[post reserved in case I ever need it]
[I’m going to use this space to write out an article I’ve been writing on monolingual dictionaries without hopefully alerting anyone If you happen to read this, this is very much a work in progress, so you can skip over this post ]
Before getting started with this post I still want to pre-face with a small notice before getting into the nitty-gritty. While I have been using these dictionaries quite a lot over the past few weeks, and am planning on updating this post if I gain any new insights. And while I have been reading up a lot on Japanese monolingual dictionaries on a variety of sources, I am at the moment of writing far from an expert on the matter. I am just collecting a bunch of information I have gleaned from people who know their stuff better and compiling it in a post. If you have any corrections on the matter, anything you’d like to add, your own experiences on the matter (or even better, reviews of dictionaries, both ones I am myself talking about, and new ones I haven’t covered (yet) ) please feel free to share!
So, I have been diving a bit more in the world of dictionaries over the last few days (as anyone reading either here or my comments in the POLL thread is probably EXTREMELY aware of, not like I don’t mention it a million times per day ), but I decided to start actually typing out a bit more about what I’ve learned, because I am becoming more fascinated and interested in the subject, but I also feel like there is a lot of information that just somehow isn’t available to people who aren’t yet able to read Japanese sources (not to say I am fluent, I’ve been looking up A LOT of words to understand the news articles, web pages and forum posts on the matter). The following post will be my poor attempt at making more of this information available, and giving people that want to make the leap to monolingual dictionaries the information they need to (hopefully) be successful the first time around (speaking from someone who has only slowly gotten his feet wet over the course of more than a year).
1. Division of dictionaries
Let’s begin by mentioning that there are quite a few ways to rank / divide the sorts of dictionaries there are, I’ll try to go into a bit more detail here about the differences.
Based on size
Based on size
小型辞書 or small dictionaries, while sources vary on exact numbers, a number I came across on multiple occasions is them having between 60,000 and 90,000 words. They often do not include any archaic words, and if they do they are very limited in general.
中型辞書 or middle-sized dictionaries. Though I haven’t found any exact ranges, it seems that they have an entry count of over 200,000 words, but sitting beneath the only behemoth that I will talk about in a bit. I have come across sources mentioning that, while there used to be more of this size of dictionary in the past, only three such dictionaries remain at present. These are :『広辞苑』『大辞林』『大辞泉』.
大型辞書 or large-sized dictionary (singular, yes). There is only one dictionary that fits this format and that’s because it exists in a scale of it’s own. Clocking in over 500,000 words, its the 『日本国語大辞典』This beast of a dictionary clocks in at 13 (!) volumes
Properties of medium sized dictionaries
- Arranged from Ancient to Modern usage.
- Lots of examples (1)
- Includes proper nouns and technical terms (2)
(1) Whether looking up Archaic words or Modern words, they will often come with an abundance of examples.
(2) Many important locations, company names, people’s names, … are included. This gives the medium-sized dictionaries a bit of an Encylopaedic feel.
Based on subject matter (still need to be written)
Based on use-case (still needs to be written)
2. Information about different dictionaries :
Small-sized dictionaries :
小型辞書 or short dictionaries are generally dictionaries that have between 60,000 and 90,000 words. We’ll be giving a quick overview of some of the common ones you can buy on the market at the moment. I should note that I still haven’t gotten my grubby mitts on all of them, so for some entries the information is either gleaned from blog posts, store pages, their descriptions or whatever I could find on discussion boards that made for interesting notes. I will probably be updating these entries in the future as I am planning on purchasing all the listed ones eventually.
