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How To Make the Transition to Monolingual Dictionaries

Of course, the main reason I’m learning Chinese is because I love Chinese characters; they’re logical, useful and beautiful. But there is another motivation for this project — it acts as a sort of time machine, taking me back, if you will, to when I was first studying Japanese; this helps me better understand how a beginner thinks and feels, because it is easy to forget — just like I suddenly find myself not having any idea how children think and feel, despite having so recently been a child for so many years.

Of course, Chinese and Japanese are different, but they are similar enough (writing system that is logographic and emphasizes meaning over pronunciation) that methods for learning one can easily port to the other.

Anyway, on to the main topic. So, one of the things that I recommend as part of the method described on this site (and, indeed, on AntiMoon), is to GO MONOLINGUAL. Whatever language you are studying, start as soon as possible to study it only in itself. Only use Japanese to learn Japanese, etc.

But how does one go about making this transition? Well, you could just go cold turkey (I more or less did; the transition was very, very short). But I know at least one person who’s having trouble with that. Since I’m in the process of making a more gradual transition from Chinese-Japanese to Chinese-Chinese, this seems like a good opportunity to explain how to do it.

In the rest of this post (and in future posts), I may make more references to language-learning in general, rather than to a specific language. I feel kind of unqualified doing this, because although I have either been a native speaker of, or taken classes in about 7 languages, I’ve forgotten most of them through disuse and/or violently boring teaching methods. But since Japanese has an unfair reputation for difficulty, we can just pretend I have the right to speak about other languages as well, right? It can be our little secret.

Step 1. Accept that it will be a bit slower to begin with. This goes without saying. Due to lack of practice, you’re not yet as good at the target language as you are at the base language. That’s fine. The reduced speed will be more than made up for by the self-multiplying benefits of studying a language using itself. Looking up definitions of parts of definitions using a monolingual dictionary will deepen your qualitative and quantitative connection with a language no end. Your study of a given language is now using that language — this is a great thing; it means that every moment of your time is now a moment where you are thinking, using and therefore getting better at, the language in question.

Step 2. Just try it. Dip your toe in. Start mixing your lookups in the bilingual dictionary with lookups in the monolingual dictionary. Put monolingual and bilingual definitions side-by-side in SRS entries.

Step 3. Keep using sentences that have a translation in the base language (i.e. sentences from the bilingual dictionary, etc.), but only use definitions from the monolingual dictionary. If you are really stuck and don’t know what a word in the actual definition means, feel free to look that up in the bilingual dictionary — but look go find and use the relevant monolingual entry right afterwards.

Step 4. Out of the baby pool, into the fire (huh?). Go strictly monolingual. All lookups to be made only in a monolingual dictionary. You do not speak English any more. You do not know English.

Regardless of the step you are at, until you feel comfortable doing otherwise, I would include furigana/bopomofo/pinyin for the full text of monolingual definitions (i.e. those in the “answer” section of your SRS) — after all, it’s not like you are trying to test your knowledge of the answer section, so give yourself all the help you need.

If you don’t already have a monolingual dictionary, get one. A lot of people have the idea that they should save things like this for when they “get good”. Bad move. Don’t wait to get good to get materials in your target language. Remember, you get good at your target language by doing things in your target language. Ultimately, native fluency is both the cause and effect of acting native and experiencing things made by and for native users.

Again, if you can, I would just bite the bullet and go monolingual in one shot. As long as you keep using a different language B (base) to study language T (target), your thoughts of language T will be polluted by language B. Your conception of the meaning and usage of words in language T will suffer from language B-style thinking. Perhaps this is fine for a while if you’re laddering languages (in which case your motives lie as much in continuing to improve language B as in language T), but even then, only for a while.

  52 comments for “How To Make the Transition to Monolingual Dictionaries

  1. David
    July 13, 2007 at 16:55

    Hi Khatzumoto!

    Great Post!!

    Since I’m learning Chinese as well, I was basically wondering whether you could recommend a good monolingual dictionary of Mandarin. There’s quite a variety of Chinese dictionaries out there, some of which are crap and best avoided. Any suggestions on how to spend my money wisely?

  2. khatzumoto
    July 13, 2007 at 18:36

    Hmm…I don’t really know too much, because I’ve only ever used two monolingual Chinese dictionaries. Namely:
    現代漢語辭典 (xian4dai4 Han4yu3 ci2dian3)
    國語辭典 (Guo2yu3 ci2dian3)
    The former (unfortunately) uses brutified, I mean, simplified Chinese. The latter is in normal, Traditional Chinese characters. The 現代漢語 is what is on my Canon Wordtank V90, so that’s what I’m using now. The 國語辭典 is available online here.

