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    FAQ by tsurara_mai

    Updated: 05/21/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

           K A N J I   S O N O M A M A   D S   R A K U B I K I    J I T E N
                          + English-Language User's Guide +
             "Mankind has a great aversion to intellectual labor; but 
            even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people 
            would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little
            trouble to acquire it. 
                                   Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
                           F A Q    I N F O R M A T I O N
    Completed: 5/18/07
    Last Revision: 5/22/07
    This FAQ covers how to use the Japanese dictionary program for Nintendo DS as
    well as a number of questions about the program itself for potential owners.  
    This file has been written to aid non-Japanese speaking players in getting the
    most out of the program.  It's designed, when possible, to be user-friendly to
    those who don't read/understand Japanese, but given the nature of the program,
    I'm going to assume you have at least an elementary grasp of Japanese.
    This guide is not intended to compete with or replace any other published game
    I can be contacted about this FAQ at tsurara(a-t)gmail(d-o-t)com.  Feel free
    to email with suggestions/corrections.
    Please note that I will not give help to people reguarding further
    translations, bootlegged copies, or technical support.
    If you find any mistakes (I'm sure there are a lot) please let me know.  I'm
    happy to credit you for any corrections made.
                     V I E W I N G   J A P A N E S E   T E X T
    Since the #1 Frequently Asked Question about my FAQs has been "How can I see
    the Japanese?!"  I figured this addition was in order.
    First right-click anywhere on the browser window with your mouse, choose 
    "Encoding", then choose "Japanese (Shift JIS)" or "Japanese (Auto Select").
    If that doesn't work, you probably don't have Japanese character support
    installed on your browser.  
    Try the following websites for more information about installing Japanese
    support for I. Explorer other browsers.
               P R O G R A M   I N F O R M A T I O N
    "Kanji Sonomama DS Rakubiki Jiten" is a reference program designed to be a 
    more afordable version of popular, but pricey electronic dictionaries.  It's 
    main features are a standard Japanese dictionary, a Japanese-English 
    dictionary and an English-Japanese dictionary.  The stylus interface allows 
    for hand-drawn character input: a very big bonus since button-interface kanji
    lookup can be quite tedious.
    Developed and Published in-house by Nintendo and published on 6/16/2005 with
    a CERO rating of "All Ages".
    The game retails for 4,800 yen, and is relatively scarce on the used-game
    market (likely due to it's long-term utility).
    The game, like all DS software, is not region-locked and will run on non-
    Japanese DS systems without a hitch.
    The interface is entirely in Japanese.  There is no English-version available.
    The programs' webpage is located (in Japanese) at 
    The program is not currently liscenced outside of Japan.
                           T A B L E    O F    C O N T E N T S
    I. User's Guide
       A. Getting Started
          - Dictionaries Included
          - Other Features
       B. Main Menu Navigation
    II. Easter Eggs
    III. FAQ
    IV. Credits
    I.                         U S E R ' S    G U I D E
    + Dictionaries Included +
    Sonomama Kanji Jiten includes three main dictionaries.
       - Genius English to Japanese Dictionary 3rd Edition 
         (ジーニアス英和辞典  第3版)
         95,000 word entries translated from English to Japanese.
         Most entries include voice samples to aid in pronunciation.  
         Some usage detailed here is obselete and a few entries are 
         slightly awkward or incorrect (ex. どの服を着たらいいかしら is translated 
         as "Which dresses do you think I should wear?")  But for the 
         most part it's a solid dictionary.  In print, the book retails
         for about 3,500 yen.  Also worth noting: this is the 3rd 
         edition and was already obselete by the time of the program's
         release (Genius is currently in it's 4th edition).
       - Genius Japanese to English Dictionary 2nd Edition
         (ジーニアス和英辞典  第2版)
         82,000 entries translated from Japanese to English. Few bells
         and whistles, not nearly as comprehensive in usage guides or
         examples as it's Japanese to English counterpart.  Still a 
         serviceable pocket translator (especially for the price). 