First edition : 1960
Latest edition : 2021 (8th edition)
Publisher : 三省堂
Number of words : 84.000 words
Nickname : 三国
The Sanseido is one of many dictionaries published by Sanseido, a leading dictionary manufacturer. It is currently up to it’s eight edition, only being released in December of 2021. The strength of this dictionary lies in it’s inclusion of new words. They also basically don’t include any proper nouns or difficult technical terms, so most entries found are words one could encounter in everyday language. It is a thoroughly modernist dictionary, with it’s goal being to faithfully copy the Japanese language as it is being used currently. It is well known for it’s policy of quite quickly eliminating words that aren’t judged to be “modern words”. This means that when reading a text from even a decade ago, it is possible however that many words won’t even be found in there anymore.
Besides just new headwords, new meanings of existing words and overlooked meanings and usages are also covered very quickly.
It is also available on the Monokakido “Dictionaries” app, here is an example looking at the headword 『肉』
First edition : 1956
Latest edition : 1969
Publisher : KADOKAWA
Number of pages : 1247 pages
Number of words : 75.000 words
ISBN-13 : 978-4040102030
The first edition dates from 1956, but the “new edition” that is available already dates from 1969. That means that the last time these entries were revised, man had just planted foot on the moon, Richard Nixon was just sworn in as President and Elvis was recording his albums “From Elvis in Memphis” and “Back in Memphis”. To put it into other words, it has been A LONG TIME (over half a century!). There are certain use cases imaginable for getting this dictionary, but they are quite limited and especially for us Japanese Language Learners less interesting.
It can accurately be described as a living fossil, for some reason this “new edition” is still being sold in bookstores. The first edition had seemingly gained popularity back in the day that modern kana got introduced as a dictionary for it’s usage.
One unique feature of this dictionary is the fact that not only accents are given, but also devoicing of nasal sounds and vowels are clearly indicated. This does set it apart and could be considered a good use case, but there are specialized dictionaries for this that would be a better way to spend your money (The NHK accent diary fills this niche quite nicely ^^)
I feel like there is a reason why it’s only ranked #274 in the Japanese dictionaries (books) section of Amazon!
First edition : 1959
Latest edition : 2022 (10th edition)
Publisher : 小学館;
Number of pages : 1635 pages
Number of words : 94.000 words
ISBN : 9784095014098
While the first edition of this one is nearly as old as the Kadokawa Japanese dictionary above, at least here the revisions have been continued. It also has a good inclusion of modern language. The definitions are concise and well chosen.
Though the focus of the dictionary claims to be for all subjects that a high school or junior high school student may encounter, instead of only focusing on 国語, I have come across several mentions that there is still a quite heavy overemphasis on terms one would come to encounter in the Japanese Language Department.
One of the greatest strengths in this dictionary are the explanations on the constituents of compound words. A wealth of information on this can be found in this dictionary, so if that’s something you are interested in this dictionary can be heartily recommended. If however it isn’t of particular interest to you, there are other dictionaries that offer better options.
First edition : 1960
Latest edition : 2013 (11th edition)
Publisher : 旺文社
Number of words : 83.500 words
Nickname : 旺国
While we’re listing the first edition as being from 1960, this is actually a re-title of the 1958’s 学生国語辞典 and can also be traced back to the 1954 中学国語辞典. Two somewhat interesting aspects of the Oubunsha are the 中心義 and 変遷 (central meaning and transition), central meanings looks at polysemous words (which is just a fancy way of saying words that have multiple meanings) and looks at the root that ties together these multiple words.
With transition we mean the changing of the meaning from words through ancient to modern texts. This transition overview gives an overview how it has changed throughout the years, which is quite useful for people studying ancient Japanese, but for Japanese Language Learners it’s less interesting. The central meaning is useful for learns too, though.
While both of these aspects are present, which is quite unique for a short dictionary, there are actually only 108 words that have this central meaning, and only 47 words that have the transitory information.
Another thing setting the Oukoku apart is that certain, representative waka and haiku are listed along with interpretations.
