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Have any of you had any luck using an internet based Classical Chinese dictionary? I have a physical dictionary for Classical, but am looking for something more extensive.

I know that sometimes 在线新华字典 and some general Chinese - English dictionaries will have 文言 entries, but I need something with specific grammar explanation and citations.

Thanks, all.

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I know of this one but I'm not sure how extensive it is. I haven't really used it myself. But it seems pretty extensive. One really cool thing is that there's a lot of classical texts on that website, and each passage has a link to the dictionary, which looks up every character in the passage for you.

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morningdew

Lingoes.net provides an awesome online dictionary service. The software allows you to load a huge range of dictionaries into it, and I'm sure a classical dictionary is available. Check out lingoes, I hope it helps!

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May I ask what physical dictionary you are using at the moment? I have some pretty decent Classical Chinese dictionaries with abundant quotations and explanations. Are you looking for a 古代漢語 -> 現代漢語 dictionary or do you want to buy a dictionary with English translations?

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Wow, thanks for all of your responses.

Gato: Unfortunately, the link on the page you posted is dead.

Daan: Right now I am using 《中华学生古汉语词典》. Because they tend to be more descriptive, I would much rather use a Chinese dictionary as opposed to one with English translations.

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Try these links:

http://www.zhsc.com/zhschelpb5/index.htm

"Chinese Classical Literature"

《中華詩詞》軟體內收錄了一個龐大的中文書庫供您使用,目前作品主要分四大部分:「中華詩詞」、「中華散文」、「中小學古詩文」與「附錄」。「中華詩詞」遴選上自先秦《詩經》、下至現當代著名詩人的代表作品五千餘首,並為多數重要作品提供了較為詳盡的註釋資料;「中華散文」分《經》、《史》、《子》、《集》四部,收錄古往今來重要的散文作品,如:《大學》、《中庸》、《論語》、《孟子》、《詩經》(見詩詞部分)、《尚書》、《禮記》、《儀禮》、《周易》、《春秋(三傳)》、《國語》、《戰國策》、《老子》、《莊子》、《列子》、《荀子》、《公孫龍子》、《鬼谷子》、《孫子》、《尹文子》、《墨子》、《韓非子》、《淮南子》、《金剛經》、《四十二章經》、《心經》、《六祖壇經》、《世說新語》、《茶經》、《聊齋誌異》、《文心雕龍》、《昭明文選》、《古文觀止》……

http://www.google.com/search?q=%E4%B8%AD%E8%8F%AF%E8%A9%A9%E8%A9%9E2009&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

中华诗词2009

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Yes, I prefer using Chinese dictionaries myself too, for exactly the same reason. I have the following dictionaries, all from 商务印书馆:

古代汉语词典: my dictionary of choice for most matters Classical, containing pretty much every word in Classical Chinese, their meanings and quite often also a few quotations to go with them.

古代汉语虚词词典: this dictionary contains a lot of function words and grammatical structures, along with remarks on usage.

古代汉语常用字字典,第4版: originally edited by 王力, the famous scholar of Classical Chinese, this fourth edition includes 4200 of the most commonly used characters along with abundant quotations.

There's also another dictionary, a 词典, compiled by 王力, which is similar to his 常用字字典 but more extensive in scope. I don't have it, but I've browsed through it, and it seemed very similar to the abovementioned 古代汉语词典.

Another dictionary I could recommend if you are serious about Classical Chinese and if you can read French is 中國古文大辭典(法文注釋)(精) by F.S. Couvreur, also known as the Dictionnaire classique de la langue chinoise, which might be hard to get abroad but can be bought here for 1500 NTD if you know where to look.

Of course, if anyone else has any tips to share, please let me know...one can never have enough dictionaries! ;)

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Thanks, Daan. I guess none of these are in electronic form, then?

Unfortunately I cannot read French, no. :P

Basically the conclusion I have come to so far is that these is not a decent electronic classical dictionary online that can really compare to a hard copy. :-?

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tooironic

My 步步高 (electronic dictionary) has a 古代汉语 section in it. Not sure how comprehensive it is though.

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There are certainly some electronic dictionaries for which you can download Classical Chinese language packs, but I'm not sure how comprehensive those are, either. I've never used them. tooironic, if you're up for it, we could perhaps do a little experiment? If natra posts some of the words he's had trouble finding in his paper dictionary, we could both look them up and see what our dictionaries come up with? I'd be interested to know how comprehensive your 步步高 is - have always wanted to buy one at some point in time.

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tooironic

Absolutely. Ask away.

PS. For the record, I love my 步步高. Its Chinese->English dictionaries (excluding the classical one) are very comprehensive and the handwriting input is very useful. The Eng->Chinese dicts are even better. It also doubles as a USB and MP3 player which is nice. The only complaint I have is it doesn't support traditional character lookup (although you can still write in them, which is weird). Still, mine is a couple of generations old, so who knows what direction they've taken them in the new versions...

