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Electronic Dictionaries

What do you look for in an electronic dictionary?

  • Number of Dictionaries Included

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Any specific dictionary

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • A Specific Maker

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Jump Feature

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Cheap Price

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 2 28.6%

  • Total voters
    7

Mikawa Ossan

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What do you look for when you buy an electronic dictionary?

Price? Number of dictionaries? A specific dictionary? The maker? Jump feature? Anything else?

What are your experiences with electronic dictionaries? Any recommendations? Anything to stay away from?

Tell us what you think!
 

Glenn

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I've never owned one. But lately I've been looking at a few, and here's my ideal starting point (if anyone made one like this and money weren't a problem):

1) スーパー大辞林 -- I know that 広辞苑 has been around for a while and comes with most dictionaries, but I like 大辞林 because it has markings for accent. It seems to be the only dictionary that does. The super version also has reverse lookup (which usually also comes with dictionaries with 広辞苑, by the way), and has the same number of entries as 広辞苑, around 230,000. Also, after reading reviews on Amazon, it seems that 広辞苑 is a bit old-fashioned.

2) 新漢語林 -- With over 14,000 entries it's the most complete kanji dictionary I've seen outside of 漢和大辞典 or 字統. The printed version has oracle bone and bronze characters, as well as Chinese readings and an index of what period the Japanese readings came from, on top of character etymologies and definitions and example compounds. It also has a list of difficult readings and compounds where the character you're looking up isn't the first in the compound. Also, there's an index of Trad Chinese -> Japanese -> Simp Chinese variants, as well as other things I can't remember now.

3) 日本語大シソーラス -- Granted, I haven't looked at lots of thesaurases, but this one seems to be the better of the two that I've looked at.

4) Don't have a specific choice here, but a good 古語辞典.

5) 四字熟語辞典 -- again, no specific choice

6) ことわざ辞典 -- ditto

7) リーダーズ英和辞典 and リーダーズプラス -- Looks like a combined 460,000 entries. I may be reading that wrong, though.

8) 新和英大辞典 -- With 480,000 entries, it looks to be the most complete 和英辞典 I've seen.

9) OED -- Just 'cause I'd like to have it.

10) Oxford Thesaurus of English

I think that would be a good starting point to cover Japanese and English. As far as extra stuff, it's be nice to have a 中日日中辞典 (Trad/Simp), some Japanese usage and grammar reference materials, some history stuff, encyclopedia stuff, etc.

As far as features, jump is nice, as is handwritten entry, and a backlight. These seem to be becoming more common and pretty soon will be standard, though. Long battery life is a plus, too.

So, there's my wish list. When actually considering a real dictionary I look at one that has the best combination of the things I want and the price. If it's too expensive, obviously I won't be able to get it, but I'd be willing to go fairly high in price to get what I want.
 

RockLee

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Options !

The more, the better :)

Kanji look-up, english-english, japanese-english, english-japanese, TOIC, etc.

I bought mine 2 years ago and the funny thing is I learned how to look up kanji by stroke or... 2 weeks ago !! It's quite handy for looking up kanji.

It wasn't that expensive either. I think the shopkeepers (not all are quaks) should give you more detailed info. :)
 

leonmarino

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Ah, interesting. I was just looking at some e-dictionaries the other day. My fave options are:
  • Stroke order
  • Touchpad/Writepad
  • Jump feature
I don't care much for the type of dictionaries, most of them include many more than I could possible use.. The ordinary Jap-Eng, Eng-Jap and a Kanjigen will suffice for me. :)
 

epigene

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I've collected a number of PC-installable dictionaries and use them instead of the packaged e-dictionaries because I started collecting them that way. I vote with Glenn with what he recommended and own most of them but am still on the lookout for a good Japanese thesaurus. As of now, I depend on a paper dictionary for this purpose. 😌

I've read somewhere that 角川類語辞典 is good and am waiting for someone to give me a free copy... :p

If price isn't an issue for you, many people recommend Seiko Instruments' e-dictionary packages. The specific model recommended was the SR-E9000, but that was before the E10000 and the G10000 were introduced. The three models look very good (though none of them are perfect in my eyes).

The E9000 has a unique collection of specialized dictionaries that I'd like to have. But, it doesn't have the 逆引き広辞苑 that I'm interested in. (That's another dictionary I'm planning to get.)

The E10000 and G10000 have it. These two are characterized by a very extensive collection of dictionaries and encyclopedia (both Japanese and English) but minus specialized dictionaries.

Of these two models, I'd go for E10000 because it has an all-at-once search function that allows you to search multiple dictionaries at once. I think that's neat.

Of course, if you need a writing pad, these are all out of the question... 😊
 

Mikawa Ossan

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First of all, I wish to apologize for the poll...I originally wanted to make one where you could chose multiple responses...but I don't know how.

I just bought a new dictionary recently. I got the Sharp PW-V9500 for the rock bottom price of 20,000 yen. It replaces my Sharp PW-7000 which I have been using since 1999. Ironically this new one cost less than the old one did at the time and it does a zillion times more! (Sorry, Glenn! I was mistaken when I told you I had a Casio!)

Why did I chose this one?

First off, I am like leonmarino in that at the heart of it, all I really am looking for is a set of 4 dictionaries: kokugo, J-E, E-J, Kanji.

Now I start to get picky.

I want Koujien for my kokugo dictionary.
I prefer to use the Genius dictionaries for J-E and E-J.
The kanji dictionary can be anything.

