Copyright (C) 2006 The Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group, Monash University.
The JMdict/EDICT project has as its goal the production of a freely available Japanese/English Dictionary in machine-readable form.
The project began in 1991 with the expansion of the "EDICT" simple Japanese-English dictionary file. (See below under History)
At present the project has the following dictionary files available:
An internal database is used to hold all the data associated with the project, and the files are generated from using conversion utility software.
The files are copyright, and distributed in accordance with the Licence Statement, which can found at the WWW site of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group who are the owners of the copyright.
The project's master database is continuously being updated and new versions of the file are generated daily. The date of generation is included in the header of the file.
The files are currently distributed via the Monash University ftp server, which also provides an rsync service.
The are several forums where this project is actively discussed.
The original forum was the sci.lang.japan Usenet newsgroup. More recently a mailing list specifically for project discussion has begun. (Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate subscription.)
The basic format of the entries in the dictionary files can be seen in detail by examining the DTD (Document Type Declaration) of the XML-format JMdict file. The DTD is heavily annotated with content and structural information.
In summary, each dictionary entry is independent, although there may be cross-reference fields pointing to other entries. Each entry consists of
The format and coding of the distributed files is as follows:
Where there are multiple senses, these are indicated by (1), (2), etc. before the first gloss in each sense. As this format only allows a single kanji headword and reading, entries are generated for each possible headword/reading combination. As the format restricts Japanese characters to the kanji and kana fields, any cross-reference data and other informational fields are omitted.
The EDICT file is distributed in JIS X 0208 coding in EUC-JP encapsulation;
The EDICT2 file is also distributed in JIS X 0208 coding in EUC-JP encapsulation;
None of the files have the entries in any particular order.
The project was begun in 1991 by the current editor (Jim Breen) when an early DOS-based Japanese word-processor (MOKE - Mark's Own Kanji Editor) was released, containing an initial small version of the EDICT file. This was progressively expanded and edited over the following years. In 1999 the EDICT, which by this time contained about 60,000 entries, was converted into an expanded format and the first XML-format JMdict file released. The EDICT2 format was created in 2003, primarily for use with the WWWJDIC dictionary server.
The growth in entries in the file is largely due to the efforts of Jim and the many people who contributed entries to it over the years. The increase in entry numbers has slowed as the file has achieved coverage of a large proportion of the Japanese lexicon. Much of the editorial work in recent years has concentrated on amendments and expansion to existing entries.
A more expanded explanation of the early developments in the EDICT file can be found in the original documentation.
Dictionary copyright is a difficult point, because clearly the first lexicographer who published "inu means dog" could not claim a copyright violation over all subsequent Japanese dictionaries. While it is usual to consult other dictionaries for "accurate lexicographic information", as Nelson put it, wholesale copying is, of course, not permissible, and contributors have been advised to avoid direct copying from other sources. What makes each dictionary unique (and copyright-able) is the particular selection of words, the phrasing of the meanings, the presentation of the contents (a very important point in the case of this project), and the means of publication.
The files of the project are copyright, and distributed in accordance with the Licence Statement, which can found at the WWW site of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group who are the current owners of the copyright. As explained in the licence, the files are available for use for most purposes provided acknowledgement and distribution of the documentation is made.
In general no inflections of verbs or adjectives have been included, except in idiomatic expressions. Adverbs formed from adjectives (e.g., -ku or -ni) are generally not included. Verbs are, of course, in the plain or "dictionary" form.
Composed forms, such as adverbs taking the "to" particle, keiyoudoushi adjectives, etc. are only included in their root from, however the part-of-speech (POS) marker is used to indicate their status.
Nouns which can form a verb withe the auxiliary verb "suru" only appear in their noun form, but have a POS marker: "vs", to indicate the existence of a verbal form. In general the gloss only relates to the noun itself, but entries are being progressively expanded to include the verbal glosses as well.