First edition : 1963
Latest edition : 2019 (8th edition)
Publisher : 岩波書店
Word count : 67.000
Nickname : 岩国
As is stated in the preface :
The dictionary takes quite a cautious stance with regards to new words as well as new meanings and usages compared to most other dictionaries. They choose to only include new words that they deem to be well established. Which is completely the opposite editorial decision to the 三国. This is reflected both by the number of entries for new words, as well as the relatively sparse entries with katakana headings.
Some people would read this and consider this to be a dictionary that is outdated from the very moment it is published, but it isn’t the case that they don’t consider new words (often times, when a new word is included they will even mention the first usage, so this indicates that they are paying close attention!), they are just on the conservative side when it comes to actually including them.
Perhaps due to this conservative stance, the image that the 岩波国語辞典 is that of an ordinary, serious dictionary. It is however not the case, this is a very high quality dictionary. They look at the Japanese language with a keen eye, and the editor’s views on the matter shine through quite strongly.
First edition : 1972
Latest edition : 2020 (8th edition)
Publisher : 三省堂
Word count : 79.000 words
Nicknames : 新明国／新解さん
An apt description of what lies at the core of the philosophy of this dictionary can be found in the preface :
The best-selling Japanese dictionary in Japan. This dictionary is well known for it’s deeper dives into words, with good explanations on how words are actually used and the actual sense of the language. This goes beyond paraphrasing and mere explanation of usage, and gets to the true core of the words. All headwords are accented (and pronunciations are included with the digital version), which is a nice feature. They have also spent more care in the eighth edition to divide these accents up depending on how the word is used! (Also, there are quite a lot of subheadings with accent included). The dictionary also tries to keep up with the times quite well, including quite a variety of new words.
There are also some interesting appendices included, such as one on how to count for example.
Entry in Monokakido app :
Medium sized dictionaries :
“People often argue with the Koujien as their sole source of information, saying, “It says this in the Koujien.””
The koujien was first published by 岩波書店 in 1955. It was the successor of the 『辞苑』published in 1935. It has become pretty much synonymous with the Japanese language dictionary.
While in earlier editions apparently the headwords were written in phonetic kana, the fourth edition made the switch to adapting the modern kana system, thus eliminating the difference in reading that existed between it and the “Daijirin” and “Daijisen”.
This dictionary however does not follow the government’s national language policy on fronts such as the use of 同訓異字(1) and the way of adding kana.
One other difference of note is that words with multiple meanings are explained in the order of their meanings, starting with the meaning closest to the etymology. While this used to be the default way of arranging meanings in most medium-sized dictionaries, ever since the “Daijirin”, “Daijisen” and 『角川国語中辞典』have started explaining from the modern meaning, the Koujien way of doing things is different from the current standard.
The one downside to this dictionary (for me) is that while this dictionary is available for purchase on the macOs app store, this is only the case if you live in Japan . As such I haven’t had the pleasure of working with it myself. If anyone knows a way to bypass this restriction, please let me know, as just using a VPN doesn’t seem to work.
大辞林 (Still needs to be written)
大辞泉 (Still needs to be written)
As mentioned before, there is only one big-boy that deserves to be classified in this category, namely the :
日本国語大辞典 (still needs to be written)
Here is a list of footnotes, at the moment I have yet to annotate them correctly through this post, they will be describing some terms that come up in the article, that I didn’t bother to write out in the main article. [Note, this article is currently still being written, so many footnotes will just be listed as a single word, with me still needing to write out the explanations at a later date. Please have patience ]
「同訓異字」”doukun” refers to having the same Japanese reading, “Iji” to different characters.
Wikipedia mentions three general cases of doukuniji :
- Kanji that have similar meanings and can be used in similar ways.
- Kanji with similar meanings but with differences that allow them to be written in different ways.
- Kanji that have different meanings but happen to be read the same way.
The boundary between 1 and 2 is rather ambiguous, and the use-cases can differ depending on a writer’s impressions for example. Lots of examples can be found on This wikipedia page
On Modern Kana Usage
When talking about Modern Kana Usage, we are talking about 現代仮名遣い, and when we’re talking about Modern Kana Usage with regards to dictionaries, we’re mostly really talking in a very narrow sense about Cabinet Notice No. 1 in 1986, ``Modern Kana Usage’', which abolished Cabinet Notice No. 33 of 1946.