What made this dictionary stand out for me is the following:

The English-English dictionary was Oxford, not Longman. I don't like Longman.
It's the same maker as my old one.
It was cheap.
It has a classical Japanese dictionary and all of those kotowaza, etc. dictionaries.
It doesn't have the most features of all the dictionaries on the market, but it also doesn't have a lot of features that I will never use, either.
 

leonmarino

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My kanojyo is thinking of buying for the purpose of learning English, so we've been checking out a few on the net. It really surprised me that the prices that are quoted on the internet can be twice as high as the actual price?! And now I see that Ossan has also bought a e-dictionary for far under half the price!?

Can anyone tell me why that is? Or rather: can anyone tell me how they pull it off?

ps: By the way, nice dictionary, Ossan!! Now you can finally do some English vocabulary drills!! 😊

No, seriously, nice one, but it doesn't have stroke order does it? Why do so few e-dictionaries have stroke orders!? Am I too stupid or is everyone around me so smart!? 😌
 

epigene

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Leon,

According to kakaku.com, the bestseller is Casio Exceed XD-SW6400
It has a great collection of J & E dictionaries, plus a lot of things you'll never use... 😊

Lowest price on the Web (Japan price) for it is around 24,000 yen.

The lower ranking XD-SW4800 looks good, too, depending on what your girlfriend thinks.

And, they both have writing pads!! 👍
 

Mikawa Ossan

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My kanojyo is thinking of buying for the purpose of learning English, so we've been checking out a few on the net. It really surprised me that the prices that are quoted on the internet can be twice as high as the actual price?! And now I see that Ossan has also bought a e-dictionary for far under half the price!?
Can anyone tell me why that is? Or rather: can anyone tell me how they pull it off?
I don't know everything, but the listed price is always for when the dictionary is brand new. The one I bought is maybe the second newest one, so it's a little cheaper. Also, I bought the last one in the store (it was the display item), so I got another discount that way.
ps: By the way, nice dictionary, Ossan!! Now you can finally do some English vocabulary drills!! 😊
yeah, I've been meaning to brush up on my English for some time now! lol
No, seriously, nice one, but it doesn't have stroke order does it? Why do so few e-dictionaries have stroke orders!? Am I too stupid or is everyone around me so smart!? 😌
No it doesn't have stroke order, nor does it have a stylus pad. I have the feeling that if I had a stylus pad, I'd just lose the stylus anyway.

I think that the reason that most of them don't have stroke order is a) presumably they are made for Japanese people who learned stroke order in school b) maybe this is not a problem any more, but perhaps it's a memory issue?
 

epigene

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For those who want the definitive dictionary of the Japanese language:

日本国語大辞典 第二版

For those who can't afford the 220,000+ yen price tag, there will be Web access to the dictionary starting this summer, based on monthly subscription of 1,575 yen.
日国オンライン

This is something I'd like to have but don't really need... :eek:
 

JimmySeal

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I got the Sharp PW-V9500 for the rock bottom price of 20,000 yen. It replaces my Sharp PW-7000 which I have been using since 1999. Ironically this new one cost less than the old one did at the time and it does a zillion times more! (Sorry, Glenn! I was mistaken when I told you I had a Casio!)
Good call. I would have recommended a Sharp of all the makers. Their prices are lower than comparable models of other brands, without any loss in quality. The only thing I've noticed Sharp dictionaries to lack is English menus, which has never been a problem.

Still, the more I learn about learning, the less I use a dictionary. Half a year ago, my Sharp and I were inseparable, and now I hardly touch the thing, though my fervor for studying Japanese hasn't dwindled a bit. I've been preaching the gospel of Gethin, Gunnemark and Bond a lot lately but if you've never read these pages, you should check 'em out:
http://www.english-learning.co.uk/voc.html
http://static.unilang.org/resources/vocab/vocdb.html
 

leonmarino

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Leon,
According to kakaku.com, the bestseller is Casio Exceed XD-SW6400
It has a great collection of J & E dictionaries, plus a lot of things you'll never use... 😊
Thanks for the link! It indeed look impressive.. It even has a wine guide and shoutyuu guide! these definitely are major plusses for me. :)
I think that the reason that most of them don't have stroke order is a) presumably they are made for Japanese people who learned stroke order in school b) maybe this is not a problem any more, but perhaps it's a memory issue?
I think it's (a). Memory definitely isn't a problem anymore.. Guess I have to study a bit harder!! 😌
I've been preaching the gospel of Gethin, Gunnemark and Bond a lot lately but if you've never read these pages, you should check 'em out:
http://www.english-learning.co.uk/voc.html
http://static.unilang.org/resources/vocab/vocdb.html
Yeah I've already read the above link. It is very interesting and thank you for posting it!! I have to say a lot of the things to similar are what the Pimsleur method is about..
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Still, the more I learn about learning, the less I use a dictionary. Half a year ago, my Sharp and I were inseparable, and now I hardly touch the thing, though my fervor for studying Japanese hasn't dwindled a bit.
I use my electronic dictionary for many things, but not to check the meanings of Japanese words as much as you might think.

I use my dictionary as an encyclopedia, I use it to remind me how to write kanji, I use it as a calculator, I use it as a paperweight, I use it to learn new vocabulary, I use it when I compose something in Japanese to help me find the right word, I use it prove points when conversing with Japanese people, I use it ironically to find the meaning of English words (quite a lot, actually), recently I use it increasingly to find the pronunciation of English words, etc.

There was a span of a couple of years where I rarely used it, but it sure is convenient to have around! Nowadays my e-dictionary is going through a rennaisance, especially now that I have a new one. It's so useful for looking up information! It's better than a PC in my opinion because it's smaller and you don't need the internet to access the info.
 
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