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Pleco - worth paying for basic/pro add-on bundles?

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I have an android phone. I already had Pleco Basic Bundle and I purchased "ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary - $19.95" just now. It says it's Chinese - English and contains over 197000 entries. I see that there is also this package available: "ABC English-Chinese Dictionary - $9.95". There's written that this is English-Chinese and contains about 18000 entries. So should I buy it or I don't need it since I already purchased "ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary"? I see that the one I already purchased contains many more entries. Does it matter if they write "Chinese-English" or "English-Chinese"? I mean, with the dictionary I currently have, can I look up words in both directions?


You can look up words in English, but you'll find your results are at best not optimal, and at worst very misleading.


For example, when I was first starting out with Chinese I tried using "发现" for find, because it was the first result in the Pleco C-E dictionary when I searched for that word. Of course, this is correct for the sense "the researchers found that subjects were more likely to give positive responses when presented with amusingly captioned images of cute dogs", but incorrect for the more common sense of "I found my car-keys behind the sofa".


Had I used the NWP E-C dictionary instead, it would have returned "寻找" and "找到" as the first results, with the sample sentence "请帮助玛丽找到她的帽子". Actually, to be honest I don't think NWP is all that great, but it's much better than using a C-E dictionary.


Also, you'll sometimes find (发现, not 找到 :wink:) that many of the results your C-E dictionary gives are actually rare, archaic, overly specialised etc., and thus may be useful to be able to look up, but not so much to use in a conversation.

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i agree, all the add ons are worth it. I would at least get the flash card app. I also like the audio add on for when I'm not sure how to pronounce a word sometimes. There are some great dictionaries that in my opinion are better than the free dictionaries. I got the professional pack a long time ago, and I haven't regretted the purchase ever. Definitely at least get the flash card app. The OCR is interesting, but in my opinion not necessary unless you have a specific use for it. I do not use the OCR.

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@Demonic, that's a common problem with translation dictionaries, but have you found any dictionary available with Pleco to be better? For nouns and often times adjectives, a image search for the word can do a much better job, but for more abstract words, I have yet to find a satisfactory dictionary for any language which doesn't have that issue.


I suppose that it's pretty much inevitable that you'll have issues like that when you're not picking the words out of authentic materials that you understand. In the long run Chinese-Chinese dictionaries are the best, unfortunately, it takes a while to get to the point where you can make use of them.

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Tommie C.

I purchased everything they have and found it very useful as a mobile dictionary and the document reader especially. With it one can download text online and learn to read Chinese (with a handy lookup feature for new characters). I've gone so far as to put similar functionality in my own iPhone/iPad Chinese language apps. 

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