    Dictionaries are generally produced by upstanding people who know what they are doing. So my advice to you would simply be the following:
    1. Ensure that the dictionary has a lot of example sentences. A lot.
    2. Try before you buy. In the event that you can’t try, be prepared to do a lot of reading (research) on the dictionary you want.
    3. Save, quit eating candy if you have to, but make sure it is electronic. Seriously, if you’re going to get a paper dictionary, you almost might as well not get a dictionary at all. Paper dictionaries are, in the words of my karate expert friend from Pakistan “f[reak]ing medieval”. The time it takes to look up words will just kill you. Once you go electronack you never go back and all that…

  3. July 13, 2007 at 21:50

    Teachers have told me that paper dictionaries are great, because the effort required to look up the word, will make you less likely to forget it later.

    Also, while looking through through a paper dictionary to find the word you’re looking for, you’ll see a bunch of other words along the way. Sure they just flash by, but there is a chance one or two of them might stick. Especially the words immediately in front of, and behind the one you’re looking up.

    Sure, you could say that these things happen in electronic dicionaries as well but… You know. They do have some kind of a point.

    That said, I only carry electronic dictionaries. I do have a cool Japanese proverb dictionary that is paper and I love flipping through!

  4. khatzumoto
    July 13, 2007 at 22:29

    Hey Harvey

    You are absolutely right. Paper dictionaries are wonderful for browsing and just stumbling upon random words along the way. I own paper dictionaries in both English and Japanese for that very reason. I learned a lot of words just browsing the Oxford Intermedate Dictionary as a kid.

    However. A monolingual dictionary in a foreign language assumes you are a native speaker. And therein lies the problem. It assumes you know the words in the definition. That may well be the case as you get better, but early on it certainly will not be. You shall therefore need to look up definitions of words in the definition–recursive searching, if you will. Doing this in a paper dictionary will only cause you pain and anguish: its browsability becomes a handicap. When you need a specific word looked up and looked up quickly, when you’re trying to get something accomplished and not just browsing, then you need a dictionary where the looking up is instant. I mean, can you imagine trying to look up words when you don’t know the readings of the kanji? Dozens of times a day? Not to mention the typo risks when entering into an SRS by hand.

    That’s my view of the situation. Anyway, we both go both ways for the same reasons.

  5. John
    July 14, 2007 at 01:34

    Khatzumoto, great post! I’ve been studying Japanese now for the past two years and I have tried looking up words in a monolingual dictionary. While I reaped some benefits, I encountered two problems, however: (1) spending too much time in trying to understand/lookup unfamiliar words in the definition, and (2) trying to figure out an English translation for the word. So, now I lookup the word in both a monolingual and bilingual dictionary. I know there might be some corruption in the thought process, but I’m thinking that at least I can translate it later on. I know with using a monolingual exclusively I’ll eventually reduce my search time, but what about the second problem. Do you have any suggestions?

  6. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 01:44

    >(2) trying to figure out an English translation
    Don’t bother with this. IMHO its damaging and a waste of time. It holds you back from really understanding Japanese. Especially since words/phrases/constructions like やっぱり, ていうか and どうもこうもない cannot be translated. Also there is the risk of one making a faulty translation. It’s really not worth it. Just start thinking of and about Japanese in Japanese, as soon as possible.

    Sorry, don’t mean to yell at you or anything (haha)…Just my take on it.

  7. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 01:52

    Hey again John,

    >(1) spending too much time in trying to understand/lookup unfamiliar words in the definition
    Seriously, it’s not as bad as it may seem. I know it looks and feels bad; it feels like its slowing you down. But it’s actually helping you and it’s actually speeding you up. When you start thinking, doing and describing Japanese in Japanese, then you truly start to understand it. No matter how many definitions of parts of definitions you have to look up, none of it is a waste of time because it’s all in Japanese. There will come a time when you need to look up less. But that time, I think, only has a chance to come at all when one goes monolingual.

  8. John
    July 14, 2007 at 08:15

    Khatzumoto, thanks so much for the advice. I’ll start giving it a try this week and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

  9. July 14, 2007 at 15:16

    First than all, I love your method. It’s basically the same thing I did while learning English by myself but I never really thought about it until I read your blog. It definitely was by immersion: internet, videogames, movies and music. Thanks to all that I started to get a working knowledge of the language without any conscious effort from my part. It just happened.

