Jim Breen's WWWJDIC Server
Last updated: 7 May 2007
(You can jump straight to the WWWJDIC
Welcome to WWWJDIC, the dictionary server associated with the
JMdict/EDICT and KANJIDIC
projects. WWWJDIC is a member of the JDIC/xjdic/MacJDic
family of dictionary software products, and is based on code from the
Unix/Linux xjdic program.
Please note that this server is intended for people who have studied
some Japanese and who can read at least kana. Also a browser capable of
displaying Japanese text will be needed.
WWWJDIC operates at several mirror sites around the globe.
All sites carry identical information. Check here
for the location of the nearest mirror site.
These are minimal, as the operation of WWWJDIC is intended to be
as intuitive and self-explanatory as possible.
There is an FAQ section at the back of this page.
Care is needed with the form of romaji used for input.
WWWJDIC expects "wapuro
romaji", i.e. it should be typed as though it was going into Input
Method (IM or IME) of a Japanese-capable word-processor. For example:
long vowels in native Japanese words must be in the romaji
equivalents of the kana form. Thus it is "toukyou" and "oosaka".
Please note that you must have the correct Japanese vowel
lengths. Many people email saying they cannot find words like "ronin",
when they should have been trying "rounin".
long vowels in gairaigo must use a "-" to indicate the
sokuon character. Thus it's "su-pa-", not "suupaa".
use an apostrophe (') to disambiguate things like hon'yaku and
Shin'ichi. (Some IMEs use repeated n's for this.)
the small "tsu" (sokuon) is usually produced by repeating the
consonant (e.g. socchoku). In the case of a sokuon before a "cho", a
"t" can also be used (e.g. sotchoku).
for the voiced forms of "tsu" and "chi" use "dzu" and "dji".
Thus you need to look up "tsudzuku", not "tsuzuku".
Note that WWWJDIC can accept both Hepburn and kunrei/nihon shiki; both sin'iti
and shin'ichi map to the same kana. Also, as in many
IMEs, xa, xi, etc. can be used for the small kana vowels.
If you are entering KUN readings when looking up kanji, note that the
fixed and inflecting portions are divided by a "." (in ASCII). Normally
entering a "." in romaji will result in a JIS ".", so WWWJDIC lets you
specify an ASCII "." by using a comma. Thus, use "a,u" or "ka,keru". Note
this only applies to the kanji database.
For people who don't like having to click the "romanized Japanese"
box on the dictionary search page, you enter romaji
by prefixing the romaji with an "@" character (for hiragana), e.g.
"@koujou", or a "#" character (for katakana), e.g. "#va-jon". In fact
this is the only way you can input the odd katakana such as the small
"ke" character or the "vu" character.
An option on the Word Search page is "Require exact word-match", for
non-Japanese search keys. If you
select this option, only a restricted number of entries will be displayed, as
one of the senses in the dictionary entry must match
the key exactly, however two exceptions are made:
- any characters in parentheses before the keyword are ignored;
- the characters "to " preceding the keyword are ignored (thus
matches on English verbs).
Searching for Japanese Words
In general Japanese (and English) words can only be searched for from the
beginning of the word. The only exception is when the search
key begins with a kanji. In that case the match can occur anywhere in a
word, however you may restrict it to occur at the beginning of the
Searching for English Words
You need to know that the dictionary files are based on Japanese
head-words, and selecting entries using English keys can result in
misleading results. For example, looking for "book" in the full EDICT
file will return
potentially 350 entries. For searching the EDICT file, you may
be able to get better results by setting the common word restriction via
the checkbox on the initial menu. Also using the "Exact Match" option, may
improve the results. Checking the example sentences (if available) will help
verify if the word is suitable. At all times the user should exercise
A search can be be made using two words as the search key, e.g. "break
out". In this case you will find all entries in which both words
Short phrases, etc. can be searched by using an underscore character
between words, e.g. "break_out". In this case only entries the words
appear in succession will be displayed.
The server has a list of variant English words and spellings, and if
one of these is entered, it will suggest possible alternatives. So if
you put in "favourite", it will suggest also looking at "favorite", if
you put in "faucet", it will suggest "tap", etc. The suggestions are
clickable links, so you can easily check out the suggestion.
(The word list comes
from the VarCon
Note that words of only one or two letters cannot be used as keys. This
is to stop the dictionary index being filled with references to "if",
"it", "of", "or", etc.
Taskbar Search Buttons
text to be marked and then dropped straight into various lookup functions by
clicking on a Taskbar button. Buttons are available for searching for
Japanese or English words, and for using the Translate Words in Text
function. See the button
generator page for details.
Multi-Radical Kanji Selection
The Multi-Radical Kanji Selection feature
does not use the 214 classical radicals. Instead it uses a
slightly different set which included more basic shapes. Note that the
identification of the kanji is based on the visual appearance of the
elements; not on their classical radical.
You have the opportunity to change some of the visual aspects of
WWWJDIC's input and display. There is a "customization" page which lets you change
the basic colours, lines/display, etc. It also lets you change from the
default EUC input and output coding to either Shift-JIS or Unicode (UTF-8).
Note that for modern browsers this option need not usually be
exercised, as the browser will detect the code and display the
characters correctly. The option is really
only for browsers that cannot handle EUC at all (e.g. Japanese mobile phones
which only support Shift_JIS), or for regular use of dictionary files such as
the Buddhism and French/German files, which contain characters outside the
basic Japanese set. For users with modern browsers, Unicode (UTF-8) may be
worth using as it avoids the use of bit-mapped images.
The customization can take place either by setting a cookie in
your browser, or by setting some URL parameters. Note that the cookies only
work for the server which set them.
A word of warning about
changing the colours. Since the in-line images of the JIS212 characters were
converted from GIF to PNG format, they are now black_on_ivory, not
black_on_transparent. This is because many browsers cannot handle
transparent PNG files.
A Word about IMEs.
WWWJDIC can be used successfully with the IMEs now available for Linux,
Macs and Windows (95/98, 2000 and XP).
One of the options of WWWJDIC is to translate the words in Japanese
text. Please note, the function does NOT attempt to
translate Japanese text into English; it simply sets out to
identify the words in the text and to display the translations of
those words. The user is expected to know enough Japanese grammar
to make sense of the results. The input text is displayed in
sections, with the words detected/translated in red, or in blue
where an inflected verb or adjective is assumed. If a user requests that
a word/phrase only be translated once (see below), the text is displayed
in brown for subsequent occurrences.
You can use this option in two ways:
- cut-and-paste text from
another application into the text box on the browser screen. (It
usually seems to go automatically into the EUC required by WWWJDIC, but if
you are having problems, try the option of forcing the server to
convert it to EUC.) In some cases the cut-and-paste may break
characters up, resulting in a load of mojibake. Sorry if this
happens, but it's a browser problem and can't be fixed in the
- specify the URL of a WWW page, and the server will
fetch that page and translate the words in it. Note that in doing
so, it deletes everything between < and >, i.e. all HTML
labels, etc. and as a default deletes all non-Japanese characters,
so all you get is the raw Japanese. (You can override this and get
it to leave the non-Japanese in if you wish.) Where non-Japanese
has been deleted, a "|" is inserted. (In this option, you may wish
to set a new timeout value if the fetch of the WWW page takes
longer than the default 60 seconds allowed.) Please note that WWWJDIC
attempt to handle cookies. If you can't use this facility because the
site you are viewing requires cookies enabled, you will have to use the
Something you need to watch out for are URLs which don't actually point
at the text you are seeing. Examples of this include text in a Frame.
