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.
For more details and user comments, view the versions of this application
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