Fushimi Inari Taisha

New features: Kanji user lists & collocations

It’s been a while since our last update, but instead of doing summer vacations, we’ve been very busy working on some new features and improvements in japandict.com! We hope you like them.

🖌️ Kanji user lists

Since we added the user lists feature, many people requested the possibility to add kanji. Although this feature was planned since the beginning, it was not ready when we launched it.

We’ve been working hard to deliver this feature as soon as possible, and we’re very happy to present it now! When you create a new user list, it’s now possible to add both words and kanji in the same list.

🗣️ Collocations and expressions

Collocations are words that are normally used together and sound natural to a native speaker. For example, if you want to say “to have a bath”, the natural expression would be お風呂に入る.

Selected words now have a new section called “Collocations and expressions” which contain a list of collocations and expressions using that word. We believe that this could be a very useful tool to learn how to sound more natural to native speakers.

Some examples:

🔖 New categories and tags

JMDict, the parent project where JapanDict takes most of it’s content, has added some new categories to classify words. As usual, we’ve also implemented these changes and are now ready to be used.

Some of the new categories:

Also, some categories have been renamed:

  • The “obscure” category (#obs tag) has been renamed to #rare and all the words have been migrated there.
  • Language tags have new names to avoid clashes with other tags from different categories. From now on, they will have the suffix “_lang” added to them. For example: #eng will be #eng_lang.

🧑‍🎓 New JLPT word lists

Some inaccuracies in the JLPT vocabulary lists were reported in the forum, and after some investigation we realized that the algorithm that is inserting this data into the system, was not able to detect the proper words correctly. After some manual tuning, we’ve finally fixed these flaws and now the lists are better than ever! Check them out:

🐛 Other small improvements and bugfixes

As usual, we also have a big list of small changes and improvements that were done since our last update:

  • Improvement: Dark mode doesn’t show a “white flash” any more when switching pages.
  • Improvement: Lists of user lists are now paginated.
  • Improvement: Database optimizations to make the site faster and more responsive.
  • Improvement: Implemented search only forms in kanji and readings.
  • Improvement: Added some antispam measures in the JapanDict forum.
  • Improvement: Added “gloss type” from JMDict in some glosses. Example: のぞみ
  • Cosmetic: Small improvements in dark mode theme.
  • Bugfix: auto-redirect in kanji can now be disabled.
  • Bugfix: user registration was crashing when username had kanji or kana characters. It’s now showing a warning that these characters cannot be used.
  • Bugfix: Usernames that contained a dot or that were shorter than 3 characters were failing in the forum.
  • Bugfix: “order by” in lists of user created lists was not working properly.
  • Bugfix: Showing the “not found” page instead of an error when a user list doesn’t exist.
Discuss in the forum

Image by JapanDict, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

New feature: User lists

Since our last update, we’ve been working hard to implement one of the features that we had in mind almost since the beginning. It’s a big update and this was one of the reasons why we implemented user accounts very recently.

We are very excited to introduce the new user lists.

👤 User lists

Have you ever wanted to keep a list of the vocabulary words that you are learning? Maybe you wanted to keep track of funny or interesting words and share it with the world? Now you can create your own lists, add words and keep them private or public to share them with the rest of our users.

📄 Lists and tags rework

When implementing user lists, we took the opportunity to also revamp our lists and tags section. We have separated the lists in several categories and now the lists are better organized and are much easier to navigate.

🧭 Breadcrumbs

With all the new sections and features that we’ve added recently it’s becoming easier to get lost on the website. To avoid that we’ve added breadcrumbs in most pages to indicate the current page’s location within the navigation tree.

🤏 Other small improvements

Other fixes and improvements that are not big enough to have its own category:

  • When clicking a word that has multiple different meanings, it will go directly to the actual meaning.
  • Added an option in preferences to disable automatic redirection when there is only one result in search. This was a request from one of our users in the forum.
  • Fixes in pagination when changing between words and kanji. Another request in the forum.
  • Fixes in the example sentences as discussed in the forum.
  • Fixes in some verbs conjugations as discussed in the forum.
  • Small visual improvements in dark mode.
  • Fixed pagination in small screens, being too big when there were a lot of pages.

🙏 Thank you! ありがとう!

Thank you for all the suggestions and feedback done in the JapanDict forum. It helped us to fix some issues that were very difficult to detect. Please keep sending us your suggestions so we can improve the dictionary!

Discuss in the forum

Image by Storyset

Search kanji by drawing & improved pronunciation voice

After the last update, we received a lot of suggestions and positive feedback. We want to say a sincere ありがとう to all of you! We really appreciate all your messages!

Since then, we continued working on fixing some bugs and implementing some features that we believe that can be very interesting. We hope you enjoy them!

✍️ Search kanji by drawing

One of the most requested features is finally here. Use the new “search by drawing” functionality to look for a specific kanji character by drawing it with your mouse or with your finger.

Our recognition algorithm is capable to find any kanji instantly, even if the stroke order is not the right one. Give it a try!

This feature is still in beta testing. Please share your impression in the forum, so we can improve it.

🔊 Pronunciation voice improvements

As you may already know, the pronunciation voice in all the words and sentences is computer generated, and even though it has great quality, sometimes it can sound a bit “artificial”.

