English to Classical Chinese dictionary

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English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby LURKER » 22 Jul 2012, 21:41

Does such a thing exist? I can't seem to find one anywhere. Has anyone ever bought one?

Please help me out guys.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Confuzius » 23 Jul 2012, 02:14

This would be a super weird concept for a number of reasons:

1. No one speaks classical chinese.

You only translate TO languages which are still in actual use. You translate FROM languages which are both in use and are not.

Why would you want to translate something from English TO classical chinese? I am quite curious.

If such a thing does exist, that would be quite interesting...
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby LURKER » 23 Jul 2012, 02:24

Translating in two directions (L1->L2, L2->L1) is a good way to learn any language, and Classical Chinese is no exception.

Besides which, sometimes I'm simply just curious to know what the equivalent Classical Chinese term is for a given English word.

Although I haven't found anything like it yet, I'm sure that it must exist somewhere, from back in the 19th century days when written colloquial Chinese was the exception rather than the rule.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Confuzius » 23 Jul 2012, 02:27

LURKER wrote:
Although I haven't found anything like it yet, I'm sure that it must exist somewhere, from back in the 19th century days when written colloquial Chinese was the exception rather than the rule.


Maybe post your question to the FB sinologists group.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby ehophi » 08 Sep 2012, 17:08

Here are three popular resources that have Classical Chinese translation dictionaries:

Chris Fraser of the University of Hong Kong maintains a very good links page with other resources on it, as well.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Zhuangzidisciple » 16 Sep 2012, 16:30

An English to Classical Chinese would be an excellent way to practice and hone your classical. Another way is to actually write in classical, something I'm doing currently, and it's more fun than it sounds. So yes this kind of dictionary would be useful, but I also have yet to find one.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby bomblog » 11 Dec 2012, 22:56

If you haven't found a satisfactory solution for an English to Classical Chinese dictionary, here's a workaround, if you need it.

Use the already translated works of classical Chinese, then compare one to the other for a makeshift two-way dictionary between the English and Classical Chinese just by searching the text.

I looked for, and found, several sources on my resource page for Classical Chinese Reading, that have both texts of Classical Chinese as well as the translated English.

English and Classical Chinese can be found side-by-side on the Wengu database of Chinese classical texts. It's a wonderfully designed website with great scholarly content. And similarly with the Chinese Text Project which was mentioned by @ehophi above.

Rick Harbaugh's Zhongwen.com has Classical Chinese Literature as well as Confucian Classics, with links to English translations.

The collection of Chinese classics at the Chinese Text Initiative of the University of Virginia Library also has English translations.

Chinapage.com has a collection of Chinese Literature Classics as well as for Classical Chinese Novels, with some English translations for them.

Altogether, there are 15 free online resources cited there on that Classical Chinese Reading page of mine - worth a look if you're interested in Classical Chinese.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Hokwongwei » 06 Feb 2013, 03:06

I have never met a Ch-En dictionary I've liked. They tend to simplify definitions down as if there were a 1:1 equivalence between phrases in two wildly different languages. If you're Chinese is good enough to read classical, just get a regular 漢語辭典 or what not. Those sorts of dictionaries have the most regularly used classical definitions in them, so... problem solved?
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Rotalsnart » 06 Feb 2013, 19:25

Hokwongwei wrote:I have never met a Ch-En dictionary I've liked. They tend to simplify definitions down as if there were a 1:1 equivalence between phrases in two wildly different languages. If you're Chinese is good enough to read classical, just get a regular 漢語辭典 or what not. Those sorts of dictionaries have the most regularly used classical definitions in them, so... problem solved?


The OP is asking about E-C, not C-E.
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Re: English to Classical Chinese dictionary

Postby Hokwongwei » 06 Feb 2013, 20:37

Since just about every bilingual dictionary is also bidirectional, I figured it wasn't necessary to put arrows. What I mean is Ch<>En.
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