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Thread: Denshi Jisho

  1. #1
    Member shesgotacigarette's Avatar
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    Default Denshi Jisho

    Do you have one? Discuss how useful it is and what kind?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I have a Sharp one, it's great however you need at least basic comprehension of Japanese to get any kind of use out of any model.

    Hiragana / Katakana is a requirement.
    The Canon models sometimes have an English menu system too, otherwise you need a higher level of Japanese to navigate round the thing.

    Best to stick to a paper dictionary if you're unsure.
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  3. #3
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    Sharp papyrus.

    It's useful. But you do need a lot of Japanese to work through it.

    The English to Japanese is a bit tricky to use because you put in a word and you'll get multiple definitions all of which are in post college level Japanese with no furigana so you need to then figure out which word you really mean. But there are usually example sentences that let you narrow down the pick.
    Last edited by UPGRAYEDD; April 22nd, 2009 at 16:10.
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I have a Canon Word Tank. Does the trick, though I still prefer the paper dictionaries if I have the time and can look stuff up at my desk.
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  5. #5
    magic markers Gezora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I have a Canon Wordtank and a Langenscheidt pocket paper dicitonary (the kind with the yellow vynil cover). I usually carry one or both in my bag whenever I'm out and about. I would definitely start with a small, decent paper dictionary and get the electronic one in addition, unless you already know a ton of Japanese.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    DS + Rakubiki Jiten. Add on Kakitori-kun for another 30 bucks or whatever it was and you end up with, for less than $200, a really handy and compact write-able dictionary setup, plus a great kanji-learning game.

    I guess it's probably more limited than a "real" dictionary, but honestly, I haven't run into any problems with that so far. The interface is also pretty intuitive.
    Last edited by Wakatta; April 22nd, 2009 at 17:34.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I started with the DS dictionary. I then got a kids Japanese-Japanese dictionary so I could keep it all in the language. The DS dictionary is pretty easy to figure out and use. It served me well. The kids dictionary is pretty tough starting out, but after a while you get used to having a blurry feel for words. It's sometimes better than having slightly off translations. And it keeps it all in the language so more acquisition can happen. Make sure to get a kids dictionary with furigana. Not all have it.

    Eventually I outgrew the DS dictionary as it didn't seem to have words I was looking for. This was at a time when I was really reaching high with my reading. So I got the Sharp Papyrus. It has a writing pad. I disagree with what others have said. You don't need tons and tons of Japanese to use it. I got mine after about 9 months of study. As long as you can figure out how to work it, you'll be fine. Get a Japanese friend or teacher to help you get started if you can't figure it out on your own. Having one with the writing pad is key though if you want to look up kanji. Otherwise, you can look things up with kana or romaji. (Just figure out how to select which input you want.) Going from English to Japanese will indeed require knowledge of kana. Knowledge of kanji is very helpful, but you can get around it with the S Jump button. It allows you to highlight any word you don't know in a definition and look it up. You can keep looking up words you don't know until you've got it worked out. And you don't ever lose the original definition. You can just go back. On my good days, I try to keep it all in Japanese and use the SJump button to keep looking up words in Japanese until I can figure out the original definition which was also in Japanese.

    I find my denshi jisho extremely useful and would recommend getting one to people learning Japanese. When is up to you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I'm not sure which DS dictionary you're referring to, but Rakubiki has J-J as well as E-J.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

  9. #9
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    Canon G80.

    Had it for 3 years. Love the thing.

    I use it for both Chinese and Japanese and sometimes to look up the odd English word. Love the thing.

    They're pricey though. Only really comes recommended if you are into Chinese as well as Japanese.
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  10. #10
    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I also have a Canon Wordtank, and I love it. There aren't any English menus, but it's pretty easy to figure it out, so it's not too much of a problem. There also isn't a writing pad (which would be really useful, but I got it for free so I can't complain), but I've been getting along fine without it. If I don't know a kanji and can't figure out the reading from the radicals, I'm usually able to look it up using the number of strokes/known radicals.

    +1 on how it's tricky to go from English to Japanese, but if you go into the thesaurus it's pretty easy, especially since they usually put the Japanese word in furigana.

    I don't know what I would do as someone living in Japan/learning the language without it. Possible, but it makes life sooo much easier, I find.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Virus FM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    DS kanji sono mama rakubiki jiten. I will love it until my last breath, used it every single day for a span of years. It won't help you read like, Tokugawa literature or anything, but then if you need something hardcore, you're probably not out and about, and so there's always Jim Breen.

