Two days ago, I finally got my new toy---a Canon Wordtank G70.

To be honest, I did waver until the last minute between the G70 and the SR-E10000 from SII. Had I read tanton-san's glowing endorsement before going to Bic Camera, I might have bought the Seiko instead.
However, what's done is done, and I'll have to live with my choice.
And I'm actually quite happy---so far.

I'm not that happy with Bic Camera, though. I ended up paying 17,000 yen more than the lowest listed price on kakaku.com, and the salesperson refused to give me a discount. Either I've lost my touch, or they've become stingier. (Or maybe it was because I was buying "the most popular model")
I did manage to wring a small concession out of them: I got them to include a small case for the dictionary for free. Although it looked clunky and unappealing at first, I'm now grateful for the extra padding it offers. And it's actually much nicer than the other, more expensive cases they had on sale.

Back to the dictionary.

The pros:

I love Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (5th edition). I tried looking up some words I'd used earlier in the year on an interpreting job, and they came up immediately, complete with helpful hints on usage. Amazing! This is going to make translating so much easier.

I also love the English-Japanese Collocations Dictionary (the Eiwa Katsuyou Dai-jiten). Although I rarely have trouble figuring out which words go together, it's nice to have a dictionary back up my instincts.

There are nifty little icons on the screen for "phrasal verbs" and "idioms", which give me lists of just the phrasal verbs or idioms for a particular word. Great for planning lessons.

The "stroke order" function on the Kanjigen Kanji Dictionary is pretty cool, and has managed to draw gasps of appreciation from my friends. Unfortunately, it's limited to only the most basic of kanji; for example, it couldn't tell me the stroke order for "牽".

The jump function can be quite useful, since it lists entries from all the dictionaries that are available. However, it can be cumbersome if I already know which dictionary I want to jump to.

Since it has both a British English and an American English Dictionary, it can be fun to compare the two, especially since this can be done by an ingenious function called "search all dictionaries". The two look suspiciously similar in most cases, though, and the Oxford English Dictionary (Br.E.) does have notes on American English Usage.

The cons:

The layout of the keyboard is far from intuitive. I had to look in the manual to figure out which keys controlled the "page up" / "page down" functions. Also, there are no one-touch keys for the collocations dictionaries, which I plan to use quite often.

The Japanese thesaurus is not as good as I expected. It offers a short explanation of when to use which word, but no comprehensive list of synonyms and antonyms. I actually think the Japanese thesaurus from Shogakukan (included in the SR-E10000) is far more superior. Oh, well...

The stylus is relatively easy to use, but I still get nervous about poking the screen with it. And having to take it out and put it away each time I use it can be a drag.

The "Comprehensive Dictionary of Collloquial English" is absolutely useless, for me at least. I looked up "get to", but the only definition they had was "to arrive at." Whatever happened to "start work on"? And "get to first base" was described as "to finish the first phase of something." The authors of the dictionary were apparently unwilling to explain how the phrase is used by American teenagers to talk about relationships.

The verdict:

75% (for now)

I haven't figured out how to use all the functions yet, and no doubt this gadget will grow on me.

However, I can't help but be reminded of one of my favorite jokes:

Q: Why is a computer like a man?
A: Because as soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited just a little longer, you could have had a better model.

posted by EnglishMaster at 14:48| Comment(4) | TrackBack(0) | English | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする




Posted by tanton1221 at 2006年09月01日 02:10

もっ、もしやすると、男と女の結婚のことですか・・・?  ~ ~;
Posted by tanton1221 at 2006年09月01日 02:14

使い込むにつれて、一番不満に思えてきたのは、「Genius 大英和辞典」の存在です。

Posted by EnglishMaster at 2006年09月01日 18:12
Posted by 電子辞書 at 2006年10月09日 16:45
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