enter image description here

I wonder, if there is a Japanese-English dictionary (incl. vice versa), if the word is formal or on the contrary informal. For example: if it is 口語的{こうごてき}、堅い{かたい} etc. Hope there is such a dictionary...as I use imiwa, denshi jisho and daijirin dictionaries, but none of them has this info for the words. Nor weblio internet dictionary tells anything about this.

  • 1
    Welcome aboard. I'm on the same boat. In my case is English -English though. Unfortunately i don't think there is because it's the way a dictionary is-list of the words definition. So I recently use synonym dictionary and when I don't get how to use the word I found, I'm asking to native friends all the time. Mar 14, 2017 at 7:44
  • Dear @Wataru'Watson'Subridge, thank you for your comment very much. Oh, these are sad news... But I believe, it exists... )
    – Fara
    Mar 15, 2017 at 18:55
  • Dears, sorry for the complications, I am going to delete the question soon.
    – Fara
    Mar 15, 2017 at 18:57
  • @Wataru'Watson'Subridge - I've never encountered such a thing for English. Some examples? Yes. A comprehensive and authoritative list? Nope. (Ironically, "nope" is typically not used in written English, and yet.)
    – William
    Mar 15, 2017 at 20:28
  • @William-Rem I often consult thesaurus. Mar 15, 2017 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


I am not aware of a dictionary that explicitly indicates this. As a general rule to which I can think of no exceptions off the top of my head (some may exist, but none come to me at the moment), words written in kanji are going to be more likely to be used in written Japanese, while words that are all katakana or all hiragana are more likely to be used primarily in spoken Japanese.

Keep in mind that written vs spoken registers are entirely different from informal (plain/辞書形) and humble (謙譲語) or honorific (敬語) forms. The である form of the copula for example, is informal, but only used the written register... unless you're a samurai, in which case I'm sure you meant でござる or similar.

  • 1
    humble (尊敬語) or honorific (敬語) forms <- humbleって謙譲語じゃないですかね・・ honorific のほうが尊敬語では・・・?
    – Chocolate
    Mar 14, 2017 at 0:33
  • そうですね!直しました。ありがとうございます。
    – William
    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:44
  • I'd love to hear from the person who downvoted this about what's wrong with it.
    – William
    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:45
  • Dear @William-Rem, thank you for your comment. Yes, words written in kanji are going to be more likely to be used in written Japanese, but that is not enough. I will try to upload a screenshot from some of my exercise book, which has something I need to be indicated in the dictionary. Please take a look.
    – Fara
    Mar 15, 2017 at 18:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .