I’m interested in a ebook reader that you can use yomi Chan or some kind of korean and Japanese dictionary with so I can read on the go. I never had an ebook reader before so for those who have one, what did you guys use as a criteria to find a good one? For people with ereaders, how’s your experience with them? Any recommendation I could look into? I’m more concerned with the Korean ebooks since it seems harder to transfer them into a good ereader.
Kindle (e.g. Paperwhite) has free dictionaries and you can add your own dictionaries, and in Japanese (I don’t know Korean) it handles de-conjugation fairly well. It’s a bit slow sometimes, but overall my experience is positive.
That said, Amazon is really strict with DRM and use their own custom file formats. Historically it’s been possible to remove the DRM (and still is for me at least), but they crack down more every year. So given that you want to read in both Japanese and Korean (I assume), Kindle may not be the best choice since you can only use one Amazon account at a time (e.g. Amazon Japan or Amazon Korea (if that even has decent content) but not both at the same time). While technically you could log in and out of each as necessary, each time you log out all the content is wiped, so it might be more hassle than it’s worth.
You’re probably best buying an e-reader that has a lot of flexibility (perhaps one with a full Android OS) and buying your books from shops with easily cracked DRM so you can transfer everything to your e-reader at your convenience. Sorry I can’t make any specific suggestions on that.
I think your best and most budget friendly bet is probably going to be an e-ink tablet or ebook reader running android.
Amazon doesn’t have Korean ebooks so their devices are basically out in terms of ease of use if you want both languages (there’s probably some way to crack the file formats and import a Korean dictionary to kindle but I’m not sure about that myself).
An android tablet would let you download the kindle app for Japanese books and then various apps for Korean such as RIDI or Google play books and have them all on one device. You would also have a browser built in for theoretically using yomi Chan (I don’t use yomi Chan so I don’t know how the set up would be on a tablet ) so it covers all your bases. I would just note though, if you think you’ll do more reading in a browser versus ebook apps, maybe consider something that doesn’t have an e-ink screen (in other words, a normal tablet) as I believe they have a slower screen refresh rate so the user experience may be laggy and frustrating?
I personally do my digital reading for both languages on an iPad, which isn’t really a dedicated ebook reader, but it gets the job done (and has since my Korean was a lower level).
I hope that was helpful or gives you some leads to research further.
I use a second hand Surface Go 3. It’s a similar price to a mid/high end e-ink device but it gives me a lot of flexibility (It’s just Windows after all).
That allows me to use this with yomichan:
You can go even cheaper if you go for an older model, but as you go older, the battery might start to wear off. Currently for my Surface Go 3, the battery outlasts 2-3x my reading stamina, so there’s that.
You can also power it via USB-C or the magnetic plug with an external battery with PD, so it’s not a big deal.
There’s probably cheap alternatives in this market, but the Go allows you to also get a pen which makes highlighting words easier.
Worth noting that the kindle app on iPhone and Windows (so I assume Android) doesn’t handle de-conjugation (I think only kindle e-readers support this). This means you could use the built in dictionary to look up nouns and others words in their dictionary form, but you couldn’t look up verbs or adjectives in other forms. You could surely switch to another dictionary app as needed, but that would take away some of the convenience.
That’s not an argument against an Android tablet, just a strike against using the kindle app.
I use a cheap android tablet, with kiwi browser (which allows the use of yomichan) and the ttu reader Megumin already mentioned above.
Unless your heart is set on e-ink (or your eyes can’t handle normal screens), I would highly recommend just going for a cheap android tablet due to it’s flexibility/options.
I also have an ipad for drawing and note taking. That’s why I’m kind of reluctant to get an android tablet as compared to an ebook reader. I’m mainly just looking for a way to get the pop up dictionary feature for korean books. How do you use your ipad to read your korean books?
Sure, happy to show you.
For RIDI books:
The RIDI books app has Naver dictionary support built into it. You just need to have the Naver dictionary app installed on the same device and then you can use it as a pop up dictionary similar to how you would on a Kindle.
You just highlight the word you want to look up and select 검색…
Naver will open and you can select between KR - KR or KR - EN (or whatever language you want, if Naver has it). It also displays the 한자, example sentences and the 받침 (in the KR - KR dictionary only).
For Google books:
Select the word or text you want to translate and select the button that looks like 文A.
A box pops up showing the translation in your language of choice.
Google translate isn’t really amazing for Korean but if you’re stuck, it can provide you enough context to understand what’s going on. Using the KR - JP function is helpful if you need hints about the meaning from the 한자 too.
That sounds great. I didn’t know that ridibooks was connected to Naver dictionary. Maybe I’ll try it out one of these days. For google books, I just realized I could use apple’s built in dictionary with it this morning. But it unfortunately doesn’t work well with conjugations. I didn’t really use the translation option before. I’m going to try reading more with the methods you suggested and see if I like it.
Nice! I hope you can find a method that works for you - the transition from reading in Japanese to Korean can be rough due to the available tools and apps being different.
A tip for conjugations - use google translate to translate the verb into Japanese to see what the Japanese conjugation/助動詞 is. A lot of Korean verb endings are more or less one to one the same meaning/grammatical as the Japanese ones so your Japanese grammar knowledge can help you here. The translation won’t be accurate 100% of the time but it’s something. Or worst case just google the ending and の文法 to see what it would be in Japanese.