In-depth Tour on 漢字そのままＤＳ楽引辞典 - Introductory Fundamentals and Looking Up Words
I know Clay did a tour of this software a long while ago, but I'm making this guide to feature a more detailed insight of the application for the DS.
漢字そのままＤＳ楽引辞典 (かんじそのままＤＳらくびきじてん), roughly translated as the Easy-to-use DS Dictionary with Kanji, is a dictionary application for the Nintendo DS released in 2006. It features three dictionaries provided by 2 Japanese dictionary producers.
When you start up the application, you are presented with four dictionary sortings.
The 英和【えいわ】 dictionary, or the English-to-Japanese dictionary, has its entries in blue text and is used for English word lookups to find meanings (approximate, for some entries) in Japanese. A significant amount of words in this dictionary type have native English pronunciation as a means to assist Japanese users in correctly pronouncing the word in English.
The 和英【わえい】 dictionary, or the Japanese-to-English dictionary, has its entries in yellow text and is used for Japanese word lookups to find meanings in English. Some entries may not have concrete meanings, but instead may have one or more example sentences to show how the word is used in context.
Both of the aforementioned dictionaries are provided by Genius. The E-J dictionary comes from the Genius English-Japanese Dictionary (3rd Edition), and the J-E dictionary comes from the Genius Japanese-English Dictionary (2nd Edition).
The 国語【こくご】 dictionary, or the Japanese monolingual dictionary, has its entries in red text and is primarily used for native Japanese speakers to look up definitions of Japanese words in Japanese. There are a certain amount of Japanese words that can be found in this dictionary (but not in the J-E dictionary), and one can find out the meaning of the word by understanding the definition.
The monolingual dictionary is provided by 明鏡【めいきょう】 and comes from the 明鏡国語辞典【めいきょうこくごじてん】, or the Meikyou Japanese (Monolingual) Dictionary.
一括【いっかつ】 essentially combines all three dictionaries into one. This sorting is also home to special entries where you can look up Nintendo products (information up-to-date as of 2006), the definition of 楽引【らくびき】, and other secret goodies. I'll get to the secret goodies in a separate entry. Combined, the 3 dictionaries make for more than 240,000 unique entries (according to the front box packaging).
Next up is looking up entries.
Of course, looking up words using the writing pad on the dictionary is as simple as writing the word you want to look up and tapping the entry on the dictionary. You can also achieve the same result by using left and right on the D-pad and pressing A on the highlighted term. Another thing you can do is swipe left or right on the dictionary to "turn" the pages, showing more entries, or for quick browsing, hold the arrow tabs that protrude from the dictionary on the touch screen.
English lookups may be fairly difficult for native English users due to one being used to writing letters 1) out of the traditional stroke order or 2) in very sloppy handwriting, but there exists a QWERTY keyboard that users can utilize.
Japanese entries are more forgiving than English entries, and almost all the time, you'll be able to write a character and end up with the character you wanted to write. Of course, results may vary if your handwriting in Japanese leaves a lot to be desired.
In both English and Japanese, if you end up with a character you did not intend to write, you can tap on the miswritten character in the entry prompt, tap the 候補【こうほ】 button on the right of the writing pad, or tap on the bottom-right corner of the written character's pad. Tapping 候補 will only correct the rightmost character written on the entry prompt, so be wary of this.
On the left side of the writing pad, you can switch between 漢字 (or "kanji", though you can write anything on this setting), かな (or hiragana only), カナ (or katakana only), 英字 (or English characters only), and 数字 (or numbers only). On the left side of the screen, you can switch between writing, using the kana keyboard, and using the QWERTY keyboard.
When looking up English entries, you can press the 成句【せいく】 button to bring up phrase and idiom lookups and 派・複【は・ふく】 for conjugations and related terms for most words.
When looking up any entry, you can press 大 and 小 to make the current entry larger or smaller, respectively. You can achieve the same result (at least for 大) by pressing Y, and you can toggle from 4 sizes. Using the largest size is beneficial in trying to write a complicated kanji (like 鬱, for instance).
On an entry, you can use up and down on the D-pad to scroll more on the current entry's contents. You can also use the arrow buttons or the slider located on the right side of the screen to scroll through the contents. You can sweep on this slider, or you can hold down on the slider which will also allow you to scroll just by sliding up or down, all without lifting the stylus.
You can use the arrows on the top-left to scroll through previous entries on the top screen. Pressing L to scroll through recent entries and pressing R to scroll through past entries achieves the same result. However, you can only scroll back up to 23 definitions and slightly more if other notes (such as the Japanese quizzes) are shown on the top screen.
If there is a word that you want to study more or store for reference, bookmark it by pressing the 登録【とうろく】 button near the top-left corner. You can later review the words you saved by clicking on the wrench located at the bottom-left corner of the screen and going to the しおり, or bookmark section. There are 3 bookmarks in which you can store up to 100 words each. More about this section in a separate post.
In the next post of this tour, I will go in-depth on the other features of this application.