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Old 06-14-2019, 11:41 PM   #1
sonderzeichen
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Japanese support w/o proprietary formats?

Hello!

This place is an amazing resource. I've been lurking for ages, but only just registered.

I've been scouring the forum, but everything I've dug up seems to be out of date. If this has actually been covered somewhere, I'm afraid I missed it. The threads I found all seemed to hit one of my requirements, but not all of them! Apologies in advance if this is long-winded.

I currently have a Nook Simple Touch, which I love, but which won't display Japanese. That didn't matter when I initially bought it.

I live in Japan, so if there is something that's only available here, that's not a problem. I am only learning Japanese, so having the interface in English or German would be ideal, but I could live with a Japanese UI, too.

Vertical Japanese text would be nice, but isn't necessary. Here's what is:

E-ink and support for epub. I don't want to buy something that requires registration to function. You can bypass the registration on the Nook, so that was fine. All my books are either public domain or from places that sell them without DRM.

An expansion card slot and battery that can be replaced (even if it involves tools) are also key. Both of those features have been important, since I bought my Nook used with a worn out battery and recently upgraded my desktop's OS, which broke the ability to connect via USB.

I've seen some older Sonys for sale used, but only the version with advertisements, which I don't want. Am I being too picky?
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:48 PM   #2
DNSB
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You might want to look at the Kobo line of ereaders. I don't read Japanese but a couple of friends who do have seemed quite happy with the language support. Horizontal and vertical text along with furigana (ruby) are supported using epub3.

They do require registration but that is in the form of an email address which does not seem to be checked ( someone@erewhon.net is acceptable hence my belief that the only checking is "does it look like an email address?"). There are also database hacks but the fake email address works for me.

The newer Kobos do not have external SD card slots but the Clara HD has an internal 8GB uSD card which can be replaced with a larger card. The battery can be replaced fairly easily. There are threads in the Kobo forums about both replacing the internal uSD card and the battery.

Last edited by DNSB; 06-15-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:08 PM   #3
sonderzeichen
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You might want to look at the Kobo line of ereaders.
Thanks! What I had read about Kepub made it sound like there were problems using regular ePub files. If Kobo readers fully support ePub, that sound exactly like what I need.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sonderzeichen View Post
Thanks! What I had read about Kepub made it sound like there were problems using regular ePub files. If Kobo readers fully support ePub, that sound exactly like what I need.
Kobo ereaders have two renderers. One is based on RMSDK and is for epubs. That includes some ePub 3 support. The other is what they used for kepubs which is their format. It is basically epub but, they expect a few things. It has better ePub 3 support, including languages like Japanese. The only issue is that it requires some extra spans wrapping sentences for elements of navigation to work properly.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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I have two Kobos, but haven't used them much in the last several months as I now prefer reading on either my Nova Pro or Note Pro by Onyx.

The Kobos were good for reading Japanese. They could display the text vertically and could display furigana properly. However, books had to be in the kepub format for the look-up dictionary to work. Not a huge problem because it is fairly simple to convert epub to kepub.

However,I find that the recent Onyx ereaders are much better for reading in Japanese. First of all, there are more dictionaries readily available. You can also install other Android apps. There are a couple of Japanese dictionary apps that I regularly use.

The stock app on the Onyx ereaders does not work all that well with Japanese because it does not display furigana properly. However, the Moon+ Reader app works wonderfully and displays furigana properly.

With Moon+ Reader, you can use the ColorDict or GoldenDict apps to lookup words on a short press. You can have a different dictionary or app set to lookup the word on a long press. You can also copy the word or phrase to the clipboard and paste it into another dictionary app. The software on the newer Onyx ereaders has a multi task window which allows you to jump between apps fairly easily which makes it good for looking up information as you are reading.

Another advantage of both the Nova Pro and the Note Pro is that you can use the stylus to input information. So you can draw the kanji and enter the information for a search that way instead of having to type using romaji.

Also, the Onyx ereaders do a much better job of handling PDFs. One can find some very useful PDFs online for studying. One could also scan any textbooks and save them as a PDF file and then access them on your ereader.

I loved my Kobos for reading in Japanese, but can't really see myself ever going back to use them again for that purpose. The workflow is just so much better on the recent Onyx devices.

Last edited by Question Mark; 06-16-2019 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:29 PM   #6
sonderzeichen
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Thanks! That's really helpful.
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