Rolling my own EPWING

 Japanese Language  Comments Off on Rolling my own EPWING
Jul 232012

I’ve been experimenting with some of the programs that cb on the RTK forums has come up with, and by far the most interesting (for me) is EPWING to Anki. It reads some EPWING dictionary files and lets you assign the fields of the dictionaries to fields in your Anki deck for near-instant vocabulary deck creation.

I thought about it some more, and realized that EIJIRO would be really useful for this program, but it doesn’t come in an EPWING format. (Well, it does, but it’s an older version.) What’s EIJIRO? It’s a massive database of Japanese and English words and example sentences. It’s the basis of the ALC online dictionary, and much more accurate than the Tanaka Corpus, since it’s actively curated by professionals.

So I bought a copy of EIJIRO online and downloaded it, and tried to figure out just how to make my own EPWING…

… and failed miserably.

I think I’m just going to stick with the stuff I have for now.

It’s great that EIJIRO is easily available online, but without an EPWING format for the current version, it’s not much use for me.

Android Apps For Japanese Learners

 Japan, Japanese Language, Technology  Comments Off on Android Apps For Japanese Learners
Apr 012011

If you’re going to go Android for Japanese first you need a keyboard. I like Simeji. It’s ugly, but very useful… and really, the only good choice out there, to be honest:

Also, if you like to add Japanese-style emoticons, then Kaomoji List is a great add-on to Simeji. It’s activated through the “mushroom button” on Simeji’s keyboard:

If you want to draw kanji by hand, then I recommend HanWriting IME:

For a dictionary, there are a couple of options. My preference is DroidWing. It works great with EPWING dictionaries (just create an EPWING directory on your SDCard) and with web searches, if you know what search strings to use. You can search multiple dictionaries all at once, which is powerful.:

If you just want EDICT, then it’s hard to beat Aedict. It’s free:

Vertical Text Viewer is great for reading 青空文庫 (aozora bunko) formatted books.  青空文庫 is the Japanese version of Project Gutenberg, only the difference here is that the format they use has become an “underground” standard of a sort. You can even buy books, have them sent to a professional to be scanned professionally, and then format them yourself in 青空文庫 format. (The books get destroyed in the process, though.) Of all of the 青空文庫 readers out there, I like Vertical Text Viewer the most. It has a Mincho font you can download inside the app for extra legibility, and when you press and hold on a word, you can send the word to DroidWing to look it up! VERY handy.

If you’re learning Japanese, chances are, you’re also struggling with a way to remember everything. I hope you’re using an SRS. My favorite SRS is Anki, and there’s a port of Anki for Android, called Ankidroid.

When you’re in Japan, post offices are really useful places for doing 2 things: sending crap home, and getting money for cheap. Finding them, on the other hand, can be tricky. This app claims to do it. (Requires a connection.):

This last app is just cool: the Hyperdia search app– you can use the Hyperdia service to search for ways to get from A駅 to B駅 (A Station to B Station) all over Japan. Of course, these days, that might not work exactly as you think. Also, this requires an online connection to work:

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