You need to give WWWJDIC the actual address of the frame - you can
usually find this out from the browser if you right-click on the Frame
The default is for the original text to be displayed one line at a
time, followed by a list of translated words. For the "cut-and-paste"
text, there is a "hidden translation" option, in which the word
translations are embedded in the text and become visible when the mouse
pointer is held over the word (this option only words with browsers
supporting HTML 4.)
The server detects words in the text as follows:
Matches against complete dictionary entries are favoured over
partial matches of longer entries, and if two equivalent matches
are found, the longer is returned. Matched jukugo which are
followed by what appears to be a particle (i.e. "wa", "no", "ni",
"na", etc.) are trimmed back to just the jukugo to avoid
misreporting matches from phrases and similar long dictionary
- gairaigo in katakana are detected and looked up;
- jukugo beginning with kanji are detected;
- where a kanji is followed by two or more hiragana, an attempt
is made to match the kana against known verb/adjective inflections.
If this succeeds, the equivalent dictionary form of the word is
sought. If this is successful, the match is displayed, and the
matched text displayed in blue;
- single kanji which have not been detected in the above will be
matched against dictionary entries (if any). (This may be turned
off by the user.)
- sequences of four or more hiragana are matched against a small
file of words and phrases typically written in kana alone. Only exact
matches are reported. (This
function may be expanded, but the possibility of false matches is high.)
- a special case is made of an o or go hiragana, or the
kanji preceding a kanji. In this case a check is made to see if the word
is present in the dictionary files with and without the prefix.
Users may request that translations only appear once for
each Japanese word or phrase.
The user can invoke any dictionary file for the matching, but
the combination GLOSSDIC file is the default, and is strongly
recommended. (Note that using the
main EDICT file in this function is not recommended, as its format is no
longer fully compatible with the search system employed.)
One advantage of using
this combined file is that it increases the chance of getting a
correct match for a word, particularly if the text contains names.
Also, the component sub-files in GLOSSDIC are tagged, and the match
function gives preference to entries in the following order (tags shown "EP", etc.):
- a small file of special words and phrases (SP);
- a subset of the most common 20,000 entries in the EDICT file (EP);
- from the rest of the EDICT file (ED);
- the other glossary files (PP, AV, CO, LW1, LW2, LS, FM, BU, GA);
- the ENAMDICT entries. (A special version of the file is used in
which kanji names with multiple readings are combined into a single
entry, with the most frequently used readings first);
- the J_PLACES file of Japanese place-names (PL);
The reason the EDICT subset is used is so that the appropriate
match is made when there are several readings of a jukugo, for example
the "adult" compound will
be matched against the word "otona" instead of the less common
The full details of all the dictionary files are provided below.
Further Comments on WWW Page Translation
Please note that if you are wanting to examine Japanese text
within a frame, you may have to examine the source file (e.g.
View/Source) to get the address of the actual file containing the
text. An alternative is to open the frame in a window of its own.
Please appreciate that the function is somewhat crude and
simplistic. It can occasionally mis-parse long strings of kanji, so users
are advised to examine the results carefully, especially where the
text only partially matches the dictionary entry. There is a small
[Partial Match] when this occurs.
A large amount of text will result in hundreds of dictionary
searches, so the server may take a while to respond.
There is a front page
for this function which uses frames so you can have the viewed page
and WWWJDIC side-by-side.
The dictionary files used by the server are:
Some of the dictionary files contain characters used in languages such as
French, German, Sanskrit, etc., which are not available in the common JIS X
0208 character set. These characters are coded in the extension set - JIS X
0212 - however most browsers cannot display these characters correctly
in the default EUC-JP coding, and they are not available at all in
Shift-JIS coding. For
this reason the characters are sent from the server either as HTML entities,
e.g. é for é, or as a bit-mapped PNG image. Depending on the
have chosen for your browser, these characters may appear a little strange.
- The KANJIDICand KANJD212 files, which are used by the
server for all the kanji search functions.
- The KANJIDIC file contains comprehensive information about Japanese
kanji. It is a text file currently 6,355 lines long, with one line
for each kanji in the two levels of the characters specified in the
JIS X 0208-1990 set.
(There is a summary page
about the file, as well as the full
- The KANJD212 file contains information about the 5,801 kanji in the JIS X
0212-1990 standard. It is in the same format as the KANJIDIC file.
- The EDICT file.
The EDICT file is the outcome of a voluntary project to produce a
freely-available Japanese/English Dictionary in machine-readable
form. This project has been under way since early 1991, and has
involved hundreds of people. It now has over 100,000 entries, and is
the major free-ware Japanese-English lexicon. (There is a summary page
about the file, as well as the full
The version of the EDICT file used by the WWWJDIC server differs a little
from the released version, in that it uses an extended format in which
kanji and reading variants are held within the single entry instead of
being in separate entries. It also contains a subfile of
of about 2,000 common Japanese verbs, enabling pointers back to the
dictionary form of the verbs.
- The COMPDIC file.
The COMPDIC file is a glossary of terms used in the computing and
(tele)communications industries. It is in the "EDICT" format, and
is intended for use as a generally available file for dictionary
and WP software systems. (Full
- The ENAMDICT file.
The ENAMDICT file contains Japanese proper names; place-names,
surnames and given names. These were originally included in the
EDICT file, along with other non-name entries. By late 1995, the
number of name entries had exceeded the others, and the file was
becoming unmanageably large, so the decision was made to split it.
(The split was done automatically, and may have been imperfectly
performed. Please notify any errors.) The format of the ENAMDICT
file is exactly the same as the EDICT file, and the EDICT documentation
should be consulted for more information. (Full
- The LIFSCIDIC file.
The LIFSCIDIC is currently the "EDICLSD4" Japanese-English Life
Science dictionary in the EDICT format. This dictionary contains
34,274 Japanese bio-medical words frequently used in Life Science
publications. EDICLSD4 was compiled by the
Life Science Dictionary
Project, led by Professor Shuji Kaneko at Kyoto University. (See
overall explanation, plus some information
about the 1997 edition.)
- The JDDICT file.
The JDDICT (Japanisch-Deutsch Dictionary) file is an EDICT-format
version of the the WaDokuJT
Japanese-German dictionary file compiled by Ulrich Apel. The conversion
was done by Han-Joerg Bibiko. (211,000 entries)
- The FINMKTDIC file.
This file is a concatenation of Kevin Seaver's glossary of
financial terms (FINDIC), and Adam Rice's business & marketing
glossary (MKTDIC). (Documentation files: here and
- The LINGDIC file.
List of linguistics terms compiled by Francis Bond
in 1998, recently updated by Francis and by Paul Blay (documentation).
- The LAWDIC file.
A glossary of legal terminology, currently containing about 6,000
terms. It is a concatenation of two glossaries:
- LAWDIC1 (LW1) - the EDICT-format version of the Japanese Legal
Glossary compiled by the Asian Law Program, School of Law,
University of Washington. It was transcribed to file by a team of
volunteers in 1995. (documentation.)
- LAWDIC2 (LW2) - additional material from the EDICT-format version of
the "Standard Bilingual Dictionary" of legal terminology on the
Japanese Cabinet Secretariat website.
- The MISCDIC file.
This file is a concatenation of several small glossary files. These
have been joined using "ejoin", and the entries have been given
two-letter tags to show their source.
- GEODIC (GE) - geological terminology file compiled by Bruce
Bain and Leslie Oberman. (documentation)
- PANDPDIC (PP) - Jim Minor's Pulp & Paper Industry Glossary
- AVIATION (AV) - Ron Schei's Aviation Dictionary File (documentation)
- CONCRETE (CO) - Gururaj Rao's Concrete Terminology Glossary (documentation)
- STARDICT (ST) - a list of star and constellation names prepared by
Raphael Garrouty in 2001.
