Monday, January 21, 2008

iPhone/iPod Touch 和英辞書

What is it?

It's a free online Japanese-English dictionary optimized for the iPhone and the iPhone Touch. You can search it in both Japanese and English.

That's marginally useful to me! Where I can get it?

The dictionary can be accessed by pointing your iPhone or iPod Touch at in Safari.

The UI has been developed exclusively for the iPhone, and recently updated for the iPod, and I do not recommend using it on other devices. There are plenty of other, more appropriate alternatives that use the same dictionary, including WWWJDIC.

Well, how do I use it?

On the iPod Touch, you can just type the English or Japanese word you are searching for, and the dictionary will do its best to find what you're looking for. There is sadly still a lot of work to be done to refine the results.

Because the iPhone doesn't yet allow direct Japanese input, searching for Japanese in this dictionary can be accomplished by using wāpuro rōmaji. While it is very forgiving in its conversion, please make sure you use:

  • for long katakana vowels
  • n'i when you mean んい and not に, and so forth
  • n when you mean ん, never m

While there are filters available to restrict searches to only search the Japanese half or English half of each entry, the default dictionary search attempts to search both at the same time. It's usually easiest to type the word you're looking for and trust that it will be found. However if a word has valid interpretations as both romaji and English (ex. 'moka') you may need to restrict your search.

In addition to the language filter, there is also a filter to restrict the dictionary to only common words. Note that this is for common Japanese words, and it may or may not result in common English words.

Is there anything else I should know?

The dictionary used here, JMDict, is licensed from Monash University's Electronic Dictionary Research & Development Group. I'd like to thank Jim Breen and the numerous other contributors to this project for making this possible and free.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or other murmurings, I would love to hear them at

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