Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Horse

Electronic Chinese Dictionaries

Recommended Posts

Horse

I've been having a really tough time trying to get hold of an electronic dictionary which will do everything i want and wont cost a fortune. what i need is a dictionary where you can write the chinese character on the screen and then it will give you pin-yin with tones and a defintion in English. I know a friend got one in Chongqing for about 550 kuai, but all the ones i find with this spec are about 1000 which i really cant afford. Can anyone recommend a good, cheap model (i think the best ive seen is the 不不搞 9288s), or does anyone even want to sell me their old one? any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

kora-雨

it is 步步高,sorry i have no used models to give you, and i think the price of 500 more are very cheap, maybe it just can buy from china, you can ask someone buy it in china and bring to you. i am stay in china these days, maybe i can buy it for you and send you by mailing, if you need my help, just contact me. my email address is [email protected]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aimei

There is a good online dictionary I think is just as good as any portable electronic dictionary I've come across. The site is www.zhongwen.com, easy to remember. Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horse

cheers aimee.

yes thanks Kora, it should be "步步高", it was the computer not me honest :oops:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
teachinator

Horse,

I got the bubugao 9288s, and it's not working out for me at all. I do not recommend it for students of Chinese. It's really intended for Chinese speakers learning English, not vice versa.

For example, it doesn't do things that are critical for a student of Chinese, like giving a list of popular compounds and their English equivalents when you look up a character. Furthermore, I can't find a way to get it to give me the definition of most compounds (when I look up a character it offers just a few compounds), so it is often no help to me when I'm stuck. Frustratingly, I can enter a compound on the screen but there is no apparent way to get the dictionary to look it up!

It rarely recognizes my handwritten Chinese input (even when I think it's really accurate), so looking up new characters with manual input is a very frustrating effort. The Chinese characters are small on the screen so it's not easy to use the dictionary to help learn a new character. Furthermore, it takes several keystrokes every time I start up the device to get to the dictionary I want. It's got a lot of extras for helping Chinese learn English (like listening exercise), but nothing in the opposite direction.

All the on-screen instructions are in Chinese and when I went through them with a Chinese friend; there didn't appear to be an option to switch to English instructions. I didn't get a manual with at at all (bought it at the big electronics store here and now think I may have been the object of a shady sale even though I went with a trusted local friend). The bubugao site is all in Chinese so I haven't been able to ask them for help or if there's a manual with English.

In short, this dictionary has been a source of frustration at least as often as it's been useful. It's not useless, but it's not at all satisfying as a language learning tool. If possible, I am going to buy a Palm and Plecodict and try to sell the 9288s to a Chinese student for whom it will probably be a very good tool (and MP3 player, calendar, etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horse

Hi Teachinator,

Thanks for your reply. I have tried to write you a private message re; this matter but cant for some reason, can send your hotmail or something.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adrianlondon

I bought a Besta when in Singapore a couple of years ago. It does have English menus but - and this took me a while to work out - I needed to switch to the chinese menus in order to switch from traditional to simplified characters. Then I could switch back to the English menus.

It's full of crap like a diary, some notes thing, lots of pretty pictures etc etc all designed for students learning ENGLISH. It recognises my handwriting really well (but then I write quite neat - like a child - and my strokes are in the correct order if that matters) but, as was said above, it just does a direct match and not much else. No good compound searching.

I've given it to my Taiwanese partner who uses it often. I have the Palm TX and Plecodict. There's another current thread on this very subject where I posted almost the same thing as here, so maybe they could be merged? The Palm (or some sort of Treo phone thing) plus Plecodict is fantastic. Not cheap, but much better; much much better, than anything else I've seen.

Plus you get a PDA thrown in, so to speak ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
teachinator

Once bitten, twice shy: If I buy the Palm TX in Beijing, do you know if there's any danger of getting a Chinese-language-oriented one or are all Palm models the same worldwide? I would hate to repeat a mistake, and at a much higher cost, to boot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

You'll get a standard-issue palm, with the advantage of some essential software (CJKOS and PenPower) already installed. Whoever you buy it from should help you set it up, just make sure they know you want English as the main language. I'm not even sure if there's a fully Chinese OS for Palm.

Plus you get a PDA thrown in, so to speak ;)

Absolutely - I've said this before, but I got a PDA for Plecodict. I now use the PDA for reading, surfing, email on an almost daily basis, with occassional music / movie use. Don't use the personal organizer software, though I should . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
youpii

teachinator: I borrowed my roommate's 9288s and I think the content and cross search features are great ! I especially love the 现代汉语词典(汉英双语), it's exactly like the paper version, even with the examples. The only problem is that I hate typing pinyin on a virtual keyboard. I'm not sure what you mean by "compound" ?

