Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Forum

To address questions and improvements for the Japanese Grammar Guide as well as topics concerning Japanese in general.

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#1 2008-09-23 06:59:12

Markus
Guest

electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Hi,

I have finally decided to throw away my old paper dictionaries, after reading Tae Kim's Blog post from August 22nd. I'm considering to buy a very good electrical dictionary like the Casio XD-GP9700 for around 300 EURO (~ $430). Now, I'm not looking for advice on which 電子辞書 to buy, but I'm thinking I could buy a new 16G ipod touch for that money. There are a few J-E dictionaries on the itunes app store (some using JDic and having over 150k entries) and you have the internet, where you can find loads of other finde dictionaries.

So, here comes the question: In your opinion, is it better to buy a good 電子辞書 or an ipod touch / iphone? Maybe we could make this a collection of pros and cons. Thanks to everyone in advance.

#2 2008-09-23 07:51:45

mmgoose
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

i'd go with a second hand preloaded pocketpc. one with kojien/daijirin/daijisen and eijiro. J-E i use saito's.

you might like to check this out (not mine, can't vouch for it neither):

http://www.japaneselanguagetools.com/bus.html

Last edited by mmgoose (2008-09-23 08:04:56)

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#3 2008-09-23 08:44:26

pazu
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

There aren't any really decent japanese dictionaries for iPhone. There's JDict, which is a frontend to edict -- and while edict isn't too shabby, a more comprehensive dictionary to the likes of Kenkyusha Wa-Ei or Daijirin/Daijisen is a must.


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#4 2008-09-23 12:17:03

taekk
Administrator

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Which you can get from dic.yahoo.co.jp

And if you're paying monthly for 3G anyway, makes sense to me.

The iPod touch is debatable since you'll need Wifi.

Does the app have handwriting recognition? Most new electronic dictionaries have some form of writing with stylus now.

-Tae Kim


それは、よくなくなくない?

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#5 2008-09-24 04:01:34

Markus
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

So, if I sum up the answers up until now, nobody would advise to buy a ipod touch. I guess I'll buy that sweet 電子辞書 then. Thanks to everyone who answered.

#6 2008-09-24 04:39:30

ViolaGirl
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Maybe it's just me, but the electronic dictionaries also have the cool factor going for them too. XDDDDDDDDDDDD


Currently studying abroad in Korea and having a blast!

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#7 2008-09-24 10:55:56

pazu
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Definitely not an iPod touch, right. I haven't thought much about online dictionaries (mine is 2G, and sometimes I don't have the patience to browse using crappy 2G connection), but taekk has a point -- factoring in dic.yahoo.co.jp the iPhone might work as a fairly decent online dictionary. No handwriting recognition, however[1].

[1] Funny enough, the iPhone has handwriting recognition for Chinese, and you might even use that to input Japanese. But it won't recognize kana or kokugo kanji, and it's kinda slow, even with 2.1 firmware.


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手加減せずに私の日本語を直してください

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#8 2008-09-25 02:14:11

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

I just bought a Casio XD-SP6700, and am very happy with it. The main benefit in 電子辞書s is that you can add lots of specialized dictionaries, if you were to need very specific jargon for some field. For online dictionaries, obviously you cannot add anything. For the Apple gizmos you probably can add whatever, if you find it, that is, if it exists (I'm pretty sure that very specialized dictionaries do not). I just ordered a Science dictionary for my Casio 電子辞書, and hope I find the condensed matter physics jargon I need...

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#9 2008-10-22 09:50:53

toiletpaper
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

haha, i was actually thinking about getting an itouch too for an electronic dictionary replacement, but it seems like that's not the best idea.

i know that there's been some posts about electronic dictionaries, but most of them are from like 2006. so i want to get some advice on which electronic dictionary i should get and some comparisons. i'm currently living in japan so maybe that's a good thing since i'll have easier access to electronics so it seems. my requirements are as follows:

price: around 20,000 yen ($200) max
dictionaries: J <-> E, kanji (readings and examples), J<->Chinese (would be nice but definitely not necessary)
battery life: good (ie. a set of batteries lasting a 3 or 4 months with daily use)
misc: games, encyclopedia, etc don't care about those; stylus handwriting recognition preferred; colour display doesn't matter so much

these may be a bit demanding for wanting to pay so little, but maybe just maybe there's some good elec dicts out there now that has what i want. or rather, some old models that would satisfy my needs and has gone through price deductions. any advice would be welcomed, as well as where i could get it, preferably stores.... thanks!

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#10 2008-10-24 08:24:13

taniwha
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

battery life: use rechargeables, you won't regret it (still last a few months smile)

Since you're living in Japan, go the the shops (電気屋, bookstores (the Kinokuniya in Cocoon in さいたま新都心 has a good collection), etc) and play with the dictionaries on display.

If I get a new dictionary, I'll still want it to have 明鏡 (国語辞典): it's very good for people learning Japanese. 広辞苑 is good, especially for the more esoteric words, but it's more difficult to read.

Having a 古語辞典 can come in handy sometimes, and a 漢字辞典 is extremely useful.

However, probably the most critical feature an electronic dictionary can have is "jump". Being able to look up words you encounter while looking up another word makes it possible to use the 国語辞典 even if your vocabulary is terrible. Make sure you can position the cursor on any character (minus the special symbols) in the main entries.

You might be looking at up to 3万円, but I think that's a more expensive model. I'm pretty sure I've seen some for less than 2万円. (I paid $250aud for mine: best money I spent on my Japanese studies)


Leave others their otherness. -- Aratak
There is no can't. -- Duun

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#11 2008-12-01 21:36:47

Ninstarmon
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

I believe the App Store now carries the Kenkyusha dictionaries for about $30 and there are plenty of new kanji dictionaries that allow you to input kanji using your fingers. Have any people here reconsidered the iPod touch or iPhone as a 電子辞書?

#12 2008-12-01 21:39:31

Ninstarmon
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Here's a link to the app at the iTunes Store

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSt … 52561&mt=8

#13 2008-12-02 20:14:46

happynobita
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Has anyone downloaded the 研究社 app? Is it any good? Does it have hand-writing recognition? For $30, it would be worth it, but I can't find any reviews since it seems to have just come out.

#14 2008-12-02 20:33:51

happynobita
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Found this site that summarizes the different ipod/iphone dictionaries out there right now. Thought it might be useful.

http://studyhall.sakura.ne.jp/?p=1449

#15 2009-09-10 05:02:27

anhdungtb
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

do you have the directions for use of "casino XD-sp6700" in English?I have just bought one, but I cannot understand its introductions for use in japanese.
help me? thanks alots!!!!

#16 2009-09-20 17:34:36

Wren
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

You can also find lots of cool little homebrew applications and official games for the Nintendo DS that can help in various ways with learning Japanese, if you have a DS (and if you don't, why not?? GET ONE!)

I loved Tadashii Kanji Kakitori-Kun (series?) in helping me a lot with the actual handwriting in correct stroke-order. Check out its demonstration in that YouTube link!


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#17 2009-12-15 10:15:31

thaddeus
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Hey, I checked out the ipod touch and there's plenty of sweet dictionaries available.  Cheap as hell too.  I suppose if you need something specialized there's better ways to go but if you want a jisho as good as the average paperback, ipod touch is pretty good and there's so manyother things you can do with it.

#18 2009-12-30 18:46:42

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Posted this on another forum and thought it might come in handy here:

I just got an iphone recently and have been trying to set it up to replace my seiko electronic dictionary.
So far everything's going really well.
It may in fact be my ideal dictionary, especially considering it's entirely customizable & updates will be forthcoming (not to mention usually free).

Might as well describe how I got to where I'm at.

First thing's first, I had to set it up to allow proper input.
Under:
Settings -> General -> International -> Keyboards
for Japanese, I added QWERTY and Kana
in order to support handwriting recognition, i went down to Traditional Chinese and turned on Handwriting.

The first dictionary I wanted was 研究者's green goddess dictionary, but the basic app is $30, with follow ups at $84 and $30, for a total of over $140; so I decided to ditch that idea.

