verbs in
  • I am having an impossible time using to support my conversations in Japanese. My wife (Japanese) took one look at many of the results I am getting for very simple words, shook her head and said "useless".

    For example, why does not give "taberu" as a word for "eat"?

    Try "drink".

    Such a common verb, yet no mention of "nomeru" at all. It gives me katakana words?! So I tried "to drink", not much better:

    Am I doing something wrong? Why do I find it so hard to get the simple everyday ru form of a verb using this dictionary?

  • It is important to understand that jisho uses edict, which in turn is a Japanese-->English dictionary, not the other way around. The English search works by looking for each entry that contains "eat" somewhere in its definition. Go to page of the results for "eat" and you'll find 食べる there. For "drink", it's on page 4.

    Now for a real English-Japanese dictionary have a look here: (and check 英和 before you hit search)
  • Thank you.

    "It is important to understand that jisho uses edict, which in turn is a Japanese-->English dictionary, not the other way around."

    This explains perhaps why I get better results in the other direction.

    Unfortunately I find the suggested Yahoo dictionary no better. I do not want suggested phrases, eg, "eat dinner 食事をする". All I want is "食べる". Which, by the way, I do not see in either, particularly not at the top of the first page.

    Can anyone suggest another dictionary? Like this, however with a larger vocabulary

  • If you want a bigger vocabulary, then of course you won't find only exactly one word for each English word, it would be expressed in Japanese by several different words, depending upon the situation and context. Now if I search for "eat", the entry starts with

    1 〈食べ物を〉食べる;かんで飲み込む;〈スープなどを〉(スプーンで)飲む

    Or if you switch to the other dictionary 新グローバル英和辞典

    [1](a)を食べる,〔スープ〕を(スプーンで)飲む (→drink [類語]);〔食事〕をする.

    So "eat soup"="drink soup" in Japanese. Would you rather want your dictionary to such a detail?
    What follows are example sentences and certain set phrases and fixed expressions, which is usually quite helpful, as it allows you to get a better understanding of how these words are used. If you don't want them, just ignore them?

    PS: eat in jisho is here But of course, edict is not very helpful for E-J queries.
  • "Such a common verb, yet no mention of "nomeru" at all."

    You mean "nomu."

    Click on the "Common words only" checkbox. You'll find better results faster.

    As far as I know, sorting by how common a word is is coming in the next version of
  • Since pretty much every online dictionary/app uses EDICT (because it's free), and the dictionaries on Yahoo/Goo etc are aimed at native Japanese speakers, there isn't actually a great English to Japanese option online for beginners. You might want to consider investing in a decent dictionary aimed at English learners of Japanese (e.g. one of the Kenkyusha or Oxford ones). is another option but not great for single words and kanji readings are not given. However along with rikaichan, if you put in short sentences with common words (e.g. "drink coffee"), it can be helpful.
  • "My wife (Japanese) took one look at many of the results I am getting for very simple words, shook her head and said "useless"."

    I don't mean to be rude, but if you have (a) real-life conversation partner(s) who (presumably) can speak English, why don't you just ask them? Things that sound natural in English could and often are totally different in Japanese. Asking a native speaker how you would naturally say something is better, always. For example, when I started Japanese, I had a lot of trouble with putting things in the accusative case ("... wo") that didn't sound right in English ("miti wo aruku").
  • Perhaps he doesn't want to keep bothering her with every single word all the time, or perhaps she is very busy... but still I agree, a Japanese wife would be among the best resources for learning Japanese you can get.
    One more thing, I don't think talking about accusative and other cases is particularly enlightening in the case of Japanese, as Japanese nouns don't undergo declination."... wo" is better described as the (direct) object.
    Moreover, I also see some studying materials here in Germany that try to apply our grammar. But consequently, one would then also need to introduce the instrumental case で, the locative に, the egressive から, the inessive case の中, the allative case へ, the terminative まで, the prolative case を when used with aruku etc., well you get the point.

    Edit: It is a matter of how you define case. And is another matter whether it is helpful to introduce them into Japanese, as they would in many respects be different from how our cases work. To quote
     Hungarian and Basque have an awful lot, too. But these are not all strictly morphological cases: a lot of them are postpositional cases - sticking what in English would be prepositions onto the end of the noun. So really you have to decide when a case is not a case - it's a matter of perception.

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