Top Secret Project with the Legendary Jim Breen Finished!
Well, it’s done, and it’s alive!
So what exactly am I going on about?
First, let me back up a second.
If you’re studying Japanese, you’ve encountered Jim Breen’s EDICT Japanese to English dictionary, whether directly at WWWJDIC or through another Japanese language learning tool. (Many popular Japanese language learning tools use EDICT.)
Having used the dictionary at WWWJDIC countless times during my Japanese studies, I’m a huge fan of the site. Last November, I contacted Mr. Breen about the possibility of working with him to provide Japanese audio clips of native Japanese speakers for the entire EDICT dictionary! Mr. Breen not only welcomed the project, but he also joined us in the trenches! (More on that in a bit.)
The Mission: Provide Audio Clips for EVERY entry in the ENTIRE EDICT dictionary!
To put the task into perspective, we’ve been teaching Japanese for 3 years and amassed an audio library of only 20,000 words. Mr. Breen’s Dictionary was 120,000+ at the time we undertook the project. Furthermore there were technological issues, coordination issues and the holiday season standing in our way, but last November we started.
And here’s what it took to get it done:
- 8 voice actors (taking shifts) going at it 5+ hours a day
- 3 audio engineers editing 10 hours a day on 2 continents
- The technology team working in the US, Japan, and Germany
- Mr. Breen himself joining us in the trenches from Australia, as he rolled up his sleeves to code.
- The support of the entire JapanesePod101.com team
- And probably a lot more people working behind the scenes
This project was a beast! But, 5 months later EVERY entry in EDICT has an audio clip!
The snag: EDICT, the Japanese Dictionary, keeps growing!
Just when the celebrating began, we got a nice and nasty reality check. You see, EDICT is constantly getting bigger, thanks to all the contributors out there. So when we started the project, the list was 123,000 words, the number of recordings we made!
EDICT is now 140,000 words! Thanks, contributors. :) So, unfortunately for our voice actors, it’s back to the studio. You can help by reporting missing words, so that we can record them.
Enough already with the behind the scenes stuff! How does it work?
Okay, okay. Yep, you want to test it out. Here is what you do:
- Head over to WWWJDIC
- Search for any word
- Where there is a clip available for an entry, a play button will appear at the start of the entry. Click this button to play the clip.
- Click the link to a lesson about the word (if available) on the JapanesePod101 site.
We would like to thank Mr. Breen, who has been supportive or our site since its inception, for giving us this opportunity. We hope that adding audio to EDICT will be a valuable tool for your Japanese studies.
Thank you to every one who contributed to the project. There were so many of you, and we know that it was very intense, especially with such a short deadline. We truly appreciate it.
Our main goal here at JapanesePod101.com is to provide Japanese students around the world with great learning tools. We hope that this enhancement will be a well-received addition.
We’re looking forward to your feedback!
Note: Premium members, you have access to all of this audio in the premium section of JapanesePod101.com.