Instead, I went with iEijiro - cheaper at 8.99, with more entries. It's a little weird though as it seems to be a dictionary of sample sentences not a dictionary of words with samples in the definition.

I also added EDict/wwwjdic-based dictionaries:
Japanese, Kotoba!, JDict, WWWJDic
This was total overkill, but each program has some benefits.
Japanese - large kanji list, JLPT study guide, subject matter based look up, vocab lists (all offline), the most expensive one I bought at 15.99 but came highly recommended; should've used it more before buying anything else from this list (didn't realize it was an EDict clone).
Kotoba! - tabs for Dictionary, Examples (certified & others), and word lists (all offline)... oh and did i mention it's free! smile
JDict - just a straight up search window with similar options to the wwwjdic site, but all offline, though probably a waste of 4.99 at this point.
wwwjdic - this one's basically just an iphone optimized mirror of the normal website, but it requires an internet so it can go slow. at least it's free though.

Next I looked into ALC, because i use their site for sample sentences all the time.
They have 3 iphone apps available, but they're all in the Ultimate English Listening series (究極の英語リスニング) and they're all around $12 apiece.
Instead, I just created a bookmark in Safari to the http://www.alc.co.jp website for those times I need some more sample sentences for a word.

One of the devices I'm hoping to replace with my iPhone is my Nintendo DS. On my DS I've gotten the most play out of Tadashii Kanji Kakitori-kun, the game that helps Japanese elementary school kids practice their kanji. Luckily I found iKanji Touch from ThinkMac. This game is like Tadashii Kanji Kakitori-kun, but better in that I don't have to run to another source for English definitions. It also has the added benefit of being broken up not only by Japanese Elementary School grade level, but by JLPT level as well. It has tests for stroke order, combinations, and meaning - everything I love about the DS game. I got it for $8 on sale. Kanji Pop is another one that looks good.

Not sure if any of you use iKnow and smart.fm lists, but there's an iKnow app for the iphone. Now you can download all your Japanese vocabulary lists to your phone and go through flash cards at your leisure. Spaced repetition helps with memorization. It's also been on sale for $0.99 for the holidays.

Lastly, I picked up some phrase lists, just for the heck of it. J Phrases and Idioms. They're nice because they have a lot of functionality like quizzes and reviewing options. Probably should've gotten Kotowaza instead of the Beginning Phrases one, but at least I'm supporting the site.

If anybody else has any (preferably free) suggestions for improvement, I'd be more than happy to hear them.

Still not exactly sure how it stacks up against my old Seiko, but so far so good, haven't noticed any gaps yet.
Also not sure yet whether it's worth it to invest the money in Kenkyusha; again, so far so good, I may lay down the cash if I find the current resources lacking.

Last edited by Pork Chop Remix (2009-12-30 18:47:42)

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#19 2010-02-20 03:42:30

Rob
Guest

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Markus wrote:

Hi,

So, here comes the question: In your opinion, is it better to buy a good 電子辞書 or an ipod touch / iphone? Maybe we could make this a collection of pros and cons. Thanks to everyone in advance.

Ok, first of all, I have a lot of respect for JDIC, but it is not a replacement for a good Japanese to English dictionary.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but one reason is that it includes quite a lot of obscure words, and doesn't mention well which are which.  Search for something like "Action" and you will get 400 results, but with no real idea of which to use - and as a result may end up writing very strange things.  On the other hand, the computing dictionary in JDIC is truly useful, and many of the example sentences are nice.  Another note is that all of the JDIC dictionaries I have seen for the iPod/iPhone are on-line.  that means they don't actually download the dictionary file, but just access the web site.  This makes them slow, unreliable, and most importantly, they don't work in offline mode.

There are, however, now some good Japanese-English dictionaries available for the iPod touch, that do work in offline mode:
1. Genius - about 2500 yen
2. Wisdom - about 4000 yen
There are also Japanese - Japanese dictionaries available, one with a very flashy interface.

I like kodansha the best, but it doesn't seem they have an iPod version yet.

