Japanese-English dictionary for the Nintendo DS03 March, 2010 by Chad
When it comes to learning a new language, a good dictionary is a necessary investment. In past years, electronic dictionaries have become a popular choice. Compact and convenient, electronic dictionaries are clearly an upgrade of their chunky, printed counterparts. However, due to their monopoly by a few select manufacturers, the benefits of owning an electronic dictionary often have to be weighted against their high price tag. Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten DS provides users with an affordable alternative.
One of my ex-colleagues swore by this piece of software. Communication is often a challenge when working in a Japanese company and he often relied on Rakubiki Jiten to maintain his sanity.
In it’s small package, Rakubiki Jiten contains a Japanese dictionary, a Japanese-English dictionary and a English-Japanese dictionary. It contains a database of over 240,000 terms which is quite on par with most commercial dictionaries. The software utilizes the Nintendo DS hardware to provide searching of terms through handwriting support and virtual keyboard input. It features the necessary audio pronunciations for words and many other novelty functions. All of this is available at the fragment of the cost of say a Casio dictionary, which costs upwards of $500.
While you should not expect this software to compete with the top end electronic dictionaries for its cost, Rakubiki Jiten still offers a much better system when compared to other similarly priced programs on the Apple iPhone.
The downside of the program comes from the hardware limitation of the Nintendo DS. The makers have fitted a rather complex user interface into the tiny system’s screens and is not a particularly user-friendly experience. It’s also not entirely convenient to be carrying an additional Nintendo DS around when say you could have a dictionary program on your mobile phone.
If you already own a DS and intend for a better dictionary program, Rakubiki Jiten is an excellent investment. You could even purchase a DS and Rakubiki Jiten and it’d still work out to about half the cost of a Casio dictionary. Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten sells at the game’s section of most department stores, alongside many other foreign language learning software in Japanese. I have yet to see it locally though.
Those interested can find Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten selling online. Take note though, there are two versions of this program. The newer black covered version pictured in this post is the one that you want to get. An older red cover version is available that lacks all but a basic English-Japanese dictionary.
A final note. Do not purchase this software thinking that it will teach you the Japanese language. Rakubiki Jiten is a dictionary! It is meant as a reference for people who are learning the language or simply need a means to check out difficult words from time to time.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.