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Searching for a good chinese dictionnary

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 Message 1 of 8
15 April 2010 at 2:06pm | IP Logged 

I am actually actively teaching myself mandarin chinese. Now I want to start reading, and I need a good Chinese-English ( or better, French-English ) dictionnary. I asked in four different bookstores and searched on Amazon, but I couldn't find a Chinese-English/English-Chinese dictionnary where the Chinese words are organised by key and not in alphabetical order of their pinyin. Does this kind of dictionnary really exist ? Could someone tell me where I can find one ?

(I'm sorry if I didn't post in the right part of the forum, but it seemed to be the most appropriate.)

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 Message 2 of 8
24 April 2010 at 4:43am | IP Logged 
Me, like you, looked for a good English/Mandarin Mandarin/English dictioanary and bumped into this jewel: -Dictionaries/dp/0007261136/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1 272076896&sr=8-2

Of the array of dictionaries I've used, this one is the BEST for me.

Edited by ^veganboy^ on 24 April 2010 at 4:44am

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 Message 3 of 8
01 May 2010 at 9:55am | IP Logged 
OK, thank you very much !
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 Message 4 of 8
18 August 2010 at 1:17pm | IP Logged 
Most of the Chinese dictionaries are arranged by pinyin, which does not mean you can't use the keys to find them. In fact, searching by keys is THE method used in most dictionaries.

If you still need to look up a lot of words, you'll save much time using an electronic dictionary, where you can input the character you're searching for by writing it. Get a dictionary for your iPhone or something.
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 Message 5 of 8
18 August 2010 at 2:34pm | IP Logged 
Yes, even if the dictionary is pinyin ordered a radical look-up is still possible.

Unless you're doing some remarkably advanced reading an electronic dictionary is probably the way to go. And yes, there are some superb dictionaries available for the iphone.

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 Message 6 of 8
19 August 2010 at 1:59pm | IP Logged 
The “Grand Ricci”
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 Message 7 of 8
21 February 2012 at 8:02am | IP Logged 
The Grand Ricci is a lot of fun, and great for classical texts if you don't want to wade through the monolingual Hanyu dacidian. Funny how they would choose to make it triply obscure, with complex characters, French and Wade-Giles transliteration. The hardest part for me was using Wade-Giles. I wonder how much a personal set would cost, though!

The Far East Chinese-English Dictionary by Liang Shih-Chiu is really my favorite Chinese dictionary, and organized by radicals. Chinese Characters: a Genealogy and Dictionary is really user-friendly and a good basis for learning the characters. The online version is at

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 Message 8 of 8
21 February 2012 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
I second the Far East Chinese-English Dictionary. In my first ten years of learning
Chinese I wore out two of them. It also includes many literary meanings (in addition to
the more common one definitions) that lots of other Chinese-English dictionaries don't.
It also allows you a number of choices on how to look up a word and it is arranged
entirely by radical.

Edited by seldnar on 21 February 2012 at 7:20pm

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