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Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

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Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby 櫻~ » Wed 05.09.2012 9:54 pm

Hi!

I'm looking for an electronic dictionary, max 300 USD (24000 JPY). I'm just a beginner now, I had JLPT N4 last year, so my focus would be more on the Japanese<->English part. But, given how hard is to import something in my attempt-of-a-country, I'd like to get something to last a lifetime of learning Japanese. I've looked around a couple of brands and prices (mainly Casio and Sharp models). What fits within my price limit are the "high school", "daily life" models (around 23000 JPY). For prices I used kakaku.com, it always shows up among the first results on Google and seems to list a good number of stores carrying each model :P

For example, from Casio I have in view XD-D4800, 6500 and 8500, they are all below 300 USD. One question: how come high school models (of all brands) have more "contents" than seikatsu ones? I'd suppose "seikatsu" is for adult people who already finished high school. Anyway, any of those have more stuff than what I'll probably ever get to learn. Which one should I pick? From Casio or whatever brand of course. Any specific model? Maybe an older, discontinued model? But from the little I saw some time ago (I've wanted a dictionary for a long while :mrgreen:) previous models aren't a lot cheaper. Note that I want something new, not used. Also, not compact or smartphone-looking models, the typical "notebook-style" ones. A kanji input pad is essential.

Well, that's all. Any suggestion on the dictionaries or places to buy is welcome. I'll use a proxy service like this one, so anything that ships within Japan is good. I'll be focusing on Jpn-Eng now, but tomorrow... who knows? :D I won't drop the language, I'm sure to the bones of that, so a good device shouldn't be a bad investment I think. More given my stupid country when maybe next week all imports could be halted and bye-bye electronic dictionaries (there's already lots of troubles with imports, taxes, everything is too unstable here). And add to that the uselessness of our currency. It takes a lot to get to buy something in USD, even more in JPY :(

Well, thanks in advance :3
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.09.2012 10:05 pm

Well... At that price-range, even buying a full-fledged ipod touch (free high quality 電子辞書 apps) would be cheaper. And obviously, touch screen allows for kanji input.
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby 櫻~ » Wed 05.09.2012 10:19 pm

Not here I'm afraid. Everything from Apple in this country is 2, 3 times (or even more) the price of the US. It's insane. And if I have to import I'd prefer to pick a proper dictionary, as I give little use to a smartphone (browsing internet when there's wifi available, a few pics maybe and as a regular phone :P). Also capacitives screens require a special stylus to write with. A few makers in Taiwan have them (like Dagi), but they don't usually work with couriers, so the shipping price is too expensive (I already asked). I can't use EMS or regular mail here, as it's too unsafe (things often get "lost"), I need shipping by a private courier, like DHL or Fedex :(
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby squarezebra » Thu 05.10.2012 5:39 am

Here's my take. If you're gonna splash out on a 電子辞書 I'd only personally recommend any model that has the 研究社新和英大辞典 (the Green Goddess) which pretty much limits you to any XD- ?9800 or 10000 by Casio over the past few years. I think there would be relatively 'few' people who disagree with me if I said there isn't a better J-E currently in-print . You can probably pick up an XD-A9800 fairly cheaply now, or maybe second hand.
I have the brand new XD-D10000 and it's absolutely godly, but then it cost an absolute fortune (£400~). The great thing about any of the XD models is real handwriting recognition (iOS chinese handwriting with your finger on a tiny screen really doesn't compare), jump features, speed and ease of use, vast amount of information all in one place.... but then most of the stuff in a 電子 only really becomes that useful when you start reading more difficult stuff.

If you don't want to splash out that much money then get an ipod touch and pay for the dictionaries you need on that separately. The dictionaries on the 8500 and lower aren't necessarily bad, its just that they're available on iOS for generally a lot cheaper, and you're not paying a premium for a brickload of resources you're never gonna use on a 電子. I'm sure there'll be plenty of people who disagree with me on this, but I think any of the Casios below the 9800 range are a bit of a waste of money, and your cash could be put to better use.
If you're a beginner then you could easily get by initally from using Edict based dictionaries (many of which are free) whilst saving up to buy a top-end 電子 for when you hit intermediate/advanced and need something more substantial. Though I wouldn't personally recommend it, I know lots of int/adv learners (who are way smarter than I) who still use edict based dictionaries. Horses for courses I suppose.

