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Benjie

Chinese-English Electronic Dictionaries

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Benjie

Hi there,

I am looking for a Chinese-English Electronic Dictionary with Handwriting Recognition. I have looked at various options but I somehow have the impression that most of them are just for Chinese native speakers wanting to learn English while I would like it to work the other way round.

Does anybody have experiences with one of the following models: Yishen-888, MD-8300, GD-128, Besta CD-828, Besta CD-98 or know of any other model? (you can find pictures at www.powerdictionary.com or http://www.ectaco.com/Chinese-Simplified-items/) Is any of them suitable for English speaking users? :help

Many thanks!

B

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lau

I guess it depends on what You expect from the dictionary. I happen to have a Besta 95 (or 96? or 65? I don't remember). the handwriting recognition system works good enough. the trouble is, that the chinese-english dictionary does NOT give the pinyin. I need to click on the individual characters to get tho know how to read them. the trouble starts when one on the characters has multiple readings. The Oxford dictionary is usefull, since I'm not a native speaker. Other things are kind of senseless or just not too useful: encyclopaedia (in chinese), calendar, calculator, something PaintBrush-like, travel dialogues (chinese, english, cantonese, japanese) etc.

I havent had any other electronic dictionary, so I'm OK with mine, though I do not use it often - such a dictionary as if seems to be a good idea, but it mostly sleeps peacefully on it's shelf.

Oh, yes, and the batery seems to be really good.

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charlie77

anyone recommend a good,CHEAP <---- most important feature, speaking, chinese-english dictionary because I think I need to know more than how to count to 5 :)

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Benjie

Thanks for your input lau, that is actually what I feared. The reason why I want to buy such a dictionary is the fact that many times I dont know how a character is pronounced and it takes me ages to find it in the normal dictionary. Therefore, it would be perfect to have a computer that recognizes your handwriting and gives you the pinyin as well as the English translation.

Hm, does anybody know if the MD8300, GD128 or the Yishen888 have this function? :conf

B

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Benjie

I wish I could, the thing is that I live in Berlin, Germany, and there seems to be no demand or market for these things here, at least they dont sell them in any of the shops..

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Benjie

By the way, I read my way through the pdf manual of Besta CD-616 yesterday and as far as I could tell the dictionary only provided the Chinese characters not the pinyin for English words, which is in line with what you, Lau, said....

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ChouDoufu

I just won a fre Besta CD-616 and it does have the pinyin limitation. But looking up words is much much easier with the writing input system. My friend has the korean version of besta and it is able to do a complete pinyin searches (ie. you type "pengyou" instead of typing "peng" searching for 朋 and then typing "you" and searching for 友). but i haven't figured out how to do that yet (or even if the english version can do it.)I've only had it for 3 days so far. It's dictionary is pretty good, but is very weak when it comes to advanced chinese phrases. I'm hoping I can figure out a way to create a dictionary or make ammendments to the supplied dictionaries to fill the gaps.

I think besta might be the best thing out there right now for english speakers. , which is sad, because in japan, both the casio and the seiko electronic dictionaries are really good. If Seiko or Casio comes out with a new dictionary that has C-E or C-C in addition to the J-E, e-j, j-c/c-j ones it has, I'd definitely reccomend those for pinyin.

anyway, good luck.

---post edit---

some new info. you can look up the pinyin for words on the besta cd-616. i was just playing around with it and discovered it. it's a multi-step process.

1) search for the word in the dictionary (you can write it in or use pinyin or whatever input you'd like)

2) use the pen to select the chinese word at the top.

3)after selecting some buttons will appear at the bottom of the screen. one of them is "F4Card". click on this one and select CHN

This will bring you to the CHN-CHN definition of the word, WITH PINYIN!!

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carlo

There is a Casio electronic dictionary with excellent Chinese, English and Japanese bilingual and monolingual dictionaries. It just came out in China and I saw it recently in Beijing (the price was around 2,200 RMB). I'm travelling around these days, I'll check it out later when I have time.

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snarfer

for that kind of money you could just buy an old Palm and put plecodict on it.

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Benjie

ChouDoufu: Many thanks for the insight. Sounds like the Besta 616 is a good choice. Have you already gathered experience with the handwriting recognition, is it good?

Carlo: I am very interested to hear about the Casio dictionary you mention. I had a look at Casio's US and Germany website but I could only find some information on the Casio China homepage (http://www.casio.com.cn/dic/). Due to my limited Chinese I could not really figure out if that is the one you are talking about.. Does the Casio dictionary have a handwriting recognition feature, by the way?

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carlo

I just saw one of the new Casio e-dictionaries during lunchtime, you can try it for free on the 4th floor of the Lufthansa Shopping Centre in Beijing. No pen input, but good radical tables (if you don't know the radical you can also search by 笔画总数). As others have said you can search for whole 'words' by pinyin, and it even supports wildcard searches (way to go). It has some elementary features to help you revise vocabulary (it automatically saves your search history, and you can mark individual entries for later revision -- no flashcards). The display is unusually large and clear.

Its chief appeal is that it bundles together some excellent dictionaries. The monolingual Chinese dictionary, 现代汉语大词典 by the publishers of 汉语大词典 is at least twice as big as Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, and anything associated with this publisher is usually of very good quality. The Chinese-English dictionary is also huge, at 220,000 compound entries it's one third larger than the ABC comprehensive. One other selling point is that it offers equivalent resources for Japanese, and on the same machine.

But if you're only beginning to learn Chinese and live in Europe, you can probably start with smaller dictionaries (the Chinese Casio dictionary has a Chinese-only interface and manual, after all). And it's more expensive than a Tungsten PDA.

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JohnSmith1980

Sorry...I didnt know who to set my own post up so I'm going to try and go through this one. (If anybody could tell me how to set up my own post starter I would firstly appreciate that!!!) I have been using PlecoDict for about 2 years now - and honestly I've found it a real life save. I think it is worth every penny and has saved me through many bad moments in Class :( althogh now I am looking to challenge myself and move to a chinese to chinese dictionary for Palm OS, So if anyone knows any links that would be great.

Thanks everybody.

Chris. :shock:

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gougou

I tried sending you a private message, C_Smith85, but that didn't work out, so here goes:

To start your own thread, click on "Forums" in the menu bar near the top, then on the name of the forum you want to post in. Then, there is a button above (also below) the existing threads which reads "New Thread". Click there, type in your message and an appropriate title, click "Submit New Thread" and you're all set...

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Benjie

Carlo: Thanks for the update on the Casio, I guess since I am only at beginner level it is not really the right kind of tool for me..

ChouDoufu: One more question about the 616. Do you think it is suitable for someone who knows English but barely any Chinese? Put differently: Can you have the whole menu displayed in English or do some headlines, buttons, etc. always appear in Chinese characters (Chinese-only interface)? Thanks again.

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Neil-san

Benjie,

I just picked up a new CD-616 for around $200 on e-bay, and it does pretty much everything you listed. There is a small learning curve, as you need to learn how to manipulate the unit, but the menus move from English to Chinese - simplified or traditional - to Japanese to Korean. I have been using it to do lookups by radical and by handwriting recognition. It also recognizes pinyin, though it isn't quite as powerful as Wenlin for this - you navigate by consecutive syllable, whereas with Wenlin you enter the whole word and the program throws back every permutation for every syllable possibility.

The website offers quite a few upgrades to download at no cost, but the basic unit is pretty powerful. The money I saved at e-bay was used to purchase a 2-gig SD card for all the e-books and MP3 lessons floating around. The upgrades include some nifty calculator add ins that do graphics and higher level functional math.

Being a newbie laowai myself I like the pronounciation the unit does for GB and BIG5 texts. It helps to associate sounds with symbols.

I hope that helps. I'm obviously happy with the choice over the PDA option.

Regards,

Neil

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galaygobi

If you're a foreigner studying Chinese as opposed to a Chinese person studying English, the Japanese brand dictionaries are alot easier to use.

I have both the Instant-Dict 8688, and a Canon Wordtank V80. The problem with the way words are indexed in the 8688 is you have to know the characters for a word before being able to search for it.

For example, if you're searching for '告诉', you'll have to first input 'gao' and choose the corresponding character, then either input 'su' or scroll down to the matching entry.

The way the Canon and other Japanese brands index words is fully pinyin for keyboard input. Therefore you can type 'gaosu' and you'll be able to find the entry. Very handy when someone tells you a word and you don't know how to write it.

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Sinta

I've been using OZING 8000 as you mentioned. The price is only half of Canon Wordtank V-80 RMB 1200++). Besides, this dictionary provides sound with clear pronunciation. You can also write any unknown characters and will be able to know what it is.

So far, my problem is, for words with 2 characters such as 告诉,no pinyin are avalaible and you have to click every character for pinyin explanation. It's quite 麻烦。Still, Canon wordtank V-80 is much better and more convenient concerning this feature.

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