         Given that the authors are actually fluent in Japanese, there
         aren't many errors similar to those found in the English to 
         Japanese version.  As far as I can tell, this book doesn't
         actually exist in print form.
       - Meikyou Japanese Dictionary
         70,000 entries covering Japanese words and their Japanese 
         definitions.  It's relatively sparse in it's coverage but it
         is a popular dictionary and is well-reviewed.  Again, there
         aren't any extra features, but the dictionary is a decent one.
         Most entries are explained in simple enough language to be of 
         use to high-intermediate and advanced Japanese learners. Sadly
         there is no hiragana gloss on the entries: making this 
         particular feature fairly useless to younger students and 
         non-native learners who haven't yet mastered a moderate number
         of kanji.
    + Other Features + 
    All of these features are accessable under the tools menu in the lower
    lefthand corner of your touch-screen.  It looks like a little blue wrench. 
        - English Vocabulary List  
          A collection of three checklists of notable English vocabulary
          words that can be virtually "checked" when mastered.  There are
          three checklists included:
             - GENUIS's Key Word List (基本語) : 1,000 words
             - TOEIC TEST 470 Level : 800 words
             - TOEIC TEST 600 Level : 700 words
          All lists can also be viewed as flashcards.
        - Bookmarks
          Words that you have tagged in your dictionary travels.  There
          are three different pages available for bookmarks (A, B, and C).
          Using these pages, you can create your own customized study 
          checklists in any of the three dictionaries.  These lists can
          be viewed as flashcards and edited to remove words at any
        - Japanese Quiz
          A collection of pre-made quizzes designed to test your Japanese
          knowledge on a variety of subjects.  There are 16 pages of 
          quizzes to choose from with 78 quizzes in total.  These quizzes
          are designed to challenge native Japanese-speaking adults, so
          chances are, unless you've been studying the language for quite
          a while, most of these quizzes will be way over your head.
        - Legend
          Guides to reading the entries in each dictionary, breakdowns of
          commonly used terms, prefixes, endings, grammar and phonetic 
          guides, etc.  Generally speaking, this is an appendix.
        - Send/Recieve Information
          Uses the DS's wi-fi capabilities to send or recieve customized
          vocabulary lists to/from friends (ie. your bookmarks).
        - Picto-chat
          Uses the DS's wi-fi capabilities to participate in chats with
          up to 16 other users.  The draw here is that the stylus kanji
          input is fully compatable.
        - Settings
          adjusts various settings (power-off timer, sound, time 
          allotted to input kanji with the stylus and the voice
          keyboard option)
        - Index text size
          switches between large and small text on the touch-screen
          book-style index
        - World Clock
          Brings up a list of world cities in various time zones, each
          of which can be viewed for the current time.  Sortable by
          country or city.
        - Alarm Clock
          Allows you to set up to three alarms... for those who keep 
          their DS on while they sleep, I guess ^_^;;;
        - Calculator
          A calculator.  Pretty much self-explanatory.
        - Calender
          An extremely basic calender.  Also self-explanatory.
    For all features in Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten, the flipscreen is going to
    be your main screen while the bottom screen is used mainly for various input
    Let's have a look at the main menu:
    + Blue Arrows +
    Blue arrows can be used to cycle through previous entries and tasks.
    Let's say, for example, that you were to look up the word "arbitrary"
    before checking your calender and the time in Toronto.  Rather than
    looking up "arbitrary" again, you can use the blue arrows to scroll 
    back to the original look-up.
    The blue arrows appear on all sub-menus as well.
    + Dictionary Tabs +
    The dictionary tabs appear along the lefthand side of the screen
    and toggle between your available dictionaries.
       -英和 (えいわ) English to Japanese
       -和英 (わえい) Japanese to English
       -国語 (こくご) Japanese to Japanese
       -一括 (いっかつ) Japanese to English and Japanese to Japanese (mixed)
    + Keyboard/Stylus Input Area +
    The lower half of the touchscreen is taken up by the input section.
