Quick! What Does ‘Defenstrate’ Mean??

March 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Have you ever been obsessed with finding the definition of a word? That’s my obsession of late. Most normal people wait until they get a hold of a Webster’s dictionary or just Google the meaning, but I’m far less patient. Because whether I’m hiking in the forest or taking a bath, I yearn for an extended source of knowledge right at my fingertips…

…and there you have it: the Casio XD-GP9700, a brainy little device for locating that word sitting on the tip of your tongue whether it be in English or Japanese.

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It’s the latest of a long line of electronic dictionaries, gaining in popularity as they get smaller, lighter and smarter. My current Casio dictionary is about ten years old and as I search for more difficult words I realize it’s definitely time for an upgrade. With over a dozen dictionaries installed, this new Casio contains ten times the information.

Equipped with a stylus pen, you can search a word by drawing either the kanji (Chinese character) or the Roman alphabet (the ABCs). It can also pronounce words aloud and has a memory card slot to upload more learning software.

Whenever I run into Japanese exchange students I always spot their electronic dictionaries in hand. These days, most people consult their iPhones for random information, but when you’re a serious student you’ll realize even the internet has its limits. That’s why electronic dictionaries remain popular even against the World Wide Web. It’s a no-frills book of knowledge. It doesn’t even come with a color screen. It’s simply about getting the information and accessing it quickly.

Next time I’m in Japan, I’m planning to buy the newest Casio. Retail price hovers around $500, but the knowledge is priceless.

Himawari

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