How Results are Displayed

Searches result in the listing of pairs of related Japanese and English. For example, searching for the English ``motorcycle'' might result in, among others:
オートバイ
/motorcycle/
昭栄【しょうえい】
/Shoei (motorcycle helmet manufacturing company)/
二輪車【にりんしゃ】
/two wheeled vehicle (bicycle, motorcycle, etc)/
The response would be completely different if you weren't using a raw Japanese text encoding (you're using Shift-JIS now). Click here to see what this page would look like if you were in gif image mode (the default).

If you didn't have Japanese support

The Japanese text would have to be sent as an image, and so therefore wouldn't
know about the colors (foreground/background) and size of your browser's font.

In using this method (which you aren't now), the default appearance of the Japanese text images in query results is white text on a transparent background (if your viewer supports the GIF89a standard, a black background otherwise), with characters 26 pixels square. You can change these defaults by selecting the appropriate items in the form on the main dictionary page, if you enter it in image mode.

Color

In using this method (which you aren't now), you can select ``white foreground'' or ``black foreground'' from the Japanese text colors selection on the main page. The background will be transparent (i.e. use your window's background color) if your viewer supports it, the foreground's opposite otherwise. You can also choose to have a background colour present instead of a transparent background to do some funky things, but there's no accounting for taste so don't blame me. Going one step further, you can also chose to have the image inverted, that is, the foreground colour can become transparent, with the background colour taking on the former foreground colour. Note however that if you define a background colour other than black, then the colours will be reversed (think reverse video), not the transparency To get a transparent foreground, select black as the background colour and check the ``invert colors'' checkbox.

Size

Also on the main page, you can select from a number of font sizes: 18 pixel, 26 pixel, 48 pixel, 64 pixel and 96 pixel. Selecting a size is a compromise between a number of things: Readability: The kanji for nihongo (``the Japanese language'') can be rendered by this server as small as
 	[tiny text]
or as large as
 	[HUGE TEXT]
You'll probably find that one is a bit easier to see than the other. As it is, since you're in Shift-JIS mode, the fonts and such be set by you at your client. Visually pleasing integration with your local (i.e. English) fonts. Access speed: characters from larger fonts take more time to transfer, although it seems that most of the time is in the per-image transfer overhead. In practice, a 48 bit font should result in images about four times larger than a 16 bit font, but access doesn't seem to be all that much slower.... the main time cost is in the per-transfer overhead. The fastest, of course, is using a standard encoding method, such as the Shift-JIS you're using now.

Getting a closer view

In raw Japanese mode, there's no need to view Japanese text as images, but sometimes it might be nice to see a complex character written in a really large font. Toward that end, you can click on the Anchors to Large Japanese in the main window. This will turn each kanji entry of a dictionary query result into an anchor to a gif of a 48-point image. You can then call up the large images at your leisure.

You can have this feature turned on for you automatically using the customization features of this server.

Vertical Printing

There's also the option of having the server emit Japanese text as images in a vertical manner. In the server's case, this is done by rotating each character counter-clockwise 90 degrees before generating the image. While this leaves you the work of rotating the whole image clockwise using an image manipulation program, doing it this way saves from creating a messy presentation on the screen. As this process is a bit calculation-intensive, you'll need to wait longer for the images to be generated as they load into your web browser.

Comments appreciated
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(this page's master source last modified 7 years, 3 months ago)
This reply to request 115,691,933 made just for you Sun Nov 23rd 2014 10:55am JST [load currently averaging 2816 requests/day over a 1595-second sample]