Ever since iOS 6 was released, the Japanese to English dictionary has been non-functional. Even when your regional preferences were all set to English, it would only offer a monolingual Japanese definition. It seems there is a problem when iOS tries to determine which dictionary to use when multiple dictionaries are available. In iOS 6, multiple new language dictionaries were added and this has caused a conflict. Inspired by playing around with Flex, I thought I’d try to remedy the issue. I couldn’t do it with Flex, so when all else fails, just delete your problems and they’ll go away.
Here’s how to fix this:
- You need to be jailbroken on any iOS 6.x firmware.
- Download a program to access the root file system on your device (iFunBox, DiskAid, or iFile from Cydia).
- Navigate to /User/Library/Assets/
com_apple_MobileAsset_DictionaryServices_dictionary. You should see a bunch of folders with names that contain a lot of numbers and letters.
- Find the folder that contains the Sanseido Super Daijirin dictionary (you can see its name under the AssetData subfolders)
- Copy the folder (the one with the really long name that contains the above files) to your computer, or rename it.
- Delete it from your device.
Now, when you select a Japanese word and tap Define, you should get an English definition. However, this will disable the monolingual Japanese definitions until you add the folder back (or perhaps redownload it when you switch your language settings). If you’re curious, the bidirectional dictionary that we just restored is called the Sanseido Wisdom English-Japanese Japanese-English Dictionary.