The only reason to really mention the Modern Kana Usage is that while nearly all dictionaries use the government suggestions on this matter, there are some exception, most notably the 広辞苑 that do not follow the standard guide-lines. Which could result in some confusion when using these dictionaries.
For more information, This article Is a good start, though native sources will give a lot more information
Here are just my thoughts on some matters pertaining to monolingual dictionaries, making the transition and the like. As well as some guides on how to use 'em. Any of the learning advice mentioned here is very much just my personal opinion on the matter. I do not know “the one true path to Japanese fluency” or anything of that ilk. What I do know is I’ve spent several years learning Japanese and have learned several other languages to some success. Take all my advice with a nice, big grain of salt though and do make up your own mind on the matter
Getting the most out of the Monokakido Dictionaries app (WIP)
The Monokakido “Dictionaries” app
I can’t mention enough how much I have come to love this app over the past period of time. There are a lot of great things to mention about it, but the two things I think are the most important are the sync between my iPhone and my macbook for search history, as well as the cross-search between multiple dictionaries. More on those later, let’s start with a general overview.
The first thing I’d personally recommend when starting to use the Dictionaries app is to tweak a few very useful settings for the entire app, namely :
General settings :
This is how I personally like to have my set-up. I’d recommend you playing around with the font sizes and contrast until you figure something out that works best for you. I do recommend enabling the search clipboard function, quick bookmark and to make sure to Sync your Bookmarks and History via iCloud if you also have an iPad or iPhone (but more on why this is useful later on)
Besides the general settings, once you have multiple dictionaries (which I would highly recommend for several reasons, first of which is that not all words are in every dictionary, second of all it’s always a good idea to compare dictionary entries to get a fuller idea of the word as well as more potential example sentences and the like). There are two other things you want to set-up, you can find these on the left side of the options, namely “Edit category order” and “edit search order”.
When you click category order you will see something like this :
These are the categories in which you will be looking for results. You can order them however you like (and depending on the dictionaries you own you might see other categories than me). But this is how I personally prefer to set them up. I mostly look up meanings of words, which is why I have set Japanese as the main category. Sometimes I’ll want a deeper look at the Kanji, or need to hear the pronunciation (Accent for me is only the NHK accent dictionary), and as a fall back if I can’t make heads nor tails from the definition I can always look it up in an Eng – Jpn dictionary.
When you click “edit search order” you’ll get a popup similar to this one :
Here you can re-arrange the order in which results will popup within the categories. You simply arrange the order of dictionaries you prefer to consult the most, or which definitions you find to be the most useful in general. You can still consult them all no matter how you arrange these though, so you don’t need to worry too much about the matter. I haven’t changed this one any more ever since I set it up the first time, there would be a few changes that I’d make if I were to change things. (Mostly switching the seventh and eight edition of the 三省堂国語辞典 as the eight edition has slightly better definitions in my opinion).
Basics of searching
Monokakido uses 串刺し検索 or skewered search, which enables querying of multiple corpora by certain categories, such as register type and period. Also known as cross search. While you can search in a specific dictionary by opening it from the “collection page”, like this :
Note : The main search page when opening the “MEIKYO” dictionary.