    Now I’m trying to use the same method to learn Japanese but this time I’m aware of what I need to do. I still need to get through “Remembering Kanji” though.

    The reason for this comment is that, at my college, most of my English teachers (took a major related to the language) have repeatedly said that students should always use a Monolingual dictionary and that bilingual dictionaries were one of the worst things that you could ever use to learn a language. Most of my classmates didn’t understand the reason behind that and used a Spanish-English dictionary anyway. Of course, the people who got the best results were the ones that actually fought their way through the language, confirming what you said in your post.

    Finally, thanks for blogging! You motivated me to stop being lazy and finally start learning Japanese. 🙂

  10. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 15:28

    Memo…I never would have guessed that you weren’t a native user of English. You’ve inspired me. I tip my hat to you (*tip*).

  11. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 15:32

    Yeah, bilingual dictionaries definitely provide a false sense of security, a false economy of speed and a false idea of what words really mean. For one thing, just because you read that one word in language X translates to a certain word in language Y, that doesn’t mean that it will work in the same way in both languages–in fact, in my experience the overlap is often very small…Usage is such a huge issue. It’s the difference between sounding normal and sounding so awkward that (at best) it grates on people and (often) simply confuses them.

  12. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 15:35

    I think that monolingual dictionaries also help you acquire the tools to accurately and effectively explain your way out of and around words that you’ve either forgotten or didn’t know in the first place. Seeing and reading words explained over and over will do that for you.

  13. Saru Sponge
    July 14, 2007 at 18:22

    The issue I’m having, I suppose, is that kanji are damn confusing and the irregularity of pronunciation just doesn’t help. I can read a monolingual dictionary until my eyes bleed, but I’ll understand nothing (or very little). I guess kanji aren’t really the problem. I guess my real problem is seeing how reading, say, the meaning of ‘猫’ without going back and forth to English will produce any meaning for me. I can read the kana, I know some grammar, but a dictionary explanation is still gibberish to me. Do you suggest one works with meanings they don’t understand?

  14. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 18:30

    >Do you suggest one works with meanings they don’t understand?
    Not at all. Comprehension is crucial. Keep working until you figure it out. Google image search “猫” if you have to (I’ve done my fair share of google image searches to clarify meanings of obscure words). And if you still don’t get it, then perhaps ask a native speaker to explain it to you in Japanese. And if that isn’t possible, leave it and move on; eventually you will understand it, just not today. For now, skip to something you do understand. Pick the low-hanging fruit. Like a predator, go for the easy kills.

    BTW, the “simpler” the word/object, often, the more complex and involved its explanation. For example, it takes some pretty high-level vocab to explain a word like “何” without being self-referential.

  15. Saru Sponge
    July 14, 2007 at 18:34

    I suppose you’re right. Gah. Must… persevere…

  16. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 18:37

    >Do you suggest one works with meanings they don’t understand?
    Sorry! I thought you meant “enter into the SRS” when you said “work with”. But if you mean “try to figure out”, then, yes, definitely; that’s part of the fun.

  17. anders
    July 14, 2007 at 19:38

    When I look up a word there are usually 1 or 2 words in the definition which I don’t know yet. What is the best way to learn these? Add the definition as a new entry? At my current level that would result in 5 or maybe 10 dictionary definitions for each “normal” sentence added to Mnemosyne.
    Have you got any tips on this?

  18. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 19:44

    >What is the best way to learn these?
    1. Add the definition to the old (current) entry, and
    2. Add the definition (with example) as part of a new entry

    >At my current level that would result in 5 or maybe 10 dictionary definitions for each “normal” sentence added to Mnemosyne.
    This asymmetry is normal, and even desirable–there’s always something for you to do, always something for you to learn, and you don’t have to go look for it because it’s right there in front of you.

  19. Jon DeSousa
    July 14, 2007 at 22:17

    Hi Khatsumoto,

    First off, thanks for this great site. It is helpful. I have a question regarding dictionaries: I currently use a Palm TX. I have Dokusha and PAdict software for dictionaries; however, they are E-J dictionaries. Do you know of any good electronic dictionaries for the Palm that are J-J dictionaries?

    As a recomendation, I have found that the palm is a great tool for language learning as I have two electronic dictionaries (both of which have some really useful features) and SRS software (twinkle) where I can create and load all of my SRS databases. Khatsomoto-san, while you respond, is there any other good software that I should install on my Palm that you are aware of?



