Longman Eiwa Jiten English-Japanese Dictionary

There are numerous bilingual dictionaries on the market and Longman’s Eiwa Jiten is one of the newer ones. It is specifically aimed at Japanese people who are studying English from High School level upwards, and unlike other dictionaries on the market it offers encyclopedic entries, thesaurus notes and useful grammar information. It lists some 102,000 […]
Reviewed for Teflnet by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi

There are numerous bilingual dictionaries on the market and Longman’s Eiwa Jiten is one of the newer ones. It is specifically aimed at Japanese people who are studying English from High School level upwards, and unlike other dictionaries on the market it offers encyclopedic entries, thesaurus notes and useful grammar information.

It lists some 102,000 English words along with 83,000 extensive example sentences. It also contains over 500 photos and illustrations throughout the dictionary and 15,000 synonyms and antonyms.

Vocabulary entries are color-coded indicating whether it is spoken or written English, countable or uncountable, British or American English; and if it is useful for the University Entrance examinations (JACET). Entries are then translated into detailed Japanese based on the Japanese corpus, giving numerous example sentences along with explanations of word usage. Entries are slightly longer and more detailed than the other bilingual dictionaries on the market. The dictionary also has an extensive verb list along with a grammar note section at the end of the book.

There is an Oral Communication section contained in the middle of the dictionary, which is sub-divided and states whether words and phrases are informal or formal, giving detailed examples and explanations. Following the communication section is a section dedicated to Essay Vocabulary and containing detailed example sentences for each entry in this section, which is of importance for students at High School and University level.

The dictionary itself is actually quite colorful and is very easy to use. The color-coding makes it easier to search for a word and understand its usage. Inside the front cover there is a detailed how-to-use page explaining everything one needs to know about the dictionary, albeit in Japanese. It is an extremely useful dictionary not only for Japanese people but also for higher-level students of Japanese.

Publisher: Longman

Reviewed by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi for TEFL.net July 2008

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