Read aloud in Japanese!

When reading a Japanese website, have you ever thought it would be really convenient to have someone read it aloud for you?
Have you ever thought you might want to hear the emails you receive from Japanese friends spoken out loud?

If you have, then let us introduce some convenient tools that allow you to do just that!

YOMO・YOMO (Introduction article)

The first tool we'll look at is YOMO・YOMO, a website that 'reads' sentences aloud for you.
Copy the URL of the website you want to read, paste it into YOMO・YOMO and click on 'GO'.

A screen will appear, displaying furigana above all the kanji text.
Also, if you click on the microphone icon, a computer-generated voice will read the text aloud for you.

わいわいにほんご YYNIHONGO (Introduction article)

Next, we have the website YYNIHONGO, which has a text-to-speech function you can use for any piece of Japanese text you select.
Roll the mouse over the pencil and notepad icon from the top right of the menu buttons and a number of different functions will appear.
From these, click on the 4th one down, which is 'にほんごテキストの よみあげ' (Japanese text-to-speech).

You can copy and paste - or input yourself - any Japanese text you want read into the box marked 'にほんごテキストの よみあげ.
For example, we'll type in the phrase "日本語の べんきょうは たのしいですか。"
Click on the 'よむ' (Read) button and the text will be read aloud for you by a speech-synthesizer similar to the one from YOMO・YOMO.

VoiceText デモンストレーション (Demonstration)

On the "VoiceText" website you can test out the HOYA Service Corporation's voice synthesis software with different styles of voice geared towards announcements or the entertainment industry.
The intonation is very smooth.

Why not input the transcript of a speech or spoken text and try using this to practise?

This site was recommended to us via the eな Information station.

AITalk Demonstration

What if you want to be able to choose between different voices?
Well, in that case we'd recommend the demo speech-synthesizer found on AI Corporation's (株式会社エーアイ) website.

As with the other websites introduced above, this one also reads aloud the Japanese text you input, but here you can choose from 15 different types of voices - male and female, children through to adults.

When you're feeling tired, why not input a quick "がんばって" and get some encouragement from a kind voice?

I'm a big fan of あんず chan's voice...

RhinoSpike (Introduction article)

The final website we'll introduce here is a community tool where you can have real people read text aloud for you.
Registered users from all over the world exchange audio files in their target languages.

You need to register your name, although this is free.
You can choose the display language from English, Spanish, Japanese, Czech, Danish, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch, Chinese or French.
Please read our introduction article for details on how to use the service.

So, were there any text-to-speech tools you think you might want to try?

Last update 2013.03.29


  • Re:Read aloud in Japanese!


    Thank you for sharing, I've been studying Japanese from manga for a while now so my reading skills is high compared to my listening skills which is horrible. This helps in hearing what I'm reading in a native Japanese person's voice. Once again どうもありがとうございました!!

    Posted by Seanihongo

  • Re:Read aloud in Japanese!


    This is great info, however I was not able to get the reading to work on the site. I've tried with a url and even with a simple one-line text - I click on the green speaker icon and nothing happens. I also tried different browsers.Not sure if using a Mac makes any difference. Are you aware of any technical requirements to make it work? When you used the reading function was it on a specific browser?

    Posted by Mon

  • Re:Re:Read aloud in Japanese!


    To the post by Mon-san

    Thank you for your information.
    We also tried with Mac and Windows with the several brouser and found out the thin as follow;

    in our investigation, we could see the yomoyomo with IE (Interne Explorer) 9 .

    We hope the developer of the yomoyomo would make some comments about the situation, so we will try to contact the developer.

    Sorry for this inconvenience, but we hope your consisitent support for NIHONGO e-na hereafter!

    Sincerely yours.

    NIHONGO e-na Staff

    Posted by NIHONGO e-na Staff

  • Re:Read aloud in Japanese!


    What a lovely collection of read aloud resources! I am pleased to have found this post! Never knew read aloud was so readily available on different systems. Thank you for researching all of this and making it available! It sure is like a Christmas present to me!

    Posted by Joerg

Post a comment

Password (set a password and you can edit your comments later)