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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are plenty of electronic dictionaries aimed specifically at students, which tend to have more built-in study tools.
Here are our favorite Japanese-English electronic dictionaries for students, professionals, and more!
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
Electronic Dictionary Medical Model
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
|Included dictionaries||Not provided||170||Not provided||100 (Meikyou, Genius, and more)||165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, and more)||6||8|
|Jump||Not provided||No||No||No||No||No||Not provided|
|Included dictionaries||Not provided|
|Included dictionaries||Not provided|
|Included dictionaries||100 (Meikyou, Genius, and more)|
|Included dictionaries||165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, and more)|
XD – G5900MED
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.
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.
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.
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans