Using the Nintendo DS to Learn Japanese: Kanji Sono Mama DS Rakubiki Jiten

Learn Japanese with the Nintendo DS Rakubiki jiten
漢字そのままDS楽引辞典 kanji sono mama DS rakubiki jiten

First a bit on the title:
漢字 kanji kanji
そのまま sono mama as is (just like that)
DS DS
楽引 rakubiki easy to lookup [楽 means ‘easy’ and 引く hiku with regard to dictionaries means ‘to lookup’]
辞典 jiten dictionary

‘Kanji as you see it, Easy to lookup DS Dictionary’

This is the software that almost turns your Nintendo DS into an electronic dictionary. Well, I guess it does, but it still can’t touch a standalone denshi jisho. The Kanji Sono Mama (henceforth abbreviated as such) contains three dictionaries:

  • Genius E-J 3rd Edition (95,000 words)
  • Genius J-E 2nd Edition (82,000 words)
  • Meikyou J-J

The Cons…
These are decent dictionaries, but despite the title there is no kanji dictionary. You can, however, lookup any kanji that is found in any of the three dictionaries. Also there are much larger dictionaries out there with better example sentences. Usually the most important dictionary for the English speaker is the Japanese-English since it is easy to come up with English synonyms to do lookups in a limited E-J dictionary, but if you are looking up a Japanese word you don’t know, the synonym trick won’t work.

The Pros…
Much, much cheaper than buying a standalone dictionary. Plus it can play games too! (Yes, the Nintendo DS actually has game software!) The Genius dictionaries are standard and of good quality, albeit a little small. You can write unknown kanji! The handwriting recognition is pretty good. I haven’t used it extensively, but just about every lookup I’ve done has displayed the right kanji the first time. I have heard some native Japanese speakers complain about it not choosing the right kanji, but I suspect the kanji drawn must be pretty complicated.

I made the following video a few months back.

I would recommend this for those who at least have hiragana down pat and know the meaning (and most pronunciations) of about 100-200 kanji. Keep in mind it is made for native Japanese speakers. Still, as you can see in the video, it is very useful for looking up Japanese words even (especially) when you don’t know the reading.

Here is our store link for more information.

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