for openoffice too, but this is already good.
    Keep it up! 🙂 This is an amazing app.

  17. I´ve just started to use the (chinese) perapera add-on and some features are a kind of enigma to me. Is there somewhere an instruction manual ?
    Besides, I am interested in the chinese and japanese (and korean) readings. Should I install both chinese perapera and japanese perapera add-on?

  18. Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for perapera, it has really proven to be an invaluable tool for my Chinese learning and my work in a Taiwanese company (traditional characters). I often have to read Chinese pdf for my work and it would be absolutely awesome to be able to use perapera with them in the same way it is used in Firefox (I have no idea whether it is possible or not), I’m sure many people would be ready to pay something for that. Right now I am copy-pasting the pdf text piece by piece into Google Translate and then use perapera to help me understand it. Have you considered working on this??Thank you very much and keep up the good work!

    Philippe

    1. Hi Philippe,

      Good idea! Sometimes we get similar requests for such a feature. We might have some ideas on how to do this. We will look into it.

      Thanks for commenting!

  19. I don’t know if there is a support team? I got a different character than shown on IME. The word is zhí, for the combination : zhí dao. You gave zhí the way with on the left side a vertical line and beneath an horizontal line. On IME and on Google translater as well it is without these bars like this: ? ? This is weird!!! on IME and everywhere I past it (enter) it is without those bars, but here on your site it automatically changes into with the bars. HOW do YOU explain this??!
    Kind regards,
    Chris.

  20. Hello:
    I am willing to donate you 5 Euros (I guess it’s more than dollars).
    THOUGH, first I want to see my download of your Chinese Firefox plugin working properly! I canNOT make my wordlist. It appears when I click on shown / hide, but…, the heck, I canNOT save the words on it. I use shift + w, to save I press shift + s, nada is what I get. So pls explain me what to do making ALL options working properly and after I succeed I donate the money by MasterCard via netbanking.
    Thank you in advance,
    Chris. (Chris_vl)

  21. Urgent help needed to solve option problems! Because it didn’t (still doesn’t!) work, I unstalled and reinstalled the Firefox plugin 9.0.0, I got Windows 8 and the latest Firefox version 18.0.2 Whether I don’t do it the way I should (open word list and when the mous is on the character and shows it’s details, I press shift + s simultaneously). I never get a word on my word list. I also did set option ‘all browsers’ but I did not see other plugins than Firefox, so only Firefox lighten the characters with details.
    So I need urgently to know how I get it work properly.
    Thank you,
    Chris.

      1. Yes, it works perfectly now, thank you.
        I marked for the lookupbar at the bottom, it doesn’t, it stays on the left side.
        Donation of 5 € will be send by netbanking this week or on Monday, depends. I’ll mention my email address, still smth, else to write on as notification?

        Thx,
        Chris.

  22. I find your site very helpful. Please can you tell me which is the best book for chinese mandarin language for begginers? Do you know which is the appropriate book to study for hsk exams?
    Thank you in advance

  23. Hello Administrator,
    I’m ill at the moment so donation have to wait. How come that it is not always clear to figure out a sentence using your tool? A sentence that ended with “chóng”. Translations I got are ‘to double’, ‘layer’, …, but not ‘heavy’.
    This sentence: ?????? ?

    Thank you?

    Chris ?

    1. Maybe I couldn’t copy/paste? It looked ok. I try typing it my self.

      ??????

      Strange! On the website of the Chinese language course they write Chóng for ‘heavy’, you have ‘zhòng’
      for ‘heavy’. Now I do not know what is correct.
      Thank you,
      Chris.

      1. Hi. Chinese characters aren’t displayed very well on the current blog software. Sorry about that.

        Regarding your question, I recommend you ask a Chinese person. We don’t control the contents of the dictionary.

  24. Hello Adm,
    Yeah, I know, it’s me again, just one question about your software. Is there also a download for Internet Explorer?
    Thx,
    Chris.

  25. Wonderful addon! I’d like to post you a message on FB, but here in China is not easy to use it. Recently I had a problem, please help me to solve it. On http://www.taobao.com website search for an item and then use perapera-kun on it’s description. The popup recenly has been put on the foreground by the web page. Just a few days ago I didn’t have this kind of problem (both firefox and chrome don’t work).
    In any case, thanks very much!

    Ange

  26. Hi, I just discovered you and your amazing addons (after struggling to make rikaichan work..)
    I am really looking forward to your hangeul addon! although I’m wondering which language to study first, mandarin or korean…(both of which I know a tiny amount) have any advice on that?

    1. Hi! Thanks for your kind words. I’d say to follow your heart and study the language/culture you are most interested in! Good luck 🙂

  27. Hello:

    I did not get an answer on this question, so I suppose that there is no such download?
    Is there also a download for Internet Explorer?

  28. Fix the problem with taobao.com web site :
    I use a lot perapera chinese with TAOBAO, and recently they modify a z-index paramaters to 99999999. I think perapera popup z-index is set to 9999.

    Please, is it possible to raise it in order to use it wit taobao ?

    Thanks a lot.

