I've mentioned before that I speak Japanese. Just briefly, I want to mention two tools that I use online to make my Japanese-ing a better experience.
No. 1 is the most fantastic dictionary evar at: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C This dictionary includes lots of stuff, lets you enter characters or romanji, and has a link down at the bottom where you can go and hand-draw a kanji you find offline and see what the computer can pull up. I find that it is most precise when you enter romanji, and it includes both classical words and slangier stuff, with plenty of example sentences.
No. 2 is the only reason why I can browse Futaba-channel, and it is an add-on for Firefox called Perapera-kun; you can find it here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/perapera-kun-japanese-popup-tr/?src=search There's one for Chinese as well, and there are several dictionaries, JP->Russian, French, etc. Anyway, for this one, you toggle it on and mouse over a character or set of characters and it pulls up a dictionary with hiragana/pronunciation and meaning. It does not translate whole sentences, so it's really not useful unless you already have some knowledge of Japanese and ability to guess from multiple meanings based on context. Furthermore, and understandably, the usage of language in a place like an online forum are sometimes beyond the dictionary's capacity to understand--so slangy or condensed that they're not there, or weirdly arbitrary kanji combinations which don't seem to compute.
One weird thought to leave you with: I feel like being on Futaba offers an entirely new level of perception to anime viewing, and if you know Japanese and like randumb web forums, it is probably worth playing around with. If nothing else, there's the oh-so-kawaii cat board. :3
P.S. If you don't know Japanese, then just read Densha Otoko the novel (which I incidentally thought was fantastically translated), and your local library probably has it. Yay public libraries!
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