4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2008 6:21 AM by benwulf
Pusseltunga Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I've just begun my japanese studies in Japan and everyone is buying these awful electronic dictionaries for learning. Basically they are like small computers that translate words and often have hand-writing recognition to input the kanji, the chinese characters. The thing is, it seems like there are a couple of very powerful and competent applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch that can pretty much do the same things, but in a neater package. (after all, it's Apple y'know!)

Does anyone have any experience of the applications such as KanjiFlip (http://kanjiflip.com/), Japanese (http://www.codefromtokyo.com/japanese), ShinKanji (http://shinkanji.bcerrina.com/) and the other amazing-looking apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch? Can they be as useful, or even more useful, as an electronic dictionary?

The thing is, I kind of dislike most electronic dictionaries. They look and feel very clumsy and do not seem very smart at all.
  • 1. Re: Studying Japanese with iPhone/iPod Touch
    Zak Adelman Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    KanjiFlip is ok, it is nothing really special but it does it's job.

    Lexicon is quite good. If you are learning set words like a studying book you can add the vocabualry list for that chapther and test yourself with it.

    I highly recommend Japanese(codefromtokyo)

    1, Handwriting, That hast to be written in the correct stroke order though. 回 always messes me up because I want to finish the enclosure first.

    2, "stroke count" when handwriting fails you this is great too, especially for complex 15stroke kanji.

    3 by radical, I never use this because I can't seem to remember the radical for each but if you do recognize it this would work really well.

    4, if you do not have a set study plan they have a "by school year". You can add them to lexicon for now to have a test but Codefromtokyo said they were working on a flashcard function.

    I use it while talking to JP friends online it makes it so easy to look things up fast. Also check out livemocha.com and join in the tests and discussions the community there helps, hard to learn without anyone to practice with.
  • 2. Re: Studying Japanese with iPhone/iPod Touch
    Pusseltunga Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for all the great tips, Zak Adelman!
    All and all, do you think these apps, maybe along with some other, are just as good or even better than one of those electronic dictionaries?
  • 3. Re: Studying Japanese with iPhone/iPod Touch
    benwulf Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I would say that for a non japanese they are probably better. Usually the electronic dictionaries have more comprehensive dictionary but they presuppose that you know how to read kanji.

    In general for japanese students which are not at least level 2 of JLPT they are almost useless while the apps you describe can be very good.
  • 4. Re: Studying Japanese with iPhone/iPod Touch
    benwulf Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Shinkanji is extremely good for kanji reference tool but it does not yet have a full dictionary. It explains the difference in prize with Japanese. On the other hand it has very nice stroke order animations and the structural navigation is a good way to find related kanji when you are studying a new one. I have found that it helps me remember better and better understand the relationship between radicals and meanings. It won't replace an electronic dictionary yet. However you can try the above functionality using the free shinkanji-lite version.
    The good side is that it is updated regularly with new functionalities and complete jmdict support seems to be planned.

    I am partial as I am the author of shinkanji but I have been honest in the assessment above. I can't speak for Japanese which I haven't tried, but it doesn look like a great app.