Are you tired of dictionaries that only provide a one-word translation of a Japanese word?

Do you wish it gave you a real definition, just like a real Japanese dictionary would?

Then fear not, the Japanese2English dictionary is for you!


What is it?

Bilingual dictionaries usually only give one-word translations of Japanese words and the reader only have an approximate meaning. Japanese2English, on the other hand, aims at giving fully-fledged definitions, written in English, of a Japanese word.

If you’re interested, in this thread, @Leebo asked how interesting this kind of dictionary would be, and his idea was met with a great deal of enthusiasm.

But it’s empty!

For the time being, yes. Like most wikis, Japanese2English is a community-driven project, and that means that you get to decide what it becomes!

How can I help?

Add new pages

Obviously, the most needed contributions are new pages. If you feel up to the task, head to “Create a new page” to get started.

See that button in the top-right corner?

Review existing information

If you prefer not to start from scratch, feel free to visit existing pages and check that everything is okay. If you spot a mistake or if you want to add more information, edit the page!

Give feedback

Of course, we aren’t all fluent Japanese speakers, and contributing to a page requires knowledge you may not have. Don’t worry, there are plenty more ways you can help. Simply sharing your impressions and your ideas in this very thread is already helping a lot.

To-do list

Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of questions and tasks that need attention.


  • Defining a real template page
    • What sections?
    • In what order?
    • With what information?
  • Define categories to help navigation
  • Write guidelines for contributors


  • Check whether Wikia meets requirements for such a project
    • Keep an eye out for other wiki hosting services

Ideally, what kind of information would you like to find when looking up a word?

Here are my own thoughts, make sure to reply with your own!

  1. Definition(s)
  2. Sentences
  3. Synonyms, with short paragraphs explaining how the words compare.

I added a page for “Cat” to get the ball rolling.
Hope this actually turns into something!

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My vocab is way too basic to get the dictionary started myself, but I really want to push it forward, so first contributions are going to be very important to gather steam. :smiley:

How do searches work in there, cuz when I type in ‘cat’ nothing shows up…

I guess this is part of the “See whether Wikia meets requirements” point. I’ll look into that.

EDIT: I do get the right result when seaching for cat.


Maybe new pages need some time before they show up in search results…

In Latin and Germanic languages, etymology is extremely important to me, at times helping a lot more than the definitionsdefinitions, to truly capture the nuances that help distinguish between synonyms, for instance. It is at times blistering clear that two words classified as synonyms really aren’t synonyms, for example.

I do think this project would get more support if it were J2J, not J2E…

I totally agree. This is why knowing the etymology of a word is most of the time the best mnemonic there is for remembering that word (for me at least). This includes all languages (idk why you limited yourself to germanic/latin there…).

I’ve generally decided not to put any energy into this idea, but the whole point was for it to not be J-J… There are tons of comprehensive, free J-J dictionaries in the world. There’s no reason for non-natives to make one.

I’m thrilled to see it has been started! =D
I sure hope we can join together and make a brilliant resource here =^_^=

I love antonyms, it could be included on some of the more descriptive words at lest. In English I often look up both synonyms and antonyms =)

And what about homonyms? Japan has such a HUGE amount of homonyms, that knowing one and getting a list of words with same spelling (in kana at least, they will probably differ in Kanji) will help a lot, cause you already know the word, just add another meaning to your memory bank. The homonyms should link to the pages of those words to see better definitions and all the rest =)

Why is that? :frowning:

Simply searching for the reading will probably yield good results, I’ll look if we can get better than that.

Ah, if we can search both ways that does help =)

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I guess that if we had different words for ねこ, all would appear here.

EDIT: I added 子猫 to see what the search will yield.

Oh! If you ever need photos you are free to use my stock. stock photos
These are all my photos and I allow them to be used freely on this wiki =)
Also, I take requests too =)
Since we can only use image with permission =^_^=

I can take photos of a few animals at the moment: Cat, dog, gerbil, mouse, chinchilla and soon snake (on a waiting list for milk snake)

I’m on my way out right now. I can try look in to how to add images later today or tomorrow. But feel free to pick any you like and have them added as needed =)

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Because at my current level, etymology in Japanese will get me nowhere :sweat_smile:. Etymology works great if you have some idea of what the roots mean and how words can be related. At my level in Japanese, etymology would just be like fun facts where I’d make superficial links and probably establish a bunch of false assumptions.

Why won’t I be doing anything with it? Because of concerns that it’s nearly impossible to make it as good as I would like it to be.

A lot of times etymology really helps me out with kanji meanings and readings…

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well this post became a barren wasteland quick

Unfortunately, it did. :frowning:

I’ll keep trying to add a word here and there when I have some time, to bootstrap this thing, because I still think it has a lot of potential.