Good denshijisho to buy
  • こんにちは

    Im interested in buying a denshijisho, but after having tried a few I cannot find the same functionality and knowledge in any of them as in this website. Is there any denshi jisho out there that is remotely similar to this website. This website is perfect for studying Japanese and if only I could find a denshi jisho that works the same so that I can use it when I am travelling it would be wonderful.

    Or maybe a suggestion, make a denshi jisho Ipod/Iphone application, you could make a shitload of money too ;)
  • Do you live in Japan? It's difficult to find anything good and reasonably-priced if you're not in Japan. As for features, you won't find anything as user-friendly as Kanji by Radicals on this site, but decent monolingual and bilingual dictionaries are standard on most models.

    I'm not sure about giving a specific recommendation. The basic price given for lots of electronic dictionaries can be pretty high, but you can actually get them a lot cheaper if you look around. The one I use now is a Sharp
    It says about 35000 yen on the page, but I certainly paid no more than 20000 yen (can't remember the price exactly), and I found it very quickly in Akihabara. My previous dictionary was my first ever, and I wasn't sure whether I needed one, so I only picked it up when I saw it going for 10000 yen in my local department store.
  • Hello Richard, thank you for your answer. Yes actually I do live in Japan so I can find pretty good ones, but nothing has been as good as this site to be honest. So anything as close as possible is much appreciated :) Guess im gonna have to find a good one at Yodabashi or something :S Thanks again mate ;)
  • have you looked at the Casio Ex-Word XD-GF series? it's got big english-japanese (kojien) and japanese-english (kenkyusha) dictionaries. it has a good number of example sentences in the big japanese-english dictionary (there are also some in the english-japanese dictionaries, but i haven't found those as helpful). it has plenty of features (especially the newer ones, which my wife recently got from her dad), but the main ones i like are: can write in kanji by hand, super-jump (say you've looked up the japanese for an english word, there are several entries so you can "click" on them to get the english entry; also if there are words you don't know in example sentences you can jump to their dictionary entry), and you can make a list of words to review on each dictionary (i used this to review all the time on the train in japan). there is a kanji dictionary installed in japanese, but you can also buy the standard kanji dictionary in english on an sd-card and install it in your denshi-jisho. then you can look up words by reading, radical, handwriting and stroke count.

    when i got it (a couple years ago) it was one of the more expensive ones (maybe 30000-35000 yen, got online from the US), but for me it was worth it. you may also be able to find an older model cheaper used or online. anyway, if you go to kinokuniya or a big bookstore, there should be a bunch on display you can try out (at least there were in the one in NY).

    p.s. does anyone know a good denshi jisho for both japanese-korean and japanese-english? i think there might be one in the ex-word series, but i haven't gotten around to looking yet.
  • I'd personally recommend and iPod Touch (or iPhone) and Japanese ( It's only $20 and has flash cards, a complete dictionary based on the same sources as this one, Kanji lookup by Part/Radical/Stroke/School Year/Daily-Use as well as custom vocab lists which can be used for the flash cards. Also stroke order and a crummy handwriting input (I don't use it, it really sucks, but that's apple's fault). So with the new pricing, for $220ish you can get up and running with an 8gb iPod and a very good denshi-jisho.
  • @Tatama: That sounds really good, I am actually looking for the kanji write in option, that is superhandy. Sounds very detailed. Im gonna check this one out. Thanks

    @aodh: Yeah I heard there was a similar application for the ipod, but the thing is, you need to bring a pen with you if you want to write the kanji as the pen is not included and writing by finger is just undoable. It is simple and compact though which is a plus.

    Thnx both for the recommendations!
  • The handwriting on the ipod is actually done using the simplified chinese input, it really really really really sucks. But with the ability to enter kanji by part, you don't need it and you don't need a pen.

    One thing to keep in mind, if you do end up getting a real denshi jisho then the definitions will be in Japanese.
  • The one I got from the department store was one of the Ex-Word series.

    To expand a little on what Tatama said, superjump is definitely the most useful feature on an electronic dictionary for non-Japanese learners (at least I think so). It's kind of frustrating when you look up an English word and you just get some kanji you don't know how to pronounce, but you can just jump from 英和 to 和英 and find the pronunciation.

    Then if you come across a Japanese word that you don't know in a book, and you don't know how to pronounce it but you know one of the kanji then just write another word containing the kanji, superjump to the kanji dictionary, and press 切替 to find words containing that kanji. For example, maybe you don't know the second kanji in 投函, but you know the first one comes in 投げる. Type in 投げる, superjump to 投, press the 切替 button and you can find it. I find this method so much quicker than searching by radical or stroke count.