The best way to unlock the full power of the Monokakido Dictionaries app is by performing a search through all the dictionaries you own. You can simply do this by typing something in the main search page of the app, no need to open a dictionary. The resulting search will look like this :
We’ll be looking a bit closer at the options this search provides. (It’s also important to remember that the order of the dictionaries listed on the left is the result of the “edit search order” that we talked about before. There are several powerful little tools in this search box that might not be all that obvious at first glance. Let’s zoom in :
A first important thing to notice is the red dots in the middle on the right. This is a quick way to jump between dictionaries, as you can see that there are 45 headwords matching this search result in the Meikyou dictionary, and even 153 results in Daijisen. So, that would be a lot of scrolling if you didn’t get to hop around
The second important thing is when we go a bit higher are the categories. As you can see I’m currently in the “Japanese” category, meaning I’m searching through the Japanese dictionaries. I can switch my search criteria to the “Kanji”, “Accent” or “Eng – Jpn” categories depending on my search type. They will provide different entries by searching through another set of dictionaries.
The second powerful option is above that. When I’m searching through my Japanese dictionaries, I can choose out of five options :
Namely “word”, “idiom”, “example”, “kanji” and “group. Depending on which of these categories I choose I will see different results from those dictionaries. For example the first screen showed all searches through the Japanese dictionaries for “words”. However if I switch over to the “idiom” category, these are the results I get :
Yet other results are gained by switching to other categories. Depending on the dictionary a term you are looking for might not be included under the headwords, but it might show up in one of the other categories, so it can pay of to switch these up.
The next handy feature is where you see “Start” on the upper-left hand side. If you click on this you’ll get a selection of three options :
Changing these will indicate the search to either look for the input at the beginning or end of the headwords, or only exact matches. As you can see from the following image, Match will seriously cut down on your results, but will generally be more informative. I do suggest, especially when learning Kanji, to look through the list of words for ideas how they are used in compound words though, it can tell you a lot of useful information ^^
Result with “Match” selected :
As you can see, the results have been cut down by a lot
The next useful feature is the one you get when you press the little asterisk on the left hand side of the search bar. This is the first one that might not be entirely self explanatory. It’s the “wildcard” option, (though officially pattern search option) but as you can see by pressing it, there are actually 5 options that become available :
*: Zero or more arbitrary characters between two characters ->「あ*ま」finds「あま」,「あいま」,「あめだま」etc.
?: replace with any character, for each ? All possible words with one arbitrary character in that place will be shown. → 「あ?ま」finds「あいま」,「あたま」etc
@: replace with any kana → 「愛@@」finds「愛する」,「愛しい」,「愛でる」etc
#: replace with any kanji → 「一#一#」finds「一期一会」,「一長一短」etc
(…): Search for any word that has a character from the group → (あい)たま finds あたま and いたま.
The last useful feature on the main page is the search history (we’ll go over this in a bit more detail later on, because it has quite an awesome use-case!), which will display your last searches. So if you looked something up a bit ago and wanted to remind yourself? Quite nifty! It’s the clock on the right of the search bar :
A few notes on important things when selecting a dictionary
1. The content of each dictionary is completely different.
If the impression you have about different dictionaries, whether it’s in your own native language or when shopping around for a Japanese dictionary (either monolingual or JPN – Eng / Eng – JPN), you would be dreadfully mistaken. One of the most common things you’ll encounter is that one dictionary will label a certain usage as “misuse”, while it is perfectly correct according to another dictionary. There is also the fact that many words can be encountered in one dictionary, but not in another (this is especially of concern when using 小型辞書 or small dictionaries). A recommendation you will often see is to use multiple dictionaries (at least two, but the more the better really )
2. A dictionary isn’t good or bad based purely on the headword counting
There are many dictionaries with a reasonably high headcount. But only the headcount is not important when looking at a dictionary to choose. The most important thing is the quality of the entries, and it’s here where large differences are quite noticeable. This can go from accuracy and simplicity of the definition, number of usage patterns, … So, one should never select a dictionary just based on the wordcount.
3. Japanese dictionaries are not encyclopaedias
The line between an encyclopaedia and a dictionary in the Japanese language is often quite blury, as there are dictionaries that do handle proper nouns (personal names, names of places, …), but it shouldn’t be the case that you should rule a dictionary out just because it doesn’t mention Belgium for example.
