Forrest Oliphant

nerdy info about denshi-jisho

2004-03-18

So, instead of just whining about how hard Japanese is I've decided to get back into the swing of studying the confounded language. I kept hearing that 電子辞書 (electronic dictionary) are indespensable for learning Japanese, so I decided to take the plunge and find one. The problem with buying one in Japan, however, is that they are made with Japanese learners of English in mind, not the other way around.

So I clicked around some more and found that there is a Palm version of EDict, which I use all the time via Jim Breen's WWWJDIC Server. It is called PAdict, and it can do way more than regular electronic dictionaries (for example, you can directly draw kanji on the screen, and it has vocab lists & flash cards). Plus, it is free, as opposed to the 15000-20000en pricetag of a decent electronic dictionary. So it's free, targeted to native English speakers, and can do more... I'll take it.

So that meant I had to buy a palm pilot. I decided that an old monochrome model would be fine for my purposes (mainly that Japanese dictionary, and maybe the occasional game of Scrabble). They run on regular AAA rechargeables, and last weeks on a charge, vs. the new fancy color mp3 video blahblahblah that would have to be charged every day. Also, when the new kind's rechargeables die it is a huge pain to replace them. Reading reviews online, it seems that these batteries are the first thing to die in new PDAs (for my first Palm back in the day it was the glass digitizer meeting the floor, but we'll know to be more careful about that one now won't we).

Long story short, I ended up buying two on eBay. Dang. Yeah, I should have planned ahead better and chosen one, but the time was coming to a close for both of them so I sniped them both for less than $50 each. The Palm m125 will last longer per recharge than the Sony PEG-SL10, but the Sony has 2x the resolution, which will be nice when reading text. I'll probably go with the Sony if I get into the habit of reading favorite websites (like Salon) on it. I doubt I'll do that more than a couple time, but... who knows. The other advantage with the Sony would be that I could get a wireless internet adapter for it, but that might just be one step too nerdy for even me. An advantage of the Palm is that it has SD memory, which I am already invested in because of my telephone (the one I can take out of my house), and I have a card just waiting to be loved used.

But it'll prolly come down to which one looks/feels better.

I think I'll be able to sell the other to somebody around here, especially with the newbies coming in in a few months all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about learning Japanese.... Plus, 5000en is like nothing in this country.