Wakan is an English/Japanese, English/Chinese dictionary and automated translator. It also includes a character dictionary and has features such as creation of vocabulary lists.
The primary purpose of Wakan is to help students of Japanese or Chinese. It exploits
the fact that although the two languages are very different in structure,
grammar and pronunciation, they both use (at least partly) Chinese characters for
writing. So the central feature of Wakan - the character dictionary - can be used by students of either language. Since the program interface
is practically the same whether you use it in Japanese or Chinese mode, Wakan
is an ideal tool for students learning both languages, or for students who are primarily
learning only one but may want to have some insight into how a particular
character or character compound is used differently in the other.
One of the main goals of this project is to enable students to read Japanese or Chinese text
with minimum knowledge of the language. You can paste Japanese or Chinese text
from a website or a document into Wakan. While browsing through the text, Wakan displays not only the meaning of the word the cursor is on, but also displays
information about characters, adds furigana to text and allows you to print the
text with the furigana. When you encounter a word or character you would like
to learn, you can add it into vocabulary or get to know additional information about it.
When you enter some Japanese or Chinese text into the editor, Wakan automatically displays
relevant dictionary entries and lets you choose the right character conversion.
These features enable you to learn the language and build a vocabulary in a natural way: By coping with
the real texts written in the real way (with all the characters) without becoming
frustrated with the difficult writing system.