Users' Reviews of the JLT Dictionaries

Another Happy Customer: I'll echo all the other praise about Peter's service. Everything arrived in perfect condition, faster than expected, with a few nice extras tossed in. I might not have killed, but I'd have given anything for a device like this when I was in Japan. (several decades ago.) Finally, Kanji is accessible to the rest of us. It recognizes my poor writing and it's a lot faster than Nelson... Smaller, too.

If you think you'll use the PlaySay audio, get it. My long suffering spouse is really tired of repeating words for me until I get the pronunciation. PlaySay is great - like having a TV News reader at your disposal, and much clearer than at least one of my Japanese teachers.... Speaking of Mrs D, she even used it to nail down an uncommon name she came across on the web.

I bought an Innopocket Magnum case for mine and it is like a tank. I'm not skeptical any more about Peter's claim of his skidding across a street unharmed. If you think you'll use it, but it's too expensive, spend the money. You'll sleep better.

I was second guessing myself. This was a lot of money. Well, if you're serious about going beyond a few semesters of Japanese, I'd rate it as essential.

Note from Peter : This customer is discussing the Complete System on an Axim X51V PDA with English WM6 operating system.

Added: Apr 06, 2010
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The whole system is superlative.: This system has been a wonderful solution for me and a real lifesaver when I first got it, as I was living and working in an area of Japan without any English speakers in the region and my Japanese was intermediate at best. This thing never left my pocket and I truly don't know what I would have done without it. The case protected it while I was working on a farm and operating machinery!

The dictionaries are excellent - I was constantly surprising my Japanese friends with what terms I was able to look up, including a lot of slang. The best part by far is direct entry lookup.

The PDA itself is so-so. I find it can be slow, the interface is awkward, the hard reset if you let the battery discharge fully is very annoying. But overall, if you are using it primarily as a dictionary all my complaints are very minor and I have been able to expand its capabilities with a folding keyboard and use it for web browsing and notetaking.

More than anything else, though, what makes this work is Peter himself. I've never seen anything like the level of help he provides his customers. He helped with my awkward delivery situation and numerous times after when I had general questions or technical problems. He wrote novel-length emails explaining the answer to any question I could think of and just now I received an email from him about updates to the software. I've barely touched the thing in 2 years! (Because I haven't had the chance to use Japanese much)

I would recommend this system over anything else on the market because it's priced similar to a single-purpose electronic dictionary but has far more capabilities - the dictionaries are expandable and have more words to begin with, and you can use it for much more than the dictionary.

Note from Peter: This customer is discussing the Complete System on an Axim X50V PDA with Japanese WM2003SE operating system. It can slow down when the internal memory gets too full--keeping as much as possible on the memory card instead of the internal memory prevents that, as I advised doing when sending out these systems. In the newer X51V Axims, the memory structure is different and this isn't a factor. Also, the X51V doesn't reset when the battery dies, and the interface, especially for installing new software, has been improved--and of course the OS is in English, making it that much easier for English speakers. OS language doesn't matter much for dictionary use, as then you'd be using only the English-language dictionary program interface, but for exploring the full capability of the device of course it helps if the OS is in one's native language.

Added: Apr 05, 2010
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Update to review posted 11/Sep/2008

Still happy with it 1-1/2 years later. Even my Japanese teacher is impressed with it, vs her Japanese-made denshi jisho. If I were choosing from today's products, I'd probably want the English-language OS, but it wasn't so versatile when I bought mine.

Peter's continuing support for this is downright amazing.

Added: April 05, 2010
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Perfect!: First of all, I had a very good experience dealing with Mr. Rivard. He responded to all my questions quickly and thoroughly (he responded to my first question within 5 minutes!). He kept me updated throughout the whole process and everything was sent on time. He even added a couple of freebies!

After he sent the package, he e-mailed me a short but detailed guide on everything I needed to know about using the PDA and all the accessories that came with it. There is also a more detailed guide included on the SD Card in the Axim for easy access whenever you need it. Everything was packaged very well and everything was in perfect condition upon arrival.

Using the dictionary is quick and easy. The screen is very responsive and the kanji recognition is very forgiving (for those of you with bad handwriting). Before this, I've been using a combination of the internet, Kodansha's Furigana dictionary, and Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten on the Nintendo DS when I needed help with translations. This does everything all three of those do and more in a small PDA (no more lugging that fat dictionary around!).

If you're serious about learning Japanese, then this tool is perfect for you. It is definitely worth every penny.

Added: Feb 25, 2010
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RE: order of memory card: This guy is an absolute star.

Don't bother wasting time trying to get and convert the dictionaries yourself, it won't compare to what Peter can make for you.

A fast and professional service. Puts some big companies to shame. Quoted 5 days for delivery, took less than 3.

Communication *****

Service *****

Quality of product *****

Speed *****

Don't delay, order your memory card today.

Added: Feb 18, 2010
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Tool for enhanced learning: I've used the iPAQ version with Japanese OS with great success. JLT really is a system; I have found using copy-paste within and between the kanji recognition, various dictionaries including Conjugation, E-names results in more explict results. The kanji recognition touchpad works very well, and strings of kanji can be entered, and then translated by switching to edict, waeijiro, kodansha etc. Conjugation can also short-cut you to meanings when all you've got are hiragana.

Peter Rivard is a great resource, and is very responsive. I had an answer to a question within twelve hours after not having made contact for a year.