    The icon of a pencil triggers the handwriting recognition function.
    The hiragana あ triggers a hiragana keyboard.  The English A triggers
    a keyboard in roman letters.
        - Hiragana Keyboard
          the hiragana keyboard is navigated by touching the buttons
          with the stylus.  This can be used alone or in conjunction
          with the handwriting input method.
          NOTE: all results for your search will be shown in kanji
          if applicable.
        - The English Keyboard
          the romaji keyboard is also navigated by touching the buttons
          with the stylus.  
        - Handwriting Input
          Handwriting input works by drawing the characters you would 
          like to look up in the two large boxes available.  Characters
          will be added to your search line after a certain amount of 
          time (customizable through the "Settings" menu).  You can work
          on two characters at a time, but chances are, you're going to
          want to stick with one at a time to make sure the input is 
          recognizing the right character.
          You can also input hiragana and katakana with this method.
          Both stroke order and count factor into the results given...
          so to get the most out of your handwriting input, you're
          going to need to have a basic grasp of both.  This can be 
          frustrating when attempting to input a character you've never
          seen before, but a bit of experimentation usually yields the 
          correct results.
          You can toggle between various different kinds of handwriting
          input with the tabs on the left side of the first writing grid.
                 -> 漢字 Kanji
                 -> かな Hiragana
                 -> カナ Katakana
    	     -> 英字 English Alphabet
                 -> 数字 Numbers
          There are also three tabs to the left side of the handwriting
          input area:
                 候補 (possibilities)
                 This button brings up other close matches for the 
                 currently given kanji.  The correct kanji can be 
                 chosen from a list of similar characters with the stylus.
                 <-- (backspace)
                 Erases the character written last from the search line.
                 小字 (small characters)
                 Changes certain characters to their smaller versions.  (ex.
                 や、ゆ、よ、つ)  In order to work, the character in question must
                 be the most recently inputted.
    Whatever your method of input, your final search term will be displayed on
    the search line just above the input area and the display screen will shift
    to show the entries that most closely match.  You can scroll through the entries
    given with the arrow pad.
              クリア (clear), located on the lefthand side of the search line
              can be pressed with the stylus to clear all previously 
              inputted characters.
    + Tools +
    The "tools" section is where all your extra doo-dads are stored.  It can be
    accessed by pressing the blue wrench in the lower left corner of the screen.
    (See "other features" for a list of tools and what they do)
    + In the Dictionaries +
    When browsing the various dictionaries, you can manipulate the contents using
    the toolbar located on the top of the screen.
           - 登録 (Register)
             This feature adds the entry currently being viewed to one
             of your bookmark lists.  Touching the button immediately to
             the right will toggle between your three bookmark lists
             (A, B, and C)
           - 成句 (idioms) [English - Japanese] only
             Pressing this button displays idioms as seperate entries
             (in green).  Pressing it again, hides idioms.
           - 派複 (Derivatives, Compounds) [English - Japanese] only
             Pressing this button displays derivative or compound terms in
             light blue as seperate entries.  Pressing it again, hides 
             derivative terms.
           - ジャンプ (Jump)
             This can be used to jump to the entries for certain 
             related words within an entry.  Using the two arrow-bearing
             keys on the pop-up menu, you will be able to scroll up or
             down through selectable words in an entry.  The word in
             blue brackets on the viewscreen will also appear in the center
             of the touchscreen.
                   Choosing "A" will send you to the relevant entry in
                             the English-Japanese dictionary
                   Choosing "B" will close the Jump menu
             Unfortunately, it is impossible to jump to any dictionary but 
             English-Japanese.  Terms for which "Jump" is not relevant will
             simply not allow the option.
           - 文字 (Character Size)  
             This area has two selectable buttons: 小 (small) and 大 (large)
             These two buttons will allow you to scale up or scale down the 
             size of the characters displayed on the viewscreen.
           - Voice
             This option, denoted by a button with a blue speaker will trigger
             the voice playback of any pronunciation-enabled English entries.  
