News and updates
June 2023: Kanji drawing feature now available on mobile
- Kanji drawing feature: The handwritten Kanji drawing pad is now available to users using touchscreen devices (like tablets or mobile phones). Additionally, the kanji coverage has been greatly expanded.
- Revamping entries: A few notable changes have been made to word entries. First, the "region" and "pronunciation" sections have been moved around to make them clearer in entries and to allow them to take more space. Their font size has also been very slightly increased. Second, the image renderings that were previously in the sidebar of entries have been removed in favour of stylized vertical text, something that wasn't fully supported by all browsers when JLect first launched over a decade ago. Hover over the vertical form to see an alternative font styling.
May 2023: Looking back & etymology improvements
- 13+ years: JLect has been running for 13 years now and that's something worth celebrating. It counts thousands of entries, with hundreds getting added each month and countless getting edited and improved all the time.
- Improvements to etymology sections: Going forward, some entries' etymologies will include not only regional cognates, but also select historical attestations, reconstructions, and notes for discussion where applicable. Some existing examples include かばん【鞄】, くだらない【下らない】, なま【今】, くにぶ【九年母】, まーすん, っくゎ【子・小】, etc.
- Reporting bad entries: Friendly reminder that you can use the button "+ amend/report" available at the bottom of each entry to report any mistakes (e.g. spelling mistakes, etymology errors, missing meanings, etc.) or suggest any changes. Some entries are quite old, so there are bound to be issues.
October 2022: Kanji search now available
- Kanji search: As of October 2nd, 2022, it is now possible to lookup Kanji and get their Japanese
and Okinawan readings if available. Data for this is pulled automatically from the English Wiktionary project.
Future improvements to come. Give it a try: 苺,
食, 木, etc.
- Added animated kanji stroke diagrams generated using SVG data from the KanjiVG project (© CC BY-SA 3.0), by Ulrich Apel.
- Added glyph origin table from Wiktionary to showcase how characters looked like historically.
August 2022: Various website updates
It's been a long since there's been any formal update to this website. As of this month, there's quite a lot to share:
- Server migration: I made the decision to migrate this site and the framework that powers it to a more modern server infrastructure in order to improve the site's performance and solidify its security posture.
- Upgraded framework: In conjunction to the server migration, the site's framework and its libraries were also updated.
- Leveraging Cloudflare: Although small, this site gets a large amount of traffic from malicious bots attempting to compromise it. I've made the decision to move the site behind Cloudflare to try to reduce such traffic.
- Removal of legacy forum: The forum has been removed as it had not received any new posts in several years and the software that powered it was no longer supported. An archive of its content can be found on the Wayback Machine.
- Promotion of Reddit as alternative: You will now notice that JLect promotes Reddit in many places. It is currently the most active and accessible online community with specialized subreddits for learning Japanese (/r/learnjapanese), discussing the Japonic languages (/r/japonic), and talking about linguistics in general (/r/linguistics).
- Search Okinawan: JLect now integrates with the 沖縄語辞典 データ集 Okinawago jiten dēta-shū (Okinawan Dictionary Data Collection) (© CC BY 4.0), published by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. To try it out, search for an Okinawan word or a Japanese word to get results. Filter must be set to either All or any of the Ryukyuan filters in order to get results. Also note that it is currently not possible to search this dataset with English words; only Okinawan or Japanese.
- Word of the Day: The home page now features a new word of the day block!
- Removed Kanji and Names tabs: These tabs were removed as the functionality had not been implemented and in order to avoid confusing users.
- Fixed Resources links: Many of the links under the Resources page had been broken for a while. They've now all been verified and updated, and many new ones have also been added.