I didn't have problems with the handwriting recognition, the few times it was wrong, the right character was in the other 9 proposed matches

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
teachinator
teachinator: I borrowed my roommate's 9288s and I think the content and cross search features are great ! I especially love the 现代汉语词典(汉英双语), it's exactly like the paper version, even with the examples. The only problem is that I hate typing pinyin on a virtual keyboard. I'm not sure what you mean by "compound" ?

I didn't have problems with the handwriting recognition, the few times it was wrong, the right character was in the other 9 proposed matches

Hi Youpii,

I suspect you are a native or near-native speaker of Chinese and that's why the 9288s was much more appropriate for your use. I'm not saying it's a bad dictionary at all, just that it was not right for me. One problem is that all instructions are in Chinese; another is that except for the dictionaries, all of the many resources included in it (grammar, audio, stories), are there to help Chinese speakers learn English and are therefore just so much stuff to maneuver around for me.

A compound refers to two characters that together form one word, and being able to look up compounds in pinyin turns out to be a deal-breaker, in my opinion, for a student learning Chinese.

As an example of the problem with the 9288s from this standpoint, let's say you heard someone say the compound "shi jie" in Chinese and that you had no idea what it meant and wanted to look it up. With the 9288s, you have to enter the pinyin "shi" and then select from the list of dozens of matching characters that come up before you can proceed. Only after choosing a "shi" character can you go ahead and type the pinyin "jie," and then if there is a match for the combination you will see it. If you have no clue as to what the correct character for "shi" is, you are, as they say, SOL. If there's a way around this, please tell me. I never found it.

In PlecoDict, by contrast, you would type in the pinyin "shijie" (with or without spaces between and with or without tone marks after each character) and lo and behold, a whole list of all the known "shijie" combinations would come up in the right-hand window, with their characters and meanings. There are at least a dozen "shijie's," all starting with different "shi's"! Imagine what a task to find the right one with the 9288s.

(My only slight quibble about Pleco here is that the column cannot be dragged wide enough for me to conveniently view the pinyin, characters, and English definitions at a glance. But there are so many options I don't know about that I'll bet a dollar there's a way to modify it to give you a full-width screen for the matches. And anyway, all I have to do is tap each entry in turn to see its full definition in the left-hand window, so it takes only seconds to find one that matches what the speaker said.)

I don't know why I had such problems with the handwritten character recognition, but aside from my writing faults, I really think it might have had something to do with my being left-handed. There were times it simply didn't record my strokes, or parts of them, and I could only guess that had to do with the pressure or angle differing from the expected, ie, with handedness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
youpii

teachinator, I'm not native but most of my classmates have hsk levels 8 to 10 so menus in chinese are not too bad for me. i didn't use the other ressources like grammar etc so I can't speak of it

i see what you mean by compounds... except pleco, the only dictionary I saw with that behaviour is the Casio EW-V2000 which is very good and affordable but hasn't handwriting recognition

actually I'm used to paper dictionaries so the 'character by character' way is ok for me, typing messages in you mobile phone also works that way anyway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horse

i can happily say i have now purchased a 9288s and it is a cracking piece of kit would be happy to recommend it to anyone, not only good for looking up words but really clears up confusion of characters with ambiguous meanings with its examples. Theres a couple going cheap on Chinese ebay if anyone else is thinking of getting one. chuffed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
djwebb2004

现代汉语词典 is good, but very limiting. Don't expect to find all the words you need to look up in this dictionary. That is why the ABC is so good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horse

i have since found that the 汉英词典 does have some basic words missing. what is the ABC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

The ABC Dictionary - generally agreed, I think, to be the best Chinese>English dictionary for the student of Chinese, and available electronically in Wenlin and Plecodict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horse

Sorry Roddy, whats that? Do i need a palm top to get ABC or what i'm still not completely clear on it. As someone predicted earlier in this thread i have found the 步步高9288s often doesnt have even quite basic words you're looking for sometimes. So re; ABC enlighten me if you will...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QooQoo

I've been reading around for a while now for an electronic dictionary. I'm not exactly a beginner in the field, since I was born into a Chinese family, but I'm not pro at it either. Actually, I'd say I'm nearly beginner. I can only recognize about 50 chinese words, even though I've been speaking it my whole life. I'd like to expand my chinese vocabulary and I was wondering which e-dict would be best for a native english user.

I've read great reviews over the Besta CD-628 (New one). But I'm still not sure. At this time, I am also studying French. Is it possible to use SD cards from other companies and insert it into the Besta/dictionary? Also, I am going on a trip to Japan as a student exchange and I was considering buying a translator. But would it be possible to just use the dictionary?

All of this is very confusing to me. I think experience from other people would do me better than just going by instinct. (I almost bought an ectaco before my friend told me it was really bad...:oops: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...