  20. khatzumoto
    July 14, 2007 at 22:20

    I’m afraid I am completely ignorant on Palm stuff.
    But let’s open it to the floor–anyone?

  21. Jon DeSousa
    July 20, 2007 at 04:46

    Hi Khatsumoto-san,

    A question for you. I know that you give such detailed reviews of online-dics on your website that you probably don’t use paper-dics. Would you recommend paper over virtual? Also, what monolingual paper-dics would you recommend for beginners of nihongo? I fortunately have a Japanese bookstore close to where I live near Boston, MA. I can pick one up if I know what to get. I have a kanji dictionary that I refer to frequently, but it is in english and japanese.

  22. khatzumoto
    July 20, 2007 at 09:26

    >Would you recommend paper over virtual?

    >What monolingual paper-dics would you recommend for beginners of nihongo?
    I almost wouldn’t recommend any…honestly. The amount of looking up you will be doing just won’t justify paper use. The one exception I might (might) make is a children’s monolingual dictionary like this one, that has furigana–but since things like this aren’t (to my knowledge) readily available outside of Japan, I would say that if you’re going to go to the trouble of shipping a dictionary, then ship an electronic one, unless you live in Japan (in which case, get both just for fun). To repeat myself–paper dictionaries are a fun toy, but not a practical tool. I would never get a paper dcitionary to the exclusion of an electronic.

  23. Jon DeSousa
    July 20, 2007 at 10:43


    ポストは有り難う御座います。  そして、紙の辞典はかしこまりました。

    I have two electronic dictionaries located on my palm; however, neither are monolingual. I have not been able to find a monolingual dictionary software for the palm; however, I can’t really search Japanese websites too well since my Japanese is still quite poor. If you happen to run across the software for one, please let me know. I would be truly grateful. I wouldn’t mind buying a Japanese monolingual electronic dictionary instead of the palm, but I have the SRS software (twinkle) already loaded there and it is pretty conventient to have both the dictionary and srs software available on one device, since I carry it in my pocket with me, everywhere I go.

  24. John
    July 23, 2007 at 20:12

    So, in Chinese, I guess this is what you’ve done, huh: 破釜沉舟? I came across it while checking your Rubicon idiom. Great job! You’re great motivation.

  25. adam
    August 7, 2007 at 20:45

    hi khatsumoto – great site. quick question ive got the green goddess edictionary for my pc and ppc and its good but i want to make the move to mono lingual. What electronic dictionary would you reccommend?

    Id love to go straight in head first but just as a back up can you reccommend an intermediate monodic? something i can fall back on in case the native monodics explanations blow my head off ;>

    great site and keep up the good work.

  26. Mark
    January 8, 2008 at 06:55

    Hi Khatz,

    When you have a moment, here’s a quick question for you (I can’t find an answer elsewhere, unfortunately):

    I notice that you own a Canon Wordtank v90, and I am considering buying one myself.

    Can I ask how you transfer any definitions and example sentences that you find from the v90 to your SRS?

    Does the V90 have an SD/other slot and text file transfer facility/similar? Or do you have to manually copy the examples/definitions from your v90 screen to your PC for entry into your SRS??

    Thanks very much for your help in advance,


  27. Mark
    January 9, 2008 at 00:02

    > Can I ask how you transfer any definitions and example sentences that you find from the v90 to your SRS?

    Okay, just in case there is anyone out there who is similarly bewildered (okay, perhaps it’s just me!) I’ll answer this myself:

    according to one of the online japan shops who supply a large selection, none of the electronic dictionaries support this.

    There are one or two that will allow transfer of text files containing words from a PC to an electronic dictionary (via SD, I think), but none allow the reverse. They hypothesize that this may be due to copyright issues.

    So, given that I have anywhere access to the Internet via my HSDPA modem/UMPC, I guess I’ll stick with the online J-J dictionaries.


  28. khatzumoto
    January 11, 2008 at 09:05

    >Can I ask how you transfer any definitions and example sentences that you find from the v90 to your SRS?
    Yeah, the old-fashioned way. Typing with my bare hands. No fancy data transfer here. No, just good, old, traditional keyboarding in the way of our ancestors 🙂

  29. Mark
    January 11, 2008 at 11:04


    Thanks for the answer.

