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Dictionaries

Supervin

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Hey all.

As I'm starting out on Japanese this month, I intend to purchase a good dictionary that will serve me for years. I've already mastered hiragana and katakana and know how to read/write kanji (from the Chinese language) so I guess dictionary entries with them are find although I don't mind a little roomaji every now and then. Just as long as the dictionary isn't based on roomaji. I prefer English explanations for the entries.

Oh and for the time being, I intend to self-study Japanese due to uni commitments and so forth, so a dictionary which is user friendly and explicit in explanations would be great, along with sample sentences.

How do the dictionaries work? I've heard of the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, but that's for only kanji - how about for hiragana and katakana? Are they separate and what are the equally comprehensive ones for those?

Finally, as I won't have access to a native speaker, is an electronic dictionary a good idea? I'm aware that there are pitches to grasp when communicating in Japanese, which is the main issue I would reckon. What brands and models are useful for the learner and with sound (that can speak)?

Any input would be appreciated, cheers.
 

KrazyKat

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There is a dictionary called the Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary. I strongly recommend that you buy this one, not only is it very good for beginners it is just far above the competition. Its all in kana, with the kanji too, (which is very important), clear layout and good examples.

When you are at a computer you can use Jim Breen's online dictionary, http://www.edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/wwwjdic?1C,
but sill make sure to get the Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary. 👍

You probably don't need to get a Kanji dictionary yet so don't wory about that for the moment.
 

Kinsao

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I was going to recommend exactly the same one as Krazy Kat! :)

Also, the middle section with grammatical explanations is useful.
 

Supervin

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I've heard good things about the Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary in reviews too. It looks like I'm going have to decide between that and Kodansha's Furigana one. Cheers for the input so far.

How about electronic dictionaries with sound? It would be impossible to guess the correct pitch emphasis on words in a sentence and on each mora in a word, I suppose?
 

KrazyKat

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I wouldn't expect that you would need a dictionary with sound. Its probably a waste of money.
 

Supervin

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KrazyKat said:
I wouldn't expect that you would need a dictionary with sound. Its probably a waste of money.
Why's that? How about pitch emphasis like I said - surely you can't figure it out from dictionaries can you?
 

KrazyKat

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Well I've never worried about pitch emphasis. Perhaps my accent suffurs for it, I don't know, I don't think that it is a big deal. If you are listening to Japanese on TV or anime you should pick up the speaking pitches and rythmns a lot better than from a dictionary. A single word will probably even sound completely different when used in a sentance.
 
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