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Hot Opal

What is the best electronic dictionary/translator?

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Hot Opal

I live in Australia however I am going to China in 2 weeks.

Is there a Electronic Dictionary/Translator that can be recommended?

I have a couple of CD's to help me with a little basic language but I don't think I will be able to learn enough quickly.

Is there anything handheld that I can type in the word or sentence and have the English & Chinese pronunciation spoken?

Neville.

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richiechen

I don't know if you can open the web http://dict.cn, but it's really a good on-line web translator. I'm a Chinese and I use it a lot when I write paper or reports.

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Hot Opal

Thanks Richie,

However I need something that I can carry around in my pocket.

I need to be able to use it when I have trouble communicating.

But it needs to speak the language.

Preferably with an ear piece option also.

That way I can practice without anoying others or play the sentence out loud.

Regards,

Neville.

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flameproof

I found Pleco quite expensive compare to others. I still bought it, now I would buy it again even at double cost. It works really well.

Before I had Ectaco (or so) for my PDA. Cheaper, but by far not that useful. What I like best about Pleco is, that it gives examples. Means you can see how a word is used in context. Before I had 1 English word, 3 Chinese words - but didn't know which one to use.

Flashcards and handwriting recognition are cool too

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Hot Opal

G/Day Shadowdh & Flameproof,

Thank you for your response.

I have looked at the pleco site and it appears to me that it is predominately a dictionary!

Am I not reading it correctly?

Does it actually speak (ie pronounce the words)?

Can I get something that will do that?

I have some educational CD's loaded onto my MP3 but I dont have control over what I am trying to learn (or say).

Regards,

Neville.

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Shadowdh

The old version (1.x) doesnt have the audio... but the new version (2.x) does but is still under construction somewhat... its been released as a beta but the "more polished" beta should be released any day soon... its a dictionary that has flash card functionality and more... so worth it...

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gato

For your immediate needs, I would recommend getting a Palm PDA and one of these following talking phrasebooks/dictionaries. You can consider PlecoDict if you wanted to study Chinese for the long term.

http://www.lingvosoft.com/All-products/Chinese-Simplified/items/?ft=10&talking=0

LingvoSoft Talking Dictionary 2006 English <-> Chinese Simplified

This talking phrase book also looks extremely useful, maybe even more so than a dictionary for some purposes.

http://www.hnhsoft.com/ctgpbook

China2Go Talking Phrase Book for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile

http://www.download.com/H-H-China2Go-Talking-Phrase-Book-Palm-OS-/3000-2360_4-10550805.html

Palm version

There are other talking whole-sentence translating dictionaries -- for example, those made by Besta -- but they are made for Chinese users with Chinese user interface and not really suitable for your needs.

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Hot Opal

G/Day Gato,

I think your recommendation sounds OK.

However I dont know the difference between Palm PDA, Palm OS, Pocket PC!!!!!

The Pleco site linked from Shadowdh post suggests a Palm OS.

What is the best way to go?

Can anyone suggest a brand & model etc. please.

If I get one of these units and say "China 2Go Talking Phrase Book" will that get me by in Beijing for this initial trip?

I would then be able to get the Pleco if needed later.

I am travelling to Beijing for the Mining Expo.

I will probably have a translator but I belive it is more professional to make an effort to learn at least a little of the language.

Regards,

Neville

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gato

PalmOS is the operating system for the Palm handheld system. PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant, a hand-held computer basically.

I would recommend a Palm TX. Then you can install one of these talking dictionaries and maybe PlecoDict on it.

http://www.palm.com/us/products/handhelds/tx/

T|X handheld

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roddy
That way I can practice without anoying others or play the sentence out loud.

Much cheaper option: Phrase book with tapes / CD. Carry the phrase book around with you, it'll have characters you can point to when you are having trouble. Record the tapes or CD to mp3 and put them on your mp3 player assuming you have one, and then you can practice at your leisure.

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Shadowdh

I prefer the pocket pc myself... but I guess that depends on your needs...

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Hot Opal

Thanks Shadow, Roddy & Gato,

I think gato just about has me convinced to go with the Palm TX.

That is unless someone has a more convincing argument!!!

If I go with the Palm TX (WI FI) what is your recommended talking phrase book?

Please note that I am an absolute beginner and need the most basic stuff.

Regards,

Neville

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flameproof
I have looked at the pleco site and it appears to me that it is predominately a dictionary!

It's a dictionary with flashcard function and handwritten character recognition.

Does it actually speak (ie pronounce the words)?

No, but I do. It has Pinyin, that's enough for me. Then I can speak it. Pinyin is (IMHO) very accurate. Once you know how to speak it out then you don't need the voice function.

And what for anyway? China is mostly WAY too noisy for anyone to hear that mousevoice speaker. And a word out of context maybe not so useful anyway, just show them the character.

Much cheaper option: Phrase book...

I find phrase books way too troublesome. It takes too long to find what you are looking for.

Just to make it clear: Pleco is NOT a phrasebook (but I do find it easy to string up chinese words to simple sentences, if I miss a word, then a dictionary function is all I need)

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gato

I've only used PlecoDict myself. Once you have your PDA, you can download the trial versions of the various software and try them for yourself to see which fits your needs.

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flameproof
I've only used PlecoDict myself. Once you have your PDA, you can download the trial versions of the various software and try them for yourself to see which fits your needs.

I tried the demo and I really didn't find too useful. Many functions are disabled. Any demo user may get a wrong impression. For the dictionary option I suggest the 2nd option, which includes ABC. ABC is really a very good CN>EN dictionary. The EN>CN dictionary is just OK.

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parasite

Everyone studying Japanese in Japan uses like Casio slim silver electronic or Cannon wordtank. Now that the Japanese (thank GOD for them) have come out with the Casio's in China (chinese, english or ever all 3 including japanese depending how much you want to spend) I AM IN HEAVEN because of this... nothing can compare. You have at your finger tips example sentences for basically EVERY WORD in the dictionary. Simple ones in the English to Chinese dictionary, and ones from famous literature in the Chinese Chinese dictionary. I paid a mere 1400 kuai after bargaining --- who knows how much faster I could have learned if they existed when i started

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cdn_in_bj

I've seen the Casios at the Wangfujing Bookstore. They had 3 models ranging from 2000 to over 3000 RMB if I remember correctly. I don't have much to add, as I didn't really get to play around with them. But they did seem pretty nice.

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Hot Opal

Thanks Guys,

I have decided to take Roddys advice.

I have downloaded a heap of recorded lessons onto my iPod (MP3).

It will get me by with some of my initial learning.

However I will look @ the Casio slim silver electronic & the Canon wordtank when I arrive in Beijing.

Thanks for all your help.

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bajaoldtraveler

Hello: New to this and just ordered a Sony Mylo com2 before learning of this forum. I should receive it in a few days. Am flying to Beijing on May 14 with a one year visa and want to learn Chinese.Will these softwares download on this device?

70 years young and still having fun.

Bajaoldtraveler

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