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Japanese electronic dictionary

Ivo

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Hello everyone,

I am more or less a new member to this forum and I am hoping to get help from you.

Where would you buy a good English-Japanese electronic dictionary? (I have in mind those little calculator-type looking electronic dictionaries). Should I buy them in the U.S. or in Japan?
How much should I expect to pay for a decent one?
What functions should it have?
Could you recommend a certain type or a brand?

I've been studying Japanese in a very serious fashion for 1 year now and I am going to do a home stay/language program to Hokkaido this summer. I know that there exists a huge array of these electronic dictionaries in Japan but I am not sure if they are totally suitable for non-Japanese. Your thoughts? Otherwise, I'll have about 1-2 days in Tokyo to look around and buy one. Any suggestions where to go?

Thank you for your all input in advance,

ivo
 

nice gaijin

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You have quite a few options available to you, but if you are unsure of which specific device you want, you will have better luck window shopping in Japan. Your needs will vary, but you should keep an eye on the different dictionaries in each device (some have more than others); this is probably the biggest variable. Probably the most useful function would be the JUMP function, which lets you jump between dictionaries and look up new words and characters you come across. The Canon Wordtank is a good example; I have a Seiko M4000 and it's fulfilled most of my needs when I used it.

One option that has become increasingly popular is the Nintendo DS software, because it lets you use the touch screen to input words and kanji you wish to translate, and it has a decent dictionary. I have this as well and it has pretty much replaced my Seiko, because the touch screen is so convenient. The other great advantage is the price of the DS and software is much lower than an electronic dictionary with a touchscreen, and there is a huge library of other games and learning aids available for the DS. Expandability is a beautiful thing.

Good luck in your search.
 

Ivo

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Nice_gaijin, thank you very much for the reply.
Just a few clarifications:

You have quite a few options available to you, but if you are unsure of which specific device you want, you will have better luck window shopping in Japan

would you know a place in Tokyo where to go? Or do you think that I can leave it until I get to Hakodate? (a place where I'll be studying). I assume Tokyo might have the biggest selection, right?

One option that has become increasingly popular is the Nintendo DS software, because it lets you use the touch screen to input words and kanji you wish to translate, and it has a decent dictionary.

this sounds great. Would allow me to write a kanji on the screen and then given me a direct translation? Is this what you mean with the touch screen input?

I have this as well and it has pretty much replaced my Seiko, because the touch screen is so convenient. The other great advantage is the price of the DS and software is much lower than an electronic dictionary with a touchscreen, and there is a huge library of other games and learning aids available for the DS. Expandability is a beautiful thing.

So if I understand you correctly, I'd have to buy two things: a DS (the electronic device) and software for that, right?
How much should I expect to pay for it?

thank you very much again.
 

nice gaijin

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would you know a place in Tokyo where to go? Or do you think that I can leave it until I get to Hakodate? (a place where I'll be studying). I assume Tokyo might have the biggest selection, right?
Any major electronics store should have a halfway decent selection of electronic dictionaries, same for the DS. There's also the internet, as an option.

this sounds great. Would allow me to write a kanji on the screen and then given me a direct translation? Is this what you mean with the touch screen input?
Yes, although you need to understand the basics of kanji stroke order, or the characters you input may not be recognized. I found this to be invaluable when coming across unknown kanji. If you get a dictionary without a touch screen, you can look kanji up by radical or stroke order.

So if I understand you correctly, I'd have to buy two things: a DS (the electronic device) and software for that, right?
How much should I expect to pay for it?
yes, you need the DS and the software. Combined, it should come in under 20,000 yen, but I haven't priced these things in over a year. This is the Kanji Software I was talking about, which is a bit more expensive than the average DS soft. There are also plenty of kanji learning software titles out there to supplement your studies.

thank you very much again.
No problem, good luck in your studies.
 
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