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Which dictionaries?

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Which dictionaries?

Postby jonas » Mon 12.18.2006 1:28 pm

こんにちは!

I need an E-J, a J-E and a Kanji-dictionary and I need some advice on which dictionaries to buy.

Regards,
Jonas
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby hungryhotei » Mon 12.18.2006 1:40 pm

The Oxford Starter Japanese is a very good paper J-E and E-J dictionary for beginners. It doesn't use romaji and is very easy to use.

I don't have much experience with Kanji dictionaries, but the Kodansha Kanji Learner's dictionary does just fine for me.
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby paul_b » Mon 12.18.2006 1:42 pm

jonas wrote:
I need an E-J, a J-E and a Kanji-dictionary and I need some advice on which dictionaries to buy.

We need to know more.

At the least - what sort of level your Japanese is. Also do you need to use them away from the computer (because if not then online dictionaries will probably do the trick for free).

Nowadays dictionary programs on handheld computers are an option, as are purpose built electronic dictionaries.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby jonas » Mon 12.18.2006 2:15 pm

I want a printed dictionary.

I'm a beginner, I can read/write ひらがな and カタカナ and I'm started to learn 漢字 (Right I'm using the Kanji pages on this site, but I get "A Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese" as a Christmas present or else I buy it after Christmas)

I'm most interested in the written Japanese, so I've bought (and I'm waiting to receive) "An Introduction to Modern Japanese" from Amazon.com. I found that it is the right textbook for me after I borrowed both the volumes (together with other textbooks to compare) at the library.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby paul_b » Mon 12.18.2006 2:28 pm

jonas wrote:
I want a printed dictionary.

I'm a beginner, I can read/write ひらがな and カタカナ and I'm started to learn 漢字 (Right I'm using the Kanji pages on this site, but I get "A Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese" as a Christmas present or else I buy it after Christmas)

I'm most interested in the written Japanese, so I've bought (and I'm waiting to receive) "An Introduction to Modern Japanese" from Amazon.com. I found that it is the right textbook for me after I borrowed both the volumes (together with other textbooks to compare) at the library.


Well maybe something like the Oxford Beginners Japanese Dictionary which covers a non-intimidating 3,000 words (IIRC). That's enough to read through all the words and all the examples rather than just using as a reference. (Something I wouldn't try with a larger dictionary ;-)
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby CajunCoder » Mon 12.18.2006 2:33 pm

Honestly, I find online/electronic dictionaries to be best. When you're reading a long piece of text, flipping through a paper dictionary to find the word you're looking for is far too tedious and time consuming. Especially if the word is in Kanji - handwriting recognition for Japanese is usually very good, and I can usually look up a kanji in the time it takes me to write it. Again, that would take -much- longer with a paper dictionary. Of course, some paper dictionaries may have more information on words and their uses. Those would usually be kokugo (japanese-japanese) though, I think.

I'm looking into getting a DS, and a "game" (sort of) for it called "kanji sono mama rakubikijiten", which is an E-J, J-E, J-J dictionary for the DS that also uses the touch screen to allow you to input through handwriting, which is especially useful for looking up kanji. I wanted an electronic dictionary, but the prices are insane and most do not even have handwriting recognition. Even though I have to buy a DS, it will still come out cheaper than most electronic dictionaries, it has handwriting recognition, and I can play games on it as well (including imported games! :))

Anyway, I apologize for not being able to help you with a paper-dictionary. I never had interest in them, so I'm not knowledgeable of them.
Last edited by CajunCoder on Mon 12.18.2006 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby jonas » Mon 12.18.2006 2:39 pm

I was thinking of a larger dictionary/dictionaries, meant only as a reference, so I can to continue use for many learning years in the future.

I've been looking at the electronic dictionaries and also the ones for DS and I can see their advantages, but I'll prefer a printed.
Last edited by jonas on Mon 12.18.2006 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby clay » Mon 12.18.2006 2:50 pm

After someone's recommendation (I think it was Keat?) I got a copy of the 漢字そのままDS楽引辞典 and love it! Well, of course it can't stand up to my SR-E10000, but the Genius J-E and J-E and 明鏡 J-J with kanji drawing ability for only about $50 - that's a steal.

So, I made a quick video showing off what it can do and decided to stock it for the store:

http://www.thejapanshop.com/Video/kanjisonomama.mov

If you are interested, you can read my pros and cons and other thoughts here.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby paul_b » Mon 12.18.2006 2:58 pm

jonas wrote:
I was thinking of a larger dictionary/dictionaries, meant only as a reference, so I can to continue use for many learning years in the future.

I've been looking at the electronic dictionaries and also the ones for DS and I can see their advantages, but I'll prefer a printed.


Take it from somebody who knows. Any paper dictionary big enough to be a reference for many learning years in the future will be too darn heavy to carry around. I used to walk to work with something to read in Japanese in one hand and a kanji learners dictionary (and/or) J->E dictionary in the other hand. My wrist really thanked me when I got an electronic dictionary that covered more than both those in a whole lot less grams.
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RE: RE: Which Dictionaries?

