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Electronic Dictionary

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Electronic Dictionary

Postby CanadianPete » Mon 07.04.2005 9:29 pm

I would like some advice on what is a good electronic dictionary to invest in. Most of the good models seem geared for Japanese who want to study English. Is there a model you can reccommend, which has an English menu and manual, that is good for beginner and intermediate level Japanese learners?
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RE: Electronic Dictionary

Postby clay » Mon 07.04.2005 9:47 pm

It is always tough to remcommend an electronic dictionary especially for beginners.

All dictionaries made by Canon, Seiko, Sharp, and Casio are made for the Japanese learning English first and only as an afterthought, for the native English speaker. All except the Seiko RM2000. This one is made just for the native English speaker since it displays romaji along with the 'real' Japanese. If you are a very beginner and really need a dictionary or are a businessman needing something for the next trip, this would work great. But I don't really recommend it for the serious student (although it could be a stepping stone). Romaji can become a crutch if you rely on it too much early on.

As to your question about English menus and manuals, only Canon has both. Seiko models usually come with an English section in the manual to get started.

Canon models (particularly the G50 and G55) have a reputation among English speakers as being easier to use, but this is really only because it has a full English manual and you can turn on English menu screens. All models basically work the same way so the real differences come down to the dictionaries installed.

If you are an intermediate, any model should be fine. Just get one that has dictionaries installed you can use.

I did a brief comparision chart here:

Please feel free to email me (clay AT thejapanesepage.com) if you have any questions.
Last edited by clay on Mon 07.04.2005 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Electronic Dictionary

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 07.04.2005 10:18 pm

I actually bought my first Electronic Dictionary from clay 3 years ago, well before I ever knew about this site. He knows what he's talking about.

For a beginner, I recommend the Canon IDF-3000. It's cheap, and although the Jap-Eng dictionary doesn't have as many words as other models, it does have a wealth of sample sentences, which are really useful.

For intermediate and Advanced, I recommend the G50 or the C50. The G55 has a welcome screen when you turn it on that takes a good second and a half before you can start using the dictionary. It's a complete pain in the rear, and is why I didn't buy it. The G50 is just as good, but it's no longer sold in Japan, unfortunately. The C50 is a pocket sized version of the G50, with fewer functions. But the small size and weight makes up for it (it's a little bigger than my cellphone, and about the same weight)
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RE: Electronic Dictionary

Postby MenomaMinx » Thu 07.07.2005 3:44 pm

I absolutely worship my G50 Canon Word tank :-)

I know it's tempting to go with something cheaper, especially if you're just starting out, but I strongly advise against it for one very good reason -- it draws the kanji for you!

That's right, totally portable stroke by stroke instructions. There is absolutely nothing more useful than this for a absolute beginner. {Assuming you already know your kana}

now I know this doesn't seem like much for your dollars, but were talking about practical use here -- not hypothetical money-saving tips.. This is a machine I use every single day many times in a day. You may not use all its functions right away, but that something you grow into quickly in my personal experience. It's also quite tiny and I think that going any smaller is going to give up a lot of valuables screen space -- especially if you use larger font available, and I do.

I'm saddened to hear that they no longer make this dictionary version, as I hear the G 55 not only has a frustratingly longer loading sequence ,it also has no English manual or menus.
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RE: Electronic Dictionary

Postby clay » Thu 07.07.2005 4:01 pm

A lot of my customers have said the same thing about the G50/G55 (the stroke animation being the best feature). As far as I know the G50/G55 are the only ones that have this feature at the moment.

We can still (for now) get the G50 although I don't know for how long.

Canon hasn't produced a G55 English manual yet. I kind of doubt they will. We have been shipping the G50 English manual with the G55 orders, but they are different machines.
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