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Alright. Here's an excerpt from 《史记》for you:

今君与廉颇同列,廉君宣恶言而君畏匿之,恐惧殊甚,且庸人尚羞之,况於将相乎!臣等不肖,请辞去。”蔺相如固止之,曰:“公之视廉将军孰与秦王?”曰:“不若也。”相如曰:“夫以秦王之威,而相如廷叱之,辱其群臣,相如虽驽,独畏廉将军哉?顾吾念之,彊秦之所以不敢加兵於赵者,徒以吾两人在也。今两虎共斗,其势不俱生。吾所以为此者,以先国家之急而后私雠也。”廉颇闻之,肉袒负荆,因宾客至蔺相如门谢罪。曰:“鄙贱之人,不知将军宽之至此也。”卒相与驩,为刎颈之交。

I would be interested to see what your dictionary cites to support your reading of 肖 from "臣等不肖".

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You can find the right definition with a word search for "不肖" on zdic.net or iciba.com (both very good dictionaries designed for native Chinese).

http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/4/ZdicE4ZdicB8Zdic8D30280.htm

不肖 bùxiào

[Nothing doing]∶谦辞。不才,不贤

臣等不肖,请辞去。——《史记·廉颇蔺相如列传》

http://www.iciba.com/%E4%B8%8D%E8%82%96/

不肖 1. 品行不好 ,没有出息 (多用于子孙 )(不肖子孙 ) 2. 谦辞。不才, 不贤 例子 臣等不肖, 请辞去。——《史记·廉颇蔺相如列传》

But I was puzzled to see if that entries for the character "肖“ itself on either zdict or iciba don't really suggest that you do a further search for "不肖". "肖“ standing by itself does not have a meaning of "worthy" or "talented", and thus you wouldn't be able to associate 不肖 with "unworthy" or "untalented" if you didn't look up 不肖. Instead, without the cross-reference to 不肖, you might be misled into thinking that 不肖 means "dissimilar" as 肖 means "similar."

Ideally, the entries for "肖“ would cross-reference 不肖 as a special word combination. Zdict does not give you that hint. Iciba does in its "more information ("更多资料) tab for 肖, but the tab gives a list of wholly unrelated words in addition to 不肖 and it might be easy to overlook 不肖 in the long list.

Interestingly, the 500-page concise 古汉语常用字典 (originally by edited by 王力, published by 商务印书馆) does list "不肖" as a possible word combination for "肖" even though this is a character dictionary.

The 2000-page 古代汉语词典 (also published 商务印书馆, though not edited by 王力), disappointingly, does not list 不肖 under 肖 and thus you might be misled into thinking that 肖 of 不肖 means "similar" and 不肖 means dissimilar instead of "untalented."

The huge 汉语大词典 also does not cross-reference 不肖 under 肖, which is quite disappointing.

It looks like the relatively tiny 古汉语常用字典 does the best job in leading one to the correct definition of 不肖 from 肖 in the whole lot. Hurray for 王力, I guess.

Edited by gato
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I am actually surprised to see that iCIBA actually does include the translation that I was looking for: 不肖 1. 品行不好 ,没有出息 (多用于子孙 )(不肖子孙 )

Right now I am working through a classical Chinese reader that is basically just several passages of 《史记》with an English gloss. In it, the scholar who compiled the book glosses 不消 as meaning "unlike one's forefathers".

I know that those links you posted only refer to this passage of the 《史记》for this usage, but I would be very curious to know how if there are any additional sources to support that.

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From the 汉语大词典, which you can download at http://www.verycd.com/topics/59729/ :

【不肖】

1.谓子不似父。《礼记·杂记下》:“諸侯出夫人,夫人比至于其國……主人對曰:‘某之子不肖,不敢辟誅。’” 郑玄 注:“肖,似也。不似,言不如人。”《史记·五帝本纪》:“ 堯 知子 丹朱 之不肖,不足授天下。” 司马贞 索隐引 郑玄 曰:“言不如父也。”后用以称子孙之不孝。 巴金 《秋》四五:“他们这些不肖子弟拿了爹的钱,又不听爹的话。” 曹禺 《北京人》第一幕:“好,我说过,我说过,我是为我这些不肖的子孙才说的。”

2.不相象。 清 黄宗羲 《赠黄子期序》:“有 慈豁霞生 者,無所傳授,多爲村落傳神,無有不肖。”

3.不成材;不正派。《礼记·射义》:“發而不失正鵠者,其唯賢者乎?若夫不肖之人,則彼將安能以中。” 孔颖达 疏:“不肖,謂小人也。”《韩非子·功名》:“ 堯 爲匹夫,不能正三家,非不肖也,位卑也。”《汉书·武帝纪》:“ 代郡 將軍 敖 、 雁門 將軍 廣 ,所任不肖,校尉又背義妄行,棄軍而北。” 颜师古 注:“肖,似也。不肖者,言無所象類,謂不材之人也。” 宋 苏轼 《上富丞相书》:“翰林 歐陽公 不知其不肖,使與於制舉之末,而發其猖狂之論。” 吴玉章 《从甲午战争前后到辛亥革命前后的回忆》六:“留 日 学生中也确有一些不肖之徒,见利忘义,以致被它软化。”

