Hi, I'm currently thinking of buying an e-reader mainly for reading Japanese.
I have the possibility to buy a second hand Kindle Paperwhite D01100 at a really good price.
Can I download and use on this Kindle JP->ENG dictionaries?
I have no experience with e-readers and I definitely don't want to pay for a new one.
I'll buy an e-reader only if get a really good deal.
Hello everyone!! I have just joined this forum to learn and also share whatever I have learned in Japanese language so far. 楽しみにしています。
Regarding my experience with e-readers -- I had purchased a kindle paperwhite in may 2016. It was kindle paperwhite 3, the latest model at that time. I updated the software also to latest version. My main motive behind purchasing an e-reader was to read japanese novels after buying them from amazon. But my experience with kindle was not that good. I downloaded english and japanese dictionaries in kindle which was provided in it. The J-E one was Shogakukun J-E dictionary and J-J one was Daijirin. although J-J was a good dictionary but Shogakukun is not a good choice for me as i am pursuing graduation in Japanese language and our professors suggest us to use Kenkyuusha. But since I just wanted to know the meaning of an unfamiliar word which i might come across while reading novel, i though it would be okay. And It worked well as per my expectations when i downloaded an ebook from amazon in japanese language. But since i wanted to read books from other sources such as free public domain books also. So I downloaded one from project Gutenberg website and when i tried to lookup a word it couldn't find it. One of the obvious reason, I think, was that the J-E dictionary on kindle are abridged editions, consequently unable to find a word which is somewhat old. The next is formatting of ebooks. The built in dictionary works well with books downloaded from kindle store but not with books from other sources. For Example - when i tried to select a japanese verb, the kindle couldn't do it properly, the selection of japanese texts is not that smooth on kindle. The verb had a comma [,] just after it、something like -- 私はご飯を食べる、と言ってもいいですか。 when i selected the verb it automatically selected comma also and the dictionary was unable to find that verb. In case of E-E dictionaries it is not the case. Kindle works with english texts very well and gives the result even after a single comma or full stop is selected. And I tried to select it again and again but in vain.
In case of PDF files i think that kindle is not that good either. The rendering speed and due to screen size, it is painful to read PDF files or books on kindle. Just to read it, one must zoom and pan through different parts of a page and there is also a lot of scrolling to go through. I think that kindle, for the time being is not that good for a student studying either japanese or chinese language. It is best for reading ebooks which is either in english or any other european languages but I guess not for the languages which deals with characters. Or it is also best for those whose Japanese proficiency is at advanced level and seldom needs a word to look up to understand it. And still, if a person has advanced level japanese then I think he/she will certainly not like the shogakukun dictionary built in the kindle. He/she would prefer kenkyuusha's daijiten as it meets their requirements more.
Finally I returned the product after using it for three days. One of the reasons was also that there is no service centers in India for kindle if anything goes wrong but that is something I usually ignore because i have a history of not a single gadget gone corrupt or broken or froze. A kindle is awesome for reading books, better than paperback books but i returned it just because it didn't meet my basic requirements i.e. reading japanese books/novels with ease and understanding meaning of words.
I recently watched on youtube that kindle has launced a manga model kindle paperwhite with 32 GB storage and improved performance. Its rendering speed of PDF files is also faster than previous models, but, this manga model is japan exclusive only and it is the first move with such changes by amazon kindle. So I guess I will wait for another year or two before buying kindle again when there will be some major changes and improvements by Amazon and such as faster processor and rendering speed, better dictionary support for japanese language and hopefully little bit bigger screen size just for PDF files which could help somewhat in zooming less and reading more! Because that's what kindle is meant to do. And since last year amazon has made no changes in hardware for paperwhite which is the best choice for beginners with low budget. Paperwhite model is the cheap and best ereader but only color variation is made in latest model but nothing major in performance. So for now I am better off with my laptop with rikaichan and rikaikun in browsers for reading web articles, my android phone and planning to buy an electronic dictionary soon. An electronic dictionary can also be used just as an ereader but the difference is it reads only text files but Calibre (software) is our friend for that. And when it comes to search a word, considering it is an Electronic dictionary, there is not match for it. It is the best for what it does.
Kindle Paperwhite (not sure which generation, I've had it a couple of years). I use it to read Japanese light novels.
I would second most of the pros and cons listed in the reply just above this one, except that the Paperwhite is backlit and doesn't require a light source.
(I have a million words in my Vocabulary Builder, no wonder lookups seem to take for-e-ver! Shutting the kindle down completely and restarting seems to help speed it up a bit.)
great to have many novels available at one's fingertips
ability to look up words in any dictionary you install (even if lookups are painfully slow)
--Slow response time. If you touch too quickly the page advances instead of doing a lookup; if you hold too long, whole sentences may get highlighted - but it's hard to judge how long to hold when response of any kind takes multiple seconds.
--Lookups get saved (and potentially added to Vocab Builder) whether they found anything valid or not. If you accidentally highlighted the wrong thing, you get nonsense in your Vocab Builder list. [There are two ways this can happen: the word highlighted is a valid word, but your dictionary doesn't recognize it and/or doesn't highlight all of the related characters on the first try; or, you accidentally highlight a random string of characters because your finger slipped.] One can go through the list of lookups and delete the irrelevant ones, but that takes time, and I mostly don't bother because I have so many lookups.
--I thought Vocab builder was an awesome application at first, but I don't like reviewing words and marking them mastered on the device (I prefer Anki) and I haven't yet learned how to export using Epwing (I should really work on that). The large amounts of clutter caused by invalid lookups is a problem with export as well. Increasingly, what I do instead is to capture the whole text of a novel (you can do this with an app like Calibre) and manually Anki each sentence with an unfamiliar word that way, copying and pasting sentences into cards I create by hand.