  29. Thank you so much for this!

    I enjoyed reading your story, too – it’s great to find a kindred spirit as far as the cross-section of language and technology is concerned.

    Arabic is the next language on my list and I hope to see an app of yours for it, too 😀 .

    Take care!

    1. It doesn’t work on taobao because they set a z-index to 999999 but PERAPERA popup window is set to 9999.

      We are waiting the admin to change this , thanks a lot !

  30. Somebody modified your plugin to support Korean.
    http://v.daum.net/link/1434987
    Download the peraperakun.jar and replace it with the original program. Then it will support Japanese(&Kanji) to Korean(&Korean Kanji reading) through naver’s online dictionary though. It would be faster if it will use offline dictionaries like Hanja_KoreanHanzi_Dic and Naver JP-KO Dictionary.rar.

  31. This line of code:

    tdata.title = ev.target.options[ev.target.selectedIndex].text;

    at line 1152 in cperapera.js for Firefox, fails when selectedIndex==-1 in a SELECT tag in which no option has been selected. You just need to guard this with a check for the condition.

  32. Hi
    I love the Perakun lookup tool! Do you think you could add the function of saving lookups to a Google spreadsheet?
    Then users could use their lookups in other apps etc that use the Googledocs API – it would be great to have vocab go straight from perakun to the app without the currently required extra steps.
    Thanks,
    Oliver

  33. Hey, Great tool… Could you give an option to increase the z-index to the absolute highest? Some websites also put annoying mouseovers or otherwise layer things which block my view of Perapera… However, one probably wouldn’t want the z-index to always be high or otherwise it might interfere when one was more interested in using all of the websites features without obstruction…

  34. Is there a way to contribute new translations for words that aren’t in the dictionary yet? I came across a slang phrase that I ended up having to dig around on google for awhile just to figure it out. Thought it might be nice if it got added so others don’t have to do likewise. Sorry if this repeats a question that’s already been asked.

    1. I would also like to help contribute. Occasionally I find a definition that could use some tweaking (such as today I noticed 适量 in recipes meaning “…to taste”). It would improve the tool a lot if it adopted a wiki-like community contribution system, thinks I.

  35. Hi! I would love to see this addon gain support for Korean! I used it for Chinese and I am missing it so much now that I’m learning Korean. I’m just curious if this is something that you’re still considering? Thank you!

  36. Hi,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great tool and add a suggestion, I haven’t read all the comments so my apologize if it’s already been mentioned.
    I think would really help is to be able to have several decks to save the words into so that if adding it into anki later you can categorize it more easily.
    This could be chosen manually or you could have a function where you can set that when words are added from a certain website it will go into a certain deck, i.e. http://www.news.cn/* = news vocab.

    Mostly just wanted to say thanks for this great add-on.

    Kind regards,
    Rickard

  37. Hi there,

    I’m a language student and entrepreneur at Cambridge University. I really like the work you guys have done on these plugins and I wanted to talk to you in person about what your plans are for the project in the future and whether or not you would be open to collaboration to add the plugin for additional languages. Please just send me an email if you can.

    Thanks!

    -Will

  38. It would be really cool if you guys could incorporate an auto furigana command; allowing the user to read entire pages much faster.

  39. Just wondering if it would be possible to offer the option for the way pinyin appears in the pop ups? m? má m? mà ma would appear as MA mA ma Ma ma* and so on.

  40. I have installed the current version of Perapera on the current version of Firefox on my Mac. I have restarted (a few times) but nothing will show up. I’ve checked the options in the toolbar, too. Can’t seem to find any reason it wouldn’t work. Everything used to work fine before I reformatted my computer so I’m a bit confused. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated as I miss this plugin greatly (I live in Taiwan).

    Thanks,
    Jason

  41. Possibly one of the coolest features of this software that I don’t believe anyone has touched on is the ability to translate Chinese and Japanese at the same time. Great for polyglots. Very thankful for this software and will donate.

  42. In the past the popup dictionary worked with OCR’d pdfs viewed in firefox, now it doesn’t. It only works if you highlight the text, which is highly problematic for OCR’d text in image pdf’s (such as textbooks). Any ideas?

  43. Excellent work. Probably the single most useful tool for readers of Chinese, ever.

    Now, the problem is that there is nothing as good for use with eReaders on Android. I know. I have looked.

    If you do have any thoughts about the best alternative for use on Android, with EBOOKS read on Aldiko, or Moon+. then please let me know.

    Otherwise, my only two options are to remove the DRM from books and read them on the PC in HTML with your software, OR
    Just read them in Kindle with a crummy Kindle dict interface.

    As I see it, an exact copy of your popup Chinese software should be made mandatory for all Android devices, which will work on all apps, including eReaders and Browsers.

    I do not care about what Apple Users use for Chinese study, because I do not like them. Who in their right mind buys an Apple anything?

  44. every once in a while I’m encountering unlisted words, so where can we report/suggest to add?
    -Personal computer. パソコン (pasokon)

  45. Hi and 你好!

    greeeeeeat tool! use it every day.

    ONE THOUGHT: would be really useful, if wordlist would always show the last entry, meaning, that it would scroll down automatically upon “new added word”. mine is pretty long and its kinda annoying to always have to scroll down.

    finally: any way to fix issue, that i always have to actually click somewhere in the browser window, before “S” – save to wordlist, takes effect?

