• Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020 1
  • Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020 2
  • Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020 3
  • Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020 4
  • Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020 5

Top 7 Best Japanese-English Electronic Dictionaries to Buy Online 2020

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.
  • Last updated: 10-24-2019
  • 1,431 views
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. 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

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 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

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

“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

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)

$32.24

Included Dictionaries6 (Gakken)
HandwritingNo
JumpNo
Study ToolsNo

6. Sharp Papyrus Electronic Dictionary (PW-AM700-R)

$194.04

Included Dictionaries30 (Koujien, Genius)
HandwritingNo
JumpNo
Study ToolsNo

5. Casio Electronic Dictionary (XD-Y6500BK)

$287.83

Included Dictionaries140 (Koujien, Genius)
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study ToolsNo

4. Sharp Japanese Electronic Dictionary Brain Model (PW-G5300-A)

$283.14

Included Dictionaries165 (Shinmeikai, Meikyou, Genius)
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study ToolsNo

3. Casio Ex-Word Electronic Dictionary for Professionals (XD-N10000)

$599.92

Included Dictionaries180 (Koujien, Meikyou, Kenkyusha)
HandwritingYes
JumpYes
Study ToolsYes

2. Sharp Electronic Dictionary Brain Model (PW-A7300-G)

$178.40

Included Dictionaries100 (Meikyou, Genius)
HandwritingYes
JumpNo
Study ToolsNo

1. Casio Ex-Word Electronic Dictionary (XD-A10000)

$436.78

Included Dictionaries150 (Kenkyusha, Genius, Reader’s, Koujien, Meikyou)
HandwritingYes
JumpYes
Study ToolsYes

How to Make the Best Use of Your Japanese-English Electronic Dictionary

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.

Summary

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

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