Lastly, I would state that this is a product which has fulfilled its claims completely. I have had no malfunctions, have also established wireless connectivity despite the language barrier, transfer files regularly with WinXP, and use it pretty much everyday during my commute to work. Battery life on the iPAQ is astonishing.

If you are in the market for a high end 電子辞書、you should definitely get in touch with Peter Rivard.

Added: Dec 21, 2009
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Dell Axim X51V: This wee machine goes everywhere I go. I'm a technophobe, but this is the dogs balls! Great service, great machine and yes..a great guy. A+ all round.

Added: Dec 14, 2009
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JLT Axim x51v (English) New Owner: I've had my JLT dictionary with English WM6 for 2-3 weeks now and it is time for feedback.

First I'd just like to say how easy it was dealing with Peter. Very quick and hugely informative responses and he was quite happy to make a couple of customized set up tweaks that I requested. Even threw in a couple of freebies in the package!! Absolutely zero hassle and very comfortable to deal with.

After I received my refurbished Axim x51v from Peter, I inspected it carefully and true to his word, it is in immaculate condition, fully set up and ready to go. The EB Pocket software with the standard dictionaries is excellent, even without the add-on dictionaries. For my level of Japanese, the standard content is plenty. Without doubt it is the easiest Japanese / English dictionary I have ever worked with. The ability to use the "kensaku" kanji writing input and other J inputs on a Pocket PC running English Windows Mobile is worth the money alone. Now I can really progress with my studies which had ground to a stop trying to use Word Tanks and the like which are really only for Japanese people learning English IMO.

Although the Dell Axim series is out of production, there is a huge programming community on the internet including upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5. These machines are still one of the most popular Pocket PC's around today. Also, there are still plenty of peripherals available such as cases, bluetooth keyboards etc so there is still plenty of life in these brilliant little machines. Its even possible to buy replacement screens, bodies and motherboards should the need arise.

Aside from the dictionary functions I have already installed numerous pieces of Windows Mobile software including King Kanji (flashcard testing), Skype to turn it into an IP phone on my home wireless network, upgraded media player for hours of entertainment and Mobipocket ebook reader for those overseas trips. As a fully wireless enabled piece of kit, I can also browse the internet and easily transfer files over the WLAN to my other computers. I plan to use it next time I go back to the UK with a GPS system and software in the rental car. More uses than the proverbial dead cat!

After a thorough test-drive, it is now sitting in wrapping paper waiting for the "official" opening with the family on Christmas day. Can't wait to get my hands back on it.

Added: Dec 09, 2009
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No regrets!: I bought this system about two weeks ago and haven’t regretted it for one second. I took a look at the electronic dictionaries available at the Japanese techie stores and quickly realized that they would be no good for most foreigners. Not only are all the definitions in Japanese, all the command buttons are too. So, if you pull up a word and can’t read the definition, you have to copy and paste a bunch of words to look it up until you get it. It would probably be a lot faster just to keep using the pocket book dictionary I had.

I looked around at some English versions online but they just seemed underwhelming. That’s when I stumbled across the JLT PDA dictionary.

It’s now an indispensable item that I take with me everywhere. The dictionary results usually come up with more than I need and I’ve rarely had an occasion where I can stump it. Most likely, that is because I’m not entering the correct spelling. The Edict dictionary is great. You can enter words in English or Japanese and you’ll get the hiragana pronunciation, kanji reading, and several variations of the definition in English.

Another awesome feature is the input method for drawing kanji. Theoretically I could read just about anything I wanted if I bothered to sit there and draw in all the kanji I don’t know. And, once you draw it in, you can skip around to each of the dictionaries without having to re-enter the word.

You can also opt to draw in Hiragana/Katakana or English if you don’t want to use the little keypad.

The history feature is great because you can go back after a conversation you’ve had and check to see what words you looked up and then write them down. You don’t have to interrupt the flow of the moment to do that.

The nice thing about it is that it’s also so much more than just a dictionary. It’s really a computer so you can do just about anything with it. Play music/games/surf web/skype/gps etc. etc. The price for some of the fancier electronic dictionaries was comparable but they can only do one thing. Also, the screen resolution on the EDs was 1986 calculator watch kwality. It’s also correct that the PDA is a little smaller than most EDs.

Another main thing to point out is the outstanding support I’ve gotten from Peter. He was quick and professional with his replies and usually gives an excessive amount of information. The device was shipped promptly and in great working order.

He has also been extremely helpful after the purchase to answer any questions or give tips.

I’m recommending this system to any of my friends who are serious about studying Japanese and/or plan to be in Japan for a while.

Josh H. 30 August 2009

Note from Peter: this customer is discussing the Axim X51V version of the Complete System (with English operating system).

Added: Aug 30, 2009
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You won't be dissapointed: The JLT is great, service was also. Peter was informative every step of the way and also helpful with advice and questions.

I only had the JLT for a week, but it's already been a lifesaver. Easy and fun to use and also easy to carry around.

Definitely recommend the complete package with the JLT version of Eijiro, the magnesium case and the play-say membership.

Battery-life also great and the example sentences are really useful.

I could go on and on, but I'll just say if you're looking for a denshi-jisho, stop here and buy this one.

Note from Peter: this customer is discussing the iPAQ hx4700 version of the Complete System (with Japanese operating system).

Added: Apr 20, 2009
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