Mercury Software has released TSM Passport 3, a bilingual Japanese-English dictionary utility. Passport works in conjunction with Kotoeri, the input method bundled with OS 9’s Japanese Language Kit, to allow translation across both languages.
Version 3 now supports Unicode input, an expanded 100,000-word dictionary, a 6,500-character “KanjiBase” (Japanese kanji reference dictionary), and a new contextual menu for looking up selected words.
Mercury also showed a pre-release version of Passport i, an
/WAP Japanese-English dictionary for wireless devices. With iMode being rolled out in the U.S. and Europe later this year, Mercury announced plans to extend Passport i to include multi-lingual phrase books, dictionaries and language learning tools, Ian Shortreed of Mercury Software Japan told MacCentral.
Built on top of the QuickTime component architecture (like all input methods that migrate to OS X nicely via Unicode), Passport has a two-way English-Japanese/Japanese-English dictionary and the full kanji character reference dictionary with both the Japanese and Chinese reading for the character along with many references to other Japanese language dictionaries. Since it is an input method, you can type in Japanese or English and get the corresponding meaning anywhere. This is what distinguishes the QT component architecture from applications; it’s a global resource running along side all applications.
“Again returning to the browser metaphor, you could be in Netscape and select a Japanese word or kanji character and get its meaning instantly,” said Shortreed. “Again for non-native learners of Japanese and English, very useful.”