- FORSDIC_E (FO) - a list of forestry terms compiled by Juan Cardona (documentation).
- GAIDIC (GA) - a rough file of gairaigo which are gradually being
edited into the main EDICT file. It is not ready for the big time by
itself, but its material may be of use.
- ENVGLOSS (EV) - a short glossary of environmental terms (documentation)
- MANUFDIC (MA) - a short glossary of manufacturing terms (documentation)
- The J_PLACES file.
This file has been extracted from the Postal Code database
available on the WWW. It has partially been converted into
EDICT-format. Note that the kana style is non-standard, e.g. in the
representation of youon.
- The ENGSCIDIC file - a 14,000 entry file of words mostly
relating to engineering and science, which became available in October
- The J-RUSSIAN file - a small but growing Japanese-Russian
dictionary file being compiled by Oleg Volkov. WWWJDIC is able to use and
display this material because the Cyrillic script is part of the JIS
character set. See Oleg's documentation (in Russian).
- The J-FRENCH file of 58,000 entries, which is assembled from
- a 17,000 entry Japanese-French dictionary file
from the Dictionnaire français-japonais
project being undertaken by Jean-Marc Desperrier. As Jean-Marc says on
that page, his project's aim "est de traduire en français une partie du
dictionnaire japonais-anglais Edict de Jim Breen". His project is
continuing and is being supported by a number of French speakers. These
entries have "JF1" at the end of them.
- about 41,000 entries from a dictionary compiled by
le projet francais pour
francophone. This file, which also appears to be based around
translating the EDICT file, has been made by selecting the entries not
already in Jean-Marc's file, and converting them to EDICT format.
These entries have "JF2" at the end of them. (There is some evidence
that this file may
use translations generated by an online resource such as Babelfish.)
- the JSVEDIC file. The 16,000-entry JSVEDIC (Japanska-Svensk, i.e.
Japanese-Swedish) dictionary file is the result of a project
to use recently developed techniques to reliably translate EDICT entries
into Swedish. (See a report on
the project, the resulting file of which has been considerably edited to
improve the quality of the translations. The file is available from the
- The BUDDHDIC file - an extract of about 39,000 entries from the
Digital Dictionary of Buddhism
(DDB). See the brief
documentation. When using this file to look up words, you have the option
of linking to the related entry in the full DDB. Note that you have to enter
the login name "guest" (no password), and you are limited to 10 DDB accesses
per 24-hour period.
- The RIVERWATER file - an EDICT-format version of the River
and Water Resources Glossary produced by the Infrastructure Development
Institute - Japan. See my short
- The CARDIC file - an EDICT-format version of K. Tomita's
- The THE_LOT/GLOSSDIC files - a combination of most of the above files. (See earlier
section on Translating Text.) The GLOSSDIC file is provided for text glossing.
When this file is generated, duplicated entries are removed,
retaining the entry from the highest-ranking source. The entries are tagged
to indicate the source dictionary file. The THE_LOT file is simply a
concatenation of the other files, and can be useful for wide-ranging
dictionary searches, however it can lead to multiple results.
- The REVHENKAN file - a collection of 130,000 words from the
conversion files of various Input Methods. These words are not
in the files above, and have no English meanings (as yet). They are
available in case anyone wants to find out the reading of a word which
is not in the main dictionary files. Note that readings may not be
always correct, as some IME systems include common mis-spellings and
- A small file of words and phrases written in hiragana. These
are drawn from the EDICT file, and are used only when translating words
Please note that the dictionary material is for the most part copyright.
Publication of material from WWWJDIC is permitted, provided appropriate
acknowledgements are made. See the
Copyright section below for more information on
The Multi-Radical Kanji Selection enables you to search for a kanji
using the component "shapes" within the kanji. Each of the 6,355 kanji in the
JIS X 0208 standard has been analyzed and their components classified
according to a set of 250 basic shapes. These shapes correspond
approximately to the 214 "KiangXi" or classical radicals used by many kanji
dictionaries, however a number of other common shapes such as ÒÓ and
¥æ are also used.
You may need to experiment with this function to get used to identifying
the components of a kanji. Note that some components are further subdivided,
e.g. the kanji ÏÃ is classified by the shapes: ¸ý, Àå and ¸À.
This function uses the "radkfile" file, which contains the radical-element
breakdown for the
JIS X 0208 kanji. This file was originally prepared by Michael Raine
and revised and extended by Jim Breen. The file is used to drive the
multi-radical kanji-selection feature. (If you want a copy of the file, the
current version is here.) The
file is an inversion of a kanji-radical
The WWWJDIC server includes a large file of Japanese/English sentences
which have been linked to the EDICT dictionary file so that sentences
can be displayed by clicking on the "Ex" tag after the entry. In
addition, the sentence file can be searched, and there is a mechanism
for submitting corrections online.
The examples are mostly drawn from the
Corpus, a collection of
Japanese/English sentences compiled by Professor Yasuhito Tanaka at Hyogo
University and his students. The sentences appear to be mostly from
educational material, text books, etc. The collection is in the Public Domain.
The collection is large (approximately 160,000 pairs) and is being edited
as there are a number of errors and duplications in both the Japanese and
A small number of additional sentences have been added to provide examples of
Any suggested corrections or
sentences to add to the collection are welcome, and should be submitted using
the Suggestion/Comment option on the page displaying the sentences.
If you are sending suggested sentences, please make sure both the
Japanese and English are correct. Also, if the sentences are drawn from
an existing publication, please provide the details of that publication.
Submissions are preferred if they contain words which are
either not covered by existing example sentences, or only poorly
covered. Please indicate if any new words are included in your
If you would like to download a complete copy of the current file of
example sentences, including the index words, it is available via
the most recent version.)
file which is only about 30% the size of the full file is also
Most of the verbs in the main EDICT file allow an optional display of a
table of verb conjugations. Where this is available, a [V] tag
appears to the right of the verb display.
The table of conjugations is generated automatically according to the
part-of-speech tag in the entry. It should not be assumed that for every
verb, any single conjugation is as frequently used or as natural as any
Associated with the table of conjugations is a page of
comments which attempts to expand some of the more obscure points.
Associated with the most common 2,200 kanji (i.e. the
Jouyou and Jinmeiyou kanji) are animated Stroke Order
Diagrams (SODs). Where these are available, a "SOD" link will appear
at the end of the information display for a kanji (example of a kanji
with a SOD)
The images used in this animation are the art-work from the New
Japanese-English Character Dictionary
(see http://www.kanji.org/), and
are used with the kind
permission of Mr Jack Halpern. They were scanned and cleaned up by
Jeffrey Friedl to go into Jack's Kanji Learner's Dictionary.
The Stroke Order Diagram animation was carried out as follows:
All this took a bit of debugging, but once it was working, it only took
a few minutes to generate the diagrams for the whole 2200 kanji. All
this was done on a Sun system running Solaris, so the GIF files are quite
legal under the Unisys patent.
- the source of the diagrams is the digitized multi-panel form from
the printed kanji dictionaries, in
which the kanji is built up stroke by stroke. Jack Halpern provided
these as BMP files.
each panel of the diagram was extracted into a separate file
using a combination of a special utility program and the
bmptopnm and ppmtogif utilities.
- for each kanji, the gifsicle
utility was used to make an animated GIF of the whole kanji. Some twitch
a bit due the occasional alignment inaccuracies.
