Learning new characters

There are a few different ways to use jdrill to help you learn new kanji characters. Check out this separate page, to focus your efforts on a small list of characters. For more general jdrill tips, keep reading this page.


I mean, learning with foresight!

If you have no idea what a character means, and want to know the "true" match, use "Cheat", in the File menu. This will highlight the correct answer. You may also be able to just press the 'c' key.

Another way of guessing, is to click with your second or third mouse button on a guess. This will bring up the search window with the character for what you clicked on. That way, if you guessed wrong, you can learn both the true character, and the one you mistook it for.


Sometimes, the best way to learn, is to read something, and try to translate it. To that end, you can choose "Search" from the File menu, which will bring up the Search window. (Or press 's'). That will let you look up definitions in a variety of ways, including cut-n-paste.

As mentioned above, if you are curious as to what a guess choice means, even if it is not the "correct" answer, you can find out. Click with your second or third mouse button, and the search window will be displayed with that definition.

More characters: full kanjidic

jdrill comes with only the first few "grades" of Kanji. If you want to learn the full set, then (as mentioned in the README file) you should go to one of the monash.edu.au mirror sites around the world, and pick up the full "kanjidic.zip" file. Once you unzip it, you can then replace the shortened "kanjidic" file that ships with jdrill, will the larger version.

If you are running jdrill directly from the .jar file, see the section below on Changing dictionaries.

Even MORE characters: edict

You can also grab the "edict" dictionary from the same place as kanjidic. This will give you phrases to learn, once you have mastered the basic 6,000 kanji in kanjidic. (Or if you just want a better electronic dictionary ;-)
Just put the edict file in the same directory with the .class files. Or see the Changing dictionaries section below, if you are using the .jar file to run jdrill.

However, be warned that it will take a LARGE chunk of memory to read in, and will most likely overflow the default memory limits for java programs. You will need around 32 megabytes or more of free memory.
("swap", or "virtual memory" is fine).

For command-line based java runtimes, you can increase the memory limits by something like

jre -mx 32m jdrill

Changing dictionaries

If you want to change the dictionary files that jdrill uses, you can define variable settings to override the default 'properties' compiled in. The properties you care about are 'kdictfile' and 'edictfile'. To change file locations using a command-line java runtime, you would use
java -Dkdictname=/path/to/kanjidic -Dedictname=/other/path/here jdrill
You can specify only one of the defines if you like. Alternatively, you can edit the ".jdrill" file in your home directory to set it on a permenant basis.

Go for it!

You should be all set now. Have fun!

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