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I run pleco's Oxford dictionary on my Clie TG50 (shame sony have pulled out of the PDA market though). One thing that many people over look is getting a pda with a little keyboard, it's great for looking up words you hear on the street or on tv.

I also have cjkos installed too, that way I can just cut and paste newspaper articles from the web and dump them on the palm in memo format, I use them as reading practise on my commute, any words I don't know I just copy and paste straight into the dictionary etc...

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I'm looking at the following link, and trying to decide which one will have the best C-E dictionary.


The only features that are important for me are 1) pinyin input , 2) a good, reliable dictionary...

I'm wondering if some of those cheap ones (under 100$) on the page will be good enough.

I would appreciate it if someone could give me some suggestions...

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Some of the language learning products work much better for Chinese speakers learning English. I am the opposite.

Does anyone know anything about the BBK AM99 English-Chinese electronic dictionary?

It is about $100 here in the U.S. It is produced in Guandong and the voice recording is represented to be human. How does the dialect compare to Beijing?

I have also considered the higher end Besta products out of Taiwan. However, they seem to be more friendly to Chinese speakers learning English. Again, how does the dialect compare to Beijing?

I am still quite dependent on pinyin. So I need pinyin input and output with characters.

Would anyone comment on the Oxford dictionary v. the others?

This is an interesting and informative thread.

Thanks to all.

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I got a Besta 好易通 N910 last year. It is an old model.


It was only 950 yuan, and I didn't bargain on that at all, so it is probably available cheaper. Here are ths dictionaries included, I copied them from joyo.com:英汉词典, 牛津高阶英汉双解词典, 汉英词典, 现代汉语词典, 网络辞典,剑桥百科全书, 牛津基础字, 英汉词典. In fact, I am only using one of these dictionaries, the 現代漢語詞典. It is Chinese-Chinese. The word will show with pinyin, then I highlight and click to get the English.



-On-screen handwriting input, seems to be only found with Besta or a PDA.

-Card to upgrade to Japanese dictionaries.

-Downloadable add-ons, haven't tried it out yet.

-Has much the same dictionaries as the more expensive models.

-Menus can be put in English or Chinese.


Pinyin does not diplay with Chinese-English lookup, but you can highlight the word, click, and then get it.

-Low contrast screen, hard on the eyes. A colour screen would be much more easy to view, but was about 2000 yuan more.

-Extra features are designed for Chinese speakers learning English, e.g. test on IELTS vocabulary.

-Although it has the ability to pronouce words for you, the voice is so unrealistic that you are unlikely to use this feature.

Regarding traditional and simplified input, you can write traditional on the screen but the search result will be in simplified.

If you compare with a more expensive Besta model, you can see that the dictionaries are no better but the price is much higher, although obviously with that you get a colour screen and extras:more expensive Besta model on joyo

In conclusion, it seems that a PDA may be a better option if you can afford it

-Looking at the Pleco site, it seems as that the vocabulary of the ABC dictionary is bigger than the one that comes with Besta.

-You can also write on-screen with a PDA.

-And if colour screens are available cheaply with a PDA, I would definitely advise people to get a PDA.

-You can use the PDA for other purposes.

-You may pay a lot for a BESTA model but the dictionary level is the same.

I also looked at a Casio dictionary. You can see one here.Here is a link about them in English link

I tested the pronunciation, and it was excellent. They come with some great dictionaries, and the screen contrast is good, better than Besta, even though it is not colour. It doesn't have on screen input though which is why I did not go for it. But the vocabularies seemed good and it might suit someone who is also learning Japanese well, or who studies Classical Chinese and can read the Chinese-Japanese dictionary, because that has a lot of entries, 150,000. Their dictionaries would probably only suit intermediate to advanced learners. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly which model I looked at, sorry.

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I would recommend that you get PlecoDict for use on a Palm or a PocketPC.

You won't be able to read texts directly on these electronic dictionary, but you can on a PDA and you'll be able to access PlecoDict directly from the reader. You'll also be able to add the words you look up directly into the PlecoDict flashcard system, another thing you can't do with these Bestas or Casios.

If money is an issue, I would recommend sticking with a paper dictionary for now until you save enough money for a second-hand Palm/PocketPC and PlecoDict.

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Not having a PDA, I bought a Besta a couple of years ago when I was in Singapore; me and my partner both use it (me for learnng Chinese, he to look up the odd English word he doesn't yet know). It's the CD-75 model.

I agree with everything Rose said. The colour screen was an expensive option I chose not to take at the time, but it may have been worth it.

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An electronic dictionary that's cheap and works is the WenQuXing pc1000c. Although it's really for people studying English, it has pinyin, character, radical and wubi lookup. It's not even close to Plecodict as far as usefulness, and I haven't picked it up since I got PD, but I bought it last year for around 280¥ at the large bookstore on WangFuJin and it's faster and easier to carry around than a paper dictionary.

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Could someone tell me, with a PDA bought on the Mainland, does it recognize traditional input?

Also does it matter- Palm Pilot or Pocket PC?

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Palm OS-based PDA are generally sold with CJKOS (Chinese/Japanese/Korean OS) pre-installed in China.

PlecoDict, however, has its Chinese input and display system and does not depend on something like CJKOS. It allows for input with either pinyin and handwritten simplified or tradtional characters. This should be true for both the Palm and PocketPC versions of Pleco.

CJKOS support both traditional and simplified characters, with these input methods.


Supports the input of Chinese words. The followings input methods are available:

* For Traditional Chinese: CangJie[sometimes called Changjei], HongKong CangJie, Easy, ZhuYin, Cantonese, HanYuPinYin, TongYongPinYin, ZhuYin 2, WG PinYin, XuShi, DaYi, Array, Icon Word, Punctuation and Symbol, Japanese Hiragana and Katakana.

* For Simplified Chinese: WuBiZiXing, PinYin, Double-PinYin, ZhuYin, Cantonese, Shape-code, Zheng-code, Icon Word, Punctuation and Symbol, Japanese Hiragana and Katakana.

* For Korean: Korean Word, Icon Word, Japanese Hiragana and Katakana.

* For Japanese: Icon Word, Japanese Hiragana and Katakana.

* Other Input Methods available on each specific language platform, customized by users.

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