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tlug: Mule and Japanese learning

tlug note from (Wu Wen)
Hi Tlugers,

I'm kinda far from Tokyo, but it seems close, as far as linux nihongo
is concerned;-) Per Craig's suggestion I'm bringing this discussion
here hoping I can get a few tips.

I use Mule mainly for email and Japanese study, more or less like what
Craig has discribed at the linux nihongo home page. However, my
situation is a little different. I speak some Japanese(I lived in
Kyoto for 2 years, but never went to Japanese school etc). My
knowledge of Chinese is a mixed blessing as far as Japanese study is
concered. The good thing is that I could read Japanese newspaper
before I can speak Japanese;-), but the bad thing is that I never
learned the kanjis with their proper pronounciation. This is coming
back to haunt me now. I usually know what I want to say but I can't
just type it in because I don't usually have the correct pronouciation.
Busho input is my last resort, but I don't really want to use that.

While I was working in Kyoto, I used a utility in mule called
gyaku-henkan.  (obviously I didn't install it;-) When you type M-x
gyaku-henkan, it will give you the hirakana of the kanji that is
currently displayed(can be word, or emacs region). It was really handy
for me to get the correct pronounciation.

Craig has kindly showed me how to do this with edict plus a number of
other things. I think eventually I'll install it(zannen nakara, ima
emacs compile deki nai). My question is, has anyone used the
gyaku-henkan utility before? If so, can you give me a few tips on
how to set it up? Much obliged.

W Wen

> Wu,
> on the Debian-JP distribution I installed, I don't have the
> elisp file that enables gyaku-henkan-word.  Or, perhaps I
> just don't have it configured properly.  This feature
> would be useful for me.  I've been using EDICT, trans, and 
> trans.el together to give me this same functionality.
> The EDICT dictionary is pretty good because I merged it with
> EDICTname and now I can look up the Japanese place and person
> names.  This is my biggest problem for Japanese.  Many of the
> Japanese names don't correspond to the commonly used
> 音読み。 Actually, this is a pretty interesting question.
> I think you should post it to the TLUG mailing list.  Jim Breene,
> the author of EDICT is a member of the group.  The gyaku-henkan-word
> command must rely on a large dictionary.  Do you have a dictionary
> that is several megs in size for emacs to parse for the 読みがな?
> Regards,
> Craig

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