  12. #12
    Backwater Blonde Rachel1404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avocado View Post
    I don't know what I would do as someone living in Japan/learning the language without it. Possible, but it makes life sooo much easier, I find.
    With a recommendation like that I definitely want to get one of these now.

    Did you guys buy yours before you went to Japan or once you got there?

    Does anyone know any good links to online stores?

  13. #13
    Tall one nHx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    Try ebay (s'where I bought mine) or i think www.thejapanshop.com might have a few

  14. #14

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I have the rakubiki jiten and a Casio Ex-Word. It's another one where you need at least a basic understanding of Japanese to get your money's worth, but I like it a lot.

  15. #15
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    I bought mine (a Casio Ex-Word) from White Rabbit Press, the makers of the popular flashcards. It took three days to arrive from Japan and so far I am really happy with it. The menus are all in Japanese but it is very easy to figure out to be honest, as long as you can read hiragana and katakana. I also bought an electronic form of Jack Halpern's Kanji Learner's Dictionary which is really useful.

  16. #16
    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Someone who I met here who had studied English for a year in college gave hers to me. It was definitely an awesome (and unexpected) gift, and if you can find such a benefactor I suggest you do

  17. #17

    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    Wakatta - You're right. I didn't mean to misrepresent the DS dictionary. At that point, the J-J was beyond me. I should have said that the kids dictionary was purchased to keep it all in Japanese that I could understand, or at least look up easily since it's all furigana'd. I don't think I ever used the DS dictionary to it's full potential, but regardless, for my reading material, I felt the J-E dictionary was inadequate. Perhaps, the J-J section had a wider range, as is true with my Papyrus, but at the time I couldn't use it effectively.

    One thing that I have to say about the DS that I loved much more than my Papyrus was the writing pad. Since I used Heisig to learn kanji, I knew the stroke orders and directions very easily from the beginning. I found that the DS recognized kanji based on these rather than on the look of the finished written kanji. This meant I could write very fast and sloppily and it would still recognize the kanji. I could almost stay in the exact same spot writing stroke over stroke and it would still get it as long as they were in the right direction in the right order. The Papyrus I think works on the look of the finished product more. That or it is trained to recognize how adults normally handwrite kanji which doesn't always look like the printed kanji or the way students are taught to write kanji when they are learning them. Similar to how an adult's written roman letters don't usually resemble the alphabet they were taught in grade school. So I sometimes have trouble getting it to recognize kanji that I know I'm writing correctly. It just takes me more time to look up kanji with the Papyrus than with the DS.

  18. #18
    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Denshi Jisho

    I have the Canon Wordtank G50. Bought it some 3 to 4 years ago, and I still use it a lot today. I like how it doesn't have the "writing input" method for kanji lookup because you're then forced to look kanji up like a traditional kanji dictionary -- ie. through number of strokes, radicals, pronunciation of radicals, etc. Really helps you remember how to read kanji well.

    I stupidly imported mine from Japan before I went to Japan the first time, and ended up paying some $350 for it. Using the thing was a little overwhelming at first because my Japanese sucked, but after fiddling around with it for a while it's like second nature.

  19. #19
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    Get an ipod touch, then buy Japanese (http://www.codefromtokyo.com/japanese). It's pretty much replaced every other dictionary I own, paper or electronic. It uses the Jim Breen database (but doesn't need wifi connection), allows kanji lookup by writing it on the screen (if you turn on chinese handwriting input) or by radical, allows you to compile your own vocab lists, contains lists of proverbs, counters, allows you to view entries/kanji by radical/stroke count/school year or JLPT level AND gives you a countdown to the next JLPT test. Best dictionary ever.

  20. #20
    VIP UPGRAYEDD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13tales View Post
    Get an ipod touch, then buy Japanese (http://www.codefromtokyo.com/japanese). It's pretty much replaced every other dictionary I own, paper or electronic. It uses the Jim Breen database (but doesn't need wifi connection), allows kanji lookup by writing it on the screen (if you turn on chinese handwriting input) or by radical, allows you to compile your own vocab lists, contains lists of proverbs, counters, allows you to view entries/kanji by radical/stroke count/school year or JLPT level AND gives you a countdown to the next JLPT test. Best dictionary ever.

    Does it have the same example sentences as Jim Breen?
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
    (郷に入っては郷に従え.)

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