4. Buy the latest version
Sure, it might look awesome to have a heavily tattered and worn dictionary to refer to, after all it shows you use it a lot, right? But it’s important to note that the meaning of and way that words are used is something that changes from day to day. That dictionary edition from 30 years ago might list words that aren’t currently (and haven’t been for over a generation) used, or might use them in a way that is now either considered out-dated or plain wrong. To make sure that you encounter the correct uses of these words, an up to date dictionary is a way better guarantee.
Making the monolingual leap
It is my conviction that one of the most powerful tools in your learning arsenal is eventually making the monolingual transition. However, am I a master of Japanese that can read anything without any trouble and thus the correct person to ask? No. But I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my own reading that coincided with making the step to going fully monolingual (WaniKani excluded ). So, while I may not be the best person to ask, I’ll be doing a short write up based on what I’ve read concerning making the monolingual transition. Please take all of this sub-item with a heavy dose of doubt, and do make up your own mind!
Going fully monolingual isn’t a necessity to studying Japanese, and may even increase your discomfort with the language for months on end, but the potential rewards as you have to learn to comprehend new words, context and the like in Japanese is very immense. It helps you to gain a deeper grasp of the language, and will probably be helpful in shortening the time to fluency as you are potentially increasing the amount of exposure to the language.
Another (claimed) benefit is that it helps you get out of the mindset of translating from Japanese to another language in your head, and truly start thinking in Japanese.
The first caveat to going monolingual is looking at time spent reading. If you find that using a monolingual dictionary causes you to read less than you do while using a bilingual dictionary due to it being more draining, by all means, continue using a bilingual one. There are still several potential steps you can take to try and incorporate more time with a monolingual dictionary, but as stated previously it’s not a hard requirement on your path to fluency.
The first potential step you can make is doing the first look-up in a monolingual dictionary, but if you don’t immediately get the meaning (though I believe the struggle in figuring it out is beneficial!) you can look it up in a bilingual dictionary.
The other potential avenue is trying and using a monolingual exclusively until you reach a point of mental fatigue where you can’t be bothered anymore and then switching to a bilingual one. This will somewhat increase your time spent fully in Japanese, though your reading speed (at least in the beginning) will probably drop by quite a lot.
How long will the transition take?
I can’t claim to be an expert on this matter. I slowly got my feet wet in the beginning, only taking a dip here or there, getting my toes wet with some monolingual definitions and the like. With only the last few months going pretty hard on monolingual dictionaries. It’s only been a while since I made the full monolingual leap I’m describing here myself, so please remember to keep all this advice with a grain of salt. It’s based on some stuff I’ve read on various blogs more than personal experience. In general the claim is that the transition to full monolingual look-ups will see a slowdown for several months, but later on it is claimed that you will actually gain reading speed which will make up for the time loss.
When to actually make the switch?
I feel like a certain familiarity with grammar and vocabulary are a necessity when it comes to making the monolingual leap. Sure, you can try and figure things out from the get-go, but stumbling on even the simplest of words and having to look up 10 words in a single definition, that each have their own definition in which you need to look up 10 more words just seems like a fool’s errand to me personally. I feel like the same sort of advice that is given when first diving into native material applies here. Make sure you have a foundation of at least the 1,000 most common words and a firm grasp on basic grammar (N5 and N4 would be preferable as a minimum), but this isn’t a hard set of rules. The most important thing is that you feel at least somewhat comfortable reading Japanese. If each sentence of every definition leaves you scratching your head, making the monolingual transition would be the ideal way of sending yourself of to the looney bin. However, waiting until you understand all definitions immediately on first read would be too long in my personal opinion. The uncertainty, ambiguity and need to figure it out by thinking about what they could mean is one of the most beneficial aspects of it all in my opinion.
But in general I’d advice : Only make the leap once you are only somewhat uncomfortable with making the leap.
