About RomajiDesu

What is RomajiDesu?

Literally, RomajiDesu means 'This is Roman Character', it's a pun name because Romaji is way of Romanization of Japanese writing.

RomajiDesu is a free website which features several comprehensive and useful tools to assist you to study Japanese, a language spoken by over one hundreds millions people. Currently, RomajiDesu includes:

  • Bidirectional Japanese ⇆ English dictionary: Romajidesu Dictionary is a easy to use Japanese/Romaji/English dictionary where can you type in the word in Japanese, Hiragana, Romaji or even English to look up the Japanese/English meanings, related words, sample sentences containing the searched word.
  • Japanese Kanji dictionary: RomajiDesu Kanji Dictionary have an advanced but easy-to-use lookup methods where you can search by Kanji, English meaning, pronunciation (On and Kun reading), or filter by specific highschool's grades, stroke orders, skip codes, or JLPT levels, etc. You can also use a powerful multi-radical Kanji look up method. The kanji information are included with some related words and nicely drawn stroke order diagrams.
  • Japanese translator: RomajiDesu Japanese Translator is an powerful upgraded version of the once -beloved Japanese to Romaji converter. You can translate a Japanese paragraph into English, Romaji and decompose it into small chunks of different part-of-speech.
  • Romaji to Kana converters: Basically, you can type or copy a Romaji word or phrase to convert it into Hiragana and Katakana script. You can also translate it into English (using Google Translate's engine). The translation of course is far from perfect, but sometimes it's useful to get the general idea of the original text.

Why RomajiDesu?

The first inspirations for me to create RomajiDesu came from beautiful Japanese songs like "Yuki no Hana" (雪の華, Snow flower), "Ue o Muite Arukō" (上を向いて歩こう, aka. Sukiyaki), etc. that made me sing along. Then I knew by heart the lyrics (in Romaji) of some of those songs and started to wonder about the meaning of the lyrics.

There are some advice against the use of Romaji while practising Japanese. However, Romaji is still very useful for Japanese beginning learners as it's less scary than complicated Japanese writing systems. The advantage of Romaji compares to Hiragana/Katakana is that it has spaces that serve as visual cue for identifying meanings and word types. But when you are really into Japanese, you cannot avoid Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji eventually as you need them to practise Japanese in media, internet, etc. RomajiDesu includes many useful tools to assist you to study those as well.

Do you have an Romaji app on mobilephone?

A lot of RomajiDesu's fans have asked this question via email or facebook. Unfortunately, I am still on the stage of developing the online website, and my knowdelge of Mobile app development is still limited. For the reason, there is still no app yet :(. However, you can access a light-weight dedicated version of RomajiDesu at: http://m.romajidesu.com

I have some suggestions/I want to add some words to the database?

If you have any suggestion or Japanese related information you want to share, please send an email to me at haibuihoang [at] gmail.com. Another quick way is you can comment on RomajiDesu's offical Facebook page.


Major update 4.2 - Jan 4 2022

I haven't touched the website for many years (since 2015?) because of my other work. Amazingly, there are still so many people who are in love with RomajiDesu and use it every day. Sadly, due to the heavy traffic, sometimes the website is very slow!
This version is dedicated to that: Firstly, the PHP version is updated from 5.6 to 7.4, which has better performance; Secondly and the most important update, we now use php-mecab which should be much faster than requesting mecab via URL. This will not only improve the translator sections but should reduce the risk of traffic bottleneck!

Data sources and copyright information

A major part of the database (Japanese to Romaji) was taken from Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University. The detail data copyright information are list as follows:

  • Professor Jim Breen's JMDic database for English-Japanese dictionary
  • Professor Jim Breen's KANJIDIC database for Kanji dictionary.
  • The example sentences database is taken from the Tanaka Corpus.
  • RomajiDesu Multi-radical Kanki lookup uses the (modified) decomposition of the 6,355 kanji KRADFILE, although the AJAX code are written by myself.
  • Kanji Strokes orders diragrams are geneneted using the data from Ulrich Apel's KanjiVG project.
  • Japanese translator uses Mecab Morphological Analyzer.

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