If you have any questions about the Casio dictionaries then give me a shout. I have both the XD-A9800 and the XD-D10000 and know them pretty much inside out now

**edit**
I think also, due to a nationwide ban in Japan on shipping items with litium-ion batteries it's difficult to get Sharp and Canon dictionaries imported now. Thats the reason Whiterabbitpress.com now only ships Casio models.
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 05.10.2012 5:40 pm

櫻~ wrote:Not here I'm afraid. Everything from Apple in this country is 2, 3 times (or even more) the price of the US. It's insane.


huh? You're talking about Japan right? It actually looks even cheaper there than here:
http://store.apple.com/jp/browse/home/s ... ipod_touch

And if I have to import I'd prefer to pick a proper dictionary, as I give little use to a smartphone (browsing internet when there's wifi available, a few pics maybe and as a regular phone :P).

An Ipod Touch isn't a smart phone, so you don't have to worry about paying for or making use of a 3g/4g network. It only goes online with wifi. It is basically an app-orientated netbook, but pocket-sized with additional functionality.

Also capacitives screens require a special stylus to write with. A few makers in Taiwan have them (like Dagi), but they don't usually work with couriers, so the shipping price is too expensive (I already asked).


I'm confused, are you saying that you DO want one that requires a special stylus or that you DON'T want one?
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby 櫻~ » Fri 05.11.2012 10:37 pm

I see... those top of the line models include several 大辞典, like the one you say with over 200.000 entries. Are they really useful for everyday use? (even if they are the best). The A9800 is still expensive and almost no where to be found (I don't know who to trust for a 2nd hand and it would have to be mint condition). More risky I think. Well, there's the newer D9800, that has the same 大辞典 as the D10000, at 388 USD.

About the iPod, a Touch 4G model is 187 on Amazon, 100 less than the XD-D4800. What dictionaries apps I should get? Still the lack of handwriting makes it pointless for me. That's what I expect most from a dictionary, most things don't have furigana and searching by radicals or SKIP pattern is slow <_<

I could get one of these and try how responsive is the iPod using it (I suspect it shouldn't be bad, I've seen good comments)

With Google I found a couple of dictionaries, Longman, Midori, Wisdom (the stupid Apple site is driving me crazy, how can I search for apps there? All it does is prompting to download iTunes, I have to use the "site:" command with Google). Longman (and/or Oxford) was one of the included in the Casios. It doesn't look cheap. Let's say if I get an iPod, pen and those 3 I end up with 276 USD total. The XD-D4800 is 288.

I know, I picked 3 random dictionaries there (they look good though), maybe someone has a better idea what to get. And if there's a good application based on Edict things would tip clearly in favor of the iPod Touch :P

Anyway, I'll try to find out with local DHL and Fedex how they handle custom taxes. I know of people who was lucky enough to get away with less than 50% (among them was a guy with an electronic dictionary from White Rabbit Express, he used Fedex I think, but that was long ago). If I get a certain response that I don't have that ridiculous amount, I'll go for the Casio D9800. But here everything is too random, so nothing never is certain.... :doh:

Shiroisan wrote:huh? You're talking about Japan right? It actually looks even cheaper there than here:
http://store.apple.com/jp/browse/home/s ... ipod_touch

Not Japan, I wish to God I was there. I'm in a 5th (or 6th) world Latin American country that I'm even ashamed to name <_<

Shiroisan wrote:An Ipod Touch isn't a smart phone, so you don't have to worry about paying for or making use of a 3g/4g network. It only goes online with wifi. It is basically an app-orientated netbook, but pocket-sized with additional functionality.

Oh no, I don't even have 3G, so that wouldn't be a problem. I was saying that I make little use of the additional functionality a smartphone has (I already have a low-end one, I don't do much more than browsing internet when I'm away). I said that because in the past ppl often told me to get an iPod because I got more functionality than with a 電子辞書, that's just a dictionary. But I'd really wouldn't use it much for anything aside the dictionary apps.

Shiroisan wrote:I'm confused, are you saying that you DO want one that requires a special stylus or that you DON'T want one?