An interesting feature of WWWJDIC is the system of links to other
servers and files. These are:
- to other
WWW kanji/hanzi/hanja character dictionaries. These links go from
the kanji information page, and enable direct access to the
information about that kanji held on other databases. The databases
currently linked are:
- Charles Muller's World
Wide Web CJK-English Dictionary Database.
This database contains a wealth of information, with a particularly
classical emphasis. A feature is an index into his dictionary of
- Rick Harbaugh's Zhongwen
Zipu (Etymological Chinese-English Dictionary).
This is a fascinating dictionary (available as a CD-ROM too), with
a wealth of etymological information about the characters,
including a genealogical chart. It has a specifically Chinese
- Timothy Huang's Big5 Database. This is a file of codes and
related information in the Big5 set of hanzi compiled by Professor
Timothy Huang, co-author of the book "An Introduction to Chinese,
Japanese & Korean Computing". For further information, contact
The "unifying" code we use to implement these links is the Unicode
(UCS2) code-point. We intend to have all the systems cross-linked.
You can index from Chuck's and Rick's systems back to WWWJDIC.
Project. This project is developing a WWW-based dictionary of extended
information about words & phrases in Japanese. WWWJDIC examines the
jeKai index and when it displays a Japanese word which is in the
jeKai files, it creates a link.
- the online Sanseido dictionary at Goo. The link
goes from the normal word display, and triggers the JE server at that
site. You can use the other dictionaries at that site, including the big
- the Google search engine, which is called with the displayed
Japanese word(s) as a search key. The "images" option can also be used.
- the Eijiro dictionary at the ALC server in Japan.
- the Japanese Wikipedia. WWWJDIC maintains a list of all article
headings in the Japanese Wikipedia, and where an article is available
for a displayed dictionary entry, a link is provided.
The dictionary entries contain a number of abbreviations and codes,
mainly to reduce storage usage and display space.
For more information about the P (Priority) markers, see the
Word Priority Marking section in the
||adjectival nouns or quasi-adjectives (keiyodoshi)
||nouns which may take the genitive case particle "no"
||pre-noun adjectival (rentaishi)
||special adjective (e.g. ookii)
||Expressions (phrases, clauses, etc.)
||female term or language
||gikun (meaning) reading
||honorific or respectful (sonkeigo) language
||humble (kenjougo) language
||word containing irregular kanji usage
||word containing irregular kana usage
||irregular okurigana usage
||martial arts term
||male term or language
||noun (common) (futsuumeishi)
||adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi)
||noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)
||negative (in a negative sentence, or with negative verb)
||negative verb (when used with)
||word containing out-dated kanji
||out-dated or obsolete kana usage
||polite (teineigo) language
||quod vide (see another entry)
||term with some sensitivity about its usage
||word usually written using kanji alone
||word usually written using kana alone
||Godan verb (not completely classified)
|| v5u, v5k, etc.
||Godan verb with `u', `ku', etc. endings
||Godan verb - Iku/Yuku special class
||Godan verb - -zuru special class (alternative form of -jiru verbs)
||Godan verb - -aru special class
||Godan verb - Uru old class verb (old form of Eru)
||noun or participle which takes the aux. verb suru
||suru verb - special class
||Kuru verb - special class
||vulgar expression or word
||"Priority" entry, i.e. among approx. 20,000 words deemed to be common in Japanese
||rude or X-rated term (not displayed in educational software)
The following abbreviations are used in the Names dictionary file.
||person name, as-yet unclassified
||given name, as-yet not classified by sex
||female given name
||male given name
||a full (family plus given) name of a historical person
The THE_LOT and GLOSSDIC files have the
following codes attached to each entry to show the dictionary file from
which it has been selected.
| AV ||aviation
|| BU ||buddhdic
|| CA ||cardic
|| CC ||concrete
| CO ||compdic
|| ED ||edict (the rest)
|| EP ||edict (priority subset)
|| ES ||engscidic
| EV ||envgloss
|| FM ||finmktdic
|| FO ||forsdic_e
|| GA ||small gairaigo dictionary
| GE ||geodic
|| KD ||small hiragana dictionary for glossing
|| LG ||lingdic
|| LS ||lifscidic
| LW1/2 ||lawdic1/2
|| MA ||manufdic
|| NA ||enamdict
|| PL ||j_places (entries not already in enamdict)
| PP ||pandpdic
|| RH ||revhenkan (kanji/kana with no English translation yet)
|| RW ||riverwater
|| SP ||special words & phrases
| ST ||stardict
|| - ||-
|| - ||-
|| - ||-
In addition to the codes above, for gairaigo which have not been derived
from English words, the source language has been indicated using the
two-letter codes from the ISO 639:1988 "Code for the
representation of names of languages" standard, e.g. ``(fr: avec)".
Also there are tags which indicate that a word or phrase is associated
with a particular regional language variant within Japan:
kyb (Kyoto-ben), osb (Osaka-ben), ksb (Kansai-ben), ktb (Kantou-ben),
In entries which are Japanese idiomatic expressions, aphorisms, etc.
the literal translation of the Japanese is sometimes shown in
paretheses, preceded by "lit:". Also where the Japanese word has been
constructed by transliteration of two or more foreign words or word
fragments (e.g., a waseieigo - Japanese-made English), the
source words are shown in parentheses, preceded by "trans:".
The material being displayed in WWWJDIC's pages is copyright. Much of it is
drawn from dictionary files the copyright of most of which is held by the
Dictionary Research and Development Group (EDRDG) at Monash University.
Other material is associated with the WWWJDIC server and software.
It is being made available under a Creative Commons
What does this mean in practical terms? Well:
For more details, see the licence
statement covering the dictionary files.
- you can use WWWJDIC in the same way as you use a published
dictionary to assist you with translating text and words. The results of
your translation may be published, sold, etc. If you make heavy use of
WWWJDIC it would be nice to acknowledge that, but there is no
requirement to do more;
- you can link to WWWJDIC, e.g. using the backdoor entry, from other
servers, provided you acknowledge that use on your server, and provide links
to WWWJDIC and its documentation.
- if you wish to publish significant extracts of the output from
WWWJDIC, for example if you use the Translate Words in Text function
to generate a vocabulary list for a textbook of reading passages, then
this comes under the scope of the licence for the dictionary files,
which permits publication of subsets of the files. You
must acknowledge the source of this information. Other information
produced by the server, e.g. the verb conjugation tables, may be
published but the source must be acknowledged.
- the Stroke Order Diagrams are under Jack Halpern's copyright. You
may link to the pages displaying those images, but you must not download
and store the images without Jack's permission.
- the example sentences are from the
Corpus and are in the Public Domain;
- [Q] I have been wondering if there is a way to include wildcards in
a search using kanji keys. Often there is a bit in the middle of a word
that is unclear to me.
[A] Well, you can search using one or more kanji sequences by making sure
"Starting Kanji" is not selected. Then it will match on one or more
kanji mid-word (if they are there). If you want to search on two
non-adjacent kanji, put a space between them. (Then it will search on
the first, and remove results that don't contain the second.)
- [Q] Sometimes I see dictionary entries with words hyphenated or
spaced and others that are not, e.g. "thumbtack" and "thumb tack". Is
there any way I can ask for all these in a single lookup?
[A] Usually you can get them all by putting a space in your search
key. For example, entering "thumb tack" will display entries
containing "thumb tack", "thumbtack" and "thumb-tack".
- [Q] It seems if I put in a reading of "sa" into the Find Kanji in
the Database it only gets kanji with that exact reading. How can I get
all the kanji with readings starting with "sa"?
[A] There is a way to do it. The trick is to end the key with something
valid that won't be found, such as "wi". A key of "sawi" will fail to
find any for that reading and instead give you the best it can, which is
all the kanji starting with "sa".
