• 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More) 1
  • 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More) 2
  • 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More) 3
  • 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More) 4
  • 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More) 5

7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries in 2022 (Sharp, Casio, and More)

If you’ve been studying Japanese for long enough, you’ve probably considered investing in a Japanese-English electronic dictionary. Ubiquitous in Japan and full of more (and better) resources than you could ever have on your phone, it makes sense to have one if you’re serious about your study. But with so many models each with different functionalities, it can be hard to pick one out. 


We did the research and compiled a list of the top 7 best Japanese-English electronic dictionaries. For a well-rounded device that's great for learners, we recommend Sharp's Color Electronic Dictionary Brain High School Model. Aimed at students, it contains a wide range of topics as well as study tools to help with memorization. See the rest of our picks below. And if you're having trouble deciding, our buying guide is full of tips and information to help you out.

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mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-18-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Japanese-English Electronic Dictionary - Buying Guide

Because there are so many different functions on a Japanese-English electronic dictionary, we figured it’d be most practical to pick out the most important ones and talk about them one by one. 

Pay Attention to the Included Dictionaries

Depending on your level of Japanese, you may want to have multiple different dictionaries available for you to reference. Different dictionaries will have different numbers of entries, making some options more thorough than others.

Different Dictionaries for Different Types of Translation

Different Dictionaries for Different Types of Translation

Electronic dictionaries include multiple dictionaries and will often specify the maker. For Japanese-English translation, keep an eye out for Kenkyusha’s Shinwaeijiten, which is one of the most thorough dictionaries available. New Progressive and Kodansha are also good options.

For English-Japanese translation, the Randomhouse Daijiten, Genius Daijiten, and The Modern Reader’s Dictionary are among the best you can find.
For Japanese-Japanese lookup, Daijiten and Daijisen are some of the most thorough, but Koujien and Meikyou are also good options.

Specialized Dictionaries for Specific Needs

Specialized Dictionaries for Specific Needs

If you’re focused on studying kanji, look to see if the dictionary has the Kanji Kentei Kanji Jiten, which is the standard for the Kanji Kentei Exam. Depending on your goals, it might be helpful to have dictionaries that cover idioms and sayings as well. 


There are also dictionaries that specialize in business terms, medical terms, formal and written Japanese, student learning, and more. Many electronic dictionaries allow you to purchase additional dictionaries as add-ons.

Look for Handwriting Input for Easy Kanji Lookup

Look for Handwriting Input for Easy Kanji Lookup

Instead of scrolling through lists of radicals or guessing at readings, wouldn’t it be easier just to write the word? Many electronic dictionaries have touchpads where you can input characters by hand, saving you time and energy.

See if There's a “Jump” Functionality for Quick Tangents

See if There's a “Jump” Functionality for Quick Tangents
Some electronic dictionaries have a function called “jump,” which allows you to select words from within definitions and look those up. This is a super convenient feature, especially if you’re looking up high-level Japanese or are not fully comfortable with the language yet.

Check for Flashcard Apps for Focused Study

Check for Flashcard Apps for Focused Study
Aside from just acting as a reference, some electronic dictionaries also allow you to create flashcard lists to study from the words you look up. While these aren’t as sophisticated as the spaced repetition flashcard apps on your phone, it’s a great way to get some distraction-free studying in.

There are plenty of electronic dictionaries aimed specifically at students, which tend to have more built-in study tools.

7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries

Here are our favorite Japanese-English electronic dictionaries for students, professionals, and more!

Image
1
Sharp Color Electronic Dictionary Brain High School Model 1

Sharp

2
Casio Ex-word Electronic Dictionary  1

Casio

3
Sharp Compact Electronic Dictionary Brain 1

Sharp

4
Sharp Touch Panel Japanese Electronic Dictionary 1

Sharp

5
Sharp Japanese Electronic Dictionary Brain Model  1

Sharp

6
Canon WordTank 1

Canon

7
Casio Electronic Dictionary Medical Model 1

Casio

Name

Color Electronic Dictionary Brain High School Model

Ex-word Electronic Dictionary

Compact Electronic Dictionary Brain

Touch Panel Japanese Electronic Dictionary

Japanese Electronic Dictionary Brain Model

WordTank

Electronic Dictionary Medical Model

Features

Talk, Listen, Write, and Read

A Dictionary With Resources for Reading Practice

Quick Translations for Travelers

A Health-Focused Electronic Dictionary

Great for Japanese High School Students

For Simple Word Lookup Only

For Doctors, Nurses, and Medical Professionals

Price$256.12$578.11$162.23$350.82$114.78$49.00$1,304.97
Included dictionariesNot provided170Not provided100 (Meikyou, Genius, and more) 165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, and more) 68
HandwritingYesYesNoYesYesNoYes
JumpNot providedNoNoNoNoNoNot provided
Study toolsYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Link
1

SharpColor Electronic Dictionary Brain High School Model

PW-SH6-W

$256.12

Included dictionariesNot provided
HandwritingYes
JumpNot provided
Study toolsYes
2

CasioEx-word Electronic Dictionary

XD-K4800WE

$578.11

Included dictionaries170
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study toolsYes
3

SharpCompact Electronic Dictionary Brain

PW-NA1-B

$162.23

Included dictionariesNot provided
HandwritingNo
JumpNo
Study toolsNo
4

SharpTouch Panel Japanese Electronic Dictionary

PW-A7300-G

$350.82

Included dictionaries100 (Meikyou, Genius, and more)
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study toolsNo
5

SharpJapanese Electronic Dictionary Brain Model

PW-G5300-A

$114.78

Included dictionaries165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, and more)
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study toolsNo
6

CanonWordTank

IDP-700G

$49.00

Included dictionaries6
HandwritingNo
JumpNo
Study toolsNo
7

CasioElectronic Dictionary Medical Model

XD – G5900MED

$1,304.97

Included dictionaries8
HandwritingYes
JumpNot provided
Study toolsNo

How to Make the Most of Your Japanese-English Electronic Dictionary

How to Make the Most of Your Japanese-English Electronic Dictionary

In this age of smartphones, it might seem redundant to have an electronic dictionary. However, once you become comfortable using it, you may find that it's better than a phone for translations and definitions! Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your electronic dictionary.

First of all, it's a great tool for when you need to focus. Because an electronic dictionary is basically just a dictionary, it’s a lot harder to get distracted. Use it at work, while you’re studying, or in class.

Secondly, get comfortable with the keyboard. Once you get the hang of typing your searches, you’ll likely find that it’s much faster to type on an actual keyboard input than on a touchscreen.

Brush Up on Your Language Skills

Whether you're trying to learn a new language or are looking to improve your current skills, it never hurts to get better at communicating. Check out more of our favorite products for language learning below.

By Jacqueline Oshiro
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