4.自谦之称。《战国策·齐策二》:“今 齊王 甚憎 張儀 , 儀 之所在,必舉兵而伐之。故 儀 願乞不肖身而之 梁 。” 唐 韩愈 《上考功崔虞部书》:“ 愈 不肖,行能誠無可取。”《辽史·耶律阿息保传》:“不肖適異國,必無生還,願公善輔國家。” 阿英 《关于瞿秋白的文学遗著》:“不肖罪孽深重,祸延笔名 陈笑峰 。”

Note the part in bold. The meaning of "untalented" may be derived from "unlike", as in "unlike his father", which is used to imply that someone is not as talented as his father.

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tooironic

OK, here's what my 步步高 says:

Under 现代汉语 it lists 不消 as 品心不好(多用于子弟 of children) unworthy.

Under 古代汉语 it lists 不消 as:

① 不似,不像。《史记.五帝本纪》:”尧知子丹朱之~。“

② 不贤。《史记.魏公子列传》:“士无贤~,皆谦而礼交之。”(《信陵君窃符救赵》)《史记.廉颇蔺相如列传》:“臣等~,请辞去。”《史记.屈原贾生列传》:“人君无愚、智、贤、~,莫不欲求忠以自为,举贤义自佐。”旧时亦用为自称的谦词。

...phew! Whoever knew typing in classical Chinese was so painstaking! :o

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tooironic, what does your 古代汉语 dictionary have for the character "肖“?

The problem I found was that many dictionaries only gives "similar" as a definition for "肖", without indicating that the word "不肖" might have a special definition that cannot be directly inferred from the definition for the character "肖". 王力's 古汉语字典 does provide a helpful note to that effect in the entry for "肖".

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The 2000-page 古代汉语词典 (also published 商务印书馆, though not edited by 王力), disappointingly, does not list 不肖 under 肖 and thus you might be misled into thinking that 肖 of 不肖 means "similar" and 不肖 means dissimilar instead of "untalented."

When I checked my edition before reading your post, I, too, was very surprised. But then it occured to me that this being a 詞典, the word would be listed as 不肖 rather than as an appendix to the character 肖. And it is:

古代漢語詞典,21次印刷,117頁

不肖 bùxiào

1)子不如其父。 《史記,五帝本紀》:“堯知子丹朱之~~,不足授天下,於是乃權授舜。” (司馬貞索:陰引鄭玄云:“肖,似也。不似,言不如父也。")

2)不才,不賢。 《韓非子,功名》: “堯為匹夫,不能正三家,非不肖也,位卑也。” 《戰國策,秦第二》:“今臣~~,棄遂於秦而出關,願為足下掃室布席,幸無遂我也。" 《漢書,鄒阳傳》: "故女無美惡,入宮見妒;士無賢~~,入朝見嫉。"

3) 自謙製次。韓愈《上考工崔虞部書〉:“愈~~,行能成武可取。”

As gato pointed out, 王力's 古漢語常用字字典 is the only one that contains a useful note that 不肖 is different in meaning from 肖, helping the modern reader find his way through the maze of classical Chinese. I haven't checked the abovementioned French dictionary though, as I don't have it at hand, but it wouldn't surprise me if that one featured a similar note.

natra, may I ask which reader you're using? I don't think I've ever seen that one. Anyway, as you can see, this usage is not only attested to in the 史記.

P.S. My edition of the 古代漢語詞典 is in simplified characters, I'm not sure if there is one in traditional characters. The problem is I forgot to switch and, for obvious reasons, do not really feel like typing that all over again ;)

Edited by Daan
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tooironic
tooironic, what does your 古代汉语 dictionary have for the character "肖“?

The modern dictionaries in 步步高 just give the definition as either "the surname Xiao (萧)" and "like; similar (逼肖)".

FYI Wenlin also lists "portrait' (肖像) and "12 animals symbolic of the Terrestrial Branches" (生肖). It goes on to say: From 小 xiǎo 'small' and 月(肉 ròu) 'flesh'. Cognate with 小. The basic meaning is 'resemble'. "Like one's father; like, resembling -- a 小 small one (a scion) of the same 肉 flesh and blood" --Karlgren.

Under 肖 the classical dictionary in 步步高 says:

① [xiào] <动>类似,相像。如:惟妙惟~。宋.苏轼《影答型》诗:“我依月灯出,相~两奇绝。”清.林觉民《与妻书》:“依新已五岁,转眼成人,汝其善抚之,使之~我。 ② [xiāo] <形> 通“消”。衰微。《史记.大史公自序》:“申、吕~矣,尚父则微。”

...interesting!

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