- [Q] I don't get any of the JIS X 0212 kanji when I specify a
[A] You need to click on the button to enable these (normally they
are suppressed, as few users need them.)
- [Q] How do I specify a JIS X 0212 kanji when selecting a JIS
[A] Put an "h" in front of it, e.g. "h4064". ("h" is for
- [Q] I can't read the kana readings. Will you add romaji display
as an option.
[A] No. Better to learn kana. It will only take a week or
- [Q] Can't you arrange the order of the display so that when I ask
for an English word I get the common ones first?
[A] Not very easily, as it would mean doing two passes over the entries,
somehow keeping track where the server was up to, etc. Better that you
select the "Restrict to common words" option at first, then if you don't
get what you want, try again looking at all possible entries. Remember
that it is really a Japanese-English dictionary, and you have to take
your chances with English-Japanese.
- [Q] What are all those "vs" and "adj-na" tags on the dictionary
displays? And what are the "ED" and "LS" when I translate words in
[A] Look at the link on the top of the page labelled "Dictionary-Codes".
- [Q] I have been looking at all the words containing a particular
kanji, and a couple of entries seem to get displayed several times.
[A] Yes, that may happen if the kanji occurs more than once in the
entry, which means that there is more than one index item pointing at
the entry. The server will stop multiple displays on the one page, but
can't detect them when they are spread across several pages. It is a
bother, but fixing it would be very complicated. If you go to the
customization page and increase the lines/page to 100 or so, the problem
will probably go away.
- [Q] I understand the (P) on some entries means it is a common word.
Why is the (P) sometimes attached to the kanji or reading?
[A] Usually the (P) is at the end of the entry. When there is more than
one kanji headword and/or reading, the (P) is placed near the headword or
reading which is the common one.
- [Q] Some of the words marked (P) are actually not very common, and
also there are some common words not marked. Why is this?
[A] The allocation of those (P) markers is based on a number of sources,
and inevitably has some problems. (For more information about the markers,
see the Word Priority Marking section in the JMdict/EDICT
documentation.) If you see any that are dubious, or see entries that you
think deserve a marker, please use the amendment form to suggest a
- [Q] If I use the Special Graphic Interface, then paste some Japanese
text into the Translate Words in Japanese Text function, it responds:
"There didn't seem to be any Japanese in this text!".
[A] Using the "Access" portal and then putting in Japanese text will
cause a problem. If you can paste Japanese into a browser, you shouldn't
need to use the portal.
For the paste-text option to work, the page needs to be set to a Japanese
codeset. The portal is set to work in ISO-8859-1, AKA Latin-1, since it
assumes you can't use Japanese codes.
Translate Words in Text
- [Q] I can't use WWWJDIC from a J-Phone. I put in a search word, but
get no reply, instead it goes to the main menu.
[A] Yes, I hope to fix that eventually. J-Phones use MML not HTML, and
for some reason forms are sending in information that can't be decoded.
- [Q] Are you planning to have a WAP interface for WWWJDIC?
[A] Perhaps one day.
Running WWWJDIC locally
- [Q] In the text word translation you don't do all the words written
just in hiragana - why is that?
[A] There are several reasons: (a) the beginnings of such words can be very
difficult to detect when they are preceded by other kana as is often the
case (particles, etc.). You need sophisticated segmentation software to
do this. (b) many Japanese words share the same reading/pronunciation,
and hence I would probably pick the wrong word.
At present I only handle words which are at least 4 kana long and which
are found in a small list of kana-only words.
- [Q] Why do you just translate the words in the text? Why don't you
go the rest of the way and translate properly into English?
[A] Machine Translation (MT) is a huge and complex task. The WWWJDIC
server is comparatively simple. If I ever developed a Japanese-English
MT system (most unlikely), I'd sell it; not have it free on a WWW site.
- [Q] I want to have WWWJDIC's functions on my PC without having to use
an Internet connection. Is there a stand-alone version I can download?
[A] Not at present, and I can't see it happening in a hurry, as the
server software is very unlike what you'll find in a stand-alone PC
program. There is no reason why the functionality can't be in a
stand-alone program, and some programs such as JQuickTrans do a similar
job. One day I may develop a stand-alone program which has similar
functionality to WWWJDIC, but I am still seeking a
suitable cross-platform environment, i.e. all of Unix/Linux, Macintosh and
I have some information about stand-alone software on the EDICT home page.
- [Q] I have hunted for the source of WWWJDIC and can't find it. Where
[A] Locked up on the servers. I haven't released it, and at this stage
have no intention of doing so. It is continually being modified, and I
want to keep it under my control (after all, it is my ego trip.) I
don't want any clones of WWWJDIC running around at this stage. Also it
is a vast slab on C program code; mostly undocumented. To release it
would require a significant amount of installation, etc. documentation
to be written. And I'd still be plagued with "I couldn't make it do
(By Jim Breen)
- [Q] Can I use UTF8 with WWWJDIC?
[A] You can. If you go to the customize page, select UTF8
and allow for a cookie (mmm, cookies) you can talk to WWWJDIC in
UTF8. Moreover, it will send you back real text, not bitmaps, for the
JIS212 kanji and the diacritics in the French/German/Buddhist files.
- [Q] I like the Stroke Order Diagrams. Why do some kanji not have
[A] The raw diagrams were provided by Jack Halpern, and were prepared
for the Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary. The coverage of that book is
a bit over 2,000 kanji, so that's all the diagrams available.
- [Q] I'm looking for a way to set the "common words" and "exact word
match" checkboxes by default.
[A] At present the only way to do this is to save a copy of that page to
your PC and edit it adding CHECKED to the <input ... > for each of the
checkboxes. Eventually I hope to be able to make these sorts of things
more configurable using cookies.
- [Q] Your server is very slow. Why don't you rewrite it in ... or move it
to the .... server technology?
[A] Actually the servers are not slow at all. They are all fast
systems, and the code is quite light-weight. Most requests are served in
a fraction of a second. To some users it may seem slow because of
network delays and congestion. If this is your case, try using a mirror
site closer to you.
- [Q] How do a specify that I want my default dictionary to be
"the_lot"? The customization doesn't allow that.
[A] I really should add that to the customization. In the meantime
you can either (a) bookmark the dictionary search screen, then
without your browser running edit the URL in the bookmark file to
say "wwwjdic?9C", or (b) go to the initial dictionary search
screen, change the "wwwjdic?1C" to "wwwjdic?9C", press enter to go
to the "new" URL, then bookmark it.
No sooner had the WWW come into being that servers accessing my
dictionary files began to appear.
The first, which operated briefly in 1994, was a slight rework of my
xjdic program by Otfried Schwarzkopf. It overtaxed his
386, and was closed down fairly quickly, however by that stage
Jeffrey Friedl's famous Dictionary engine was running. There was
also Rafael Santos' system, the EVA/POETS engine at Notre Dame in
Tokyo, PSP's ALISE-based system, etc. etc., as well as Lambert
Schomaker's WWW edition of the KANJIDIC file. Most of these have faded
I had intended to have a WWW version of xjdic right from the moment I
knew about the WWW, and in 1994 collected some information on writing CGI
programs ready for the assault. It always seemed too big a task, and
anyway Jeffrey's server was doing a good job. Eventually in mid-1997 it
got too much for me, as I wanted to experiment with some features not
handled by Jeffrey's server, and I also wanted to see my name in
the WWW lights too, so I filleted out the search-engine parts of xjdic
and dashed off a new CGI-oriented front-end. It only took a week or two
of spare time and was up and running. I could easily have done it years
WWWJDIC has proved popular, and has probably overtaken the
early lead Jeffrey's server established. It has been relatively easy to
modify, so I have tinkered with it quite a bit (see below.) In fact, it is
now probably the major vehicle for me trying out things to do with Japanese
Starting in late in 1998 I have installed a number of mirrors. The
first two were quite a bit of work as I had effectively written a lot of
hard-coded stuff pointing at the Monash site. The code is now fairly
portable (for a Unix/Linux box running Apache.) Having a lot of mirrors
brought in the problem of keeping them up-to-date. To handle this, in
2000 I set
up an "rsync server" at Monash and have set "cron" scripts running at
the mirror sites which periodically interrogate the Monash site and
collect and install any updated files.
