Quick Japanese-English translations on Google

alc's online dictionryIf you’re like me, whenever you need a quick translation, you are probably a “regular” at the alc site. But what do you set as your home page if you are also a regular at both Google and Stippy? Now that there is a Google bar at the top of Stippy.com, part of that problem has been solved and sure, Stippy does include a link to alc on it’s links page, but it is far from the perfect solution. A little known function on Google might make your life a lot easier…

Just as you can type “defiine:” before an English word to look up its meaning in an English dictionary, Google in Japan has been smart enough to tie-up with alc for E-J and J-E translations. For an English to Japanese translation, simply type “英和 ” and then the word you want to translate. Similarly, for Japanese to English, typing “和英 “before the tango will get you the English translation.


1) define

2) 和英
3) 英和
By the way, does anybody know a good online 漢和辞典 or similar method for reading tricky kanji?

6 thoughts on “Quick Japanese-English translations on Google”

  1. Wow, thats for that tip. I didnt know about this. I wish that we didnt have to type 英和 and 和英 though, wouldnt it be cool if it was just JE or EJ and then the word.
    Does anyone have any other google tips? I am sure that there are a mountain of these sorts of things that are just not known about, but google is too busy starting new enterprises too tell people about them!

  2. Sorry, I forgot to tell you about the FOKS dictionary that I use:
    This is a great J->E dictionary. The good thing about it is, that you can type your search word in in ひらがな or kanji, or even type it in with wild cards. The search will then display a list of words that it thinks you mean, and will let you choose one. It then gives a simple definition.

    Also, it is especially good for those tricky kanji that you dont know how to read. Just copy them into the dictionary as is, and it will give you the reading of the kanji, and the translation.

    MonbushoFOKS combined with alc covers everything I need.

    When are you guys going to put an ALC search on your site????

  3. Thanks for the kanwa jiten link, MP.
    I gave FOKS a shot but couldn’t seem to get it working. Was I too cruel using 轆轤 ? What am I doing wrong? (I typed it in the box and clicked on the SEARCH button) cheers

  4. I always use this site for my Japanese needs:
    It’s got EJ/JE dictionaries, Kanji lookup (by radicals, and stroke counts), nice keitai access, etc. Because I installed a YubNub (http://www.yubnub.org) browser extension, all I ever do is type:

    ej hammer
    je matsuri

    (YubNub is great for creating commands for your favourite websites. I use it all the time. eg. “gim sushi” (this does a google image search), “gnews whaling” (a google news search), “d salacious” (dictionary.com search), etc, etc…)

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