Anybody know a good J-J kids dictionary?

I want to try to make the jump into a J-J dictionary, and while i do have a couple downloaded, they’re really hard for me to actually use at this point. I know there are english children’s dictionaries, so i figured there are probably japanese ones as well, but i haven’t found any??? If anybody knows one (physical or digital) i would be ecstatic to hear about it!


I’ve never used one, but I did a very quick amazon search:

EDIT: or maybe this one:

I never managed to find a good kids one. But I hear people praise the J-J transition quite often as a must for that intermediate jump.

It still confuses me, but some good advice I heard is to start off looking up definitions for words you already know. Then using those to help you understand “dictionary words” (technical linguistic terms etc.) and eventually branching out from there.

Starting on J-J (using Jalup) helped me quickly bridge the gap and begin reading without constantly feeling like I should be trying to form an English-equivalent translation of every sentence in my head before moving on.

I don’t think it would have been possible to get much out of the method without considerable work and frustration before around level 25-30 in WK, though, due to a lack of expected basic vocab, but that may differ quite a bit in the context of a dictionary intended for children.

I’ve actually been looking for an elementary J-J dictionary myself, so I might pick one of these up before long. All the apps I’ve found are targeted at adult native speakers, and that’s not me or Gillingswater, apparently. (I tend to look up about three words per manga-reading session, so paper shouldn’t be too inconvenient)

This is an image from the second link that I posted, it seems pretty good?


This looks great! I’ll definitely be ordering it a̶s̶ ̶s̶o̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶i̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ ̶l̶m̶a̶o̶.

I have the first one you linked and it’s quite good, though I am currently stuck at the point of not having the basic vocab necessary to really use it fully. :sweat: If I can make another recommendation, though, a good step between J-E and a J-J dictionary like this is a picture dictionary. I have this one:

And studying from it is pretty great for starting to get out of the mental English translation habit before you have the vocabulary base to fully use a J-J dictionary, and to look up and learn simple words.


There isn’t enough in the sample images or the reviews I can make out to tell, so I’mma ask you: does this try to cover any abstract concepts, like feelings or motivations? (If you know from experience – I can’t think of any keywords to look up right now)

@Gillingswater This online dictionary has simpler definitions than others I’ve used:

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It does to an extent, but it’s very basic. So it does have feelings like happiness, sadness, etc, but not really complicated or abstract ideas.

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I just tried plugging in a bunch of words I’ve recently had to look up in Jisho and, yeah, they were all pretty easy to understand.

Thanks! :smiley:

I bought the 新レインボー小学国語辞典 改訂第5版 published by 学研, after browsing the kid’s dictionary section in a bookstore in Japan. They’re all pretty similar I think. I ended up choosing this because I like their white cover (less kid looking) better.

I also like that it points out differences between 同音異義語, it’s fun and easy to understand


Does anyone knows if any of these or some other dictionary for kids it’s on ebook format or made into an app??
I’ve used Sanseido before, but it’s fairly common to found some words lacking definition.
I’ve have some dictionaries in EPWING format. The 明鏡国語辞典 it’s “the easiest” amongs them. That and reading this article about the 20 words to know before you get into J-J definitions, have helped, but still it’s far from being a smooth process.

PS: by the way, these general guidelines on how to use j-j online dictionaries could provide of use :+1:


I’m having a bit of trouble finding what I think that is on Amazon (Japan). Any chance you could add a picture of its cover?

It’s this one, and they have more pics of the book too:


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I picked it up, too, because the sample pages looked pretty readable and the images are nice. The picture on Amazon is a storage box, for anyone wondering where the “white cover” thing came from.


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