- added a "common words" option to the backdoor method. April
- tidied up the footer area of the main display pages to make
follow-on activities a bit clearer. February 2007
- added the option to limit the multi-radical kanji lookup to
Jouyou kanji.January 2007
- added the Japanese Wikipedia [W] option to the dictionary display.
- new amendment/new entry form which gets the name and email address
from the cookie. October 2006
- added the CARDIC file.October 2006
- installed a new version of the BUDDHDIC file, with over twice as
many entries as the previous one. Thanks again to Chuck Muller.
- added the option of turning on "no repeated translations" for
text glossing via the backdoor. Also added the [A] (Eijiro) option
to the dictionary display. August 2006
- added the feature to search for two-word phrases using an underscore
between words. July 2006
- when searching using a hiragana key, any EDICT entries marked with
a (P) are displayed first. July 2006
- extended the backdoor to allow lookups of kanji using the kanji
itself, or with kana readings. June 2006
- added the expanded LAWDIC file as a dictionary in its own right,
removing it from the MISCDIC file. May 2006
- added the REVHENKAN file. November 2005
- changed the testing of the second word in the filtering function
to be case-insensitive. November 2005
- converted the Multi-Radical form into a table, so that now it looks
more like JWPce, etc. (Got the idea from Jim Rose's Ice Mocha.)
- changed the file used for glossing text to "glossdic". The "the_lot"
file is now simply a concatenation of all the files. August 2005
- added the "#" option for inputting katakana keys. March 2005
- added the "[Partial Match]" warning to the output from the
"Translate Words in Text" function. October 2004
- added the River and Water Resources Glossary file. October
- added handling for inflections/conjugations of about 2,000 common
verbs (kana only at this stage.) September 2004
- added the hints about alternative English words or spellings.
- added an option to the Multi-radical search to allow users to find
out which elements are in a kanji. July 2004
- enabled a combined exact-match/priority word option in the Keitai EJ
lookup. July 2004
- added 41,000 entries to the J-FRENCH file May 2004
- added the option to search the examples file. For lookups on keys
containing kanji, made any "exact matches" appear first. Apr 2004
- replaced the JDDICT file with the full EDICT-format version of the
WaDokuJT file. Mar 2004
- added the "manufdic" file to the "miscdic" and "the_lot" files.
- added the "hidden translations" option to the text glossing function, and
the gloss option to the example sentences. Aug 2003
text boxes when a page loads. Only works with recent browsers. Aug
- fiddled the romaji-kana conversion to allow ASCII periods to be used
in KUN readings for kanji lookups. May 2003
- added the Example sentence feedback system, and the revised EDICT
format. April 2003
- added the "gaidic" and "envgloss" files to MISCDIC and THE_LOT.
- added the [V] verb conjugation function. November 2002
- replaced the ENAMDICT version used in text glossing. The version now
used has kanji names with multiple readings in a single entry. October
- added the cookie option to the customization system. September 2002
- added UTF8 as a coding option. September 2002
- added the "exact match" option. August 2002
- added links from EDICT entries to the example sentences in the
Tanaka corpus. August 2002
- replaced the small German dictionary with a bigger one incorporating
part of the WaDokuJT file. August 2002
- added the Russian and Buddhism dictionary files. Extended the JIS212
handling to include the non-kanji and to use HTML entities when it can. Added
the links from the Buddhism dictionary to the main DDB. July 2002
- add the "@" trick from xjdic for flagging romaji input
strings. June 2002
- added ISO-2022-JP support for backdoor strings. Note that the
code-setting for these is the same as for EUC. June 2002
- replaced LIFSCIDIC with V4 of that file. May 2002
- added UTF-8 coding as an option to backdoor strings to enable Mozilla,
- extended the Stroke Order Diagram handling to cover all 2,230 jouyou
and jinmeiyou kanji. Apr 2002
- replaced the buttons on the front page with coloured table entries,
using CSS. Why? (a) it loads more quickly than the previous images, (b)
easier to update, especially on mirror sites. Mar 2002
- expanded the text glossing: (a) now handles many compound verbs, (b)
handles words with o/go prefixes in kana. Dec 2001
- added a facility to match against hiragana-only words in text.
- added a stripped-down text translation facility suitable for
I-mode devices. Nov 2001
- added links to the Unicode.org database for each kanji being
displayed. The Uxxxx is now a link. Nov 2001
- added the links to animated stroke order diagrams for the Grades
1 to 6 kanji. Aug 2001
- tightened the parsing rules for long runs of kanji to reduce
mistakes; allowed trailing particles when the match is correct; included
the j_places file in the "the_lot" file. Aug 2001
- option to restrict search to the more common entries. Aug
- option to look up a displayed word in the Sanseido dictionary at
the Goo server.May 2001
- support for the O'Neill's Essential Kanji indices, which are now in
the kanji database. May 2001
- included the option to do a Google search for each displayed
headword (thanks to Shaun Lawson for showing me how easy it is).
- support for the Kanji Learners Dictionary codes, which are now in
kanji database. April 2001
- the "stardict" file was added to miscdic and the_lot Jan
- A new version of the "radkfile", which drives the "Multi-radical"
kanji lookup. At the same time some JIS212 images were introduced on
that display which better match the elements used. Jan 2001
- Redid the front page, using images for the "buttons" and adding the
DoCoMo options and the new button generator as full items. Jan
- Installed a Japanese mirror site (finally) at the ILCAA in the Tokyo
University of Foreign Studies.
- A section in the documentation explaining the codes and tags.
- Extended the "backdoor" method to handle (a) Japanese codes not in
EUC (b) text glossing. Added the ability to handle Unicode (UCS2)-coded search
keys in some circumstances. All these were done to support the various
- A system in which the mirror sites are
automatically updated with the latest files. Now working for all mirror sites.
- Added the option to suppress all but the first of duplicated
translations in the word-in-text translation function. Tightened up the
removal of trailing particles for jukugo, and extended this function to
- Converted all the JIS212 images to PNG format to avoid violating the
Unisys patent over GIF formats.June 2000
- Added the linking to the jeKai Project.June 2000
- Split the ENAMDICT entries in the THE_LOT file into two priority
sets to help the choice of the more appropriate version when there are
multiple readings of a name. (Now superseded.)June 2000
- Revised the TITLE headings on pages to make them different. This is
to help book-marking the main entry pages. May 2000
- Added special stripped-down starting pages tailored to the
microbrowsers used in the NTT DoCoMo mobile phones. These pages
turn on Shift-JIS operating, and invoke an internal "docomo" mode which
limits the amount of detail in the resulting display.(Apr
- Added the option of outputting in Shift-JIS as well as the default
EUC. (Did I hear you ask why? Well the NTT DoCoMo phones won't hack
EUC pages, and some people want to use WWWJDIC on them.)
- Added the option to break on end-of-line characters when glossing
- Changed the front page to a slightly more modern-looking set of
buttons. Added Silas Brown's "access" bit-map server as an option.
- tidied up the Text Translation feature, eliminating line
breaks, tabs, etc. from the text, and putting in a go-back-to-the
start. Extended the "the_lot" file by marking out the 15,000 most
important entries.(Sep 1999)
- reformatting the displays to make the follow-on actions a bit
more logical. Adding support for the De Roo codes. Restructuring
the site-specific aspects to facilitate setting up mirrors.(Feb
- enabling multiple kanji to examined at once via pasting them
into the request line. (October 1998)
- enabling the kanji-selection to be limited to Jouyou &
Jinmeiyou kanji. (October 1998)
- enabling the retention of non-Japanese text in the WWW-page
word translation feature. (September 1998)
- detection of Shift-JIS in cut-and-paste text, and its
conversion to EUC. (Was not reliable for short text, so was changed
to a user option.)(August 1998)
- the creation of the THE_LOT combination dictionary file, and
its setting as the default for text and WWW page glossing, and the
incorporation of the LAWDIC file into the MISCDIC file. Fine-tuning
the glossing function to favour some subfiles. (August
- the extension of the jukugo translation function to operate on
specified WWW pages. (July 1998)
- addition of the function to translate jukugo, etc. from a slab
of Japanese text. (July 1998)
- addition of the ability to repeat a search in different
dictionaries. (June 1998)
- expansion of the kanji database to include itaiji
cross-reference information and SKIP codes in the JIS X 0212 kanji.
- expansion of the display of the XJnnnnn itaiji cross-reference
information in KANJIDIC/KANJD212 to include a link to the variant,
and the display of each variant. (May 1998)
- inclusion of the J_PLACES file. (Apr 1998)
- support for the index numbers from the New Nelson dictionary.
These are now an option on the Kanji Selection screen. (Feb
- the three initial entry screens (from the front-page) can now
be saved as book-marks. (Dec 1997)
- the inclusion of the classic Four Corner index on the Kanji
page, and at the same time added links to pages describing the
Four Corner & SKIP codes. (4 Dec 1997)
- the addition of Timothy Huang's Big5 Database information to
the kanji-level links. (17 November 1997)
- the unification of the KANJD212 file into the kanji database
now used by the server. The KANJD212 file is no longer treated as
just another dictionary file. Display of the JIS X 0212 kanji is
done by in-line GIF images, as very few browsers support this
standard. (22 Oct 1997)
- links to Christian Wittern's KanjiBase character database at
the University of Goettingen in Germany. (19 Sep
- a direct URL access (no POST) to enable cross-linking from
other WWW dictionaries, etc. Email me if you want details. (12
- the inclusion of my KANJD212 file as one of the dictionaries.
(12 Sep 1997)
- a system of links to other WWW dictionaries. The first to go
live are Chuck Muller's WWW CJK dictionary and Rick Harbaugh's
Chinese Character Genealogy Dictionary. You can link to them from
the kanji display page, and see their information about the
selected kanji. (12 Sep 1997)
- the support for a second "word" in English keyword searches.
This word is used as a filter, and is case-sensitive, however it
can occur within a longer word. Try looking for "home stay" or
"treasure house" to see how it works. (11 Sep 1997) (BTW,
this works in Japanese searches too!)
- user customization of screen parameters, colours, and input
coding. (8 Sep 1997)
- Allowing for "relaxed" romaji spelling, blurring the various
ambiguities such as writing "ji" and "zu", vowel lengths, etc.
- Improving the front-end by a judicious use of frames and,
( This information is now rather historical, as most browsers
and operating systems support the display of Japanese text.)
- entering Japanese text using the IE browser on a Mac with the Kotoeri
IME sometimes results in mangled kana. It seems that other browsers such
as Mozilla and Safari are fine. No solution is suggested, other than to
try another browser.
- WWWJDIC can sometimes be made to crash by sending very long strings
into the text-glossing function via the backdoor (URL) method. It is due
to something being overwritten, and is platform dependent. I suspect an
undersized environment variable is the problem. Try a smaller amount of
text if this happens.
- WWWJDIC occasionally crashes, producing a "core" dump. This
occurs about once every month, i.e. in a minute proportion of
accesses. The user will probably be sent an "internal error"
message. I am curious to track down the cause of these crashes, so
if one occurs while you are using it, please email me on:
email@example.com with the details.
- If you choose a compound from the display to look at the kanji
within it, and at the same time change dictionaries, it tries to
get the compound from the new dictionary, with unpredictable
results. (I might not fix this; more a feature than a bug.)
- If you combine a two-word search with the common-word restriction,
it stops working after the first page of results is displayed.
- If you do a lookup using a kanji or English word which occurs more
than once in an entry, the entry may get displayed more than once. This
is because there is more than one index item pointing at
the entry. The server will stop multiple displays on the one page, but
can't detect them when they are spread across several pages. It is a
bother, but fixing it would be very complicated in a stateless server.
As WWWJDIC provides no support for the display of Japanese words in a
romanized form (Romaji),
you will require some capability for displaying Japanese kana and
kanji. The best way to do this is to install the appropriate Japanese
fonts and set your
browser to use them. Most modern browsers support that facility.
If you do not wish to do that, you may access
WWWJDIC via a special server that will send out bit-mapped versions
of Japanese characters (see below.)
If you are a Unix/Linux person using Mozilla, Netscape, Galeon, etc.
all you have to do is
make sure that a Japanese font file has been installed in the
correct directory (e.g. /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc).
Recent releases of Linux come with this included.
You may have to make sure mkfontdir has been run too.
You will then have to make sure that the browser knows to use this font
when it encounters Japanese text. This is done (e.g. in Netscape) via the
Edit/Preferences/Appearance/Fonts menu. If the WWW page is correctly
marked as using Japanese, any Japanese text should appear immediately.
Many WWW pages are not marked correctly, so you may have to to turn on
Japanese viewing via the View/Character Set/Japanese (autodetect) menu.
(Note that some Unix/Linux browsers do not allow
input of Japanese via input methods such as kinput2. I use
Mozilla, which does support kinput2.
For Windows users, probably the best method is to make sure a
Japanese True-Type Font (ttf) has been installed on your system,
and set your browser to use it. For WindowsXP, etc. this should happen
when you enable Japanese support. The Monash ftp archive has two
Microsoft Japanese fonts available: Gothic
Mincho. These are both self-installing executable files. Once a
font has been installed, you need to tell your browser to use that
font for Japanese text. In Netscape this would be done via the
Edit/Preferences/Appearance/Fonts menu. As ever, you will probably
need to restart Windows to make it work.
Windows users also have a more complete solution which is to
install the language support Windows Update from
Microsoft. It has become hard to find from that page, but
fortunately it appears also to be available
This brings in the Japanese Language Support and Japanese
Input Method Editor which allow users to view and input Japanese
with reasonable ease. The IME works with MS-IE and from V4.72 also
works with Netscape.(Note that even if you have no intention of
using IE, you may need to have it installed in order to be able to
install the IME.) Later versions of Windows based on NT (2000, XP)
come with fonts and an IME already.
Macintosh users have various ways of browsing in Japanese. For
an excellent description, see Christopher Bolton's Japanese for Your Mac
If you do not want, or cannot operate a full Japanese
environment for your browser, you can access WWWJDIC via another
server which will insert bit-mapped graphic characters as required.
One such server is available on the Monash site here.
WWWJDIC is a single C program which takes its parameters from the
URL (QUERY_STRING) and from the various buttons (POST method). It
carries as much as it can of the user's state by loading the values
of the various radio/checkboxes. View the source of some of the
screens if you want to see how the CGI stuff is working.
