Posts Tagged ‘changes in JMDict’

When the dictionary is updated…

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

The words you might have in groups and tests are often changed in the JMDict project, so there should be a way to control the update of the English dictionary. Another reason is that I want to add new features to zkanji that are more sensitive to such changes. I will soon release a beta tester version of the program which starts with a new dialog asking the user to check dictionary changes in the hope, that somebody will look at it and comment. (If nobody does you will get it unchanged, this is a warning :D)

This is the dialog that is shown on startup if the program detects changes that might affect your groups or tests. The items shown in the window are changes that happened in the JMDict project since January. As you can see the word ちゃんと was considerably modified, and if you had it in a group and updated with a previous version of zkanji, you would be in for a surprise, as the “perfectly, property, exactly” definition would have been changed to “diligently, seriously, earnestly, …”, which are not exactly matching meanings.

From the next zkanji you will be able to do the following:

  1. Use copy – This copies the word definitions untouched, overwriting the entry in the updated dictionary, so it will still have the old word definitions.
  2. Remove word data – If you decide that it doesn’t worth the trouble, you can simply throw out anything related to this word from your groups and tests. The new dictionary will keep the updated entry though.
  3. [Meanings that were in groups or tests and need change] and
  4. [Meanings of the same word in the updated dictionary] – You can go through all meanings that need change in 3. and select the corresponding meaning you want in the updated data from 4.
  5. Once you made your choice, click “Next word >>” and your choices are registered.
  6. There is also an “Abort” button (unnumbered on the picture). If you want, you will be able to skip this update and use the old data. But be aware that it will mean that you will keep using the old English dictionary, and this dialog will be shown again when you start the program the next time.

This is fine for words that can be found in the updated dictionary, but in some cases the words are changed in a way that the program cannot find the corresponding entry.

For example the word “bucket” was written as 馬穴 in the original English data. The new dictionary doesn’t have that word with such kanji, only with a written form of バケツ (same as its kana pronunciation). Because zkanji recognizes words by [written form]+[kana pronunciation], it will think that this word is not in the new dictionary, and if this were an older version, it would simply remove all traces of the word from any groups and tests the user added it to. In the next version you will be able to find another word in the dictionary that you think matches closely enough, and then press the “Select” button. Once you do that you will be presented with the previous page of meanings to select their corresponding definitions.

Only those words will be listed here that need user interaction so hopefully there won’t be more than 2-3 words needing update. There are currently 13 in this beta that piled up in 3 months, and I had all N3 marked words in groups, so it is not that much.

I believe that this update is important for future development so much, that once it is released, anyone using zkanji is recommended to download it. Not this one, but the version coming after this won’t run with your old user data! There is a lot of junk code to be thrown out that was in there for compatibility reasons, and I want to get rid of all of them.