Are you finding that your paper dictionaries don’t have half of the words you are looking for when you are translating manga? Well, here are some suggestions for you. In the course of struggling through translating, I have found some online resources that have been a great help to me. The most helpful I’ve found so far is a website called “Tangorin.” It’s by far the deepest online dictionary resource I’ve found so far. It even has many of the idiomatic words in its database. This dictionary contains several examples of word usage (20+), breakdowns of the kanji, a list of similar words, and the ability to save words to a vocabulary list. It really is a great resource and it saves me a lot of time compared to using my phonebook sized kanji dictionary.
I still haven’t found a good online source for grammar, but I did just purchase and fundamental and comprehensive Japanese grammar reference books — no, not those little ones from Kodansha, but some real substantial references (Man! were they pricey!). I’ll report on those once I have picked through them.