No database system is used. Each dictionary file is a single text file
with a dictionary entry per line. Associated with each text file is an
index file containing pointers to each element in an entry (see the
xjdic documentation and source for more details on this.) The
dictionary lookup is extremely fast and efficient.
The program runs under the Apache server and on a number of different
Unix-like operating systems, including Solaris, AIX, FreeBSD and several
Linux distributions. No attempt has been made to run it under Windows.
I originally planned to have a permanent dictionary search engine, with
CGI programs calling it, as happens with Jeffrey's dictionary server. In
the end I did not go ahead with this, as memory-mapped handling of the
read-only dictionary files, and the significant caching carried out by
the file system, achieves the same efficiency goal anyway.
Japanese Character Codes
WWWJDIC uses the EUC-JP coding for all its files and all internal processing.
EUC-JP is also the default coding for the HTML it generates.
The characters encoded in the files are from the JIS X 0208 character set
which contains the Japanese kana and most common 6,355 kanji along with the
Russian and Greek sets, plus the JIS X 0212 character set which includes a
further 5,801 kanji plus some Latin characters with diacritics (acute, grave,
When pages are displayed using the EUC-JP or Shift_JIS encodings, characters
from JIS X 0212 are displayed either as HTML entities or as 16x16 bit-mapped
images. If the optional UTF-8 coding is used, all characters are displayed in
Mirror sites stay up-to-date by connecting to the master site at Monash
once each day, retrieving a manifest file, then retrieving any updated
source or data files. The file retrieval is done using the rsync
system, which is excellent for retrieving small portions of large files.
(There is an anonymous rsync server running at Monash for this
According to the settings in the manifest file, modified source files are
compiled, index files are generated, etc. as part of this daily update.
I get a number of enquiries from people offering to host mirrors. I am
not actively seeking many more mirrors, however I like to have a
reasonable geographic spread. The basic requirements for a mirror site
Also, I don't provide mirrors for individuals. Setting up a mirror
takes a lot of my time.
- I must have an account on the system. Installation is complicated
and not well documented.
- it must be a permanent arrangement, or at least one capable of
being used for several years. I don't want to go to trouble setting it
up only to have it withdrawn.
- it must be a Unix-like operating system (Solaris, Linux, AIX, etc.)
It would take a major rewrite to get it to work in Microsoft's ASP, and
I have no motivation to do that.
- it must have an Apache server running, plus a full suite of utility
software, including gcc, wget, lynx, rsync, etc.
- it must be very well connected to the Internet. Having a poorly
connected mirror is a waste of time.
I get a lot of requests from people wanting to have a mirror on their
own machine for local off-line use. At present I have to say
"no". The code and data files are reasonably complex and quite
undocumented. I simply do not have the time or energy to write
installation and maintenance documentation, or to answer the inevitable
questions that would arise.
Also there is the issue of quality control. I make several changes to
either the code or data every week. I can't guarantee personal mirrors
would stay in step with all this, and I hate getting emails about things
I have already fixed.
If you want interface to WWWJDIC from another page or a CGI
program, there is a "backdoor" entry which enables simple searches
to be initiated via the URL QUERY_STRING. To use this, you must use
the URL associated with the WWWJDIC cgi program, with the "backdoor" code
set. The format is:
(or its equivalent on a mirror. Note that some sites require that".cgi"
Note that Japanese text has to be in the URL-escape
coding with each byte as %xx.)
- n = dictionary to use (1 = EDICT, 3 = enamdict, etc.)
- M = backdoor entry
- t is the search type:
- for dictionary lookups use:
- D where the lookup text is in ASCII, EUC, ISO-2022-JP or UCS (the old uxxxx format);
- S where the lookup text is in Shift-JIS;
- U where the lookup text is in UTF-8.
- for kanji lookups use:
- K for all lookups via codes, codepoints, etc. or where the text
string (e.g. kanji or reading) is in EUC;
- M for all lookups using a text string in UTF8;
- N for all lookups using a text string in Shift_JIS;
- for text glossing/translate words in text use:
G where the text is in EUC, ISO-2022-JP or UCS;
- H where the text is in Shift-JIS;
- I where the text is in UTF-8.
- k is the key type:
- for dictionary lookups use E or J (P to get just "common words");
- for kanji lookups, use the KANJIDIC letter codes (U, V, N, etc.) or J
if a reading or kanji is being provided;
- for text glossing use G, or H to turn on the "no repeated
- xxxxxx is the search key or text itself.
1MKU4ed8 - look up the kanji with the Unicode codepoint
1MMJ%E4%BB%98 - look up the kanji with the UTF8 code of "E4BB98".
4MDJkoujou - look up the Japanese word "koujou" (romanized)
in dictionary 4.
1MDJ%C0%E8%C0%B8 - look up the Japanese word "sensei" (in
kanji) using EUC-JP coding.
1MSJ%90%E6%90%B6 - as above, but in Shift_JIS.
1MUJ%E5%85%88%E7%94%9F - as above, but in UTF-8
1MDErabbit - look up the word "rabbit" in EDICT
9MGG%xx%xx%xx%xx%xx%xx%xx - gloss the (EUC) text
Also, if you want to change the colour, numbers of line per
page, etc. you can also add the URL customization parameters at the
end of the URL string, e.g.:
1MDEhorse_2_25_5_pink - look up "horse" and return the
results on a pink page in Shift_JIS with 25 lines/page.
Note that if you want to use this method with other sites, you will
need to modify the URL accordingly.
Several kind people have asked how if they can make donations to the
WWWJDIC project, including the EDICT, ENAMDICT, etc. dictionary files.
Well yes, they can. The project is part of the
Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University,
and donations help fund the ongoing development of the dictionaries and
software. Also plans are under way to move the home site of WWWJDIC,
EDICT, etc. away from Monash onto a commercial site (Jim has now retired
from Monash), and it would be great to have it self-funding and not have
to rely on things like advertising.
If you are inclined to make a donation it would be most welcome. There are
several ways of donating:
The WWWJDIC server uses dictionary files from a wide variety of sources.
Some of these files have been compiled and edited by Jim Breen and
others associated with the JMdict/EDICT project, and while every effort
has been made to ensure their accuracy, there are sure to be some
errors. Other files have come from external sources and are of varying
- send a cheque (check) in any currency made out
to "Monash University". The address to use is:
- Jim Breen
- Electronic Dictionary Research Group
- Clayton School of Information Technology
- Monash University
- Clayton, Vic, 3800
make a donation via PayPal using a credit or debit card. Simply click on the
following button and follow the instructions.
- make a funds transfer from your bank using a mechanism such as
SWIFT. Email Jim
for the University's banking details.
Monash University and other providers of the WWWJDIC server make
NO WARRANTY as to the accuracy of the information provided by the servers
and advise users that any use of the servers is ENTIRELY at their own
I want to record my thanks to a few of the key people who have helped
with the server. E&OE.
- Otfried Schwarzkopf, who showed me initially that it could be done
- Jeffrey Friedl, whose server eventually made me get started.
- Jamie Scuglia, then our School's sysdmin at Monash, who was
most helpful and supportive.
- Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy, authors of the O'Reilly HTML book;
- the good people who made the mirrors available, including: Kendon Stubbs and
Susan Munson (UofV), William Maton (Canada), Masayuki Toyoshima (Japan),
Jacek Rutkowski (Poland and Germany) and Jens and Ola (Sweden).
- Brodie Thiesfield, who showed me how to redo the front page using
- Shoji Yamazaki and Bart Mathias, who gave me a lot of feedback and help on the verb
- the many people who emailed suggestions and messages of support.
Jim Breen's Japanese Page.