Ideally I'd want an iPod (or similar device) with a good base of Japanese dictionary apps with a resistive touch screen, so I could even use a chopstick to write on it. Thing is, nowdays everything is capacitive except for some generic Chinese phones/tablets that still uses resistive. And, as the only platform with a good base for Japanese apps is Apple, which has everything on capacitive screens, I forcibly need a "special" stylus like Dagi or Adonit =/
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby squarezebra » Sat 05.12.2012 12:15 pm

Re: postage options, the guys at White Rabbit Press are usually flexible if you drop them an email; I'm sure they'd send it via a courier of your choice if you ask.

Are they really useful for everyday use? HELL YES! The Green Goddess is about as useful for everyday use as it gets. Whenever you want a basic idea of what a word roughly means then edict based dictionaries are fine, but GG is much more definitive and will benefit you far more in the long run.

The 9800 and 10000 share the same 新和英大辞典 (Green Goddess), but the similarities mostly end there. I wouldn't really recommend the 10000 as its ridiculously expensive (I love it though ^^).

My concern with the D4800 is not the contents per se, but the fact that you're only at JLPT4~ level, and that those Casio's aren't really made for foreigners learning Japanese. They're awesome when you can read J-J dics, and need decent E-J dics, but to get a decent Japanese-English dic you have to pay for the top models.

Good ipod dictionaries include: Japanese by CodeFromTokyo (edict), Midori (edict), and if you wann be really cheap theres the free Kotoba (also edict). I'd also recommend you get an app called Handy英辞郎 (handy eijirou) and buy the v1.33 included in the app which gives you access to about 2 million example sentences J-E and E-J. Daijirin (大辞林) is a good J-J.
And whats more, if you get an Iphone you can use a program called Anki for making flashcards, and study on the go. The casio flashcard system is pants tbh.

Iphone capacitative stylus' are generally rarely better than your finger tips

tl:dr?

for an English speaking learner of Japanese who wants something purely for dictionaries, the 9800/10000 are pretty much the best option (for a casio that is), with an Ipod being a not too distant second. The Progressive and Olex Japanese-to-English dictionaries in the 4800 are p**s poor for a Japanese learner.

but at the end of the day, do whatever you feel is right. My opinion is no more valid than yours
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby jimbreen » Sun 05.13.2012 8:01 am

squarezebra wrote: The Green Goddess is about as useful for everyday use as it gets. Whenever you want a basic idea of what a word roughly means then edict based dictionaries are fine, but GG is much more definitive and will benefit you far more in the long run.


Much as I like the Green Goddess (and I consult it dozens of time a day(*)), I think it's a bit of a stretch calling it "definitive". One often encounters holes in its coverage, and too often it doesn't actually give a translation; only an example of the use of a word or expression. While it is clearly the best JE around, I encourage people to use a good JJ such as the Sanseido 大辞林 as much as possible.

Jim

(*) I subscribe to Kenkyusha's Online Dictionary service (http://kod.kenkyusha.co.jp/service/) where you get a raft of their dictionaries plus 大辞林. It's about ¥1,000/mo. As well I have the EB editions of the GG, 大辞林, 広辞苑, etc. I have a Canon Wordtank C50 I use when travelling, mainly for 大辞林, but for quick fixes my スマホ is fine.
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby squarezebra » Tue 05.15.2012 4:39 am

Hi jim,

It was a poor choice of words on my part using a superlative to describe the GG lol. I didn't really mean definitive, but could probably say it has better word coverage and depth than any other JE's on the market. Theres lots of times I can't find a word I'm looking for in there too, but then I've yet to find a word I can't lookup anywhere in my Casio.
I still get a fair bit of use from my iPod, because it's easier to make flashcards from there.
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby 櫻~ » Sun 06.10.2012 11:59 pm

Sorry for this very late reply... and thanks for the answers. But now 電子辞書s are completely out of the question.

Due to my crappy country "regulations" I can't buy any foreign currency and, even if I could use my printer to make USD, I can't have them out of the country. With the "communist" approaches we're having here... the future is turning from grey to black. Now I can't even buy books, so I don't know from where I'll study (I know there's Internet, but I still like books more... :() or what I'll read for fun/interest/etc. At least there's the Japan Embassy with it's nice library...

