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. In this guide, we’ll cover the things you should look for when choosing an electronic dictionary so that you can find the right one for you. If you’re still stuck at the end, we have a list of our 7 favorite options (available in the US) for you to consider.
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. After all, when faced with a daunting task, the most efficient thing to do is divide and conquer.
Depending on What You Want to Look up, 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 Specialize in Japanese-English, English-Japanese, and Japanese-Japanese Translation
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.
If Necessary, Look for Specialized Dictionaries, Such as for Kanji or Business Japanese
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. Likewise, there are dictionaries that specialize in business or formal/written Japanese.
However, the more thorough the dictionary, the more expensive it’s going to be. So keep that in mind when making your choice.
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.
“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.
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.
Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online
So now that you know what to look for in an electronic dictionary, here are a few of our favorite options. Maybe you’ll find yours here!
7. Canon Japanese Electronic Dictionary (WordTank IDP-700G)
For Simple Word Lookup (But Not Much Else)
If you’re looking for something cheap that’s literally just a dictionary to look up single words, this is it. It includes six different types of dictionaries (Japanese, Japanese-English, English-Japanese, idioms, etc.) all from Gakken.
It’s very basic, has a Japanese-only interface, and you have to search kanji by radical. But it does at least have furigana on the kanji.
|Included Dictionaries||6 (Gakken)|
6. Sharp Papyrus Electronic Dictionary (PW-AM700-R)
Basic Interface with Strong Resources
This basic electronic dictionary has 30 different resources including a medical dictionary, several business resources, a number of audio recordings, and the Encylopedia Britannica.
Its Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries are robust enough for academic use, although its interface is better suited for those with a strong grasp on the Japanese language.
|Included Dictionaries||30 (Koujien, Genius)|
5. Casio Electronic Dictionary (XD-Y6500BK)
Dictionary with Resources for Reading Practice
This electronic dictionary is built for readers. With over 2000 works of Japanese literature, 1000 international pieces, and resources on topics like medicine, history, and economics, it’s great for well-rounded language education.
While most handwriting input-friendly dictionaries have a separate panel on the bottom, this one has a touchscreen. It’s a bit more unwieldy than the conventional placement, but it’s fine if you don’t use the feature too frequently.
|Included Dictionaries||140 (Koujien, Genius)|
4. Sharp Japanese Electronic Dictionary Brain Model (PW-G5300-A)
With Comprehensive Resources for Japanese High School Students
This electronic dictionary is aimed at Japanese high school students and thus has a ton of resources on subjects normally studied in school, including history, math, and science.
This would make a great resource for someone looking to study like a native student. This dictionary also has several pre-installed videos from the Japanese Encyclopedia Britannica.
|Included Dictionaries||165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, Genius)|
3. Casio Ex-Word Electronic Dictionary for Professionals (XD-N10000)
For Business, Academic Research, and Specialists
This is one of the most robust electronic dictionaries available. With all of the most thorough dictionaries, a multitude of business resources, and an impressive collection of literature, this is the dictionary for those operating at the highest level of Japanese.
On top of all of its resources, this dictionary also includes brain training games and exercises. However, all of these features do come at a price, and it’s $600.
|Included Dictionaries||180 (Koujien, Meikyou, Kenkyusha)|
2. Sharp Electronic Dictionary Brain Model (PW-A7300-G)
High-Value Electronic Dictionary also with Health Tips
Marketed as a lifestyle-focused electronic dictionary, this little machine includes several health-related resources and tips and even has a brain training application.
Aside from that, it also has a great range of dictionaries and learning resources. And at less than $200, this is one of the best bang-for-your-buck electronic dictionaries out there.
|Included Dictionaries||100 (Meikyou, Genius)|
1. Casio Ex-Word Electronic Dictionary (XD-A10000)
For Research and High-Level Japanese Usage
This electronic dictionary allows you to look up basically anything you would ever need and is great for those doing specialized work. It also includes audio files aimed at improving your Japanese pronunciation.
