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Japanese $\Longleftrightarrow$ English Dictionaries

Members of a bilingual Japanese and English Linux community rely on dictionaries to translate between the two languages and to check spelling. The best dictionaries for Linux are based on Jim Breene's EDICT and KANJIDIC system. These are flat text files with one Japanese word and definition on each line. The fields in each line are seperated by slash / characters. The files are converted to xjdx files to increase search speeds.

There are several ways to interface with the dictionary files. Some of the more common interfaces are:

I use trans, trans.el, and xjdic on a daily basis. I have mule start up on my X11 desktop. I then use mh to read my e-mail within mule. If I receive Japanese e-mail and I want to translate a few kanji into English, I type C-c C-t to call up trans.el which calls up trans and loads the EDICT dictionary. This takes up about 20 megs of RAM on my system. Once the dictionary is loaded translations are rapid. I then read fj.os.linux with gnus. I follow the same strategy with kanji translation. If I want to respond to a message, I load jserver if I'm using Wnn and activate Japanese input mode with C-\. If I need to check my spelling, I often use xjdic to input the English word and get the Japanese translation. Xjdic gives more choices on the translation. I then read some of the top stories on the Nihon Keizai Shimbun at http://www.nikkei.co.jp/cont.html. I find that using trans makes reading the newspaper a pleasure instead of a tedious exercise. If I need a break from technology and business, I read some of the Japanese online novels that can be found at Japan Open Yellow Pages Novel section at http://joyjoy.com/J/category/novel.html. This type of casual relaxation would not be possible if I didn't use trans and EDICT under Linux.

Xjdic has more features than trans and I enjoy using it as a standalone dictionary. I find it useful for translating both hiragana into English and English into Japanese. I also use it when I copy and paste Japanese from netscape.



 
next up previous contents index
Next: xjdic22 Up: Linux-Nihongo Previous: Netscape News
Craig Toshio Oda
1998-05-07