    MANY THANKS! keep up the great work, and
    greetings from sunny Zurich, CH
    m@

  46. final(?) feature request:

    – possibility to sort entries by pinyin/english –> alphabetically.
    (by clicking on column header…?)

    greeZH
    m@

  47. Hello, I need urgently your e-mail address to ask you about the Japanese, I cannot / do not know how to get it entirely working. Download all plugins mentioned and how to use it properly, I get other characters than those that are lighted. But to inform you more detailed to give you the ability to explain me what I don’t understand, I do need the e-mail address of Perapera. I cannot access Facebook, they deactivated my account and don’t reopen it. That is why I only can get to you by e-mail.

    Thank you,

    Chris.

  48. On Firefox 37.02, Ubuntu 12.04, Perapera windows sometimes shows behind the flash content of some web pages so I can’t read the pop-up window.

      1. PRETTY PLEASE: do fix this as quickly as possible!

        i have my chinese finals in 2 weeks and desperately need this!!

        greeZH from Zurich
        sinolog

        1. You can just downgrade to the version of Firefox before the update happened when it worked and turn off auto-updates. Supposedly this leaves you vulnerable to attacks, though.

  49. Hi,

    it seems that the Perapera add-ons have stopped working on Firefox > 40 (at least on both my Win 7 and Win 8 PCs). I can’t even activate them anymore, so that the popup shows. Their entry from the Tools menu is also gone. Can you investigate?

    Thanks,
    Stephan

  50. Hey! Is there a way to download the crx-file for Chrome directly, cause I can’t access the Play Store in China at my working place. Thx.

  51. On Perapera Chinese for chrome the options don’t work. Can you fix this?

    If yes, how long will it take?

    Also, can there be a contact page on this site. That would be nice.

  52. Hello,
    it’s a great tool for helping learning chinese!
    I encountered a problem with the Chinese german dictionary add-on.
    Installation was no problem, but the perapera-add-on doesn’t detect it.
    I’m working also with a second computer with automatic Firefox
    synchronizing and – strange to say – there is no problem with detecting the
    Chinese german dictionary!?!
    Is there anything I can do, so that it does work on my first computer?
    Thank you very much!
    Regards, afi

  53. I’m using Firefox 42.0. In the latest version (12.4.2.0) of Perapera Chinese for Firefox for Mac OS, the “Always enable at startup” feature is broken. Also, the Paper and Sepia Themes were good in previous versions, but totally useless in version 12.4.2.0 because the word definitions text is in white and is unchangeable. It is not possible to read white text on the Paper and Sepia Themes. This problem has been here for a couple of months now, and I’m surprised that more people have not written about it. Please give us the option to select the word definition text color, or at the very least, make it black on the Paper and Sepia themes.

    1. The text colour setting should be somewhere in here…

      [FF profile]\extensions\chineseperakun@gmail.com\chrome\skin\classic\popup-paper.css

  54. Hi,

    I have used your app for a long time and think it is by far the best Chinese translation.
    Like a few others, I am wondering whether there is an add-on for Internet Explorer?

  55. I am using Firefox 43 and Rocket Chinese. PP installs OK, the icon is there but when I click on it, it doesn’t change color to show it’s working and I can never get it to show pinyin and definitions. I consulted RC tech support and they say PP works fine with their FF 43, so they advised me to contact you.

    I also have the PP version for Chrome. It works fine except when the background is blue, as in the Rocket Chinese conversation transcripts.

    I’ve been using Zhong wen with FF and it works but is not as accurate as PP.

    Any suggestions?

  56. PP 12.4.2 doesn’t detect Hanzi text written in text boxes in the browser, such as this 你好 in this Comment field.
    I use it as a supportive tool when I write Hanzi inside the browser so I can check quickly if I selected the wrong Hanzi letter.
    Please fix it soon.

  57. There is no contact page on this website, so I’m leaving this here. The Chinese plugin is broken on my system and I would like to help to find the source of the problem. Please email me and I will arrange for whatever remote access method you need so that you can see the problem in action. Please help, perapera is so essential in browsing the Chinese web!

  58. Perapera Chinese: “Current browser only” mode bugfix and useless condition
    ============================================================
    Bug: When in “Current browser only” mode, I had to manually enable the extension for every tab. Disabling worked for all tabs at once though. It didn’t seem like an intended behaviour and Rikaichan does it differently

    Fix: http://pastebin.com/TuQQikDS
    It’s just a partially reversion to Rikaichan code. (bro.cperapera==null) could be elaborated into (bro.cperapera===null || bro.cperapera===undefined) if you still prefer to keep it strict

    Useless condition: I have no idea why ((ppcConfig.enmode > 0) || ppcConfig.enmode 0) in there

  59. Hi there,

    I’m a software developer student interested in using Perapera Chinese for a school project. Do you have an API available to share externally? It will not be for monetization purposes. This is merely an inquiry to see if it will be possible to access Perapera’s API to help facilitate one’s learning.

    Thanks for your kind attention.

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