This is an older version of the XD-N10000 model listed above but has essentially all of the same features at $150 less (though slightly less business-focused resources).
|Included Dictionaries||150 (Kenkyusha, Genius, Reader’s, Koujien, Meikyou)|
How to Make the Best Use of Your Japanese-English Electronic Dictionary
In this age of smartphones, it might sometimes seem redundant to have an electronic dictionary, so here are some tips to get your money’s worth.
Use it 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. Get comfortable with the keyboard. Once you get the hang of typing your searches, you’ll notice that it’s much faster to type on an actual keyboard input than on a touchscreen.
So there you have it–a comprehensive guide to picking out a Japanese-English electronic dictionary! While they can be a bit of an investment, their breadth and depth of information make them an invaluable asset, and your study is sure to improve once you have one!
By Jacqueline Oshiro
Studying Japanese can be a drag. Literally, it can sometimes require a ton of books. But let’s be real here, studying with textbooks is so over. Why lug around 5 pounds of dead trees when you have a palm-sized computer right in your pocket? Now, you practically don’t even need books to study because there are a ton of apps you can use instead. There are thousands of apps available, so choosing the right study aid might seem a bit daunting at first. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this guide we’ll go over a few key things to look for when choosing an app to help you study Japanese. And once you’ve got that figured out, we also have a list of our ten favorite apps to help you get started. How to Choose a Japanese Learning App – Buying Guide There are hundreds of apps aimed at teaching you Japanese, and not all of them are great. Here’s a guide to help you figure out what to download and what to skip. Choose an App Based on Your Goals By narrowing your search to apps that meet y
Japanese is a tough language. In fact, according to the U.S.’s Foreign Service Institute, Japanese is perhaps the hardest language for native English speakers to learn. Of course, kanji is a significant barrier, but much of the difficulty actually lies in the fact that the Japanese grammar structure is so different from English’s. That’s why it’s important to have a good book to help you learn all that grammar. Naturally, there are a ton of options, and not every one is going to work for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you cut through the junk and pick the right book for you. In this guide, we’ll give you some tips to figure out what you want from your Japanese grammar book as well as a few of our favorites–separated by level–for you to start your search. How to Choose a Japanese Grammar Book – Buying Guide Buying learning materials can be tough (and costly). This guide will help you figure out what you need from a grammar book so that you can get learning as
Summer is right around the corner, and before you know it, the days will be getting hotter, and you’ll be looking for a way to cool off. While it can be fun to go out for a cool treat, it’s nice to also be able to make your own at home. Whether that’s slushies, snow cones, or frozen margaritas, a shaved ice machine is the best summer house guest. There are a ton of options available, but not all of them will suit your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors to look out for when choosing the right shaved ice machine for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Shaved Ice Machine – Buying Guide Shaved ice machines run the spectrum from $10 plastic machines that look like toys to gigantic metal machines that can shave hundreds of pounds of ice every hour. This guide will help you find your happy medium. Blocked Ice or Cubes–Consider Convenience and Ice Fluffiness Traditionally, shaved ice machines used big
One of the hardest parts about traveling is the language barrier. As English speakers, we’re incredibly lucky that so many people around the world can communicate with us, but we can’t assume that knowing English will be enough. Luckily, there are a bunch of smartphone apps that make bridging the language gap a little bit easier. Picking the right one, however, isn’t quite so easy. Different apps cater to different needs, and if you don’t know what to look for, you could end up trying a dozen before finding the right one. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing the app for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Language App for Travel – Buying Guide When choosing an app, don’t forget that having a ton of extra features doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for you. Always consider what you need first. Ensure Your Target Language Is Supported This should go without saying, b
It’s summer, it’s hot, and you don’t want to turn on the stove to make dinner. Sushi sounds great, but that can be expensive. Not to fear! You can make your own sushi at home, and pretty easily too, thanks to sushi making kits that come with all of the tools you’ll need. Granted, there are a number of different types of sushi and seemingly just as many kits. But don’t let that stop you. This guide will help you comb through the options and figure out exactly what you’ll need to look for when choosing a kit. And if that’s not enough, we’ve also got 10 of our favorites for you to look through as well. How to Choose Sushi Making Kits – Buying Guide When looking for a kit, the key considerations are what kind of sushi you want to make and how easy the tools are to use. Below, we’ll give you the low-down on what to look for to suit your needs. Tools for Making Maki Maki sushi is the most versatile type of sushi, giving you everything from inside out rolls to fun shapes to gigantic “sushi bu
It can be hard to get powder foundation to sit well on the skin. But you can’t deny that it’s oil-controlling, no-mess, and easy to apply. And even in Japan, the land of seemingly flawless skin, powder foundation is popular and in abundance; it’s got its high-end and drugstore brands, rip-offs and dupes. So it makes sense to wonder which powder foundations actually work on this side of the Pacific. That’s why we ordered the 10 most popular Japanese powder foundations from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited two experts and had them compare the following: Finish Ease of Application Coverage This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese powder foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artist Rika Fujiwara and Instagrammer Chie Kato. Invalid Short Code. There is not profile. Please write expert_id = hikaku9 comment.