    I am a great believer in not spending any more time doing boring, repetitive tasks that can be otherwise done more efficiently (as I think you are), so I wondered if you’d been following this thread about the IRISpen scanner (I am guessing not!):

    I actually have IRIS’ regular OCR software, and it’s pretty good (I have scanned whole books using it and the excellent Scansnap scanner). I am seriously considering getting the IRISpen for picking those ‘random’ words and sentences out of manga/novels/etc.

    Anyway, it can apparently also scan Chinese, so thought it might be useful for you to know about(???!)!.There is a link to a Chinese youtube review of the IRISpen halfway down the page linked above.

    Oh, and by the way, just on the v90 front again, when you have a minute, do you believe that the quality of the sentences/definitions that you can find using the v90 outweigh the inconvenience of having to do the manual transfer to your SRS? ie. Do you believe that the quality of the sentences/definitions is that much better than goo/infoseek/other online dictionaries that it outweighs their obviously easier transfer to SRS??



  30. khatzumoto
    January 18, 2008 at 11:00

    >do you believe that the quality of the sentences/definitions that you can find using the v90 outweigh the inconvenience of having to do the manual transfer to your SRS? ie. Do you believe that the quality of the sentences/definitions is that much better than goo/infoseek/other online dictionaries that it outweighs their obviously easier transfer to SRS??
    I never really thought about it that deeply. But the short answer is that web dics are fine. No quality loss. They’re based on the same text dictionaries as e-dics like the V90.

  31. Brent
    March 2, 2008 at 06:12

    >__> Online until them)

    Anyways, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to understand the definitions…I suppose the words from SRS would help me, right?

    Any help would be appreciated. ^_^ Thanks

  32. Brent
    March 2, 2008 at 06:14

    Why did it cut my stuff? Must have done it by accident.

    …But I can’t remember what I said, but I don’t think it was important…

  33. aaron
    March 12, 2008 at 07:03

    So which Electronic Chinese Monolingual Dictionaries do you recommend?

  34. Lazar
    May 26, 2008 at 15:08

    Hi Khatzumoto, I really enjoy your site and now that I have a whole 4 months off from school, I’m planning on finishing RTK1 before second year Japanese class ( time to eliminate the gap between kanji students and myself 🙂 hehe) I was recently studying a whole bunch of sentences and decided to take your advice and go monolingual, however, to no avail 😐 This is what I came up with.

    (My example sentence): くすりを一思いにのみこんだ。

    Now in my case, I understand that くすり is medicine, and the rest I can vaguely make out has something to do with drinking it *duh* (のみ…). I had no idea what 一思いに meant, so I use yahoo辞書

    (The example sentence
    that Yahoo辞書 gives
    for 一思いに ) : [副]あれこれ迷わず、一気にそうするさま。思い切って。「いっそ―別れてくれ」
    without Rikaichan *gotta love it* I would have no idea what any of this means, but regardless, your advice is to input this sentence with the rest into my anki’s additional definitions instead of using English right?

  35. khatzumoto
    May 27, 2008 at 00:24

    >instead of using English right?
    Yeah…and also…you should do your recursive lookups in Japanese, too (i.e. any lookups you may need to do of the definition). If these lookups are too complex/numerous for you right now, then pick easier sentences/words. So part of the deal becomes: if you’re not ready to understand a word’s definition in Japanese, then you’re not ready to learn it…but you will be at some point.

  36. Lazar
    May 27, 2008 at 06:50

    Thats great, thanks man… for anyone reading this (and if its only you khatzumoto and you never seen these before) I think this practice sentence package is pretty much what khatzumoto is talking about (excluding the fact that its all handed to you on a silver platter). I’m part of the rtk forums and someone generous recently gave us this

    people have recently changed it around, made some anki decks, whatever floats your boat the most, take a look at it.

  37. Duranix
    July 29, 2008 at 15:11

    I know you say to go cold turkey and just make the move to a monolingual dictionary, but to be honest, I don’t think thats going to help people that much, and heres why:

    I look up a word. Any word. And then I look at the definition. Its in Japanese, a language which I don’t know, but am trying to learn.

    So one, I don’t know what the word I’m looking up means, and since I don’t understand the language (hence why I looked up the word in the first place), I don’t understand the definition of the word that comes out of the dictionary.

    So I run around for 20 minutes looking up the words that come out of the dictionary, until I finally see something I understand, which is completely unrelated to the first word I looked up because I’ve been clicking on links for so long.

