Better dictionary system for eastern languages?

Using the chrome extension Rikaikun for Japanese, I realized that something is missing in the system for eatern languages. Since there are no word separation in many languages, the system has to make a guess as to where to split the words. It does a pretty good job. But it’s not perfect. It does not have to be. But rikaikun made me think something could be better.

Let’s take this example I had tonight:
those 4 characters could mean different words, depending on where you split. If I click on 何, Lingq recognizes I had saved this word, it appears in the panel. However, I have no visual cue to understand that I could have selected the 4 characters, and then I’d have a different meaning. This is where Rikiakun is useful, it offers different possibilities, so you choose from context. But to make the choice I have to know that this word exists. Maybe I didn’t take the most obvious example, but it so much important to be able to make the right decision, because it changes not only the meaning of the words, but also the pronunciation very often. So if the user is not very careful, he can end up learning wrong pronunciation for many words.

There are many possibilities as to how implement this, but I’d sure love to have this information always visible, maybe over the words themselves? Rikaikun helps, but I constantly have to move my mouse over words, making sure I’m not missing some obscur words hidden inside/outside others.


here a much better example. 薬 means medecine. The sentence does not make sense. But rikaikun tells me that 薬になる means “beneficial”, which now make sense with the context.

OK it’s even more complicated then that:

“いい薬になる” means “to learn a lesson”. I just realized that because my cursor went by mistake on the first character and rikaiken highlighted those 6 characters.

Pretty good example of how you can waste time looking for meaning.

Thanks for your suggestions eturgeon. It is normal that sometimes word has different meaning in sentence then when it’s alone. You are able to highlight more then 1 character in order to get translation for all of them together.
You can save LingQs for one character only, but you are also able to save LingQs for few characters together if you highlight them.
If you have suggestion for good Japanese dictionary that could help you, feel free to let me know, and I’ll be glad to upload it.

Yes I know. But the thing is, I have no way of knowing if an obvious word is hidden in a sentence. So what is my option, to select all combinations of words to check if lingq knows this word ?

Like this sentence

Every character I saved in the system. So the whole sentence is white. But いい薬になる is hidden in the text. Like you said, I can save that word, but for that I still need to be told it is there. It is so easier for an algorithm to just test all words from a dictionary (rikaikun has like 170k words or something), and choose maybe the longuest word? Or else just put a little star over the word to give a visual cue that multiple meaning is hidden there. The workload could even be sent to the browser, then It would be my cpu that’s working.

We know that it happens pretty often that words sometimes have different meaning when they are within sentence. That is exactly reason why we have an option to highlight and save LingQs for both words and whole sentences.
I agree with you that it would be great to have option to know right away if words will have different meaning within sentence and we’ll do our best to find good solution for this.
Thanks for your suggestions!