Anyone who’s looking for a good dictionary should check out Amazon Japan. There are super cheap copies of old editions of Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, aka the Green Goddess. It’s famous for loads of usage examples. The old edition is also good for beginners since entries are listed in alphabetical order. It’s a steal at 786 yen.
I would be remiss if I didn’t provide this link (via Wikipedia) to Tom Gally’s writings. He worked on the fifth edition of the dictionary. You can read specifically about the dictionary here, here, here and here.
Would you recommend a paper based dictionary over an online one?
I’d snap this up, though I don’t have a credit card (only debit), so Amazon.co.jp purchases are off the agenda for me. Shame, because by the sounds of it, it could be a fantastic resource.
Kenkyusha does have an online version, and judging from Tom Gally’s pages, they’re adding 300-500 new words to the dictionary every month. I think it’s subscription based…not sure how much it costs. I actually use it at work (they have a subscription) and can say that it’s an impressive resource.
If you can get your hands on a Green Goddess, I’d definitely recommend it, especially at $8. The one problem is that it’s huge. Definitely not portable. Supposedly there are portable electronic versions of it…I should look into that myself.
Wait, are you saying that the new edition doesn’t list words in alphabetical order? That’s a pretty bold design decision for a dictionary.
Ah, should have been more specific. The Fifth Edition lists words in あいうえお order, and the words are in hiragana. The Fourth Edition lists the words in romaji in alphabetical order.
Yeah, a dictionary with words out of alphabetical order sounds like something out of The Phantom Tollbooth.
@Nick – Amazon Japan do cash on delivery for a fee of a few hundred yen. You shouldn’t need a credit card if you want to get something from Amazon.