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Kanji Dictionary: Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten

Platform : Nintendo DS
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
  • This is Japanese DS game, it's fully compatible with US DS System
  • Input kanji (stroke-sensitive), kana and the Latin alphabet onto the touch screen
  • Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese dictionaries
  • Word search by kanji
  • English pronunciation
5 new from $35.50 5 used from $14.99

Product Description

This is Japanese DS game, it's fully compatible with US DS System Kanji Sonomama is the perfect tool for anyone learning Japanese. I have been learning for about 1 year now and would find it hard to live without. This is a translator. You can write in English and get Japanese or write in Japanese and get English. Example sentences are given in Japanese and English for each word. Hiragana is given for the kanji but only when searched in Japanese. Basic knowledge of kanji stroke order is required. This is one of the best apps on the ds. Far better than buying an electronic dictionary and Cheaper.

Product Details

  • ASIN: B000O2S9VQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches ; 4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,888 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. C. Higo on July 27, 2007
You'll need a Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite game console to use this. Kanji Dictionary: Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten is my best investment in a Japanese language study tool to date. It's so portable and user-friendly compared to the big kanji dictionary that I used to use. Using this, I can read much more challenging Japanese texts than I used to be able to. When a kanji character that I can't read appears in the text, I can just write it on the screen with the stylus, click on the Japanese-English dictionary option, and I am shown both the hiragana pronunciation and the English definition of the word, with example sentences. I can also look up words in the kana mode, in which I use the stylus to write the word on the screen in kana, and then I can see the kanji and the English definition of the word. It's great! And, although it's Japanese game software, it's completely compatible with the U.S. version of the Nintendo DS Lite console, which you need to be able to use the software.
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I lived in Japan for 3 years and wish the DS and this dictionary were developed earlier! They would've made my life easier and helped my Japanese tremendously.

I looked at many options for an affordable, portable dictionary that accepted writing input, but nothing met my needs. The dictionaries from Casio, Seiko, and others cost upwards of $300 and almost all of them didn't have stylus inputs. I tried a Sony Clie PDA, but the included dictionary was minimalist and terrible as a study tool, providing only basic translations and occasionally, examples.

The biggest problem for students of Japanese is seeing a word and not knowing how to pronounce it. Not knowing the yomikata means you have to count strokes and look up by radical, which is often a giant and time-consuming pain in the butt. Writing is invariably faster, and this software is a godsend! It provides plenty of example sentences and usage, and I recommend this highly. If you already have a DS, this is the cheapest and most functional electronic dictionary on the market hands down, in my opinion.

If you don't have a DS, buy one and buy this dictionary. It will pay for itself very shortly in time saved and language skills acquired.
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The handwritten kanji lookup feature of this dictionary is extremely convenient - much easier to use than multiradical or SKIP-code lookup, and it copes well with poor handwriting. Additionally, the detailed word dictionaries contain entries that I've not been able to find in free resources (for example, pataashi).
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I bought this game in the middle of a year of study abroad in Japan and immediately my life became so much easier. Japanese dictionaries will often have long, technical definitions, but Rakubiki Jiten does not hesitate to display, for example, questionable morals in their example sentences if it will get the gist of the word across. Some of the more obscure words will appear in only the Japanese-Japanese dictionary, but you can just look up the words you don't understand from that definition right there.
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Pros
- Cheap: even if you do not already own a DS this is largely cheaper than getting an equivalent standalone electronic dictionary
- Look up words by writing the kanji or inputting the kana. Also, English to Japanese.
- Kanji recognition is very good, provided you know the stroke order
- Large word selection & also some standard phrases / word combinations

Cons
- Does not have many onomatopoeias or psychonyms
- Sometimes gives only a contextual example and not a definition.
- English to Japanese only gives kanji, not the reading
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I got the Nintendo DS for this dictionary, and have been in love with it for some years now. At the time I got it, the NDS Lite plus Rakubiki Jiten cost much less than your average electronic Japanese dictionary of comparable quality, and other stand alone e-dictionaries usually didn't even have handwriting recognition or a bright backlit color screen. Plus, my sparkley pink NDS looks much cuter than other e-dictionaries! Another added bonus is that my investment went much farther because there are all kinds of useful dictionaries and software one can get for the NDS, where a standalone e-dictionary is much more limited and add-ons can be expensive.

The handwriting recognition is superb! It recognizes even my most squiggly chicken scratch! BUT only if I get the kanji stroke order close enough to correct. Therefore, you should make an effort to learn proper stroke order or you will not get the full functionality of this dictionary. For those of us who are stroke order impaired, it would have been nice if you could construct a kanji by selecting radicals like some other e-dictionaries. Usually, though, the handwriting recognition is much faster than the clunky radical-picking technique for looking up kanji.

It also would have been nice if it included a separate kanji dictionary which gave the common meanings and pronunciations for each kanji. As it is, you can only look up whole words with Rakubiki Jiten. But I have a pretty good background in kanji, so this isn't a problem for me. If you are just starting out in Japanese, you might want to invest in a separate kanji dictionary to supplement this one.

You can input words not only by writing them out, but also by typing kana or romaji on a little on-screen keyboard.
Read more ›
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