The first Japanese to English Dictionary

Discussion in 'Maples' started by JT1, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    The first Japanese-English dictionary compiled by the American missionary JCHepburn. Published in 1867, it was the first Japanese-English dictionary in Japan.

    The rare book is digitized and available online. You may find it useful for finding meanings of Japanese maple names.

    For example: kagari nishiki
    Kagari- To embroider with long stitches, to lace together by sewing
    明治学院大学図書館 - 和英語林集成デジタルアーカイブス - デジタル和英語林集成

    Nishiki- A kind of silk, rich and woven in flowers, brocade.
    明治学院大学図書館 - 和英語林集成デジタルアーカイブス - デジタル和英語林集成

    Modern Dictionary versions don't always have the same meaning or pronunciation of the word that was used in naming cultivars. Since this was the first, you will find a closer version of the original meaning.

    The beginning of the book first Edition:
    明治学院大学図書館 - 和英語林集成デジタルアーカイブス - デジタル和英語林集成

    Tips for use:
    First drop down box select "Function":
    Japanese to English OR English to Japanese

    Second drop down box select "Version":
    First Edition; Second Edition; Third Edition; and several versions to choose from.

    Search field:
    Best to limit the term or number of letters used, like: K or Kag, if you put in full word, misspell you may not get a result.
    The arrow button or play button changes pages, double arrow takes to to the end or beginning.

    + - is zoom feature

    Please note or be mindful with criticism. This resource is free, it's from 1867. Some cultivar names go back way before 1867 and language evolves, meanings change, ect. A friend who knows the history of Japanese language said some cultivar names go back to the equivalent of Shakespeare use of the English language. Rare books are hard to find. This was a lucky find for me and I share it because I want others to benefit from my find. If you find it useless then I prefer you be mindful before sharing. I am not the complaint department and if all response are negative it persuades me from sharing in the future. Others may find it useful and may miss out in the future.

    If you need help or have questions about using the resource I am happy to help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  4. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I don't see that as the same kind of thing. But I could easily copy it to another resource page. Maybe Ornamental Cherries. I don't think the Plants ID folks would be particularly interested. Who else, really?
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Context is everything, when the source is a general treatment such as this rather than one that will be talking about Japanese cultivar names specifically the exact ideas behind those names may not be expressed. For instance the 2001 edition of Japanese Maples (Timber Press, Portland) interprets nishiki as "variegated" or "rough", as these are meanings that would be had when Japanese maples are the subject to which the word is being applied. (And by the way the book asserts that Kagari is a mistake for Kagiri, when used for the cultivar 'Kagiri-nishiki').
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    That's the one that first came to mind but then I thought there must be other plant cultivar names that are derived from Japanese.
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Let's remember that nothing is perfectly suited when cultivars names can go back before 1867. I have a friend who has studied the Japanese language. When I sent her cultivar names and the common knowledge meanings she said some of the words go back to the equivalent of Shakespeare times and use of the words. That's what makes a complete resource almost impossible. Since this was "the first Japanese to English" I thought it would be of use. Is it perfect, no.
    @Ron B
    Kagiri- that's interesting, because my friend did not correct me. She said kagari nishiki was a very fine material that is highly prized for it's quality, beauty, and color. Also English spelling of Japanese words can vary based on the way a word is pronounced or interpreted.

    When I look up kagiri- in the dictionary it has an extreme meaning not associated with cloth:
    明治学院大学図書館 - 和英語林集成デジタルアーカイブス - デジタル和英語林集成

    It takes some interpretation when using such a resource.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  8. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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  9. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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  10. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I have left the Resource posting the way it was, but added a link to this thread. You could convince me to change it, but I like the home page I used, with all those other links and then the link to an explanation.
     
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  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    "503 Service Temporarily Unavailable"

    :-(
     
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  12. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Michael. I got the same result. I've made a note in the resource file that it may not be working, but will leave it there for a bit with that note to see if it really is temporary.
     
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  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    #8 is as Michael states but #9 links are working fine from JT1.
     
  14. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    It works here too, try again :

    Dico-J-E_210324a.jpg
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    So many ads on that page. Only the first screen is content. Is that really better than just pasting a word into Google? Alain's photo is what comes up.
    @JT1: any comments?
     
  16. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Er... the first two links, but how to get after "H" ?...

    For plant lovers, there's a lexicon in Vertrees and Gregory that is very useful. I have integrated words like "beni", "nishiki", or "hime" for instance ;-)
     
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  17. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Vertrees is how I learned to say "mountain" in Japanese, yama... Unfortunately I haven't heard from JT1 in some time, although I did try to contact him. Hoping everything is OK.
     
  18. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Trees collected from the wild are referred to as "yamadori", but actually most of the time it shouldn't apply to tree collected in the countryside, not in the mountains.
    Some of the finest bonsai were collected from the mountains where essentially Junipers but also various conifers were already shaped by the elements, the wind, the snow, or hanging from a cliff, with a lot of dead wood.
    Such specimens have become more and more rare now...
    I have a few "gardendori", or "jardidori" though serious botanists shouldn't mix Japanese and another language in naming trees ;°)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2021
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  19. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    Whilst on this subject I have it from, who I take as a good source and has been to Japan and is close (friends) with the ‘Mr Maple’ boys who says the word Nishiki is actually pronounced Nishki, without the ‘I’ in the middle of the word.

    Has anyone else heard this and can confirm or correct me? I’d like to think I’m doing my trees justice by pronouncing their names correctly.

    Thanks
     
  20. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, that's correct. The "i" is swallowed, you can hear it if you really look, but mostly not.
     
  21. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Luke, I am not fluent in Japanese, English is rather difficult these days !! But in JD Vertrees 4th edition page 335 under the heading of Japanese words and their meanings, it is written as nishiki and states this refers to brocade, varigated, rough.
    I would like to think that he researched the topic very well before publication.
    Hope thats of help.
     
  22. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    It may be spelled Nishiki but spoken as Nishki. That’s my interpretation and seems like Emery backs that up
     
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  23. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Ahh understood. So a silent 'I'.
     
  24. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    Exactamundo ;-)
     
  25. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Luke’s Maples you got me thinking about Nishiki and yes it is pronounced nishki in Japanese, but in English according to how to pronounce, it is pronounced Nishiki.
    Take a look at this link and listen to the pronounciatiation.
    Nishiki-e Pronunciation
    So are we trying to speak in Japanese when talking about maples or our native tongue, whatever it is ?
    Really interesting topic you have raised Luke.
     

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