    Given the choice, I'd prefer to use a computer than an electronic dictionary, but if you know these kinds of shortcuts then the difference is not so great.
  • Ahhh so thats what this superjump is. Thats great to know, that is actually handy. Glad I didn't buy any yet. Ex-word is my #1 choice then. Thnx.
  • Ex-Word is a good series, but others are good too. After my Ex-Word broke from over-use, I got a Sharp which has jumping features too.
  • こんにちは

    i found a webshop selling japanese electronic dictionaries, i got mine there
    i hope it can help you

    PS : i dont recommend iphone if you want to learn japanese seriously !
  • DS + R4 + Downloaded Kanji Sono Mama. Yep.
  • Posted By: shibalsekya
    PS : i dont recommend iphone if you want to learn japanese seriously ![/p]

    I think the opposite is infact true. With the Japanese app you not only get access to the same dictionary which drives this site, but also the same kind of look up tools (Kanji by radical or part), a flashcard program, JLPT, category and user generated vocabulary lists, and example sentences. The main issue for most English speakers, even with the Kanji Sonomama, is that the J<>E dictionary, genius, only gives explanations of the word in Japanese as it's intended for Japanese to use. So you can be sure you're using the right translation of the word. With the Japanese app, you also get explanations (i.e. noun, or suru noun) and example conjugations (which you can also search by). The only thing that I say the Kanji Sonomama does better is handwriting recognition, but with kanji by part, that's not too big a deal.
  • If you're going to learn Japanese seriously, you're going to want to start to use Japanese dictionaries anyway. EDICT is fine as a quick lookup tool, but when you want an actual dictionary, it's stuff like Daijirin etc which matters.
  • Thanks for all the comments and replies. I was lucky enough to GET a denshijisho for my birthday.
    a very very nice one i might add.

    Ex-Word Dataplus4 xd-gf6500 with the option to write the kanji.

    Loving it loving it. :)
  • i want 2 buy a denshi jisho.. could u sugested me , which dictionary is best 4 me..
  • To effectively help you with choosing a dictionary, we need to know your situation, such as how much you wish to spend, your proficiency at Japanese, your requirements for an electronic dictionary, features you would like &c.
    Personally, I definitely recommend hand-writing input. Other than that, almost all electronic dictionaries have got a Japanese-English, Japanese-Japanese and kanji dictionary, those three are often sufficient for daily purposes. More expensive dictionaries include more specialized dictionaries and books, eg classical Japanese, katakana spelling, synonym, proverb, English-English dictionaries and more, sometimes they also include literature, both fiction and non-fiction.
  • agreed blutorange, well said. I heavily recommend the one I have, it has soo many functions I dont even use 5% of it hah. Plus the handwriting tab is absolutely amazing.
  • I have a casio xd-a9800, which is fantastic for what it is, but I use my iPhone just as much, if not more.
    The advantages of the iPhone:
    - a great variety of dictionaries (either EPWING or separate iPhone app) that you can constantly update without extra expenses
    - you can pick-and-choose which dictionaries are right for you as you get better or specialize in a particular area. You don't have to pay up-front for advanced material you might never need.
    - you can get EDICT and EIJIRO on it, which, together with the GG (see below) will cover 99.9% of your japanese-to-english needs
    - you can get the Kenkyusha Green Goddess on it, which is missing from low-end casio units (only available in the 9800 and 10000 series) (the el-cheapo Genius dictionary included on some low-end models is crap, Progressive is slightly better but is still crap.)
    - the EDICT apps (e.g. "Japanese" and "Midori") will do reverse-conjugation to find word stems for you - extremely useful for beginners
    - you can "super-jump" onto wikipedia or google/google images if all dictionaries fail (which can happen quite regularly, depending on the type of material you read :))
    - easily pocketable
    - super high-resolution screen, which makes reading kanji easier
    - can be used as an excellent ebook reader with a built-in dictionary
    - good for other things, like phone calls and games :)

    The advantages of the Casio:
    - physical keyboard - faster and easier to type
    - kanji handwriting input with a stylus (somewhat more convenient than using the touchscreen of the iPhone)
    - contains real, recorded (not text-to-speech) pronunciations for all common Japanese words.
    - all-in-one package, everything works, everything is integrated. Nothing additional to buy/select/customize/hack.
    - you don't have to charge the battery regularly, just replace the AA's every few months

    Previously the lack of handwriting input was quoted as a drawback of iPhone/iPod touch, which is no longer much of an issue, because many dictionary apps have built-in handwriting recognition. There is also a standalone handwriting-capable "Handwriting Notes" app if all else fails.
  • Excellent review of electronic dictionaries here. The writer is in favor the Casio XD B10000, a top line dictionary that retails for over $600.00.

    As others have pointed out it depends very much on your level of Japanese and what you need it for...

    Cheers, J

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