JavaDict Reference

Overview, Installation (Solaris, Win95/NT) Usage (options, dictionary, handwriting, Skip-Codes, Radicals) Credits Copyrights


         JavaDict - A desktop Japanese/English vocabulary and character reference dictionary tool


         JavaDict is a portable, easy to use, graphical dictionary program primarily for use by English-speaking students of Japanese (or Japanese-speaking students of English). Students of any foreign language quickly reach the point where they cannot progress much further without reading newspapers, magazines, and books intended for native speakers. This is what makes Japanese such a challenging language to learn, since one must learn thousands of seemingly random characters just to read prose intended for young teenagers. It is at this point that most quit out of despair.
         And it's no wonder. Faced with an unknown character, "" e.g., traditionally one is reduced to memorizing complex indexing systems and then flipping through one of several huge books currently available--a process which can take anywhere from 1-10 minutes. A veritable needle in a haystack! ("" is, in fact, the character for "needle") But, "" may only be half a word!!
         JavaDict can help. If you can correctly write the character (a skill quickly learned) you'll have the meaning and reading in seconds. If you're a beginner or can't figure out the stroke-order, you can fall back on Jack Halpern's famous "Skip" Method, which allows you to describe the shape of the character and pick it out of a small list. But unlike Halpern's dictionary, you won't have to search through 500-some-odd pages to find the right shape, nor will you have to memorize the numbers or even the exceptions to the system--with JavaDict everything is graphical and self-explanatory.
         What? You've already memorized the 200-or-so radicals required to use the Japanese "Bushu" method? Well, that's included too; and again, you'll find your character much faster than you would flipping through a book.
         Once cheap pen-based Java-capable palmtops become ubiquitous, there'll be no more excuses. We'll be able to read Japanese as easily as any other foreign language, and will be limited only by our motivation to learn.


         This Java application requires the Java virtual machine that comes with the Java Development Kit v 1.1.3 (or perhaps later) available from
Sun Microsystems Javasoft team.
         Due to space and copyright considerations, the Microsoft Truetype font and the file "edict" are no longer included in this distribution. Edict may be obtained at The truetype font may be obtained by getting Internet Explorer and installing the Japanese-language add-on.
         Also, as this is a multilingual application, it requires a small amount of extra configuration in order to view Japanese fonts on English operating systems. You have everything you need with this distribution.


         Javadict is started by typing "java JavaDict" in the distribution directory (it must be started from that directory in order to correctly find its data files)


Design, code, handwriting recognition algorithm & data Todd David Rudick
Japanese->English dictionary collection Jim Breen and various others
Kanji information data Jack Halpern, Jim Breen and various others


Clarification: this program (the code and handwriting datafile) is a part of the FSF's GNU project. However, the copyright is still held by Todd David Rudick.
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Copyright (C) 1997 Todd David Rudick

Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Last modified: Sat Jan 3 03:26:11 MST 1998