Japanese on Westen Palms
About PalmDict 1.8
This project is the result of a private 4 year project on a japanese/english dictionary on the PalmOS-plattform. Over the years support for German/French/Russian dictionary was also added, together with a tool to select japanese characters via their radicals Radicals. The purpose of PalmDict is to looks up a japanese word in kanji or hiragana or a foreign word in the selected dictionary. There are two other programs for the PalmOS plattform with a similar function: Dokusha, which is mainly focussed on learning and PADict, which is very similar to PalmDict. However, there are differences.
PalmDict is lightening fast, finds matching phrases within the whole entry, displays multiple entries on the same screen, uses very little memory (works reasonably even with a little over 1MB), supports large multiple dictionaries (in german/english/french/russian), supports the system search feature and high resolution screens and finally has a much easier user interface (in my opinion, of course). Things which I missed with one or the other programs. Moreover, dictionaries can be also installed and searched directly on extension cards (a little slower of course but saving main memory). Version 1.7 and higher will work on any device with PalmOS>3.0, using either built in japanese fonts, Unicode, or own high resolution fonts with customs display routines. The custom display routines are still in beta stage, and may look strange when exotic color schemes are used.
Very important for me was a nice Palm-philosophy compatible simple user interface. Since the program can find out easily if kanji, kana, cyrillic or ASCII has been entered, different input modes are not neccessary and might confuse the user. Of course, for western Palms there are methods for entering hiragana, katakana, cyrillic, and latin too for japanese machines. Also the standard edit menu copy and paste commands work as expected even with the customs display routines. Then the system search feature is supported. The latter is very useful to look up a word when working in a different program. Again, just enter a word and search, fast and easy.
But some thing will never come: PalmDict is a bare dictionary, not a kanji trainer. Thus, it will never display things light stroke order or support flash cards. Some of the basic kanji functionality can be found on Radicals, especially more information about kanjis. But for more advanced learning tools, I suggest you to check the other programs mentioned above.
Japanese on Westen Palms
About Radicals 1.8
To find/input kanjis in PalmDict a second programm named Radicals exists. It searches kanji by their radicals (or graphem) or stroke count. A graphem is a subunit of a kanji. A simple example would be 吐 which contains the two graphems 口 and 土.
So to search the above kanji, on would select just these two graphems. Since many more kanjis match this combination, the results are displayed in a list ordered by the number of strokes needed to draw the kanjis. If a kanji from this list is selected, a form will pop up with further informations about this kanji, including the reading and meaning.
(The latter only If the kanji is found in the kanji database.)
By copying this kanji is pasted to the clipboard and can then be looked up in the PalmDict dictionary program. Susequently copying append japanese character(s) to the clipboard. This way complete words can be composed and then looked up in a dictionary like PalmDict. This was actually the main reason why this program was written.
The kanji information is available in many languages: in english (-en), german (-de), spain (-es) and for the 2000 most used also in portuguese (-pt).
Since Radicals uses the same routines and data from PalmDict, the dictionary program should be be installed. Otherwise there will be no support for latin on japanese devices and no native character support for chinese devices.
Japanese on Westen Palms
Download & Installation
PalmDict and Radicals should work with any OS-Version higher than 2.0, but they have been tested only with 3.1 and higher. Program versions higher than 1.7 require PalmOS 3.0 or higher for font support.
Recommended downloads are:
Of course you need to download the programs, i.e. PalmDict and Radicals.
If you device cannot display japanese, you will need a japanese font or else only hiragana will be shown. There are several free japanese fonts to choose from. If you own J-OS or yomeru you probably have already elisa.prc (or even better s8_jos.prc) installed. For larger kanjis I would recommend an additional 10 or 12 pixel font. In the moment only two fonts are supported.
Depending on screen resolution, the following fonts are recommended:
Radcials will use the larger font for graphem display!
- Sizes should be 10, 12 and 16 pixel. However, 16 pixel for the large font and 8 pixel might also look ok.
- Recommended are 12, 16 and 20 pixel.
- Recommended are 16, 20 and 24 pixel.
Of course you could install larger fonts, but then you will see only very few lines of text. The font generation programm supports the following sizes: 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 24, 32, 40, and 48. But beware, a 48 pixel font will consume about 1.9 MB! Furthermore, on a standard Palm only two lines will fit on the screen. The fonts must be installed in main memory. If you have MS Windows and japanese TrueType fonts or found a unix bdf which is not included, then you can generate your own fonts using font2pdb. Just play a little which the parameters.
Finally, for PalmDict you need a dictionary. In the moment there are six dictionary to choose from:
More information can be found in the dictionary page.
You can install the dictionaries on external cards as well as in main memory. Dictionaries on external cards will be searched directly there, using no extra main memory. Because access to external cards is way slower than to main memory, a search may take up to 10s under worst case conditions (usual is 1-3s). Beware the installation on old Sony devices: In the emulator dictionaries in the standard backup directory are not always found. But installing via the hotsync utility will always work on any device. If the dictionaries are not found, make sure they are in the /Palm/Launcher/ directory, which is the default path for the hotsync utility anyway.
- ddict_sub.pdb A german japanese with the most common terms.
- ddict.pdb The full german japanese (same size as edict).
- edict_sub.pdb An english japanese with the most common terms.
- edict.pdb The full english japanese.
- fdict.pdb A french japanese with the most common terms.
- rdict.pdb A very small russian japanese dictionary.
Japanese on Westen Palms
Displaying Japanese on Western Palms (for free)
First, to use PalmDict or Radicals this is not needed, you will need this only to display japanese text and menues in other programs. Even more, Yomeru interferes in the way the custom drawing routines display umlaute. (It replaces custom fonts!) However, J-OS and also CJKOS are working fine.
The best way to japanize your Palm is to use a professional software. There are two programs on the market, J-OS V and CJKOS for all devices. The first is only for japanese, while the latter is for Chinese/Japanese/Korean and thus larger and more limited in input (imho). CJKOS offers a free 30 day trial, so check it out.
PalmOS<5 and 160x160 screens
To display japanese on western Palms the installation of a program is neccessary. One of these programs is J-OS, mentioned above. The current commercial version is 4.5, however the stable and smaller free version 1.9 for monochrome devices with PalmOS<=3.3 is still available somewhere. The old location was at http://www.tt.rim.or.jp/~tatsushi/jos19.zip.
If you only want to display Kanjis, or you are using a color Palm or OS 3.5 or later, the much smaller yomeru might be enough for you, although after installing umlaute may not display correctly.
Palm with OS>=5 or high resolution screens
Some instructions were written by Jürgen Gluch in the Japanlink-Forum in German. Here a short translation.
You will need Yet another Hack manager and Yomeru5. To change fonts, you might need FontHackV.
For Input get DA launcher 5.0 and some other desk accessories (DA).
- Use a japanese front-end processor like PO-Box and a suitable dictionary.
- Draw directly hiragana using HiroHira DA, in my opinion the most appealing method.
- Direct input via JIS table JIS kanji code DA. A certain kanji would be hard to find; however, if found one probably see lots of kanjis with similar radicals.
- Input via a special key kombination (seemed hard to me) UR-HardKey DA.