English to Japanese Dictionary?

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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shivles
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English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by shivles » Wed 10.10.2007 7:27 am

At what point (if any) should I get an English to Japanese dictionary? I've only just started learning, and can only say a few phrases and recognise few hiragana and katakana. Advise on a good dictionary would also be appreciated :)

nukemarine
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by nukemarine » Wed 10.10.2007 12:08 pm

Have a good one right off the bat. Oxford Beginner's has good sample sentences. In addition, use online one (easier to copy and paste) such as http://www.sanseido.net or yahoo's

EvanT
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by EvanT » Wed 10.10.2007 3:39 pm

Wakan is also a decent electronic dictionary with lots of options.

Pluses: It's a program and doesn't require internet access. Also its search options are pretty decent and you can search with hiragana, kanji or romaji.
Minuses: You can't have it next to you while studying at your desk, unless you own a laptop and/or have your desktop PC near your studying area.

Since you've just started learning, I think a paper dictionary isn't really necessary. Save the money to get a really good one once you decide to continue with your language studies (say... after a year or two?)

richvh
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by richvh » Wed 10.10.2007 3:50 pm

Wakan uses Edict for its dictionary, which is at its heart is a Japanese-English dictionary. It has definite limitations when used as an English-Japanese dictionary, and is somewhat harder to update its version of Edict than JWPce (my favored dictionary program.)
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katafei
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by katafei » Wed 10.10.2007 4:24 pm

There's nothing like having a book in your hand and being able to look up simple words when you want to.
I agree Oxford Beginner's Japanese Dictionary is a great dict to start with and it shouldn't cost more that 16$.
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crowfeather
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by crowfeather » Wed 10.10.2007 5:21 pm

I have the "Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary". ISBN: 0-19-860197-2
It has Japanese to English and English to Japanese
All the Japanese entries are in Japanese kana which helps learning the kana . It shows the words in kana and also in kanji .
The parts of speech are noted. It has notes if the word can easily be confused. It has a few basic sentences.
I love this book. I paid $14.95

I also have the "Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary" which is quite good
ISBN: 0-679-78001-7
It doesn't have sentences, but it has 50,000 entries. It shows them in English romaji, kana and kanji . It also shows the parts of speech for each word.
I paid $12.95 for mine.
When you have a small vocabulary it is nice dictionary to have.
The down side is you must look up the Japanese words using romaji.

For myself I prefer using a text book to learn sentence formation. There are so many nuance's in Japanese words . I am afraid if I patch together sentences using words I think are correct I may unintentionally offend some one.
Barbara

EvanT
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by EvanT » Wed 10.10.2007 5:34 pm

All good points fellas... but Shivles DID mention he's just started learning and knows VERY little japanese as it is. At this point, any (free) electronic dictionary will suffice to look up words like cat, dog, window etc. (super elementary vocabulary). Personally, I'm against the so-called beginner's dictionaries, since they quickly become obsolete for a dedicated student.

Based on personal experience, I believe that when you first start studying a language you should always give yourself 6-12 months before investing money on it (unless you're studying with a tutour, in which case he might offer better insight in this matter than any of us). If after a year or so you still like Japanese and really want to continue learning it, I would urge you to spend a little more to get a really good and more permanent dictionary.

And I agree with Katafei... a paper dictionary is so much better than an electronic one (as long as you REALLY need it).

That's what I think anyway...

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Infidel
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by Infidel » Wed 10.10.2007 5:58 pm

crowfeather wrote:
I also have the "Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary" which is quite good
ISBN: 0-679-78001-7
It doesn't have sentences, but it has 50,000 entries. It shows them in English romaji, kana and kanji . It also shows the parts of speech for each word.
I paid $12.95 for mine.
When you have a small vocabulary it is nice dictionary to have.
The down side is you must look up the Japanese words using romaji.
The Random House dictionary is good only for burning. Sure, it may say something is a verb, but that's it. It doesn't specify if it is transitive or not. It doesn't specify if a verb is godan of ichidan. It doesn't show if a noun is a -no adjective or a na-adjective. It doesn't have example sentences. I've got a long laundry list of complaints about that pathetic excuse for a dictionary. I picked it up a few weeks ago just to make sure that my negative opinion was a fair opinion and it is.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。

hungryhotei
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by hungryhotei » Wed 10.10.2007 6:33 pm

EvanT wrote:
Since you've just started learning, I think a paper dictionary isn't really necessary. Save the money to get a really good one once you decide to continue with your language studies (say... after a year or two?)
I have nearly the complete opposite opinion. A paper dictionary would likely be most useful for someone early in their studies, especially if it is a good beginners dictionary like the Oxford learners. Apart from the points raised so far they are also very good at explaining constructions, If you search for 'have' in EDICT you won't get much help. And browsing through pages as you search for you word, maybe stopping off on the way, really helps learn and keep vocab.

However, the further on in your studies you get the less practical a paper dictionary gets, beginner or otherwise. The number of words it needs to contain rapidly increases when you start reading things outside of beginner textbooks, so they become desktop rather than handheld. In addition, you'll need to do kanji lookup, and with paper dictionaries this will probably mean a separate dictionary and kanji dictionary. There is a reason almost every Japanese student has an electronic dictionary. Instead of saving up for an expensive paper dictionary, get a learner's one now and save up for a wordtank instead. You should be able to fill any gap with computer (or even DS) based dictionaries.
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。

Gundaetiapo
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by Gundaetiapo » Wed 10.10.2007 8:02 pm

Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary is the best paper dictionary I've come across. The Oxford dictionary refrains from roomaji usage as well so is also a good choice.

shivles
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RE: English to Japanese Dictionary?

Post by shivles » Tue 10.16.2007 3:48 am

Thanks guys that really helps :)

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