    Lemme explain it this way:

    You look up Startrek on wiki because you don’t know what Startrek is, you don’t understand a word wiki is saying, so you keep clicking on likes. 10 minutes late, you open a page called Halflife. Startrek isn’t Halflife. They’re both science fiction, but thats pretty much where all the similarities stop 😉

    Ok, sorry to sound like a huge ass, maybe I’m just not at the right stage to start using a monolingual, but to be honest, how are we supposed to know when to make the jump?

  38. Kapuchi
    October 6, 2008 at 12:03

    Hey, I have a couple of (sort of) dictionary related questions, if anyone can help?

    First of all, can anyone recommend an “offline” dictionary; similar to Yahoo!辞書? Due to the nature of my work (moving around alot), I don’t often have a reliable net connection, and I want to go monodic as soon as possible. So if anyone can recommend a good one (with example sentences), I’d be eternally greatful!

    Secondly, I’m currently going through RTK, as I’m basically starting my studies in Japanese studies from scratch (thanks AJATT!), can anyone tell me, once they get comfortable using a monodic, but perhaps they want to continue to revise old kanji, or learn new ones beyond the 2000 or so that are recommended, do they translate the RTK definitions into Japanese as well? I imagine it would be quite counter productive thinking of unknown kanji definitions in English – after all the whole point is to think and talk as a native speaker. Can anyone give some insight?

    Other than that, thanks heaps Khatzumoto, I’ll buy you a beer (I’m serious) when I’m fluent and back in Japan.

  39. October 11, 2008 at 05:16

    OK, I’m in. I have my monolingual dictionary and I’m going through my SRS defining the key words instead of just having an English translation in the answer side. It’s just Spanish I’m learning so the process is a lot faster than I assume Japanese would be, but the same idea. I’m going to try cold turkey, since most of the words in the definitions I’ve at least seen/heard before but I just don’t remember.

    ¡Gracias por la idea!

  40. Daniel
    January 15, 2009 at 02:37

    I’m finding your method extremely useful for Japanese, and now I want to use it to brush up my French, a language I’m way more familiar with.

    Because of that, I want to jump right into monolingual SRSing, but I’m not really sure what an example monolingual card would look like for a European language like this (as in: no readings, etc.)

  41. binzer
    January 29, 2009 at 19:05

    I know sooner is always better, but when is it realistic to start using a monolingual dictionary? At the very beginning? Partway through RTK? Right when I start on sentences? After X number of sentences?

    I realize there is no exact answer, but I’m just starting AJATT and I’m already beating myself up for not using a monodic even though I hardly know any kanji and only occasionally want to look-up words I hear in songs or on tv. On the upside, Khatzumoto is completely successful at making me feel guilty every time I expose myself to English, but I’d like to have a feasible idea of what’s possible and how hard I should push myself.

    Thanks 🙂

  42. June 19, 2009 at 05:33

    The only monolingual dictionary in Japanese that I have is on my computer (the one I’m using right now). 使うためにインタネットが必要ではありません。(<– that correct??)… I can click on any word in the definition and I get readings and all I need to know… but I really need one for the iPhone platform… I mean, I carry my iPod touch *everywhere* and if I can’t take my iPod I don’t like to go, so that is the perfect platform for me, but so far no luck finding a mono. My cell phone has no internet (or anything someone would expect of a phone except for the address book and, of course, the phone). Carrying around my computer (MacBook)=no good… what could I do? I don’t like paper dictionaries either =/

  43. Stuart
    July 21, 2010 at 21:25

    Could we further mine sentences within the dictionary entries?
    Thinking about it, that wouldn’t seem very fun…

  44. Jacob
    June 29, 2012 at 10:23

    I get the point of this post and i find this site very helpful and motivating, but if you cant read the monolingual dictionary enough to read the hiragana/katakana or any writing in it then how can you learn words if you cant read the definition? 

    • Maruku
      July 6, 2012 at 09:25

      If you go to the Table of Contents of this website (easy to find on the left sidebar or on the top of the page), you’ll see that this post we’re reading is crossed out.

      It’s not that there’s no valuable content in here, it’s just a very large post that kinda passes by the point Khatz really wanted to make. If you look in the post that’s about monolingual dictionaries that isn’t crossed out, he says to basically ignore this post.

      To answer your question, in case you don’t go read that post, you just need to look up really easy words you already know like  man(おとこ・男), woman(おんな・女), color(いろ・色), blue(あお・青), red (あか・赤), fish (魚), sushi(You’re on you’re own here, man), etc.

      The post can be found at:

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