Sorry, but What’s Powder Foundation Again? It’s just wh
Cushion foundation is like the precocious child of liquid and powder foundation. It covers and moisturizes, and yet it’s fast and portable, well-suited to rushed makeup routines in the morning. It was born in Korea, but soon caught on all over the world–and Korea’s close neighbor, Japan, wasn’t going to miss out on the fun. Lancome and NARS have their own much beloved versions of cushion foundation, but it’s worth talking about brands that come from this part of the Pacific. So we ordered the 7 most popular Japanese and Korean cushions from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application Longevity This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese and Korean cushion foundations. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the for
There’s nothing worse than a dull knife when it comes to food preparation. You’ve got to hack and slash. And it can slip off the food and straight into your hand. Sharpening your knives will not only make them last longer, but also make your food preparation easier and safer. Today, many types of kitchen knife sharpeners are available on the market, ranging from electric sharpeners to whetstones. You don’t know which sharpener to choose? Keep reading. Our buying guide and list of popular products will help you narrow down your choices. How to Choose a Knife Sharpener – Buying Guide Even a high-quality knife dulls over time. So you should sharpen your knives at least a few times a year, and much more often if you use them daily. For many, sharpening knives can be intimidating at first. Don’t worry–there are many sharpening tools that are easy to use and will give your knife that sharp edge. Choosing a Knife Sharpener Based on Type There are four tools you use to sharpen your kn
Each year, over one billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone. That’s 50 million pounds of plastic waste created and enough toothbrushes to wrap around the world four times. But if you’re here, you probably already knew that, and you’re looking for a way to help. You’re not alone–a ton of companies have caught on to our waste problem and are trying to create solutions, so you have a lot of eco-friendly toothbrush options. In this guide, we’ll cover the factors you should consider when choosing a more environmentally conscious toothbrush. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started. How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Toothbrush – Buying Guide When choosing an eco-friendly toothbrush, much of the decision will likely come down to your priorities, so consider what would work best with your lifestyle when making your choice. Handle Material Determines Eco-Friendliness and Durability As the handle is the largest part of the toothbrush, what it’s made
Americans aren’t the only ones obsessed with mayonnaise. Mayo’s a staple in most Japanese pantries and is used for pretty much anything: dips, dressings, stirfries, drizzles. But if you’ve ever picked up a bottle of Kewpie, made notorious by their commercials featuring spinning baby heads, you know that Japanese and American mayo taste quite different. We’ll go into more detail later, but Japanese mayo’s made a little differently, most notably with a dose of MSG (though not at high enough levels that you have to worry about your health). This recipe has earned Japanese mayo an almost cult-like following: go Kewpie or go home. But Kewpie isn’t all Japan has to offer, and one has to wonder what the best Japanese mayo really is. That’s why we ordered the 9 most popular packs of mayo off Japan’s e-commerce giants and tested them all. We also invited three certified seasoning sommeliers (professionals that have passed an exam proctored by the Japan Seasoning Meisters Association) and ask