This is a cross-post because it's for a hardware recommendation that is specific to Japanese.

I am looking for a good 電子辞書 to suit my needs, so I posted on Hardware Recommendations Stack Exchange.

It is a request for a hardware recommendation, so I think that's the right sub-site for such a post. But seeing as HardwareRecs is still in beta right now, I doubt the user base there is big enough that a Japanese speaker with expertise on electronic dictionaries will stumble upon it. That's why I'm calling attention to it here on Japanese Meta.

If anyone can contribute a relevant answer or point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.

  • 1
    What is your native language? If it is one of Chinese/French/German/Spanish/Korean, then a second hand model for learning those may be an option too (There is a Russian, Italian version too, but possibly pricey). In any case, I think practically you would get one of Ex-Word, which monopolizes the market.
    – sundowner
    Sep 9, 2022 at 9:58
  • @sundowner This would be for a bilingual household (English & Japanese), with both native speakers and learners of the respective languages.
    – Mentalist
    Sep 12, 2022 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


I think Ex-word models with extended English contents should satisfy your criteria. To be specific, XD-SX4910 or XD-SX9800. As of now, the price of the former is around 26,000 JPY and that of the latter 36,000 JPY ('Very good' ones at 20,000 JPY) at amazon. Also the previous generation model XD-SR9800 of the latter costs around 10,000 JPY second hand.

Both contain E-E, E-J, J-E, J-J dictionaries with audio (for both languages). So it should be fine as regards 1,2,5,6 assuming US/UK English should not be an issue for Longman (or Oxford). I don't think I've seen models with American dictionaries.

They also have functionalities for 4 and 9. As for 7 and 9, it should be acceptable (it is durable but about battery I'm less sure). As for 3, I guess it should be straightforward except perhaps how to use flashcards or bookmarks.

  1. English dictionary data is US English
  2. Includes audio for English pronunciation (US English)
  3. Interface is easy and intuitive enough for an 8-year-old kid to use
  4. Japanese has handwriting input (via finger or stylus) for kanji lookup
  5. Includes English word definitions in English (not only Japanese translations)
  6. Includes Japanese word definitions in Japanese (not only English translations)
  7. Is durable and long-lasting
  8. Has good battery efficiency (doesn't require frequent replacement)
  9. An "add to favorites" word list (with flashcard functionality) would be a plus

Assuming you are in Tokyo, I'd recommend you check them in local shops. One thing in particular is handwriting recognition isn't quite good. But I don't think there is any alternative. So if you don't like them, you may want to buy it used (you may need to be a bit careful though). Any Ex-words with 9800 should have similar contents, but SR/SX ones have significantly better screens.

  • Thank you for the helpful information. I see there is also an XD-SX4800, an XD-SX4900 and an XD-SXN491 - do you know how these compare to the XD-SX4910 that you mentioned?
    – Mentalist
    Sep 12, 2022 at 10:43
  • 1
    I did find a webpage that compares a lot of different models. I will spend some time reading up on them. I'm still curious to get your feedback though, if you are able to comment.
    – Mentalist
    Sep 12, 2022 at 10:53
  • 1
    @Mentalist Roughly, it seems that 4800/4900 is one generation older XX10 is current. Also, 49XX models are aimed for high school students with more contents than 48XX. At least with regards to dictionaries of English to/from Japanese, they are not that different. Perhaps 49XX models have some Classical Japanese stuff that 98XX don't have. On the other hand 98XX have more English only dictionaries.
    – sundowner
    Sep 12, 2022 at 11:15

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