I had one of the more fancy electronic dictionaries from Sharp, with Kanji handwriting recognition, and even a 1seg TV function, but I actually sold it today, because I rarely use it anymore.  I translate quite a lot of documents at work, but usually I can use JDIC and other dictionaries online, and I use Wisdom on my iPod a lot.

One nice thing about the dedicated electronic dictionaries is that they can search multiple dictionaries at once.  With the iPhone one, you have to launch the one you want and then search only that one.

#20 2010-02-24 11:49:04

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

Last time I checked the Genius dictionary was bundled with Kenkyuusha (the green goddess) and was available for at least $100.
There were 2 different titles with the same exact bundle, one emphasizing Genius, one emphasizing Kenkyuusha, both costing the same amount.
If either has gotten cheaper, I'll definitely look into that.
I miss having the sample sentences from the green goddess, though I could probably do without Genius - in my experience, it's done less for me than JDic.

By the way, not all of the EDic/JDic/JMDict dictionaries are online.
In particular Japanese, Kotoba!, and JDict.
The only one that i have that relies on internet is the wwwJDic front end.
Also, JDict and Kotoba! have options to narrow the search to only commonly used words.

I also mentioned in my post iEijiro; which I currently use when JDic fails me.
To quote it's website:
"There are 1,670,000 English-Japanese entries, 1,950,000 Japanese-English entries, 120,000 example sentences and 30,000 abbreviation entries."
That's an order of magnitude higher than the Genius dictionary.

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#21 2011-05-10 04:00:23

Walthour
Member

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

> Pork Chop Remix wrote:

> Last time I checked the Genius dictionary was bundled with Kenkyuusha (the green goddess) and was available for at least $100.
There were 2 different titlesipad case with the same exact bundle, one emphasizing Genius, one emphasizing Kenkyuusha, both costing the same amount.
If either has gotten cheaper, I'll definitely look into that.
I miss having the sample sentencesipad 2 case leather from the green goddess, though I could probably do without Genius - in my experience, it's done less for me than JDic.

By the way, not all of the EDic/JDic/JMDict dictionaries are online.
In particular Japanese, Kotoba!, and JDict.
The only one that i have that relies on internet is the wwwJDic front end.
Also, JDict and Kotoba! have optionsipad 2 cases
to narrow the search to only commonly used words.

I also mentioned in my post iEijiro; which I currently use when JDic fails me.
To quote it's website:
"There are 1,670,000 English-Japanese entries, 1,950,000 Japanese-English entries, 120,000 example sentences and 30,000 abbreviation entries."
That's an order of magnitude higher than the Genius dictionary.

One nice thing about the dedicated electronic dictionaries is that they can search multiple dictionaries at once.  With the iPhone one, you have to launch the one you want and then search only that one.

Last edited by Walthour (2011-05-10 04:01:46)

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#22 2011-06-14 21:15:44

Re: electrical dictionary vs ipod touch / iphone

> anhdungtb wrote:

> do you have the directions for use of "casino XD-sp6700" in English?I have just bought one, but I cannot understand its introductions for use in japanese.
help me? thanks alots!!!!

HI!! I have a casio too and they all pretty much work the same, they just have different conent. I have been writing about things I find useful on my casio as I figure them out:
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5613

If you find anything useful please post about it. I can't really read them either but I review my instructions about once a month and sometimes things click. You can download the PDF version of your instructions from the casio website, but I haven't figured out how to copy and paste them into a translator.

Istuff VS E-Dict?

No contenst. The E-dict are just too efficient and specialized for learning Japanese. The speed of the work flow is really not accessible to any Istuff yet, with or without fast internet. I can jump from a kanji dictionary, stroke order, example compounds, history of a kanji, word definitions, search all the dictinoaries at once, read columns and books while checking the reading of unkown kanji as I go, open up two dictionaries at once, listen to pronunciation, highlight grammar and keep it saved in it`s own file for review, make and save flashcards that link to their origin dictionary page, hand written recognition that allows for quite a bit of error...

My friend just bought a casio for $200 at Yamada denki. Last year models are on sale if you can find one.

Michael

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