Japanese Telegram

Introducing Japanese Telegram Services

Since the beginning, one of our main objectives has always been to inspire passion in the Japanese language. In fact, even before the JapanDict Japanese dictionary was launched, we already had the @learnkanji Twitter account posting a new Japanese word every day. Around three years ago we also launched our Learn Japanese Facebook page with the same philosophy, posting every day a different Japanese word with the English translation. Both of them have been very successful and we believe they are a good resource for Japanese students and enthusiasts all around the world. Today, we are very proud to introduce two new services we’ve been recently working on: the Learn Japanese Telegram channel and the JapanDict Telegram bot.

Telegram is a free messaging app which is gaining more and more users over the time. Similar in some aspects to WhatsApp, it has more features and some of them are really interesting.

Learn Japanese Telegram Channel

A Telegram channel is a tool for broadcasting public messages to a large group of people. In fact, it’s not that different from a normal chat, but the messages go one way only.

This allows us to create a new way to send a Japanese word every day. The new Learn Japanese Telegram Channel isn’t that different from the @learnkanji Twitter account or the Learn Japanese Facebook page, but this time it is possible to receive the daily Japanese word directly in Telegram as a chat message. We believe it is a new and useful way to learn Japanese vocabulary with no effort.

JapanDict Telegram Bot

A bot in Telegram is like a normal account but operated by software. In fact it’s no different from a normal chat session, but instead of talking to a person, you talk to a machine.

The JapanDict Telegram bot allows you to make any query to your favourite Japanese dictionary using a normal chat. It is now possible to search for Japanese words talking directly to the dictionary in a chat session. This new way of using the dictionary is much faster: you don’t even need to open your web browser!

How do I use them?

It’s very easy. First of all, you need to install Telegram and create an account if you don’t have one already. It’s free and there is an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It’s also possible to use it from your desktop computer as well.

Once you have Telegram installed, just click the following buttons to join us!

 Join the Telegram Channel

 Start the Telegram Bot

Give them a try and let us know what you think.

 

Header robot image designed by Freepik.

Improved search in JapanDict

JapanDict improved searchWe’ve always considered the search functionality one of the most important features in the JapanDict Japanese dictionary. Since we first launched JapanDict back in 2010, we wanted to create the fastest experience when looking for Japanese or English words in our dictionary. We also wanted to provide with coherent results: there is no point to provide a way to search words if you cannot find what you were looking for.

When we updated JapanDict few months ago,  we improved the way the search was working, making it more natural and providing more results related with the searched word, however we believe it was possible to improve it even more.

After some investigation and testing, we’ve now changed  few things to provide what we believe is the best search experience in any online Japanese dictionary. Not only it’s now much faster but also it’s returning the results in a more coherent order, showing more popular words before the less used ones.

Some example searches we’ve greatly improved are:

Give it a try, check the newly improved search in JapanDict and let us know what you think!

New JapanDict

Come to see the new JapanDict Japanese dictionary

We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed Japanese dictionary: the new JapanDict. You can visit us in at our usual web address www.japandict.com.

We’ve worked so hard to make the new design faster, easier to navigate and more user-friendly. We’ve also changed a lot of internals on how the dictionary works so even if it cannot be seen directly, the dictionary is much better now.

Some of the changes we’ve made are:

New JapanDict with improved design

We believe in simplicity. We wanted to create a simple but feature complete dictionary easy to use and easy to understand. That was and it still is one of the key characteristics of JapanDict.

The new design tries to keep this simplicity while providing a more modern look, updated to nowadays standards.

Better search

We know the importance of a good search engine. Google changed forever the internet search providing a search engine that just works.

We’re not Google, but we’ve improved our search engine so much that we believe you will be able find any word you’re looking for. For instance, now we’re providing the list of found words in order from more common to less common, and we’ve also added variations so it’s now possible to find related words with subtle variations.

Audio pronunciation

Ever wondered what was the proper way to pronounce a Japanese word? Now it’s possible to hear the Japanese pronunciation of most of the words in the dictionary. While it’s a computer generated file, the pronunciation is accurate enough to give you an idea on how to pronounce it.

Better romaji

Romaji is the transcription of Japanese words using the roman alphabet. In the previous version, we transcribed all the words to romaji using our own algorithm. Even though it was pretty good, it was not 100% acurate.

