Tip: Quick Japanese-English lookup

Posted on June 4, 2010

I’m still trying to figure out what to write about, but in the meantime, I wanted to get this tip in.

I’ve got two tips here for people who want a quick way to translate between Japanese and English. Both of these use the Jim Breen dictionary in some form, for what it’s worth.

The first one isn’t really a tip, it’s more of a recommendation. Rikaichan is, far and away, the best Firefox plugin for quickly translating Japanese words into English. Just enable it and hover over the beginning of a word, and right there in the page, you get a list of definitions. It can handle different verb endings and things like that, too. It won’t translate a whole sentence for you, but it’ll help you get through those kanji that you can’t read.

The second tip is something I that I figured out, hmm, four or so years ago. Every so often I’ll blank on what an English word is in Japanese, and I’m just way too lazy to flip over to Jim Breen’s site and type it in. Enter DictionarySearch, a Firefox plugin that adds customizable rows to the right click context menu. I’ve added the following options:

For… Text: URL
English to Japanese English -> Japanese for “$” http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MDE$
Japanese to English Japanese -> English for “$” http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUJ$

And that’s really it. I also have one to do a quick lookup in Wikipedia.

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