Here’s some of the most common types of dictionaries.
|Japanese Name||English Name||Description|
|国語||Japanese-Japanese||Kokugo 国語 generally means “national language” but is often used to refer to the Japanese language. A kokugojiten 国語辞典 is a dictionary of Japanese words explained in Japanese.|
|英和||English-Japanese||Eikoku 英国 is a common way to refer to England in Japanese. 和 is Japan. Hence, eiwa 英和 is “English-Japanese.” In these dictionaries the headwords are in English and the explanations are in Japanese.|
|和英||Japanese-English||Surprise, it’s the opposite of 英和! Headwords in Japanese with English explanations. Jisho is a waeijiten 和英辞典.|
|漢和||Kanji (Japanese)||漢 refers to China, so this is the name given to dictionaries that explain kanji and kango 漢語, Sino-Japanese words.|
|漢英||Kanji (English)||Kanji dictionaries with explanations in English.|
|類語||Thesaurus||A thesaurus lists groups of related words, like synonyms and antonyms.|
In addition to the types above, dictionaries can vary in other ways. For example, target audience (native speakers or learners, kids or adults) and how they explain the headwords (simple translations or longer explanations). When choosing a dictionary it’s important to consider these aspects to make sure it suits your particular situation.