The Japan Foundation, Cairo
A good dictionary is indispensable for learning a language.
Unfortunately, however, this basic requirement of Arabic-speaking Japanese learners had not been fulfilled for many years. They were forced to use Japanese-English dictionaries because practical Japanese-Arabic dictionaries were not available. In order to break down such barrier to Japanese learners, The Japan Foundation, Cairo have been working for five years on translating into Arabic and proof-reading "The Basic Japanese Dictionary" published by the Japan Foundation. Since it was first published in English in 1986, this dictionary with extensive vocabulary and sample sentences have been translated into 13 languages and used by Japanese-language beginners around the world.
Finally, in July 2010, a long-awaited "The Basic Japanese-Arabic Dictionary" is published. The Arabic is the 14th language that the dictionary is published in. The dictionary was translated by four professors at the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Cairo University, ensuring the highest quality that the publisher can demand. In addition, the price is affordable for students.
To commemorate the release of this dictionary, a ceremony took place at Dar el-Shorouk bookshop on July 20. Professor Isam Hamza was among the first students of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature, Cairo University 35 years ago when there was scarcely any Japanese textbook or dictionary in this country. Looking back his days of struggling to learn Japanese, he emphasized that everyone studying Japanese have been waiting for a dictionary like this for decades. Professor Hamza's word was supported by the fact that many Japanese learners visited the bookstore to celebrate this occasion. The ceremony also received media coverage in Egypt.
We hope that "The Basic Japanese-Arabic Dictionary" will help Japanese-language students not only in Egypt but also in other Arabic-speaking countries and promote cultural exchange between Arabic countries and Japan.