We’ve switchet to the romkan library and all words are now transliterated using the Hepburn romanization system.

Latest dictionary information

This dictionary would not have been possible without the JMDict project. They provide the most valuable information we use in JapanDict. The previous version of the dictionary was using an outdated version of the dictionary definition.

Now, not only we’re using the latest release but we’ve automated the download and importation of the JMDict dictionary so newer releases are going to be included into JapanDict much faster and more regularly than before.

Much more!

This is only the beginning. We’ve also fixed a lot of little but annoying bugs and improved the underlying code in which all the dictionary relies. We’re very excited of all the changes we’ve made and we hope you like them.

Give it a try and let us know!

 

Visit JapanDict Japanese dictionary

 

Old vs New JapanDict

Japanese food in Emoji

The Japanese cuisine offers a great variety of dishes and it’s one of the most healthy and rich. In this second post in this series, we will review some of the icons representing Japanese food in emoji.

Senbei emoji: 煎餅

Senbei 煎餅 is a Japanese traditional cracker.  Usually served as a casual snack or with tea, this rice cookie can have very different flavours and sizes. It usually comes with nori seaweed.

Onigiri emoji: お握り

Onigiri お握り is a Japanese food consisting of a rice ball usually shaped with a triangular or cylindrical form which contains some other food inside. Nori seaweed is commonly used to wrap it and it can contain many different kinds of food on the inside. Nowadays many different kinds of onigiri can be found in any convenience store around Japan.

Rice bowl emoji: Gohan 御飯

White plain cooked rice, known as gohan 御飯, is served with most of the Japanese meals. It’s probably the most important food in the Japanese cuisine.

Curry and rice emoji: Japanese curry カレー

Originally from India and brought to Japan by the British, this popular Japanese dish has has been adapted over time to the tastes of the Japanese people. Not as spicy as the original one and always served with rice, it might come with more or less ingredients.

Sushi emoji: 寿司

Sushi 寿司 is probably the most famous dish in the Japanese cuisine. Made with rice mixed with vinegar, salt and sugar and also raw or cooked seafood or vegetables. There are many different kinds of sushi depending on how the ingredients are presented. The most popular one in Japan is nigirizushi 握りずし: a small portion of cooked rice where the fish is placed on top of it.


 

More emoji articles:

Rock paper scissors in Japan

Janken pon! (じゃんけんぽん!) This is the sentence to start a new game of rock paper scissors in Japan. This game is very popular among Japanese  children since very old times. Did you know it was originated in Asia and it expanded from there to the rest of the world?

Mushi-ken_(虫拳),_Japanese_rock-paper-scissors_variant,_from_the_Kensarae_sumai_zue_(1809)
Slug, frog and snake

Some history

The game was created in China in the Han dynasty and from there it was imported into Japan where it became very popular. At the beginning the shapes done by the hands where very different from the ones used today. Instead of a rock, paper and scissors they represented a frog, a slug and a snake. After some time it evolved to the shapes we use today.

From Japan the game expanded to the rest of the world. In some countries like Peru and Brasil, the game is even known by the Japanese name: jan-ken-pon.

 

Rules of rock paper scissors in Japan

Who doesn’t know how to play it? This game is so popular everyone knows its rules. However, rock paper scissors in Japan has some particularities that make this game a bit different:

  • The game starts when both players say: Saisho wa guu – 最初ぐう. It literally means “Beginning with stone”. At the same time both players show their fists to start the game.
  • This is followed by someone saying: Janken pon! – じゃんけんぽん!and all players showing either rock, paper or scissors at the sound of pon – ぽん.
  • If there is a tie it’s said Aiko deshou! 相子でしょう, which means “it seems a tie” and all the players show their hands again until someone wins the game.

Those are the different shapes you can make with your hands:

Rock: Guu – グー

Wins: Scissors

Looses: Paper

Paper: Paa – パー

Wins: Rock

Looses: Scissors

Scissors: Choki – チョキ

Wins: Paper

Losses: Rock

Robots playing Janken

Did you know there is a robot capable to play janken against a human and win every time? It was developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory in the University of Tokyo. It uses a high speed vision system to capture the movement of the opponent’s hand and perform the winning shape right before the opponent finishes his movement:


 


Some pictures for this article in this article were taken from Wikipedia: