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Tomas Tomas

WHAT happened to nciku --- crazy

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Lu

Still using Youcao and Iciba, but it's been a month and I still sorely miss Nciku. Both of those have their usefulness, but Nciku was better than the both of them together. Good translations, often in both English and Chinese, and good example sentences, often real Chinese ones (not only translated English). I occasionally look at Line, but it's usually little to no use.

What I don't understand is why Line didn't just slap its own logo over Nciku and left the rest as it is. Why throw away something good?

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imron
Why throw away something good?

My guess would be a new project manager who doesn't understand the basic use case for the product but wants to leave their mark on it somehow.

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roddy

I'd wager they just couldn't make any money out of it. 

 

Anyone tried http://www.tastymantou.com/ ? Gets recommended in the comments of a techinasia article linked to earlier. 

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Lu

a new project manager who doesn't understand the basic use case for the product but wants to leave their mark on it somehow.

Those should be put to work in coal mines and never let loose on civil society. It was also one of those that killed the Chinese library in Leiden, just to make his mark.

If you can't make money with a really good product, making it worse than the competition doesn't seem like a solution to me. But what do I know.

Roddy, thanks for the recommendation. I usually don't have very high hopes that sites that aim to teach very basic Chinese are fit for my dictionary needs, but will try this one out.

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jbradfor

Seems a number of people miss the example sentences from nciku; for those, what do you think of  jukuu ( http://www.jukuu.com/ )?  That's the site I often use for example sentences.

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ChTTay

I just had a look at tastymantou and jukuu and both seem like they might be useful. I searched the same three words on each site. TM had 2 example sentences for each, were simple and/or seemed fairly useful. They sentences are large font and easy to read. Jukuu had a lot more sentences but a lot of them didn't seem useful for me. A few diamonds in the rough but involves more of a search. I would probably catagorize jukuu with baidu and youdao dictionary in that sense. The sentences seem to be English sentences translated. English is more prominant when you search for sentences. Also, when I searched for '采取‘ the first three pages of sentences all were from 'About Face 3交互设计精髓' which says, in English, it's a book on 'interaction design'.

 

Anyway, I'd probably use TM more often. They two sentences they had showed a slightly different use for the word. It would be nice if they had more example sentences though.

 

I currently like to use yellowbridge for examples in combination with baidu/youdao.

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mikelove

Naver just reported disappointing financial numbers, which may help to explain some of the scaling-back - I can't imagine nciku was or LINE dict is a particularly profitable business for them, so they may have had their budget cut to a point where they had to shed some engineers and/or some expensive annual royalties and were forced to pare things down to a more basic dictionary.

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ChouDoufu

Thanks for the Tasty Mantou mentions. It's a site I am working on.

@ChTTay : I'm working on adding more example sentences. The main issue is translating the sentences. I have a LOT of potentially good natural sentences--too many actually. It would cost at least 35K to get them all translated! 

 

 

As for the inside dirt on nciku: I used to work there and have inside knowledge, but it's better to speak in general terms. A website like nciku requires lots of resources: developers, designers, content creators with English and Chinese proficiency, not to mention product managers, QA, etc. Unfortunately, a site with revenue similar to nciku can't support a large team. From my various experience in the space, I feel that only smaller operations can become profitable. It's also possible that nciku was shut down because the company no longer had people who were able to champion it inside the company.

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Lu

I just happened to search for 见小 and 张口 on Tasty Mantou, but neither was in the dictionary (Youdao and Iciba had both). Tasty Mantou is faster than Youdao and Iciba, and its example sentences are better-managed, but for my use (translation), the dictionary is too small. Are there any plans to expand it?

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realmayo

For Youdao at least, 见小 doesn't seem to have any dictionary definition but just copies from Baike.

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roddy

ChouDoufu! Good to see you around!

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Lu

I know, Iciba as well. Youdao and Iciba are not that great. But some information, even if it is chaotic and if some of it is not relevant or useful, is better than no information. I could of course also go to Baike directly, but it's convenient for me if I can look for a translation (or several translations), example sentences and a Chinese definition in one place (instead of four).

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zeroByte

Hi,

My tablet broke down and I had to wipe the disk and reinstall it.

While google allows me to install nciku itself as an app again (because I bought it and Google doesn't shut down as abruptly as Naver), I'm unable to get the data itself because that's to be downloaded from nciku's servers... which are down now.

 

You can either use the direct download or the app offers to use exiting data which may be obtained using another method - for instance with your computer.

I was wondering if anyone could hand me the

http://images.nciku.com/nciku3.3.zip

 

or the contents (data) of the nciku folder on his tablet/cellphone. Basically it copies the data, assuming I can get hold of the data it shouldn't be too difficult to get it running again. (Thanks in advance!)

(btw.: I'm using Pleco now that nciku is gone.)

 

Of course I'll also contact naver but I don't expect any progress from this end.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

EDIT: okay, obviously also the brand nciku is dead, the domain is for sale:

http://whois.domaintools.com/nciku.com

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mikelove

Interesting that they're selling that - however it looks like nciku is also a registered trademark in the US, so at least in order to use it as more than a redirect (and possibly even just to use it as a redirect) you'd need to make a deal with Naver to buy that as well.

@zeroByte - anything about the old nciku that you miss / wish we'd add to Pleco?

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weixiaoma

@mikelove, the thing I miss most about Nciku is that it was a great online dictionary and accessible as soon as you entered the site. That's the biggest thing missing from Pleco at this point.

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mikelove

Thanks! (we're looking into what we can do with that, hence my interest in the availability of nciku's domain name)

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Lu

Found another dictionary that goes some way to replacing the still sorely missed Nciku: http://dict.bing.com.cn/?form=BDVSP4&ulang=ZH-CN&tlang=EN-US#%3Ahome. Apparently it's not actually a Bing thing but something Bing bought. Haven't really used it yet, but it has definitions and example sentences, although it mostly seems aimed at Chinese learners of English.

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realmayo

Just wanted to mention that nciku is now http://ce.linedict.com/dict.html#/cnen/ and seems fine. Very good in fact.

Edit: I mean, the other way around, that address now seems to do everything that nciku used to do.

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Lu

Realmayo, thanks for the update! I took a look and it's a huge improvement over what Line Dict first was, will look around for a bit to see how useful it is. I've been using mostly Jukuu and Pleco lately, but the Jukuu sentences are almost always translated from English, so that's less than ideal.

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