Denshi jisho

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Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:33 pm

This summer I'll be half-way through my japanese language bachelor's degree and people keep telling me to get one of those portable electronic dictionaries. Basically that they're indespensible. I already have a (free) android dictionary called JED but it's a bit of a hassle to look up kanji (and it's pretty vague when it comes to definitions) using it, so I wouldn't really mind a better one. I'd still like to hear what people around here think of them, and how much you've come to use them? Is it worth 300 euro?

And then if you have any special recommendations on what to get? So far I've heard to get a (Japanese) high school level dictionary since it's apparently the most useful to foreigners who's relatively new to the language.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:19 am

Do you want to lug around another device?

GetKotoba on your phone for starters. Enable Chinese IME for hand drawing if you can. This works on the iPhone. Not sure about Android.

If you don't mind splurging, see if Daijirin is available for Android, and if so, get it. It's a J-J dictionary but is freaking awesome. $25 or so, but worth it. Has tegaki input natively, and is very thorough. Bookmarks, easy look up of other words, etc. It's geared for Japanese, but at halfway through a bachelors you should at least start THINKING about removing English from the equation when studying.
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:53 am

Thanks GP. No you're probably right. As I said, people keep telling me to get a dedicated device, but they haven't really been able to justify it when I ask them about the advantages over smart phone solutions.

I don't think programs you mention are availiable for android, but I found one called aedict which is a nice complement to JED because it has SKIP search and a hand drawing recognition feature. To use the drawing feature you need to know the stroke order which can be a little difficult if you come across a new character that's too small to make out the radicals, but I suspect maybe all drawing recognition software requires the correct stroke order?

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Gaijin Punch » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:39 pm

I'm not sure, but I don't think it would hurt. Are you positive it requires correct stroke order? I know I've cocked some up on Daijirin and it can be somewhat forgiving.
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Seems as if I draw a kanji correctly apart from the stroke order it usually shows up further down among a couple of alternatives. For now at least, this is great. I have Kodansha's paperback Learner's Dictionary as backup, anyway.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:06 am

Sorry I'm a little late to this party--my forum browsing isn't nearly as frequent as it used to be.

If you have a DS, I cannot recommend highly enough "Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten." Basically, it's the third edition of the Genius dictionary in electronic form, and you can of course draw the kanji on the touchpad. This is fantastic for those characters that you can't, for whatever reason, discern the right radical to search by (especially good for illegible or archaic kanji, or those weird one-offs where the pronunciation is different than every other instance); there's a bit of a fuzzy search that will turn up characters LIKE the one the cart thinks you drew, which can really help. Obviously, the cart is designed with a Japanese audience in mind, but it's easy enough to get the hang of the UI until you can look up all the options.

This basically leaves you with the same setup as a denshi jisho (some may even use the same print dictionary as the basis), with the bonus of you can play games on it as well. The cart can be had at anywhere from $40-80; I feel like a non-3d or -i DS ought to run you no more than say $60 or so, meaning you can get this setup for approximately half to a third of the cost of your normal denshi jisho.

I've got Aedict on my phone as well; it's really a handy little piece of software. The Edict dictionary isn't anywhere near as comprehensive as even a mid-range print version, but for being a volunteer effort, it's pretty damn good. Between that program and Google's new Japanese IME, I'm quite pleased with how well my dinky phone handles Japanese input, output, and basic lookup work. :)
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks a ton Greatsaintlouis. I don't have a DS and never wanted one before, but that definitely sounds like a good deal. I can probably get a second-hand system from a friend, or cheap in somewhere Japan this summer.

Here's a rather annoying but still appetizing demonstration if anyone else is interested in how the basics work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et_-4PcQ ... re=related

I might give it a try!

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:28 am

SEmi-OT.
Anyone know of a good touch pen for the iPhone?