           - Help
             This option, denoted by a button with a blue question mark will
             trigger the Japanese tutorial program.  It covers essentially the
             same material covered here under two buttons:
                 楽引の使い方 How to use the program
    	     ボタンの説明  Button Explanation
             Pressing "B" will close the tutorial screen.
           - Scrollbar
    	 On the far right of the touchscreen is a scrollbar that can
             be manipulated by the stylus to scroll up and down the page
             within each entry.	 
    II.                       E A S T E R    E G G S
    + Nintendo Dictionary +
    There are a number of Nintendo-related definitions hidden in "Ikkatsu" mode.
    The definitions give a bit of history on various Nintendo terms and make a
    certain nostalgic sound when triggered.
    Known hidden definitions:
    + Game and Watch Omake +
    A number of classic Game and Watch games are available for play through
    certain relevant entries.  Known bonus games and their search-terms are as
    MANHOLE   <OR>   マンホール
    JUDGE     <OR>   ジャッジ
    BALL      <OR>   ボール
    FLAGMAN   <OR>   フラッグマン
    III.          F R E Q U E N T L Y   A S K E D    Q U E S T I O N S
    Q.  Is there an English menu?
    A.  No.  This is a Japanese release of software targetted 
        almost exclusively at a Japanese audience.  Menus, interface
        and the manual are entirely in Japanese.
    Q.  I want to learn Japanese?  Will this program teach me?
    A.  This is not a Japanese-instruction program and the few Japanese
        instructional features included cater to an already-fluent
        Japanese audience.  While potentially useful for reference,
        this program will not "teach you" Japanese.  Nor is it 
        recommended for beginners.
    Q.  How much Japanese do I need to know to be able to use this 
    A.  As long as you can navigate the menus, the Japanese-English
        dictionary portion can be useful to just about anyone learning
        Japanese or living in Japan long-term.  The price tag is a bit
        steep and the learning curve a bit too high to be practical
        for casual learners or total beginners, but if you want an
        electronic dictionary, this is a much more cost-effective first
        choice than one of the standalone units.
    Q.  Should I buy this or a standalone electronic dictionary?
    A.  Honestly, that's your call.  There are a number of pros and cons
        to both courses of action.  This program is certainly the 
        more cost-effective investment, as most electronic dictionaries
        will cost you upwards of $150.00.  Stylus interface is even
        pricier and may knock you into the $200-300 range.  On the 
        other hand, this program includes no English-English dictionary,
        no English-language interface, already-obselete versions of 
        dictionaries originally published in Japan with ocaisionally
        awkward translations.  The flashcard features are phenomenal,
        but only if you're going to use them.
    Q.  I already have a standalone dictionary.  Is there any reason to
        buy this too?
    A.  Again, it's up to you (and depends on the features you existing
        dictionary has).  Though, if you're looking to use your DS to
        study Japanese, this program is probably one of your best bets.
        The bookmark feature and customized vocabulary lists/flashcards
        are quite nice features.
    Q.  Will this program come to the US/EU/AUS in English?
    A.  I doubt it.  While English is compulsory in Japanese schools,
        Japanese is still rather rare as a second-language in the US,
        Canada, Australia and England.  Even if the demand were there, 
        so many of the features here would need to be retooled or 
        replaced entirely that it seems more practical to start from
        scratch with an entirely new program geared more toward English-
    Q.  Will this program run on my DS?
    A.  DS software is not region-coded.  This program will run on a 
        DS from any region.
    IV.                              C R E D I T S
    FAQ and translations by tsurara.
    This FAQ has been written up with the help of the original program
    instruction manual: 52 pages of dry technical writing.
    I would like to thank Nintendo (over and over and over) for glossing said
    manual in furigana.
    Last but not least: thank you to Morimoto S. for her help figuring out what
    the heck the "ikkatsu" function was supposed to accomplish.
    Release specifics from:
    Omake Information from:

    View in: