I have abandoned my Ja-En and En-Ja dictionary.
I decided to use only En-En, making use of easy word with similar meaning. I believe I keep enough vocabulary to build up all that I’d like to say.
The difficulty rises when I want to write specific words for plants, animals, historical events, social system, etc. in english. Then I imagine as similar words as I can, and with that word search by google for images (photos). If I can find many images of what I’d like to say, Then I search in wikipedia for detailed explanation for the word.
Recently I wanted to write about a kind of weed named susuki in Japanese, which we love as symbol of autumn.
A field of susuki is very often imagined as a background of the beautiful full moon in autumn.
Traditionally in Japan people admire the full moon, setting special kind of sweets as a gift to it – actually people themselves enjoy them under the moon. In Japan, this sweets are made of rice cake, formed into a small balls, and put slight sugar.
When people draw a picture of the moon to be watched, often a rabbit is drawn in it. Thought the rabbit is thought to live on the moon, people don’t care so much, where in the picture it is drawn.
For an English word for susuki, I searched in wikipedia any document with the key words “Japan”, “full moon”, “autumn”
Then the word “Moon cake” was picked up at the top of the list. No, it is Chinese pie-like cake, which I like very much, too. But the page would not navigate to the word for susuki.
And I found far below “Moon cake” a document’s title Tsukimi. Direct japanese word for “Moon watching.” On the page the word susuki was written and translated into “silver grass” or “Japanese pumpus grass.”
Thus I found the English word for it…I could have search directly with the word “Tsukimi”…and this quest was not so an interesting process.