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Best Chinese Dicts


shawky.nasr
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Best dict  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Dictionary you think good one?

    • 辞海
      1
    • 汉语大词典
      4
    • 现代汉语词典
      6
    • 新世纪汉英大词典
      1
    • 成语大词典
      1
    • 涵芬App
      0
    • 现代汉语规范词典
      4


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On 7/8/2022 at 6:34 PM, Insectosaurus said:

if I get the app in the app store

 

Apple Support are quite good, they even help (or try to) with apps from the Apple store in China that are unavailable in one's region. If things get too complicated, get a refund from Apple and start again with a new Xinhua account.

 

I'm sure your problem will be solved eventually. As for the dictionary, it's OK, nothing great, very simple but handy for quick reference and easy to use. Good thing that it uses iOS's hand-drawing keyboard. Bad: t doesn't seem to have any trace of etymologies, but then, Outlier in Pleco is the next port of call.

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On 7/8/2022 at 8:50 PM, Luxi said:

As for the dictionary, it's OK, nothing great, very simple but handy for quick reference and easy to use.

 

There is an error in their example entries on iTunes store, so I'm prepared for the quality to be a bit hit and miss. But it seems to be the only digital bilingual character dictionary once you're beyond the most common 4000 characters.

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Sorry for posting three posts in a row, but this one is unrelated to the former two. One thing that is lacking from most character dictionaries I have encountered is etymology, even in quite simple form, like whether or not a character is phonetic-semantic, photographic etc. The character dictionary that is part of zdic is the only exception I can think of. Is there any professional dictionary of such a kind available for digital purchase in Europe, or is zdic my best bet? I know about Outlier, but I am thinking more of characters beyond the 4000 frequency. There is of course Hanziyuan but I think it's quite error prone?

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On 7/13/2022 at 3:40 PM, shawky.nasr said:

There are many, if you are doing research, it is better use 北师大-汉字全息资源应用系统 (free)

 

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I only see references to the standard works, like Shuowen Jiezi, which to my knowledge is packed with errors. The Outlier provides original meaning followed by evolved meanings, but also information about character corruptions and the like.


Take for example this entry for 殿:

 

dian.thumb.png.9f295611b9415aafe1f391e2173649a1.png

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@shawky.nasr is right, there are lots of character dictionaries with etymology on the web, some have disappeared for copyright reasons, but there are still many. If I really needed to check a character up to that level, I'd go straight to the web and search in Chinese.

 

@InsectosaurusSince you mention zdic and are searching for a digital character dictionary, did you know there is a free ZDict app? At least it's available in the Apple store and is good for iPads, I'm not sure it'd suit the iPhone. A search in Google Play led me to a completely different app of similar name, there may not be an Android version.

 

I only found out about this ZDict app a few months ago, and still get thoroughly lost in it. Its full name is 汉曲ZDict, the developer is Donglin Chen. It is  a compressed version of the web's ZDictionary, not terribly user friendly as the UI adheres to the web's format and there is no obvious option to enlarge the font, but it contains a staggering amount of information - including etymologies and even the Kangxi's dictionary entry. It certainly has very obscure characters. One could spend a very long time doing nothing else but exploring it - that's why I haven't used it much. . Fortunately, the entries can be searched in traditional or simplified characters, for which I'm grateful. Another good thing is that apparently it can be used offline (haven't tried this trick yet)

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On 7/13/2022 at 4:10 PM, shawky.nasr said:

If you click on any book, will show you own text.

 

Didn't realize those were links, I thought it was information about what books had information about the character. That said, most of these, if not all, seem to be the usual suspects and hence quite old? What I'm mostly after is a modern, up-to-date dictionary with professional editors.

 

  

On 7/13/2022 at 4:07 PM, Luxi said:

Since you mention zdic and are searching for a digital character dictionary, did you know there is a free ZDict app?

 

Thanks, Zdic is a good example of what I'm after, but is still a bit hit and miss whether or not extra information is provided. I hoped there would be better alternatives around.

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On 7/13/2022 at 10:18 PM, Insectosaurus said:

What I'm mostly after is a modern, up-to-date dictionary with professional editors.

1354223534_Screenshot2022-07-13at22-23-04.thumb.png.aab4bc480c7d576c08f71b252987325b.png

 

You can choose 现代通用规范

 

If you want book, best books is 字源、汉字源流字典-谷衍奎、汉字源流字典 2021、常用字字源字典、 简明汉字源流字典 2022 (谷衍奎)

谷衍奎is one of best editor for 汉字源流

 

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On 7/13/2022 at 4:31 PM, shawky.nasr said:

You can choose 现代通用规范

 

My Chinese is not good enough to quickly skim a website with a lot of text, and I think this might be the reason I'm missing some key information here. Because I did chose 现代通用规范, but I still don't see any information of the kind provided by Outlier. To my knowledge, this option is about character sets, rather than dictionaries. The book you mention seems to be what I'm after. Hopefully there is an app one day.

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On 7/13/2022 at 9:28 AM, Insectosaurus said:

Are there no currently edited dictionaries? Surely the research has kept moving forward.

It has, of course, but you're not going to find it on websites or in books meant for nonspecialists, especially when it comes to less commonly-used characters. You'd need to look at books for/by paleographers, like 季旭昇《說文新證》、何琳儀《戰國古文字典》、黃德寬《古文字譜系疏證》、李學勤《字源》 etc. Much of what's in those books will probably not be very accessible to someone without training in the field, but if your Chinese is up to the task, you should at least be able to get the gist.

 

I wouldn't recommend anything by 谷衍奎, who tends to analyze way too many characters as 會意字 and ignore phonological relationships that should be fairly obvious.

 

To give an example, he analyzes 法 as 从人,从口,从水,从廌 (note he's analyzing an older form, 灋). He's basing that on an old bronze script form, in which 去 was ⿱大口. 大 does depict a person, but the correct way to describe 去 is not 从人从口, but 从大从口. 

 

However, that's not a huge error, just a bit of a strange way of phrasing things. The big error is this: there's a fairly clear phonological relationship between 去 and 法:

 

去: *kʰrap-s
法: *p.kap

 

For our purposes here, the *p.- can be ignored, as it's loosely attached to the syllable. That leaves us with *kʰrap-s and *kap, which are phonologically compatible. Scholars knew this at least as early as Karlgren, who put 法 in the 去 sound series (諧聲系列) in Grammata Serica Recensa.

 

Here's a much more reasonable analysis, from 李學勤《字源》:

 

从水,从廌(传说中可以辨别是非曲的动物), 去声(去声古音兼属葉部和鱼部,这里取葉部读)。

 

That's much more in line with reality, and with the way scholarship is done in this field. I don't know what 谷衍奎's background is, but I don't think I've ever seen a paleographer cite any of his work.

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