Other Platforms for the JLT Dictionaries

updated March 14, 2015

General Info for All Platforms

The Japanese Language Tools dictionaries are actually just documents in a standard Japanese dictionary and eBook format called EPWING. You can use them on any device as long as it lets you enter and display Japanese and has an EPWING reader program. I've personally used my dictionaries on Windows Mobile PDAs and phones (quite a few different models), Palm OS PDAs (ditto), Windows XP (desktop, notebook, and tablet), and the iPod Touch (works the same as iPhone and iPad). I've also tried out the Japanese input system in Android. I can give you some starters for those platforms; for the rest, you'll have to turn to the net for resources and instructions. As always, I recommend trying out some of my free dictionaries before buying a dictionary from me or anyone else.

Specific Information by Platform

Windows XP. Simply activate East Asian Language support and a Japanese IME from the control panel, if you haven't already, then install the excellent (and free!) Unicode version of the program EBWin. One cool feature most people don't use: the IME pad. Using the mouse or, if you have it, a touchscreen or tablet, you can draw kanji in to enter them just like in the Windows Mobile systems I sell. Some tiny subnotebooks come with touchscreens, making this feature even easier to use.

Windows Vista and Windows 7. Annoyingly, the excellent language support included for no extra cost in all versions of XP now comes only with Ultimate and better versions of Vista and 7 (though you can pay Microsoft extra to add it to lesser versions); obviously, if you get the Japanese version of Windows any version will include Japanese support. However, folks online are reporting that you can install the Google Japanese IME onto the cheaper versions of Vista and 7--you should do some research online onto installing it onto your particular version of Vista or 7, though, because I haven't tried it myself and can't offer any guarantees (I welcome any information users can give me to pass along here, though). Google IME looks and works almost exactly the Japanese support that comes with XP, including the IME pad for handwriting entry (though the dictionary it uses is smaller, meaning it happens a bit more frequently that when you enter hiragana with the keyboard and hit the "convert to kanji" button, the word you're trying to enter doesn't appear--you then have to enter the word one kanji at a time). If you have Vista or 7, you can install Google IME and check it quite easily. Once you've got Japanese going, install the free Unicode version of EBWin as with XP and you're good to go!

Windows 8. Great Japanese support, including upgraded handwriting recognition and better touchscreen support, but unless you get the Pro version or better or you get the native Japanese version of the OS, you'll need to pay extra to get Japanese input.  The Google IME is free but I don't think it has handwriting support comparable to that in Windows, nor input optimized for touchscreens.  Just install the free Unicode version of the EBWin program to use the JLT dictionaries.

Mac OS X. OS X includes excellent Japanese support. As with XP, you just have to enable it from the settings. There are a few different choices for EPWING programs. The best is EBMac, from the maker of the EBPocket program used in JLT Complete Systems and on the iPhone. It's optimized for EPWING, so it's fast and efficient, it offers the complex search options that make EBPocket and EBWin so powerful, and it's compatible with the .ebz compressed EPWING format of the JLT dictionaries. Plus, it's free. It's a new program, so check back frequently for updates, a manual, and maybe an English-interface version if the current installer doesn't offer one. If you want to try something else, I don't know if all of the other Mac dictionary programs are compatible with the .ebz compressed EPWING format--if one doesn't work, try another. Here are a few I've found (but haven't tried): Kamonos (doesn't seem to have been updated since 2004), Kotonoko, Logophile (not free), and JEDict. There may be more.

Linux. I've seen enough to know it's out there, but you'll have to google it yourself. I don't know much about Linux.

Nokia Internet Tablets/Maemo. Ditto. It's there--but you'll have to go get it. I don't know how good the Japanese support is--whether there's handwriting entry or just a keyboard IME, and how well those systems work. My impression from what I saw a while ago is that Japanese support is fairly simple--limited keyboard IME. But there may be something better available now. Again, please check it out yourself before buying anything--my knowledge here is too shaky to base any decisions on.

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