Using Pictures to Aid in Dictionary Understanding — 11 Comments

  1. Not to undermine the awesome post you made about the power of pictures (great idea), but… this post made me think about my favorite J->J dictionary… an elementary school dictionary! Yay!

    The definition for “鮭” is:

    To me, that definition is easy to understand, and I know immediately which fish they’re describing. Maybe I spend too much time watching nature shows, though. You get a bonus of learning the names of their… delicious? :x ..roe.



    ….maybe it doesn’t work as well with plants XD
    I don’t even know with pictures what the rest of those things are, though :O Wait, is that one frog legs? :X

    Anyways… I love my kid dictionary >____>

      • Hey Adam, or any one else, would you recommend this dictionary? I find the one I bought to be a more difficult one (recommended from someone who posted on jalup) that can be to difficult at the moment. Also, web dictionaries can be quite difficult too. Just wondering if this is a good choice. I’m referring to the one Togii recommended. Thanks!

        • I’m not the biggest fan of children’s dictionaries, because eventually you have to get use to regular dictionaries, so I like to focus on the early start.

          The benefit of web dictionaries, is they often define things in different ways, which can be a boost to understand a troubling word.

    • I just checked this out on Amazon and the publication date for the newest version is 2010. Would that put it out of the realm of usefulness now with an 8 year advancement in the Japanese language?

      • I think 2010 is fine. Sure it may not include the newest words, but 2010 isn’t that old, and not that many new words are added to the dictionary every year.

      • I bought this similar dictionary a few years back, which was updated in 2014 if you want something newer. It looks very similar in style.


        It looks like this rerelease from 2017 is the same 10th edition in full color, so you might consider getting that instead if you want this:


        • Awesome, I essentially just bought the same one as you linked. Just a bit different. Did you find the dictionary useful? Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. If you add pictures to the J-J definitions, isn’t there a risk that your brain might swiftly associate that picture with whatever word you know the picture of in your own language, thus undermining the J-J part?

    Do you think it would be a good idea to insert the picture into the answer section but way down so you’d have to scroll down to see it? That way you’d see the Japanese answer/definition first, reflect on that for a while until you have an idea what it means and then finally scroll down to the “second” answer which would be the picture.

    • I think you learn to associate the picture with the Japanese word since you are looking at both at the same time. Of course your mind may shoot to the English definition, but that may happen regardless of the picture being there, and this general problem fades with time.

      Though I do think that sounds like a good idea having to see the Japanese first before you can see the picture.

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