If you study Japanese long enough, you will likely considering getting a Japanese dictionary. While there are many free dictionary sites that you can find online, it never beats the idea of having your own copy of dictionary by your side.
Online dictionary sites provide only basic definition of the words that you are searching. They usually don't give examples on how to use the words in different contexts. It's also difficult to search for meanings of common Japanese phrases using the online version.
In my case, after studying for half a year, I found that my knowledge of Japanese words were limited to those taught in the lessons. Without enough vocabulary, you tend to repeat using the same set of words when creating your own sentences. That's when I started thinking of getting my own Japanese dictionary.
I bought my first paperback Japanese English Dictionary after doing some research. It's the Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese (ふりがな和英・英和辞典).
This dictionary lets you check the meanings of words from Japanese to English and English to Japanese.
Although this dictionary is also split into two, namely, Japanese to English version and English to Japanese version and sold separately, I still prefer this dictionary which combined two versions together.
Below are some advantages and disadvantages of owning a paperback dictionary:
Although paperback dictionary is better as compared to the online version, it's still cannot quench my thirst for more vocabulary. Moreover, I was so passionate about the language that I would like to know what the words meant immediately wherever I went. But I couldn't carry the dictionary around because of its bulkiness.
The solution to solve the above problem was to get a handy Japanese electronic dictionary.
Below are some advantages and disadvantages of owning an electronic dictionary:
The electronic dictionary may cost more than the paperback version. But if you consider the advantages it provides, it's definitely worth paying the higher price. I highly recommend those who are passionate about learning Japanese to get a Japanese electronic dictionary. At least get a cheaper model if you can afford it.
If you really cannot afford an electronic dictionary at the moment, get the paperback Japanese English dictionary. It will benefit you in learning Japanese.
And because kanji is an important part of Japanese language, you might want to get a copy of kanji dictionary too.