From now on, the generated voice is using “Neural text-to-speech” technology, that can produce even higher quality voices than before. By using machine learning technologies,  the voices generated using neural TTS sound more natural and human than the other regular voices.

Another change is that the voice is now emulating a male speaker instead of a female one. However, if you prefer the “regular” synthesized female voice, you can configure your account to use it. Just go to settings and select it.

📰 The Latest news in home page

While we will still post the latest news to our regular channels (blog, Telegram, Twitter and Facebook), we will also show them in the dictionary home page. We believe it’s a good way to keep all the people who don’t use our social media accounts up to date with the changes made into the dictionary.

🦜 Pitch accent info

When a word has pitch accent reading information, a new button will appear, with more details about it. This feature was suggested in the forum, and we think it is a fantastic idea that will make it easier for students to remember each pattern.

Other small improvements

Last but not least, some other small improvements made to the website:

  • “Remember me” is checked by default on the login page.
  • Added an information box with some tips in the search kanji page.
  • Replaced the feedback form with information about how to provide feedback.
  • Kanji stroke order images will only be shown if they exist.

Discuss in the forum

Image by Ayu Nabila, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

New forum, user accounts and more!

Since we started developing the JapanDict Japanese dictionary back in 2010, a lot of things have changed. At the beginning it was pretty simple: it was only possible to search for words and kanji, and even though the site was really functional. It lacked many of the functionalities available today like the search by radical, pitch accent, audio pronunciations, etc.

💬 forum.japandict.com

One of the things we’ve always tried to do is to be approachable and listen to your feedback. In fact, some features and improvements that we’ve been adding to the dictionary came from people that contacted us via the contact form or the feedback form.

We wanted to bring this communication to another level and try to encourage participation and discussion. We decided to create a forum and try to grow a community where anyone can participate, suggest new features, report bugs, or discuss any doubt related to the Japanese language.

Create an account and join us at forum.japandict.com

👥 User accounts and personal preferences

One of the requirements for the forum was the need of having user accounts: everyone who wants to participate, will have to create an account in JapanDict. So why not use these accounts for something else? For example storing some personal preferences?

Now that’s possible! We’ve implemented the possibility to save the following options:

  • Dictionary search language
    • It’s been possible for some time to change the search language from Japanese and English to Japanese and Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish or Swedish, but you had to select the different language every time you wanted to perform the search. Now you can save your personal preference and it will be used in every search.
  • Kanji search language
    • Same as in the dictionary. But in the case of Kanji search, the available languages are: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Show or hide romaji
    • This feature was suggested via your contact form, and I’ve been wanting to implement it for so long. Although romaji can be useful for beginners, some people consider it kind of “ugly” and even not helpful if you’re still learning hiragana and katakana. Even though romaji will be shown by default, now you have the possibility to remove it.

🔍 Improved search bar

When we published the new version of JapanDict back in July, one of the changes was a renewed search bar in the top header that is always available. This is very useful when using the dictionary, because you don’t have to go to the main page if you want to search another word or kanji.

We took the chance to completely rewrite it and add new features. This new version allows selecting the dictionary where to perform the search and also the language. We believe it’s a good improvement versus the previous one.

🙏 ありがとう!Thank you!

And that’s all for today. We hope you like all these new features as much as we enjoyed building them. We still have many other ideas we want to implement, but we would love to hear from you. Do you have any idea or suggestion? Please share it in the forum!

Thank you for your support and see you next time!

Discuss in the forum

Header image created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.es

New version of the JapanDict Japanese dictionary

We are very excited to introduce the new JapanDict dictionary in beta.

We’ve been working very hard to add new features and to improve the speed and usability of the dictionary. You can be one of the first people to test it! 🎉

Please let us know what you think by using the feedback button.


New features

Check all the changes that we have implemented to improve the dictionary:

  • 🎨 Modern and sleek new design using the latest web technologies.
  • 🌔 Dark mode to make it easier to read during the night.
  • 🚅 Shinkansen speed! The dictionary internals have been reworked to make it faster than ever.
  • 🏷 Tags in every word to make it easier to classify them. Tags can also be used when searching: try it by writing # in the search form.
  • 🗣 Pitch accent representation for most readings of the words.
  • ✍ New and nice kanji and word writing animations. This can be very helpful to study how to write properly any word or kanji.
  • 👨‍🦯 Extra readings for kanji characters: Chinese, Korean (hangul and romanized), Vietnamese and braille (for visually impaired people).
  • 📃 Kanji radical information with details for each one of them, to be able to study the origins of each kanji.
  • 📕 Similar kanji (that can be confused), antonyms (with opposite meaning) and homonyms (same pronunciation) for selected kanji characters.
  • ❓ Help documents for almost any section of the site to make it easier for newcomers.

Other features

Check also some of the features that make this Japanese dictionary unique:

  • Readings of the Japanese words in hiragana, romaji and furigana on the kanji to be able to study each reading.
  • 🔈 Audio readings for every word and for the conjugations.
  • 🌍 Meanings of the words in multiple languages when available: English, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.
  • 💬 Adjective and verb declensions with audio and readings in kana and romaji.
  • 🦜 Example sentences with audio readings, translation in several languages and word separation to make the analysis and studying of the sentence easier.
JapanDict old vs new design

People illustrations by Storyset