Let's try Word Search
Overview of Word Search
It is possible to look up the accent for a variety of conjugated forms (roughly 10) of declinable words that are covered in general Japanese textbooks (presently 7). With this feature you can select a textbook unit and search the newly appearing words, set parts of speech, accent types, and old JLPT test by level, and search words for which you wish to know the accent. Also, it is possible to play and download speech samples for each conjugation of a word.
If your web browser has not been updated to the latest version, we suggest you download it before using OJAD. The link to Firefox is here.
To carry out the below, open the page "Word Search".
We recommend that you open up the page "Word Search" in another window and keep this "Let's try.." page open in this window while carrying out the tasks below.
Once you have an idea of what Word Search is about, we ask you to start carrying out some tasks.
Keeping this page open, open "Word Search" in a new window and carry out the tasks below.
A. Carry out a search specifying the textbook.
- Select "Unit 5" of "Minna No Nihongo" from the listbox Textbook of Search and Display Options. Next, click the button "Search". By doing this, the words of "Minna No Nihongo-Unit 5" will be listed. If you scroll to the bottom, you will see that there are more pages. If you wish to display all words on this page, carry out the following task.
- Change Lines/Page of Additional Options to 30 then click search. Doing this will result in all of the verbs from Groups 1 -3 being shown on this page.
- Let's have a look at the search results. Look at the Group 1 verb shown at the top, 「行く・行きます」. The gray 「み初5」 indicates that "Minna No Nihongo-Unit 5" is the first chapter this word appears in. This is also shown for other words. Also, it states the old JLPT level and the difficulty.
- At the right, the accent types of 12 conjugated forms are given. If you wish to change the order of "polite" form and "plain" form, click and hold on the black part of "ます形" and then drag it to the position of "辞書形". This will cause "plain" and "polite" to swap positions.
- Not all of these forms will appear by Unit 7. Thus, if there are some that you wish not to display, hide them by unchecking the checkboxes above the table.
- The accent type is depicted with a straight line or the ￢ mark. If you would like to see the pitch contour, click on Pitch Contour under Additional Options and then click "Search".
- To listen to a speech sample, click either "FEMALE" or "MALE" and either female or male speech will be played. Also, when you click ■ and ■ to the left of the word, male and female speech for the conjugations will play. Due to Internet connection problems, there may be break-ups in the speech, however. If you wish to download the speech, this can be done by clicking the speech sample while pressing shift. You can listen to this anywhere by uploading this onto your cell phone.
- If there is a particular set of vocabulary items you wish to download, click on the x-mark next to the words that you do not wish to download. This will cause those words to be removed from the list. Also, by dragging and dropping a row, it is possible to swap the position of rows.
B. Next, try using the Print-view page.
- In many cases it may not be possible to use the Internet in the classroom, so we have added this tool for preparing classroom materials which show word accents.
- There is a link Show Print-view next to the "Show/Hide" checkboxes for the conjugated forms. Try clicking this and you will see the results of the Word Search page shown in black and white for printing. If you see any words you do not wish to print, click the x-mark on the far left. Doing this will remove the row. This task can be carried out on the word search page as well.
- The page can be printed like this, but if you would like to copy the Print-view page as an image, carry out the tasks below.
Windows users: Press Ctrl+PrntSc (at the top of the keyboard), then select "Paint" from the subfolder "Accessory" of "Start Menu" and select the desired region and copy it into a file.
Mac users: Start up the program "Grab" in the subfolder Utility of Application. From the menu bar select "Capture->Selection" to turn Print-view into an image files.
- If you would rather not have the pitch contour, on the word search page set Pitch Contour to "Hide" and click the "Search" button. Then load the Print-view page again.
- In the classroom, students can read out the word with the correct accent by looking at the handouts containing the Print-view page. It is our aim to promote more natural Japanese increased understanding and daily practice.
C. Overview of how OJAD handles accent variability for i-adjectives
- From the list of textbooks in Search/Display Options select "Unit 12" to "Unit 12" from "Minna No Nihongo". Then click "Search" and "甘い" will appear at the top of the results. Look at the "~i" form for this which is the 9th column from the left. Here, there are two accents shown for "甘い". This means that the accent can be either like "このケーキはあまい" or "このケーキはあまい".
- I-adjectives can have their accent vary for the attributive form as well as the predicative form. In the Search/Display Options select "Minna No Nihongo", from "Unit 8", to "Unit 8". Then click search and you will see at the top the word "おいしい". For this word, some might say "おいしい＋（ケーキ）" and some might say "おいしい＋（ケーキ）".
It is said that there are a lot of i-adjectives which possess such variation. We have had each word checked for whether or not they include this variation by speech researchers with a high degree of knowledge pertaining to the pitch accent.
- The accent that is written in the accent dictionary is shown at the top as the standard type and the one(s) below are the new types. This will not necessarily agree with what is written in your dictionary. They are ordered in this way because the standard type is more prevalent.
- If you would only like to view the standard type, set Accent Variation of Options to "Hide" and run "Search", which will result in a slightly cleaner view.
D. Let's try doing a word search using kanji input.
- If you have not read "Search and Display Options, 4. Word Search" yet, we suggest you do so first.
- In the Word Search enter "楽" and click "Search". For this, set Search Options to "Do not specify" and you will see "楽しむ" (Verb Group 1), "楽しませる" (Verb Group 2), "楽しい" (i-adjective), "気楽[な]" (na-adjective). It should be apparent that by entering the kanji "楽", all words containing this kanji will appear in the search results.
- You can view the proficiency test levels as goals for your Japanese language study. For the words resulting from this search, you will see that "楽しい" is a level 4 word, "楽しむ", a level 3 word, and "気楽[な]", a level 2 word. Also, you will be able to see whether the words in your vocabulary bank are "Low Beginner", "High Intermediate" and so on. This should make it easier to keep track of your Japanese progress.
E. Try entering a word of your choice.
- In Word Search of Search/Display Options enter the word you would like to search for. You can enter commas and spaces between words to do a multiple word search.
- For example, try entering "遊ぶ 食べる 起きる 寝る 歩く 旅行する". The results for this search will be ordered by verb type. If you input the verbs in forms other than plain or polite forms, you will get word results like in D.
- If you use Search Options, you can search for words in a vocabulary set of your choice. For example, if the search options are set to "Textbook=Do not specify", "Part of speech=i-adjective", "Accent type=Initial-high", only i-adjectives of Type 1 will be shown. (Remember to delete the word search field before clicking search). By doing this, it will be apparent that there are not a lot of words that meet these criteria.