Postby Ikari » Mon 12.18.2006 3:27 pm

Does anyone know if a can use that DS game on an american DS or does it need JP DS?

Update - Forget I saw the video now, I know it works now...
Last edited by Ikari on Mon 12.18.2006 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 12.18.2006 3:56 pm

jonas wrote:
こんにちは!

I need an E-J, a J-E and a Kanji-dictionary and I need some advice on which dictionaries to buy.

Regards,
Jonas


I would highly recommend Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary. It's a little on the expensive side, but Amazon offers a 37% discount. It's not exactly an exhaustive dictionary, but it's perfect for the beginning to intermediate level. Not only does it avoid romaji, but all verbs, adjectives, and adverbs come with example sentences to illustrate their usage. Some of the appendixes are invaluable too, including an exhaustive list of Japanese counters.

For a good kanji dictionary, I would also highly recommend The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary. It's actually an abridged version of Halpern's NTC's New Japanese-English Character Dictionary, but it has all the kanji you'll ever need to look up and then some. A lot has already been said about Halpern's SKIP look-up system, but for me, the real gem of these dictionaries are the keywords. Rather than presenting an exhaustive list of potential translations for any given character like the Nelson dictionaries do, it presents instead one or two or three keywords, which you can then use as a springboard to exploring the character's extended meanings through kanji compounds.

http://www.kanjiclinic.com/kc10final.htm
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 12.18.2006 4:47 pm

It also depends a lot on what you want to do with the dictionary. For instance, the Kodansha furigana one mentioned is a very good practical, learning dictionary. However, it is a poor decoding dictionary (particularly when the target material to be decoded is something like manga or a video game).

Unfortunately there is no good dictionary that will be suitable both for beginners and for more advanced learners. Electronic dictionaries intended for Japanese people often require too much kanji knowledge to use (even the J-E). But if you buy something like the Kodansha Furigana that's not going to last you for your whole Japanese study.

Is maybe the GG5 good? That's too bulky to carry around but it's a desk reference.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby jonas » Mon 12.18.2006 4:56 pm

paul_b wrote:
Take it from somebody who knows. Any paper dictionary big enough to be a reference for many learning years in the future will be too darn heavy to carry around.

A Danish-English, English-Danish plus perhaps Oxford's Advanced Learner's Dictionary and/or maybe also a Danish-German and a German-Danish Dictionary is also quite heavy but if I had to use them in the classes, I've taken them with me.
I'm not going to bring these dictionaries with me, and just call me old-fashioned, but as long as I am just at home I prefer a printed dictionary as my main dictionary.
I've bought e-dictionaries for other languages, and no matter how easy they are, I always end up using the printed ones most.


skrhgh3b wrote:
I would highly recommend Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary.

It was also one of the dictionaries I considered.


What do you think about this:
Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary together with
Kodansha's Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary and The Compact Nelson (and maybe ニンテンドーDS and 漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典! as a supplement)?
As I can see I can continue to use this both as a beginner and as an intermediate, which is what I want to be able to with the dictionaries I'm going to buy.
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby flammable hippo » Mon 12.18.2006 5:56 pm

I have the Japanese-English, English-Japanese dictionary by random house. Its the one with a geisha on the cover of it (if that's any help). I find it useful and they show how its written in Japanese along with romaji.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: Which dictionaries?

Postby skrhgh3b » Fri 12.22.2006 3:20 pm

jonas wrote:
paul_b wrote:
Take it from somebody who knows. Any paper dictionary big enough to be a reference for many learning years in the future will be too darn heavy to carry around.

A Danish-English, English-Danish plus perhaps Oxford's Advanced Learner's Dictionary and/or maybe also a Danish-German and a German-Danish Dictionary is also quite heavy but if I had to use them in the classes, I've taken them with me.
I'm not going to bring these dictionaries with me, and just call me old-fashioned, but as long as I am just at home I prefer a printed dictionary as my main dictionary.
I've bought e-dictionaries for other languages, and no matter how easy they are, I always end up using the printed ones most.


skrhgh3b wrote:
I would highly recommend Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary.

It was also one of the dictionaries I considered.


What do you think about this:
Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary together with
Kodansha's Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary and The Compact Nelson (and maybe ニンテンドーDS and 漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典! as a supplement)?
As I can see I can continue to use this both as a beginner and as an intermediate, which is what I want to be able to with the dictionaries I'm going to buy.


The Kodansha Furigana Japanese Dictionary is both J-E and E-J, so you wouldn't necessarily need the Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary on top of it.
In my opinion, the Halpern kanji dictionaries stand head and sholders above the Nelson kanji dictionaries. If you have a chance, take a careful look at both dictionaries, and I think you'll see what I mean. It's not necessarily the content I'm talking about, but the organization.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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