If before it was hard due to useless currency and taxes, now it's virtually impossible. I could get money from black markets, but the currency prices sky-rocketed. And so did ppl that brought imported stuff to the country "under the table".

Some other country with balls should invade all this, throw the government and all of it's useless branches away and make this an extension of their land. That can't be worse than what already is becoming here... lol :mrgreen:

----------------------------------------------

Anyway, that isn't the point of this thread :P. I could still get an iPod, those are mainstream and still affordable (ofc, "affordable" relative to other stuff here).

squarezebra wrote:Good ipod dictionaries include: Japanese by CodeFromTokyo (edict), Midori (edict), and if you wann be really cheap theres the free Kotoba (also edict). I'd also recommend you get an app called Handy英辞郎 (handy eijirou) and buy the v1.33 included in the app which gives you access to about 2 million example sentences J-E and E-J. Daijirin (大辞林) is a good J-J.
And whats more, if you get an Iphone you can use a program called Anki for making flashcards, and study on the go. The casio flashcard system is pants tbh.

That's what I'm looking now. Apps. But most are edict based. Are there apps based on other J-E/E-J dictionaries for iOS? Specially a good software for looking up kanjis (it still pains me that handwriting recognition is poor). What leads me to the question... if Apple is so popular in Japan, at least that's what I believe, why there's only Chinese recognition in their OS and not Japanese? :neutral:

Then there's EPWING. I managed to get a digital copy of the so called "Green Goddess". It's two CDs in that format. I just use the dictionary files with an EPWING viewer in Android, but the viewer is very basic, I can't even select and copy text. I know there are other dictionaries in this format, so a good EPWING viewer should come very handy. Anyone uses EPWING viewers in iPod?


My low-end Android phone is kinda crappy and has annoying slowdowns (Android is awfully optimized with low-end hardware), so I'm seriously considering an iPod. But I'll only make the change if the software for Japanese really makes a difference. Right now in Android I use Aedict (from what I saw of iOS apps, it should be the equivalent of Midori) and DroidWing, a limited EPWING viewer. I haven't found anything else that's worth the while for Android (I mean for dictionaries, for kanji learning I still prefer books and pencil/paper, although books will be a big problem when I'll need new ones for the next levels).


P.S.: I see why you call it the "Green Goddess". From what I used it till now, it's pretty much awesome. Thank [the] God[dess] :P that I happened to find it. With this and edict I'm pretty happy. What I feel lacking is kanji search... at least in Aedict, radical and SKIP searches are very hit or miss and drawing recognition (with finger) is awful, even for simple kanjis :cry:


Thanks again to all ^_^
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby Yagi » Tue 07.09.2013 7:17 pm

Hi,

Are you by any chance in Venezuela? The description you gave about your country rings a bell.


Anyway, I'm about to try the Casio XD-N4800.

It seems to contain Japanese grammar courses and drills making it more than a dictionary.

I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Tue 07.09.2013 10:56 pm

The post you're responding to is a year old, but don't let that stop you from letting use know how it turns out. Smartphones, web browser, meh. None of it is as efficient as my old 電子辞書 that is alas no more. I'm probably going to go ahead and buy another one soon so I'm certainly interested to hear.

(Well, if I'm reading electronic text documents, perhaps online resources -are- more efficient, but if I'm reading electronic image documents or physical paper then, not so much.)
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby baskerville » Fri 08.23.2013 12:23 pm

I am also on the lookout for suggestions. My Canon Wordtank looks like it's on the brink of death. My batteries never last for more than 5 hours now. I just bought these rechargeable batteries because I found that the non-rechargeable ones go dead quicker now.

I am not sure if that is a common problem with Wordtanks. I've asked around and got different replies: some had their wordtanks for over 10years and they have not experienced any batt problems. But there are a few who do complain of battery performance. So I really don't know...
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Re: Looking for a 電子辞書... suggestions?

Postby Shiroisan » Fri 08.23.2013 12:26 pm

As long as you have a smart phone you don't have to pay a cent. Using the app "imiwa?" was a godsend during my time in Japan and completely sufficient for alll my needs
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