日本語資源 - Nihongoresources.com
Happy new year! - A completely new Nihongoresources is in the works. Check it out, and help find bugs before we move!

About the site

a bit of history

Nihongoresources started life as a bit of html on my homepage years ago where I kept my course notes online for people to read, and got its first major boost in functionality when I figured that I could create a perl script that ran over the edict file online so I had a free online dictionary. This in retrospect simplistic approach was the genuine start of what was to become nihongoresources - a website with as main motivation to get students the material they need without having to pay through the nose.

In 2003, the original simple perl script had been replaced by a simple php+mysql database system that allowed people to search as word start, substring, word end or full word, with wildcards. This proved quite popular, and the site was generating a massive 300 users a week. Which, to be honest, wasn't bad for something that had spawned out of lecture notes. Functionality became an important issue, and with the addition of kanji and names dictionaries, and the grammar notes worked out in a bit more detail, the site was slowly starting to develop into a fairly impressive collection.

In 2005, I finally worked up the effort to finish writing my book on japanese grammar, and had added the content from it to the website, as well as offering it as a free downloadable pdf. If you want to draw in users, free books are not a bad thing - the site has gone from 300 users per week early 2003 to about 3000 uniques per week before the release of the book. Before the server problems august 2006, but after the book had been properly released, usernumbers increased to over 4500 uniques per week. Clearly I was doing something right...

But the problems with my host were also a signal that I had to start doing all those things I'd been promissing for a good year; a site revamp, different database backend, more functionality, more content... And that time is now. The site used to be run with frames, those have been cast aside. The idea that the page should still be fairly small and work for 56k6 users is slowly becoming less important, but I know there are still people out there who can only dream of broadband... I hope that this new design is still fast enough for you, I tried to keep the amount of down a little.

the plan

It's hard to say what the plans for the site are when it's essentially non-profit. The google advertisement and paypal donations basically pay for the hosting, but the site doesn't exactly butter my bread. One of the plans is to get the book available as a hardcopy puchasable version, without taking the free downloadable version offline. I am a great mental supporter of the reward-good-work school of business, rather than take the money and leave them wondering whether they lost out school...

I'd like to go deeper into classical Japanese myself, but I realise there is very little "market" for this, in terms of people who do this, and people who would even casual seriously try to leaf through education material for classical japanese. The language is just too alien, and about as useful as ancient Greek is in modern Greece... which is just not very.

another thing that would be nice to do is to extend the dictionary with "professional" data. I'm thinking dictionary data from sanseido, kenkyuusha, etc, but this would cost a pretty penny, and until the site gets something that generates revenue, I simply cannot afford to offer level of functionality - That said, what I can do is use the "tanaka" example corpus for example sentences for words, with the note that most of the time these sentences are ridiculously over-complete, with all the context and implied subjects explicitly kept in the sentence. So I don't know, maybe, but maybe not.