Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to search for Kanji characters?

A friend of mine asked me about what a tea was based only on pictures of the Japanese writing on the tea bag. How can I do that? I knew it was Kanji, or the Chinese style of writing, but I had no idea what to do. Looked for online Kanji character recognition, Kanji character list, etc. Nothing really worked. Until I accidentally (half through painstaking translation) bumped into nciku! Why, of course, you idiot! If they are Chinese style characters, wouldn't you be able to find an online dictionary for Chinese, not Japanese characters?

Well, nciku has a nice feature called "Handwrite Characters" which pretty much allowed me to translate the rest of the text. But the trick is to take the recognized character, then go to... Wikipedia! Because you don't really need the Chinese translation, but the Japanese one. You get the translation and the use and other useful things.

So, use nciku for online Japanese Kanji/Chinese character recognition. Yatta! :)