These days, I often just use the lookup feature to quickly highlight words or combinations of characters I didn't understand. If the dictionary finds a valid word, great; if not, I just keep moving and leave the highlight as a marker to myself, regardless of whether it captured all the relevant characters. I figure eventually I'll get around to Anki-ing the sentence later.
This might sound like a lot of cons, but I really do like having novels available to me this way. Sure wish lookup speed was faster though. I might try exporting and cleaning out Vocab Builder to see if that helps.
PS: I would love to hear what dictionaries others use. I am not sure what I have to choose from currently is the best, even after I manually added a couple.
Apologies if my previous post sounds strange, some spammer posted a copy of the original question (what do you use, what are your pros and cons?) and I answered it there before realizing it was a duplicate thread. The moderators very kindly moved my post over here.
Anyway, I wanted to thank risu in the comment just above mine and everyone in this thread - I *finally* figured out how to export my vocab.db file from my kindle and convert it to anki cards, and I am just thrilled that now I can delete all the clutter on my paperwhite and start fresh, knowing that it will be easy to export words I look up in the future. This site is the best.
(For anyone wondering, I used KindleMate to obtain the data from vocab.db and export it to txt, and I also used the "expose hidden folders" trick to locate the vocab.db file itself and back it up in case I want to export the data a different way in future. I'm experimenting with Epwing2Anki. Both KindleMate and Epwing2Anki require me to switch over to my Windows computer, but it's worth it.)
A followup question: now that I've figured out how to get the vocab.db data out of my kindle, I'm experimenting with ways to call up definitions for it. I know there are ways to use JDICT but I'd like to go beyond that.
A number of threads discuss/recommend EPWING dictionaries, including threads on Epwing2Anki and Yomichan. Can anyone provide recommendations on good EPWING dictionaries (J-E and J-J) and simple instructions on how to purchase them in a form that I can use with an app that reads epwing files? I'm willing to pay up to $150 for a dictionary if it is a good one, but my own searches leave me uncertain of which ones would be guaranteed to work the way I'd like. I did some searching on this forum, but didn't turn up exactly the information I was looking for.
I am especially interested in the Kenkyuusha Shinwaei Daijiten 5th ed and the Sanseido J-J used by Rikaichan, if anyone knows the most straightforward way to purchase those. For J-J, I'd love a dictionary that has lots of entries but keeps the definitions on the simple side. The Goo J-J dictionary is ideal for my level, but I doubt that has a non-online version. The Daijisen on my Kindle is often over my head.
I am on a Mac but also have a Windows machine for things I can't do on a Mac.
I hope someone will be able to give me some insight on this basic but increasingly crippling problem:
Situation- what i want
I buy both english and japanese ebooks.
However I have only 1 kindle device. A paperwhite "manga" 32 gb.
I want to be able to read both english and japanese on the same device. Just to get it out of the way : sure I could buy 2 devices , one for the japanese, one for the english, but it would be really a pain in the pass considering I have other electronic devices like tablet and smartphone. I dont want to have to bring an army bag every time I take a walk. And I dont want to have to choose beforehand if I m going to pick the "english device" or the "japanese device" either - reading is pretty much a matter of mood for me and I can t possibly know what I will be reading hours from now. So both books on the same device.
Now i ve read that by switching account you can pull it off :
for instance you re logged in with your amazon.com account and your english book on your device. then you log off and log in with your amazon.co.jp account and you can download individually the other books of your japanese elibrary online. You dont have access to your english elibrary anymore but you keep the books downloaded on your device. I could work with that. I dont mind loggin loggin off. Specifically I have the manga model 32gb so I can download a huge number of books making the whole log in log out stuff pretty painless.
However what i experience is significantly different:
I have my 100+ english books on my device while logged with my non japanese account. Then I log off and log in with my amazon.co.jp account. I do have access to my japanese library but THEN EVERY SINGLE THING ON MY DEVICE IS WIPED CLEAN.
Considering how many ebooks I have, and I keep buying more, it s nothing short of disastrous. Specifically some books are quite heavy (1200 + page with illustrations like anatomy book,...). I can t download them everything single time I switch back from japanese to english. It s a dealbreaker for me and I end up consulting my japanese ebook through the amazon cloud which is lame and not very practical.
Now do you know a way to use both japanese and english books on a same device ?
Edited: 2017-01-23, 8:36 am
I actually have not been able to read Japanese books on a kindle app, at least not without breaking the encryption. (I can buy them and read them on the kindle, I just can't see them in a kindle app. Last I checked, the Japanese Amazon didn't have a compatible kindle app.)
Unfortunately, the situation you describe (having to wipe one language in order to read the other) is the norm. I did end up buying a second kindle because of this.
The suggestion of reading English books on a Kindle app and Japanese books on a physical kindle does work. I have often used this trick when traveling, so that at least I can carry fewer devices; read English books on my phone, read Japanese books on the physical kindle.
As far as I know, the only other alternative is to use an app like calibre to break the encryption on both your English and your Japanese books, and then use calibre exclusively to manage moving content on and off the device. In this way, you can have books in both languages stored on the same device. But the minute you try to sync directly with Amazon, everything will get wiped, so basically you can't sync through Amazon any more. That's a huge pain, especially if you like to sync bookmarks etc across devices.
There is no perfect solution - try to find the combination that causes you the least irritation. For me a combination of having two kindles and using a kindle app part of the time has been acceptable. When I am going somewhere for an extended time, like when I go to spend a few weeks at the beach, I take both English and Japanese kindles for greater ease of use - in that case it doesn't matter having an extra item in my luggage.
(I am on a Mac by the way, in case platform makes any difference.)