Learning tips: Dictionary (Traditional Characters)

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maghanish2

Senior Member
United States - English
One more question I ask is if anyone here knows of a good English-Chinese dictionary that I coudl find? I really want to be something useful, and so I need it to contain traditional characters also.

Thanks!
 
  • ymt

    New Member
    Taiwan, Mandarin
    One more question I ask is if anyone here knows of a good English-Chinese dictionary that I coudl find? I really want to be something useful, and so I need it to contain traditional characters also.

    Thanks!
    I suggest the dictionary from Yahoo Taiwan.

    Unfortunately, I am new here, not able to post the link. :(

    You can google "yahoo taiwan dictionary" to get it.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Thanks, ymt, but when I looked this up, I could only find a website in Chinese. Is there an actual book that I could buy? Or if this website is good, is there an english version of it?

    Thanks again!
     

    ymt

    New Member
    Taiwan, Mandarin
    Yes, it's a Chinese website. You can just type the English word in the input box and click the button beside it, it will show you the corresponding Chinese word.

    Also, you can type Chinese(if you know how to, or just copy & paste) to find the corresponding English.

    Isn't it what you want?
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Hmmm....I was actually looking for a book that I could buy with quick reference. This will definitely help later on when I understand more Chinese, but to start, I would prefer an actual dictionary that I could hold.
     

    ameifree

    Senior Member
    Taiwan , Chinese
    I tried to recommend you some of good bookstores to you in TWTaiwan they have website but without English version. If you want, next week I will have English class too
    My teacher is studying Chinese. Maybe I will ask him which dictionary he uses now for you.
    But where you can get it .. m .. it will be another question
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Ameifree, thanks. If you want to ask your teacher, that would be cool, but yeah, I'm not sure where I'd be able to get it.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Is there Chinatown in your city? If there is, you might be able to find something useful there.
    No there is no Chinatown, unfortunately. And I just went to the bookstore yesterday and they had many dictionaries with simplified characters but NONE with traditional characters. Are the ones with the traditional characters harder to find?
     

    Kwunlam

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    You can consider to order from online bookstores from Hong Kong or Taiwan.
    e.g. http://www.cp1897.com.hk/


    If the publisher is from HK or from Taiwan, it is likely that the 英漢詞典/英漢辭典 would be in Traditional Chinese.
     

    Kwunlam

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    You can consider to order from online bookstores from Hong Kong or Taiwan.
    e.g. http://www.cp1897.com.hk/


    If the publisher is from HK or from Taiwan, it is likely that the 英漢辭典 would be in Traditional Chinese. For example, you can buy a Collins Cobuild dictionary which give both English and Chinese explanations to English words. It is called 雙解辭典 because each words has double explanations in English and in Chinese.


    But a 英漢辭典 means explaining English words with Chinese words. Do you want 漢英辭典 instead, that is explaining Chinese words with English words ?
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    I am not skilled enough in Chinese to have it explain English words with Chinese words. I definitely want a dictionary that explains traditional Chinese words in English.

    What I would most prefer would be a dictionary that has two sides: One that lets you look up the traditional Chinese word and find it's English equivlanet and the other one has the English word with the Chinese equivalent after it.

    Thanks!
     

    Zulis

    Member
    Hong Kong - Cantonese, English
    I worked for CP before...heh

    For 英漢辭典 (English-Chinese) with Traditional Chinese, you can't go wrong with a desktop edition of dictionaries from Longman, or Oxford. If you will be using it for a longer time, don't ever consider buying pocket editions, it gives no sample sentences, but desktop editions do, mostly. Just like any other dictionaries, the thicker the better :) Don't be afraid to spend more for a thicker one, one good dictionary can last forever. I never liked Colin's dictionaries in Chinese, don't know why, but i love mine in French.

    Most 漢英辭典 (Chinese-English) is like a phrase book, not exactly one, but it translates the most common vocabulary for you. Like if you look for the word "警察", you have to look for the first word "警". Once you get to that page, it will list out common words start with "警", like this:

    警: alert, aware, caution, blah blah
    警號: siren
    警察: police
    blah blah

    I hope you get the idea.

    For a dictionary that has two side(English-Chinese/Chinese-English), in my 2 years of experience working in CP, Ive never seen one. The searching method of Chinese and English is different. It is not like French/English Dictionary (which I own a few) . Myself i own 2 seperate dictionaries, one for English-Chinese, and one for Chinese/English.

    I will ask the staff today for you and post back later (going back to visit the boys of the shop i worked in).
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Hmmm.....Zulis, I think I understand what you are saying. However, a lot of dictionaries that I encounter have BOTH a side with English-Chinese and a side with Chinese-English. However, all of these are using simplified characters.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, is it possible, in your opinion, to still benefit from a dictionary with simplified characters if I am studying traditional ones? That is, if I need to look up a traditional character word, is it easily done with a simplified character dictionary?
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Another thing that I was wondering, is if a Chinese-English dictionary of SIMPLIFIED characters would be useful with trying to discover the meaning of TRADITIONAL characters. What I mean is, if one is reading a piece of writing written in traditional characters, and needs to know what a word is. If the only resource available is a dictionary in simplified Chinese, is it possible to still find the word and find out its meaning or is this rather difficult?
    In most paper Simplified Character dictionaries, the traditional character will be written in brackets next to the simplified character. We can still find the word using pinyin or radical lookup table.
     

