WWWJDIC in Japanese

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The "WWWJDIC in Japanese" project is aimed at extending the WWWJDIC server to have its interface and messages (optionally) available in Japanese as well as in English. The project began in 2007 and has only made limited progress to date (July 2008).

The option to use WWWJDIC in Japanese is set via the Customize/カスタマイズ option on the menu bar. (If you want to invoke the Japanese version without changing the settings, there is a hard-wired version.)

How It's Done

The main approach that is being followed parallels that of most internationalized software. The strings of text that are displayed on the WWWJDIC screen are progressively being pulled out of the WWWJDIC server code and instead placed into a special messages file. They look like this:

11      en      Translate Words
11      jp      単語翻訳
12      en      Word Search/Home
12      jp      単語検索/トップ

Messages are referenced by the number, and the version is displayed according to the user's settings. The current active messages can be seen here. A recent copy is also on the WWWJDIC Messages page. (Other languages can be added as the translations become available.)

Where there is a significant amount of text, e.g. on the foot of the Home Page, language-specific files are used. In the case of the Home Page text they are called "home_skel.en" and "home_skel.jp", and are selected according to the user's settings.

The method being used can easily be extended to other languages.


Contributions in the form of suitable Japanese versions of the text strings in WWWJDIC are eagerly sought. In particular, contributions from native speakers of Japanese and others with strong skills in written Japanese will be most welcome.

Contributions can be made several ways:

  • via this Wiki. The English and Japanese text for each page is being placed on the WWWJDIC Japanese Pages page, where it can be edited and discussed;
  • via the edict-jmdict mailing list;
  • by email to Jim Breen (jimbreen@gmail.com). I (Jim) will place contributions on the Wiki.

As contributions are received and accepted, they will be incorporated into the running WWWJDIC system.