Fighting Easier Dictionary-Monsters — 12 Comments

  1. My private teacher pulled one out one time and I was in awe (had Doremon on it too). Although I’m still pretty bad at the ‘alphabetic’ order so finding a word on my own takes some times till. I may buy one this year.

    • I saw the Doremon one in the store – I think it’s actually a different edition of the same one that I got.

      It doesn’t take long to get as fast with kana order as one is with alphabetic in English, and it’s occasionally a useful skill. But flipping through pages is always slower than simply typing.

      • Yeah, I guess that’s what usually turns me off from them but you’re right. If I get used to them I’ll get better at knowing the order.

  2. If I’m struggling with a definition plucked from Yahoo, I sometimes switch to the Sanseido dictionary because the definitions there are often much shorter. But, as you say about having lots of kana instead of lots of kanji, shorter definitions don’t necessarily make understanding easier.

    Using this method could leave holes in comprehension, lack of knowledge of multiple usages and doesn’t always give the best results. Exercise judgment!

  3. I never used a (Japanese) dead tree dictionary. I don’t know how to use one.
    For me, the best is:

    Now I’m about to end the hardcore sentences phase (over 9800). I switched to J-J sentences after ~1000 J-E cards. And yes, the switch was very very hard, but now, I can say that worth it. Absolutely!

  4. If you have an iPad, you can find this dictionary in the app store now (not sure if its for iPod as well). Just search 例解学習国語辞典 第九版. Its in the american store for $13

    • Nice! Can you copy and paste from it? How well does the character input work?

      But no, it’s not available for iPod/iPhone… this makes me want an iPad more than anything else has…

      • You can copy and paste but you have to hold it longer than usual. The character input works very well and you can draw out Kanji too so that’s always a plus :)

  5. I’m not sure how I missed this post when it first went up, or maybe I just didn’t make a note of it since I wasn’t quite ready to go monolingual at the time. Fortunately I came across the same advice over at ajatt a few weeks after I made the transition. Anyway, I just wanted to say what a huge difference going to a grade school dictionary, and 例解学習国語辞典 第九版 in particular, has made. I was muddling through with adult online dictionaries, but this has really made the whole process much easier, faster, and more fun. So, a bit after the fact, thanks for the tips Cayenne and kokujindayo!

  6. I remember looking for electronic dictionaries for elementary school and finding absolutely nothing, but apparently Casio did finally start releasing these in late 2012.

    That’s the new 2013 model but the previous model is somewhat more affordable. I played with yesterday and the definitions are roughly the level of Genki sentences so anyone in the intermediate stage should be able to understand the definitions with a reasonable amount of branching.

    • Thanks for telling us about this. It looks really nifty.

      It still has the disadvantage of not being able to copy and paste from the dictionary into anki cards, but if you ignore the price it’s probably the easiest way to get started using a J-J dictionary while reading, since it has handwriting recognition and I assume it has a jump feature.

      Also it could be fun to read the various reference materials, with very easy lookups.

      (Also the primary dictionary is the same one I have the paper version of.)

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