How to make the switch
How to go about it? I’d advice picking up several monolingual dictionaries personally, as sometimes I won’t understand the explanation in one for a certain word, but then one of the other ones has an entry that makes perfect sense (or the word might just not be in the one you own, which is another problem entirely). And then, just look stuff up and see if it clicks! I do personally advocate for the monokakido dictionaries app that I mention quite a few times throughout this post, and I suggest giving a quick read through the explanations of all the dictionaries in this post to make up your mind on which ones to get, but if you don’t want to bother with all that, here are the ones available in the monokakido app in the order that I’d personally recommend them :
- 明鏡国語辞典 第三版
- 三省堂国語辞典 第八版
- 三省堂 新明解国語辞典 第八版
When should you not use a monolingual dictionary
- You need a specific Japanese word when writing a text
While I’d say 90+% of your language learning needs can be covered by going monolingual, this isn’t always the case when compiling your own texts. Whether it’s just a short tweet or post on this forum, or an in-depth article of some sort, trying to find the exact word you want to use by trying and explaining it in Japanese terms and hoping Google has got your back is a dreadful way to go about it. Simply look the word up in an J-E-J or E-J dictionary and go on your merry way!
- It’s a highly specific term that you’d barely understand in your native language
Sometimes you will come across a word that has a very specific meaning / nuance. Sometimes you can roughly guesstimate this word when looking it up in the dictionary, but there will be times when even reading up on all the entries, looking up all the words in those entries, and diving even deeper still leaves you confused at the end of it all. This can especially be the case when looking at some more technical texts, I myself have encountered it on many occasions when venturing to the more technical pages on the Japanese Wikipedia for example. When reading certain types of texts I consider it fine to “cheat” and look up the English meaning just because the mental load of understanding the text itself already takes up all brainpower. You’ll generally find that it becomes easier eventually, and once it does, it’s a good rule to switch out the bilingual for monolingual again though!
Why I advice on dictionary look-ups instead of yomi-chan or the like (personal opionion)
Yomi-chan, Migaku, Rikaichamp, … They are all great tools, giving you a handy tool to have a myriad of dictionaries right at your fingertips, just click on a word and you’ll have the meaning, reading, example sentences, … The works in just one easy click!
Besides the legality of the many dictionaries people share and install with this add-on though, it is my opinion that this is also too great of a convenience in many cases to allow words to properly stick. If you just need to work your way through a text and don’t care too much for retention it’s a fantastic tool. And if you want to easily add words to your Anki decks, it is the best thing suited for it.
My problem though with the convenience that it offers is that it (at least for me) prevents taking the time to properly get acquainted with new words, and it give you the proper time to think WHY you keep forgetting and having to look up a certain word.
The biggest problem with the convenience however is that it actively discourages you from relying on recall when the word is just on the tip of your… mind. If you have to go to your dictionary app and type the word in, it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to just spend the few extra seconds trying to recall the meaning, while if all you have to do is click, you’ll be more likely to go and click, and then say “Oh, right, I knew that.”. I feel like this quite handicaps your learning progress as you don’t spend any amount of time in ambiguity and this let’s you rely too much on external tools. Something that you can’t use as easily when reading a paperback book or making conversation with someone for example.
Do you need to stop using Yomi-chan and the like to be successful as a student? Absolutely not, and if it’s the only way you’ll actually continue reading, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, USE IT!!! But, if you are using it only because it’s convenient and you could do without, why not try not using it for a bit and see how the experience is? I believe you will be pleasantly surprised. And if it’s not for you, you can always switch back
To write out :
- Modern Kana transition
- National language policies pertaining to dictionary entries
- Information pertaining to the indexes
- A general overview of how dictionaries can be divided (WIP)
- Besides monolingual dictionaries
- Making the transition (short version done, work out deeper?)
- Getting the most out of the Monokakido app (WIP)
Possible avenues :
- Looking at older editions
- Themed dictionaries
- NHK Pronunciation dictionary
- Online dictionaries
Just some images I need :