On topic: Here's Daijirin for the iPhone. Again, only J-J, but it's still useful, and I must say, the interface is so easy, it screams non-Japanese.
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:28 pm

Yeah, like I said--first- or second-gen DS units should really not be too expensive at this point, and thanks to the region-free nature of the software, you don't have to kill yourself trying to import one from Japan. And even if you're not at all keen on the games, I think using the thing just for dictionary duty will more than pay for itself.

Regarding iPhone touch pens: maybe this is just me, but I always had the impression that stylii for such devices was a bit of a snake oil sort of thing, as the capacitive touch screens on most modern phones are less suited to such precise input methods as opposed to a big greasy thumb. Resistive screens on ye olde Palm devices or lower-quality Android phones and tablets from China etc. seemed like they were much better suited to stylus/pen input. Is this at all correct, or am I just fabricating things in my head based on fragments of real information again?
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:54 am

It will definitely help in Draw Something which my friends have sucked me into. :(
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby EOJ » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:58 am

I love my Casio EX-Word. I actually have two of them now, I have a Dataplus 4 from 2 years ago, and I got the new Dataplus 6 XD-D10000 a few weeks back, it was about 48,000 yen. It has 170 dictionaries, a color touch screen, voice for many words, and so on. The accent dictionary with full voice is especially helpful.

These really are indispensable if you're serious about Japanese language study. There are some good programs I use on my ipad too - for example Kotoba! is an excellent free dictionary app, and StickyStudy Japanese is the best kanji flashcard app out there (it's only $8), though I've found a few of their Kanji 'core meanings' are inaccurate. They recently updated the app to include a 200,000 entry JE dictionary too.

The problem with the iOS dictionaries is, while cheap or free, there's plenty of stuff not in them, and I constantly find myself having to go back into my Casio EX-word to look up certain words. This even happens when looking up words from video game text. You can easily compare definitions from all of the major dictionaries with the press of a button too, which is really helpful. Also, handwriting on the denshi jisho is a lot easier to do than on the iOS devices, at least if you want to practice writing with a pen, rather than your finger. It's also very forgiving - you can screw up the stroke order pretty badly and it will still give you the character you wanted 9 out of 10 times.

Try to get a Casio (they're the best - I've used the competition in the past) with at least the Kenkyusha JE dictionary (480,000 entries, nothing else comes close to this) and at least one good JJ dictionary (230,000 + entries). You can find those in the 20,000-30,000 yen range, I believe.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:36 am

This was pretty much what I wanted to hear, that the other solutions don't compare to a good denshi jisho. But man, 20-30.000 yen for those dictionaries a piece? Were they included in the 48.000 jisho you got?

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby EOJ » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:02 pm

The 20-30k yen denshi jishos have over 100 dictionaries, including those two. So it's a good investment imo.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:26 pm

Ahhh OK. I thought the 20-30.000 was for the software, the actual dictionary content, only.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby zinger » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:14 pm

Just thought I'd report back what I finally picked up. I found a shop in Akihabara that where the staff seemed to have a lot of experience with foreigners studying Japanese and their needs when it comes to these devices, which was good since they could pick one out for me that didn't have a bunch of content I wouldn't have any use for.

I got a Dataplus 6 (XD8500) which was on discount for about 22,000 yen when I got it (because there was a new model coming out some weeks later). Mine has a good set of dictionaries, and two card slots so I can always pick up Kenkyusha JE dictionary (I think it was around 12,000 yen) if I feel the need for it later on. There seems to be new models coming out all the time so I think a good way to save some money is to get one just before a new release, like I did.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby EOJ » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:50 am

Sounds like you got a good one to start with.

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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:46 pm

OT: Hey man --
おつかれ。 Enjoy the time you get back by not admining a site! You deserve it.

Enjoy the Dictionary, Nem. Looking forward to hearing new words.
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Re: Denshi jisho

Postby EOJ » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:28 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:OT: Hey man --
おつかれ。 Enjoy the time you get back by not admining a site! You deserve it.



Thank you kindly.


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