Tuesday, August 11, 2009

JeKai: A interesting little online Japanese dictionary of some obscure terms

In searching the internets for an explanation of the word ~かねる -kaneru in Japanese, I found the explanation I was looking for on a website called jeKai (pronounced jay-kai). Curious as to what I had just stumbled upon, I dug around a bit.

The site appears to have been actively largely in the early 2000s, but is still kept up by the person who was behind it, Tim Gally. Here's how jeKai describes what it's there for:
In May 2000, a group of volunteers throughout the world began creating an open, free, online Japanese-English dictionary. The form and content of the dictionary are decided by the participants in the project. Among its features are the following:
  • Definitions that explain the meaning of words as completely as possible
  • As many examples as possible of each word in real contexts
  • Photographs and other illustrations, especially for entries about uniquely Japanese things
  • No restrictions on the type or range of vocabulary
  • No restrictions on the length of entries
My guess is this little Web 1.0 project fell into disuse as Web 2.0 wiki-based sites made this kind of effort a lot easier, but the fact that it's still coming up in Google hits demonstrates its ongoing relevance.

It seems to have a lot of things that aren't adequately explained elsewhere, one of course being ~かねる -kaneru, but another you might find of interest is their list of Japanese baseball terms. There's a whole bunch of other stuff up there as well, so I'd recommend you Japanese learners to have a looksee.

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