The following POS markings are currently used:
adj adjective (keiyoushi) adj-na adjectival nouns or quasi-adjectives (keiyodoshi) adj-no nouns which may take the genitive case particle `no' adj-pn pre-noun adjectival (rentaishi) adj-t `taru' adjective adv adverb (fukushi) adv-n adverbial noun adv-to adverb taking the `to' particle aux auxiliary aux-v auxiliary verb aux-adj auxiliary adjective conj conjunction exp Expressions (phrases, clauses, etc.) id idiomatic expression int interjection (kandoushi) iv irregular verb n noun (common) (futsuumeishi) n-adv adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi) n-pref noun, used as a prefix n-suf noun, used as a suffix n-t noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi) neg negative (in a negative sentence, or with negative verb) neg-v negative verb (when used with) num numeric pref prefix prt particle suf suffix v1 Ichidan verb v5 Godan verb (not completely classified) v5aru Godan verb - -aru special class v5b Godan verb with `bu' ending v5g Godan verb with `gu' ending v5k Godan verb with `ku' ending v5k-s Godan verb - iku/yuku special class v5m Godan verb with `mu' ending v5n Godan verb with `nu' ending v5r Godan verb with `ru' ending v5r-i Godan verb with `ru' ending (irregular verb) v5s Godan verb with `su' ending v5t Godan verb with `tsu' ending v5u Godan verb with `u' ending v5u-s Godan verb with `u' ending (special class) v5uru Godan verb - uru old class verb (old form of Eru) vi intransitive verb vk kuru verb - special class vs noun or participle which takes the aux. verb suru vs-i suru verb - irregular vs-s suru verb - special class vt transitive verb vz zuru verb - (alternative form of -jiru verbs)
A number of entries are marked with a specific field of application. Current fields and tags are:
Buddh Buddhist term MA martial arts term comp computer terminology food food term geom geometry term gram grammatical term ling linguistics terminology math mathematics mil military physics physics terminology
X rude or X-rated term abbr abbreviation arch archaism ateji ateji (phonetic) reading chn children's language col colloquialism derog derogatory ek exclusively kanji fam familiar language fem female term or language gikun gikun (meaning) reading hon honorific or respectful (sonkeigo) language hum humble (kenjougo) language id idiomatic expression m-sl manga slang male male term or language male-sl male slang ng neuter gender obs obsolete term obsc obscure term pol polite (teineigo) language rare rare uK word usually written using kanji alone uk word usually written using kana alone vulg vulgar expression or word
Okurigana variants in headwords are handled by including each variant form as a headword. This is to enable software to match with variant forms.
As far as possible variants of English translation and spelling are included. Where appropriate different translations are included for national variants (e.g. autumn/fall, tap/faucet, etc.). Common spelling variations such as -our/-or and -ize/-ise are handled either by repeating the gloss in both spellings or appending spelling variants in parentheses. No attempt is made to tag English spellings according to country of usage.
For gairaigo which have not been derived from English words, the source language and the word in that language are included. Languages have been coded in the two-letter codes from the ISO 639:1988 "Code for the representation of names of languages" standard, e.g. "(fr: avec)". In the case of gairaigo which have a meaning which is not apparent from the original (usually English) words, the words in the source language are included as: (trans: original words).
In addition to the language codes described in Appendix C, a number of tags are used to indicate that a word or phrase is associated with a particular regional language variant within Japan. The tags are:
kyb Kyoto-ben osb Osaka-ben ksb Kansai-ben ktb Kantou-ben tsb Tosa-ben
Contribution of new entries and amendments to existing entries is most welcome. A special WWW page is available for this purpose.
A number of other Japanese dictionary projects are closely related to this one. Among them are:
Since 1991 a large number of people have contributed to this project; far too many to list here. All their contributions have been most welcome, indeed without the assistance of speakers and students of Japanese this project would not have achieved as much.
Some publications by Jim Breen about the EDICT/JMdict project:
APPENDIX A. LANGUAGE CODES FROM ISO 639
The following language codes have been used with non-English derived gairaigo. They have been derived from the ISO 639:1988 "Code for the representation of names of languages" standard.
ar Arabic zh Chinese (Zhongwen) de German (Deutsch) en English fr French el Greek (Ellinika) iw Hebrew (Iwrith) ja Japanese ko Korean nl Dutch (Nederlands) no Norwegian pl Polish ru Russian sv Swedish bo Tibetan (Bodskad) eo Esperanto es Spanish in Indonesian it Italian lt Latin pt Portugese hi Hindi ur Urdu mn Mongolian kl Inuit (formerly Eskimo)
And the following, which are not in the Standard, are used: