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Third sort in Langenscheidt dictionary?


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Many of you guys are doubtless aware that the ABC C-E Dictionary, as well as the various Oxford Chinese dictionaries, use essentially the CASS 189-radical system's three-sort arrangement to order the characters in their radical indexes. (But for those who aren't quite sure what I'm on about here: 1st sort is simply by radical i.e. into radical index whole sections; 2nd sort is by number of remaining/residual strokes other than the radical i.e. into residual stroke-count subsections; and 3rd stroke is by shape of the residue's initial stroke, in first five CASS radical-stroke order i.e. dot/dian3, then horizontal/heng2, vertical/shu4, left-falling/pie3, and finally, prototypically a stroke identical to the character 乙 yi3 i.e. heng2zhe2wan1gou1 in CDL parlance. See the ABC's Appendix 9 for a very clear explanation of all this. Incidentally, the order of the CASS radicals themselves [i.e. the first-sort itself] is also according to the shape of their initial strokes, but no dictionary as far as I am aware makes this last fact explicit).

Anyway, I was looking at my Langenscheidt C-E/E-C the other day (actually, the Insight imprint; then, there are Berlitz reprints available), and noticed that there doesn't seem to be any sort of third-sort arrangement operating in it; its characters are quite a jumble to anyone accustomed to the CASS system outlined above. There is a semblance of alphabetical ordering going on, but this seems to break down often e.g y- and z-initial characters seem to come at the start of any particular residual subsection's run of characters in the index's 扌(ti2shou3pang2 "side rising(-stroke) hand") 48th radical section (and besides, even if they were completely in alphabetical order it would hardly make sense to thirdly order characters alphabetically, because a person who was having to look a character up by graphetic form certainly initially would likely have little or no idea about even its vague pronunciation!).

So, any explanation as to the Langenscheidt's third-sort policy - or does it simply not have one? :-? (I like Chinese dictionaries to do all they can to aid efficient look-up!).

But don't get me wrong, I do like the Langenscheidt - it would seem to be the ideal choice for anyone looking for a pretty compact two-way dictionary that's comprehensive enough for travel needs (and with its entries ordered completely by Pinyin), and maybe it ultimately doesn't really need the CASS third sort, given that its mid-size entries-wise means the number of characters in any one of the index's residual subsections isn't so large as to be impossible to scan through.

Edited by Gharial
Adding a few more boring details!
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