I went to Fukushima City Art Museum last week and saw the exhibit.  Having lived in Japan for a while, I have grown accustomed to Japanese art.

The pictures in the postcards are my favorite type of Japanese art.  Everyday scenes of Japanese life.   Almost like Japanese Norman Rockefeller.

I’ve posted before about how my main dictionary is a clunky black electronic dictionary from the nineties.   It is aimed at Japanese people, which is cumbersome.  However, I like it because I have dropped it SO MANY TIMES and it is still working.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it stopped working tomorrow, it is so old and I have treated it so roughly.  That’s why I like to use it.  I can relax with it, spill honey on its keyboard*, lose it on a train, step on it….whatever.

However, the two apps on my Ipad are far better dictionaries for me.  The two I have are “Midori” and “Japanese”  They are both aimed at English speakers, which is REALLY nice.  However, I like Midori better mainly because it gives furigana next to the kanji. “Japanese” doesn’t seem to do that.

I’ll often look a word up the clunky black dinosaur dictionary and then afterwards check it on “Midori”.  Midori will give the meaning of the kanji in the word.  (If a word is made up of two kanji, it tells me the literal meaning of both so I can remember the word better.)  I can use the pad and write the strokes in the kanji and find a word that way, too.  (Although it doesn’t always get it on the first try–it gets the wrong answer if my stroke order is incorrect.)  The problem with the Ipad is that it is, well, rather expensive, and I really don’t want to lounge on the sofa with and drop it and sit on it and so forth.  I just don’t have money for that.  The clunky black dinosaur dictionary is an economical worry-free way for me to look up words.

I drop everything to study–including my dictionary!

One feature that I often use on my clunky black translator is the “history” feature.  I’ll type new words in during my Japanese class and then later I can review those words at my leisure.  Both Midori and Japanese apps have this feature, too.

For people who don’t have money at all, but have access to the internet, there is this dictionary:  http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C  It’s completely free and can definitely be useful.  I’ve used it to find the more literal meaning of a phrase.  Also, it has a variety of language options, so if your native language isn’t English, perhaps this site has a Japanese translation dictionary for you.

*Yes, I have spilled honey on it, and it still works fine.  A couple days were sticky, but now it is okay.

The N2 test is less than two weeks away, and I’m studying hard.  Realistically, I don’t expect to pass because I don’t feel like I have gained adequate knowledge yet.  But I would like reading comprehension to not be such an utter disaster this time.  Please, pretty please, let me be able to answer at least some of the questions!


I want to make a correction.  I wrote a couple of days ago that (a year ago) I got Jpod101 on Black Friday for over 200 dollars.  Actually, it was 120 dollars for two years.  My bad.  Now they are having their Black Friday sale, so that made me think of it……