Tangorin is a free, online Japanese/English dictionary with lots of features and a fast interface.
- Free to use!
- Very responsive and snappy site.
- Uses lots of specialized dictionaries for more technical words
- Furigana available for the kanji-impaired.
- Ability to create word lists and export to Anki.
- Uses the sometimes-inaccurate EDICT dictionary.
- Pulls example sentences from the sometimes-inaccurate Tatoeba.
There are a lot of online Japanese dictionaries out there right now, which is great because you’ve got a lot of options. But it also means that it’s becoming harder and harder to know which ones are good and know how they’re different, especially since so many share the same basic dictionary (Jim Breen’s EDICT/JMDict).
Snappy, Slick Search
Fortunately, there’s a lot to love about Tangorin that makes it stand out from all the rest. First of all, what I love about Tangorin is how it’s so responsive. Definitions pop up almost instantly, without the page having to load.
The search is very streamlined in other ways, too. You don’t need to specify whether you’re searching in Japanese or English (Tangorin figures it out on its own), and there are a lot of search options. The whole process is very slick.
And for you Anki junkies out there: Tangorin has a feature that lets you can save create word lists and export them to Anki. Considering that Anki is the weapon of choice for a lot of learners of Japanese, this is very, very helpful.
Best of all, the creator of Tangorin, a chap named Bober, is extremely receptive to feature suggestions and is pretty active on the forums. It’s encouraging to see that the creator is still so involved and so passionate about improving on an already fantastic website.
Not everything is all sunshine and rainbows, though. Like I mentioned before, Tangorin uses Jim Breen’s EDICT/JMDict dictionary, and pulls example sentences from the Tatoeba project. Both of these projects are used by pretty much every free Japanese/English dictionary on the planet, but like we’ve written about before, they have their problems.
Even with the inherent flaws of EDICT and Tatoeba, Tangorin is so well designed that I’d highly recommend it to anybody looking for a free Japanese/English dictionary.