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Anyone know a good dictionary for technical Japanese? Specifically I'm looking for something with a math/electrical engineering focus. If there is a Japanese-Japanese dictionary of this kind, all the better.

Or would I be better off just buying a couple of math textbooks and powering through with a dictionary?

Edit: Online dictionaries are nice if you want to look up a couple of terms you've run into, but I'm looking for something that I can absorb in high volume. Nothing beats the random access of a paper book.

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This kind of question is off-topic and will probably be closed. Check the resources topic on Meta. –  istrasci Feb 26 '13 at 20:54
Positive support for this kind of question on meta: meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/726/… Comment on similar thread supporting topic scope: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/698/… Also, the resources topic has no entry for technical Japanese, so a question like this is constructive and stimulating, even if the result is eventually added there. –  Trevor Alexander Feb 26 '13 at 21:02
Your first link included a score tally in which the support was not particularly strong. (Note that downvotes are not factored in such a vote) Interestingly, your second link should have been closed as off-topic... and even if it wasn't, your question here should have been closed as a duplicate of it or this one. –  jkerian Feb 27 '13 at 3:16
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closed as off topic by istrasci, silvermaple, jkerian Feb 27 '13 at 2:36

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1 Answer

I've seen such dictionaries in my university, but looking something up in such a dictionary just takes a long time. I don't know about electrical engineering, but for maths, there are online dictionaries (like this one).

Personally, I have found it much more useful to read a basic textbook for which I can easily follow the academic material so that you can see the Japanese equivalent in context, together with all the associated formal expressions.

WWWJDIC also contains many technical terms, which may be just enough to help you make sense of the (basic) text you are reading.

If you are really just interested in reading dictionaries, there are Japanese-English dictionaries (like this one) or Japanese-Japanese dictionaries (like this one).

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Truth be told, I don't have much trouble picking up the meaning from the kanji of a technical document (電圧 is an easy one), it's the spontaneous production in, say, an academic discussion that I need to practice. In order to do that, I need to build my vocabulary in bulk. –  Trevor Alexander Feb 26 '13 at 20:45
Oh, 失礼いたしました。 The answer is simple, then: There are dictionaries for technical terms. You'll have toilet, bedtime and train ride material for quite a while. Let's see if I can find one. –  Earthliŋ Feb 26 '13 at 20:51
If you do understand the meaning from the kanji, why not just read research papers? The words that aren't obvious are likely to be found faster online than in a dictionary... –  Earthliŋ Feb 26 '13 at 21:04
I've looked at the Iwanami math dictionary, but it doesn't seem current enough or wide enough in scope to do the job, as a couple reviews have hinted on Amazon. –  Trevor Alexander Feb 26 '13 at 21:06
Because I need to build vocabulary fast. Reading papers is slow accretion with sparsely placed new words, and it builds associations within the context of the paper's area. Reading a dictionary is high-speed acquisition with high new word density, and it allows me to build associations freely. –  Trevor Alexander Feb 26 '13 at 21:10
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