Falns wrote:I do have a Japanese character dictionary my Ojiichan gave me in grade school; it contains the most common post-Meiji 2000-3000 characters, and you can look up a character by radical or stroke count. In addition, each entry shows the multiple readings of the character, a few words/phrases of character useage, and also shows variants (but not stroke order)... all with English output. Sounds like a lot, but it is a fairly small, light book. I was morbidly curious if anyone knows of/has/can recommend something similar but for Chinese.
The following dictionary has very good reviews on Amazon (though I've never actually seen it myself) and it sounds similar to what you described. According to the reviews, it uses traditional characters but also gives simplified. If I were in your position I might give it a shot:
Far East 3000 Chinese Character Dictionary (Chinese Edition) [Paperback]
Shou-hsin Teng (Editor)
The following reference book is an old one that I (and I think a lot of the older generation of foreign students in Taiwan) used when studying and found reasonably helpful. It has mixed reviews on Amazon:
Reading & Writing Chinese: Traditional Character Edition, A Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System by William McNaughton
You might be able to find the latter one at English bookstores in Taiwan (try Lucky Books at NTNU). The former one looks like it might be a bit more modern and lively, and it is arranged as a dictionary by pinyin alphabetic order, whereas the latter, if I remember correctly, is arranged by frequency.
Have fun studying!