The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide is the first-ever reference work to group together kanji characters that are related in meaning (share the same concept). Arranged alphabetically by concept, these groupings let users focus on the often-subtle differences and similarities between them.
The words of a language form a closely linked network of interdependent units. The meaning of a word or expression cannot really be understood unless its relationships with other closely related words are taken into account. For example, such words as 'kill," "murder," and "execute" share the meaning of ‘put to death’, but differ considerably in usage and connotation. Similarly, in Japanese there are many kanji that share a common meaning but differ in detail, such as 破 BREAK, 崩 CRUMBLE, 壊 BREAK DOWN and 折 BREAK OFF. Intermediate and advanced learners of Japanese need to distinguish between such similar kanji in order to gain a full understanding of their individual shades of meaning.
The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide helps the learner gain this full understanding by allowing one to compare the character meanings and illustrative compounds of the synonym group members to each other, providing a deeper understanding of their (often subtle) differences and similarities.
Like The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, and all of Jack Halpern's previous publications, The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide is an innovative, authoritative, and impeccably-prepared resource that helps Japanese language learners deepen their knowledge of written Japanese, and provides educators, scholars, writers, and translators with an invaluable reference tool.
* 1,245 synonym groups, arranged alphabetically by shared concept
* Covers 5,630 synonym members from the Jōyō Kanji, Jinmei Kanji, and non-Jōyō Kanji characters sets
* Nearly 21,000 compounds illustrate the function of kanji as word elements
* Compound words and readings in hiragana
* Ability to search using ON-KUN readings of characters and/or compounds, and core meanings
* No Internet connection required
* History and bookmarks
The CJK Dictionary Institute is directed by Jack Halpern, editor of the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary and The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, now standard reference works.
Be sure to check out our other dictionary apps available for iOS (search for "cjki").
Romaji support added. You can now search using romanized Japanese, or have the option to have readings displayed in romaji via the app's settings.
Ratings and Reviews
An amazing app
This app is amazing. It contains almost all the kanji you’ll typically see, and the groupings are very logical and give a good overview of the differences between similar kanji. You also get a sense of connectedness between different characters that makes Japanese feel like a network of meaning rather than a collection of confusingly similar terms in a dictionary.
I hope in the future there will be more characters. I notice that some of the example jukugo words provided don’t have both of the characters defined, but these are somewhat rare.
If CJKI were ever to release a EJJE dictionary intended for English speakers (contrary to the vast number of existing ones oriented towards Japanese learners of English), I would buy it right away. Something with multi-word definitions rather than simple translations would be nice too, but beggars can’t be choosers.
At any rate, thank you for your hard work in compiling these amazing, quality resources for Japanese learners.
Accidentally bought the bundle but really like this synonym app. The apps are a bit confusing at first though.
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- The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc.
- 23.8 MB
- Requires iOS 9.3 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 9.3 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 9.3 or later.
- Requires macOS 11 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- © 2018 The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.