From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from EDICT)
Type of businessNonprofit
Type of site
Japanese dictionary
Available inEnglish
Current statusPerpetual work-in-progress

JMdict (Japanese–Multilingual Dictionary) is a large machine-readable multilingual Japanese dictionary. As of February 2021, it contains JapaneseEnglish translations for around 191,000 entries, representing 267,000 unique headword-reading combinations.[1][2][3] The dictionary files are free to use with attribution (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike[4]) and have been widely adopted on the Internet and are used in many computer and smartphone applications. The project is considered a standard Japanese–English reference on the Internet and is used by the Unihan Database and several other Japanese–English projects.[2]


The JMdict project was started by computational linguist Jim Breen in 1991 with the creation of EDICT (a plain text flat file in EUC-JP encoding), which was later expanded to a UTF-8-encoded XML file in 1999 as JMdict.[2] The XML format allows for multiple surface forms of lexemes and multiple readings, as well as cross-references and annotations. It permits glosses in other languages and contains French, German, Russian, etc. translations for many entries.

The original EDICT format is still being generated for systems that rely on that format.[5] An expanded version, EDICT2, which permits an entry to contain multiple headwords and readings as well as cross-references and additional fields, is also produced and is used by several systems including the server for WWWJDIC, Breen's own online dictionary search tool. Versions of JMdict are also produced in the XML format used by Apple's "Dict" application and in the EPWING/JIS X 4081 format used by many Japanese electronic dictionary systems.

Since 1991, JMdict has been updated and expanded by many contributors. Since 2000, the JMdict project has been managed by the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group (EDRDG).[6] In 2010, maintenance of the dictionary was moved to an online database system. The dictionary is managed by an editorial board including Breen and eight other editors.[7]

From June 2021, a version of JMdict includes example sentences selected from the Tatoeba Corpus.[8]


EDICT has inspired other projects, including the CEDICT Chinese dictionary project started by Paul Denisowski in 1997,[9] and the Japanese–German dictionary Wadoku.[10]


  1. ^ "JMdict Entry Count". Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Morales, Daniel (25 June 2018). "At 180,000 entries, Jim Breen's freeware Japanese dictionary is still growing". The Japan Times. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ Breen, Jim. "The EDICT Dictionary File". Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ "General Dictionary Licence Statement". EDRDG. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  5. ^ Lunde, Ken. CJKV information processing (2nd ed.). O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 674. ISBN 978-0-596-51447-1.
  6. ^ "Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group File". Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  7. ^ Breen, Jim. "JMdict Editorial Board". Monash University. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Tanaka Corpus - EDRDG Wiki". Retrieved 2023-02-01.
  10. ^ Ulrich Apel: Neueste Informationen zum elektronischen japanisch-deutschen Wörterbuch WaDokuJT. In: Referate des 12. Deutschsprachigen Japanologentages, Band III – Sprache, Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachlehrforschung. Bier’sche Verlagsanstalt, Bonn, 2006, p. 141–159.

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