freeware, Japanese, language, software

Manually Installing Rikaichan on Firefox

Rikaichan is a free addon for Firefox that utilizes the WWWJDIC for translating Japanese in your browser.

Since it’s a Firefox addon, all Firefox needs is the files, so this should theoretically be a simple job, although it might be alittle tricky to realize at first. I had the (not so) wonderful experience of doing this on a computer that did not have internet connection. Hence, experience points.

Part 1: Download

On the download page for rikaichan ( ), there is a list of files under the heading:
Download the Firefox/Thunderbird/Seamonkey add-on

Right-click on the desired file and click “save as”. (If you don’t, Firefox will try to automatically install it.)

You can also get the file the same way from a firefox addons page.

Now, you need the dictionary. You can find it here:

Right click on the dictionary file link and click “save as”.

Now that you have both files, you’ll notice they are both .xpi files. This is just an archive (in fact, these are actually .zip files). You don’t have to do anything to the files.

Part 2: Placement

Take the files and put them in your extensions folder for Mozilla. For Windows users, this is found in AppData\Roaming. (Vista = Desktop\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Extensions.) (XP = C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[vendor]\extensions\[application id] . Notably, [vendor] is just and [application id] is whatever you want, though you should name it “rikaichan x.xx” where “x.xx” is the version.)

If you run another platform or want specific details for your platform, go to the Firefox how-to install extensions page.

Part 3: Getting it to work

a) Open Firefox. You’ll know if rikaichan has been loaded by the little pink/orange smiley face on the far right side of Firefox’s bar (the bar containing the URL bar and the search bar).

b) Now, type into the URL bar the file location of the dictionary .xpi file, which should have been the second file you downloaded (see above). Firefox will take care of the rest.

If it did not install – Type into the URL bar the file location of the rikaichan .xpi file (should be something like rikaichan_2.07.xpi). Firefox may then gripe about not being able to access the internet to download a dictionary file, but who cares. Now repeat step (b).


2 thoughts on “Manually Installing Rikaichan on Firefox

    1. Yup. WWJDIC is a pretty literal translation – the best out there, as attested to by the fact that pretty much every software I know uses it and every other dictionary steals from it. Google translate, on the other hand, isn’t very literal. It tries to get the gist of what you’re entering, and it works in part off user input. So while you can use GT for getting a relatively equivalent colloquialism of an English phrase (depending on what you ask for), it’s not very reliable. I use GT to more or less get the gist – or as a means for typing in Japanese on a computer that doesn’t have IME.

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