Australian software company Dependency has recently released its iPhone app EDICT with Grammar to the Apple store for $4.99. EDICT with Grammar is a Japanese-English dictionary built on the 20,000 most common words from the famous Monash University EDICT dictionary, but with an incredible twist – it understands the Japanese grammar rules so you don’t have to.
For beginners especially, one of the most frustrating aspects of using an electronic dictionary is needing to know the root word in order to look it up. But beginners don’t always know (or remember) enough grammar to work out the root word. So they’re stuck.
But when using EDICT with Grammar, users can enter the word just as it is… たべなかった (tabenakatta) and it will tell them straightaway that this is the past tense of the negative of たべる (taberu) meaning “to eat.”
Obviously, the user can search for English and romaji, but because the iPhone already comes with multiple keyboards the user can enter hiragana/katakana directly into the search as well by enabling their preferred Japanese keyboard. This makes it useful as a Japanese to English dictionary as well.
Enabling the built-in “Chinese Traditional Handwriting” keyboard also lets users draw a kanji directly on the screen of the phone and EDICT with Grammar will display the results in a fraction of a second. Searching for kanji also has wild card support, so searching for “日本？”will find all the three letter kanji combinations starting with 日本 – it will find 日本語、日本人、。。。Very handy when you only vaguely remember the kanji.