Japanese?

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Z-Lo said:
Think about the Japanese market. They've got money to spend on this kind of thing. I am pretty aware of the Chinese learning materials available for Japanese speakers, and I don't think there is any program to compete with Pleco. Just about every Japanese with an iPhone I know here in Shanghai (and I know a lot) uses the $47.99 dictionary by Shogakukan. I think Pleco outdoes it in features. The primary challenge would be the content - that is, procuring a very comprehensive dictionary. I think anything less wouldn't cut it for Japanese.
They've got the money but that also means a lot of competition - I don't think we could do as good a job of catering to the needs of Japanese people learning Chinese as a Japanese company could. Even if we managed to license some top-notch C<>J dictionaries, which is not an easy thing, the fact is that nobody here knows much Japanese and certainly nobody has the experience of learning Chinese as a native Japanese speaker, so we're never going to be able to understand / deal with the problems of a Japanese customer as well as a Japanese iPhone developer can. So I think that there are better places to put our limited capital and programmer time.

Z-Lo said:
And while we're at it, I would love to have the option to put the interface in Chinese. Have mentioned this to Mike before, and apparently it is problematic.
Yeah, basically because of the quantity of text (between the manual and the UI we're talking a full-length novel) and the speed with which it changes in new releases. If we ever manage to get our core UI to a place that we're relatively happy with, it might be easier to start thinking about localization then, but right now it would be spectacularly expensive and time-consuming and would delay every new Pleco release by a good week or so while we waited for the new / changed text to be translated.
 
Though I know it isn't Pleco's focus for various reasons, I've said it before, and I don't mind saying again that I for one will slap down my money as soon as there are some Japanese dictionaries available. I personally would buy the following:

Japanese > English
English > Japanese
Chinese > Japanese
Japanese > Chinese

My reason for this is because of Pleco's excellent search capabillities and numerous features and add-ons (Flashcards, OCR, document reader, etc.) which in my opinion combine to create the best dictionary/language learning application on the market. Unfortunately though, Pleco's superior capabilities and features are constrained solely to Chinese language learners. 

Sadly, I have downloaded many Japanese dictionary/language learning apps and have also paid for several, but the lack of features and generally poor quality of the dictionaries leaves a lot to desire and constantly reminds one of the features available in Pleco. 
 
ZhuGeLiang said:
What I like most about Pleco is actually the reader.
Is there any solution for japanese? Iphone app? Wordtank?
Yes, Pleco's reader is definitely something unique. I don't know about Android, but it is so much more versatile on the iPhone than what it used to be on Windows Mobile or the other nearly disappeared Palm OS.
If you have the time and capital to develop Japanese, this is one the capabilities that should be heavily promoted.

羅維文
Henry
 

Z-Lo

秀才
mikelove said:
They've got the money but that also means a lot of competition - I don't think we could do as good a job of catering to the needs of Japanese people learning Chinese as a Japanese company could. Even if we managed to license some top-notch C<>J dictionaries, which is not an easy thing, the fact is that nobody here knows much Japanese and certainly nobody has the experience of learning Chinese as a native Japanese speaker, so we're never going to be able to understand / deal with the problems of a Japanese customer as well as a Japanese iPhone developer can. So I think that there are better places to put our limited capital and programmer time.
Alright, but I just want to say that:

1. Pleco has German and French dictionaries (and they're free). A Japanese (C<>J) one is all I want... Just sayin...

2. The Japanese girl sitting next to me in class saw me creating flashcards from our vocabulary list straight from the book using the OCR and I proceeded to show her other Pleco features. She expressed disappointment that Pleco did not have Japanese. And she uses the expensive Shogakukan dictionary. Again, just sayin...
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Z-Lo said:
1. Pleco has German and French dictionaries (and they're free). A Japanese (C<>J) one is all I want... Just sayin...
C->J isn't the problem, it's J->C that requires a lot of new search engine code and (perhaps even worse) a redesign of our user interface to allow people to switch between more languages than just Chinese and English.

Z-Lo said:
2. The Japanese girl sitting next to me in class saw me creating flashcards from our vocabulary list straight from the book using the OCR and I proceeded to show her other Pleco features. She expressed disappointment that Pleco did not have Japanese. And she uses the expensive Shogakukan dictionary. Again, just sayin...
I'm not saying there's no market, just not that it's a market that we particularly need to get into. We're barely able to keep up an acceptable pace of development focusing exclusively on Chinese; if you don't have unlimited resources you need to focus on your core business, and I simply can't see a way to justify putting resources into a Japanese version when there are so many other interesting (and potentially lucrative) projects for us to work on with Chinese.
 

Z-Lo

秀才
Very well. I understand - it does seem like there would be some tricky issues with the search and interface... Looks like I will just have to get by with inferior C <> J dictionaries until some Japanese developer comes up with something like Pleco :(
 

HW60

状元
The Android App JED works for both Japanese > English (directly) and English > Japanese (by full text search). For Pleco you can build up your own dictionary using flashcards.
 
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