    Zulis

    Member
    Hong Kong - Cantonese, English
    Hmmm.....Zulis, I think I understand what you are saying. However, a lot of dictionaries that I encounter have BOTH a side with English-Chinese and a side with Chinese-English. However, all of these are using simplified characters.
    In simplified ? I don't know then, never need one. :)
    for TradTraditional though, they may exist, but I've never seen one. I will ask for you today and post again.
    As I mentioned on the other post, is it possible, in your opinion, to still benefit from a dictionary with simplified characters if I am studying traditional ones? That is, if I need to look up a traditional character word, is it easily done with a simplified character dictionary?
    Yes or no to this question. But it's best to use a dictionary that fits the script that you are learning. In this case you need a DicoDictionary in TradTraditional.
    As i said in your thread, Traditional/Simplified *may or may not* be interchangeable.

    Sorry i didnt read the rules... too long:D, I'll be careful!
     

    ameifree

    Senior Member
    Taiwan , Chinese
    Ameifree, thanks. If you want to ask your teacher, that would be cool, but yeah, I'm not sure where I'd be able to get it.
    Hello. Sorry for delay response
    I have asked my English teacher which dictionary he is using now.
    He recommended me one book named " Far East 3000 chinese characters dictionary" and told me it is very handy.
    You can check here :
    http://eng.fareast.com.tw/engweb/products/05/pro.php?series=05&bsn=12013

    Hope it is useful for you too.

    Sincerely
     

    Zulis

    Member
    Hong Kong - Cantonese, English
    maghanish2, sorry to disappoint, but no, even my shop manager said she has never sold any 2 sided Chinese/English dictionary like that. It is an university bookshop by the way.

    My post count is too low to post links so i cannot post pictures or descriptions of those dictionaries that I spoke of.
     

    Kwunlam

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    In most paper Simplified Character dictionaries, the traditional character will be written in brackets next to the simplified character. We can still find the word using pinyin or radical lookup table.
    I often use 現代漢語詞典 in both simplified and traditional editions. I realise one phenomenon: in the simplified version, they would list the character in simplified format, then they would write the traditional form as well as the "irregular/non-standard" variant-forms 異體字 together. One must therefore be careful to distinguish whether a given word in bracket is in fact a traditional character 繁體字 or a variant-form 異體字.

    And for some "one-to-many" cases (干--> 干, 乾, 幹), it is not that straightforward which traditional words apply to which words. A foreigner may have troubles in judging which is which (干扰, 干部, 干净 -->干擾, 幹部, 乾淨), if (s)he just uses the simplified version but wants to know which is the correct form in traditional writing.

    For example, for the case "干--> 干, 乾, 幹", the dictionary may give 干(乾, 幹, *榦) . In this case, *榦 is a variant-form, only very occasionally used in the case of 樹榦, but this is just a variant writing; the standard way is still 樹幹.
     

    Kwunlam

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    Hmmm.....Zulis, I think I understand what you are saying. However, a lot of dictionaries that I encounter have BOTH a side with English-Chinese and a side with Chinese-English. However, all of these are using simplified characters.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, is it possible, in your opinion, to still benefit from a dictionary with simplified characters if I am studying traditional ones? That is, if I need to look up a traditional character word, is it easily done with a simplified character dictionary?
    I would suggest that you can actually buy two medium-sized dictionaries, one is Trad.Chi->Eng, another is Eng->Trad. Chi. Then your problem can be solved.

    You might not really need a huge dictionary to carry around everywhere. As your Chinese progresses, you would probably be able to use Chi-Chi dictionary.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Thanks, ameifree, but I think the fact that it only has around 3,000 words is not a plus.
    Zulis, that's really interesting that they have never sold anything like that, but thanks for trying!
    Kwunlam, I do like your idea, but what exactly is a Chi-Chi dictionary?

    It is sadly looking like I may have to buy a simplified Chinese dictionary with the traditional forms in brackets. However, my question is this: If I needed to know what a Chinese word meant, but it was in traditional characters, would it be at ALL easy to look it up in a simplified character dictionary? I am very confused as to how the Chinese even look up words in their dicitonaries, so is this possible?
     

    Zulis

    Member
    Hong Kong - Cantonese, English
    They have never sold anything like that because we (in Hong Kong) generally use Chi-Eng and Eng-Chi seperately, as said previously :) They are two completely different things.

    I'll try to answer the questions.

    A Chi-Chi dictionary he means a Chinese-Chinese dictionary (of course).
    Just like an Eng-Eng dictionary, a Chi-Chi dictionary explains Chinese words in Chinese.
    A classic Chi-Chi dictionary, I would say a 康煕字典, but it is a very advance level dictionary, written in the 18th century. I don't know if it is avaliable in Simplified Chinese.

    Don't worry here, there are a lot of modern Chi-Chi dictionaries out there.

    To your question about looking up a Traditional writing word in a Simplified dictionary:
    And for some "one-to-many" cases (干--> 干, 乾, 幹), it is not that straightforward which traditional words apply to which words. A foreigner may have troubles in judging which is which (干扰, 干部, 干净 -->干擾, 幹部, 乾淨), if (s)he just uses the simplified version but wants to know which is the correct form in traditional writing.
    I think he already answered you :D
    If you want o look up a word in Traditional writing in a Simplified dictionary, you *may* confuse youself.

    I would suggest sticking with one type of writing first.
     

    maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Zulis, I had forgotten about Kwunlam's previous post, so thanks. However, now I'm at a loss because I really cannot find any traditional character dictionaries that are reasonably priced to buy. :(
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    From the range of dictionaries on sale in Singapore, a Chinese-English dictionary is usually pocket-size. When a learner is advanced enough to need a large dictionary, he/she would be ready to switch to a Chinese-Chinese dictionary.

    I've done a search for online bookstores that sells dictionaries and does international delivery; there aren't many that do both. As we cannot post commercial links in the forum, I'll send a bookstore link to maghanish via PM. Hope it'll help.
     
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