Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby yuli » 01 Mar 2011, 10:30

ironlady wrote:it's live, tailored to you, and effective. And totally unlike anything else out there.

Very nice! :) Note: I am biased, since that is exactly how I would describe my own classes (Japanese, English, German - by phone and otherwise).

Um... you wouldn't be interested in a swap - Chinese for J or G? :D
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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby riceworm » 30 Jan 2012, 15:35

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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby ehophi » 31 Jan 2012, 04:26

WordReference has long had a thread like this one: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=533726

Then there's the Mandarin Portal: http://www.mandarinportal.com/

LiveABC teaches survival English, but it has Mandarin translations: http://www.liveabc.com/site/Online_Stor ... ential.asp . I had to convert the browser to UTF-8 to read it. In Firefox, that's done by pressing ALT > View > Character Encoding > UTF-8.

Here's one of those sites from which I copied all of the available sentences: http://corpus.nie.edu.sg/babel/index.htm If you want some half-interesting reading and some concrete examples of Chinese in use, that's a good site to visit.

There are boat loads of sites that offer translations and learning materials of various difficulties that come from Mandarin speakers who are learning English. Hell, you can download entire free, Chinese-human-translated 英文單字表 (English word lists) for the TOEFL, GEPT, etc., etc. with just a few browser searches.
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Re: Electronic and Online resources for learning Chinese

Postby Teddoman » 16 Jun 2012, 03:58

gary wrote:Dictionaries - Web

You can also add
http://translate.google.com/
http://hktv.cc/cd/hanyupinyin/
http://www.chinesedic.com/
http://cdict.net/

My question is, what online Chinese dictionary is actually reliable? I have recently been amazed when I search for words and find that not a single online dictionary agrees. Not a single one. That makes me think the quality control is pretty low. Does anyone have suggestions for the most reliable online dictionaries? I just want to have one or two go to websites that I don't have to second guess.
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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby Teddoman » 24 Jul 2012, 22:19

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Re: Electronic and Online resources for learning Chinese

Postby ehophi » 31 Jul 2012, 05:12

Teddoman wrote:
gary wrote:Dictionaries - Web

You can also add
http://translate.google.com/
http://hktv.cc/cd/hanyupinyin/
http://www.chinesedic.com/
http://cdict.net/

My question is, what online Chinese dictionary is actually reliable? I have recently been amazed when I search for words and find that not a single online dictionary agrees. Not a single one. That makes me think the quality control is pretty low. Does anyone have suggestions for the most reliable online dictionaries? I just want to have one or two go to websites that I don't have to second guess.


There are a handful of publicly available dictionary databases, but you're not going to find very good stuff unless there's a barrier to editing and that people who make the dictionaries know a thing or two about lexicography. It's not that they don't agree (in fact, I can prove that they do), but that they don't agree everywhere. That's to be expected, though, since translation is a feedback process in which acceptability of a translation doesn't necessarily conform to a more literal/direct translation, and also has a foundational problem that lay dictionary users don't usually accept, that there may in fact be no syntactically and semantically parallel way of translating terms (or rather, that forcing a syntax in either direction compromises the general usage of the other).

The example that I know best is "would rather" in English, which is a compound auxiliary verb and adverbial compound with "寧可/寧願" which we more sensibly would regard as regular verbs or auxiliary verbs. This also sticks out in talk about "Chinese circumpositions," when they're really not.

First yours:
  • The Google Translate "dictionary" (the translation terms that you get when you insert individual words) isn't Google's. It's Lingvosoft's dictionary database.
  • The HKTV engine, as with most searchable online translation dictionaries, looks like a chop of automatic translator results and the goddamned CC-CEDict!
  • ChineseDic is the CC-CEDict. MDBG is the best online resource for searching the CC-CEDict.
  • http://cdict.net/ is probably the most impressive one on that list. I have tried to find the source databases for some of their dictionaries, but have yet to find them.

And others:
  • http://www.Chinese-Course.com and http://www.TrainChinese.com use the CC-CEDict, but they have gone and manually edited the entries, giving them parts of speech and cutting the entries to size. They do this (I think) by privatizing the company, barring editing rights hired professionals who clean the database. The issue is that it probably won't ever reach the comprehensiveness of the CC-CEDict in its entirety, though it hasn't expanded much lately. Those sites have their own problems, though, mostly a really crappy study format. It's a shame, too, because Chinese-Course has really great data and a shit interface.
  • http://www.YellowBridge.com uses the older CEDict with some modifications and CJK dissection data.
  • http://onlinedict.com is impressive, but has one major flaw: You can only search in English!
  • Academia Sinica's BOW, which has worked to try to map Princeton's hella cool WordNet ontology, has fallen behind the most recent WordNet update, but could, in principle, be the best dictionary in existence if the developers could work at Princeton's pace.
  • The other attempt to make a Chinese WordNet has been mostly high hopes with only partial turnout. They don't seem to be obeying WordNet's ontology, either.
  • Kwuntung's Thesaurus is cool, but has a very picky search engine.
  • http://www.nciku.com.tw/ is most of my acquaintances' favorite dictionary and language learning materials source. I harvested every sample sentence on their site, but pretty quickly deleted them once I learned that they only appear to make sample sentences for the most obscure terms in the world.
  • Yahoo's Chinese-English Dictionary uses the same dictionary database that was on my portable Besta dictionary, with additional commentary from users.
  • You can download the Oxford Advanced Learners' English-Chinese dictionary in LD2 format if you know where to look. That dictionary usually gives nice definitions and translations for terms, but has too many zany sample sentences.
  • Dicts.Info allows people to download some other crowdsourced lexicons, including Wiktionary. The Chinese-English Wiktionary dictionary (or any other one) isn't so big and doesn't have a search engine, but if you're willing to hit CTRL+F and browse the text document from your web browser, it's somewhat useful.
  • CantoDict is making a good effort to fix some stupid mistakes that are fundamental to the CC-CEDict, but are starting to suffer some of the same problems (excessively long entries). The cooler part about it is that it's a Mandarin and Cantonese dictionary, so should it catch on, could potentially blow the CC-CEDict out of the water.

I'm stopping here for readers' sakes. There are other dictionaries out there, but none have really captured the things that people who use translation dictionaries are looking for:
A - curt translations,
B - part of speech tagging and sense disambiguation,
C - sample sentences that actually match the proposed definition, and
D - an interface to save and review searched words from the browser

The sort of coding that would be necessary to assure the consistent agreement among translators, machine-based and human, is a monster of a project.
Study Chinese at your leisure.
(Disclaimer: There's no moneyback guarantee because it's already free. You're welcome.)

This post was recommended by Teddoman (01 Aug 2012, 04:36)
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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby Teddoman » 17 Aug 2012, 02:16

I've found a very useful resource for trying to find "official" translations:
http://baike.baidu.com

It's basically a search engine but only pulls up subject matter wikis. So you can pull up a pretty definitive subject matter discussion, and you can have a pretty good confidence level that the translation is somewhat official. The only thing is that it's mainland China, so a lot of the usages, especially on modern words, are probably unknown in Taiwan (and maybe China too).

Examples:
cheese (cheddar, swiss, etc) 奶酪
cream cheese 奶油奶酪
bagel 硬面包圈
yogurt 酸奶
prune (dried) 西梅乾

So far I've mostly been using it to look up things like fruits and foods of the west.

Edit: and I suppose the Chinese wikipedia can be used towards the same purpose. Having so much surrounding subject matter information gives you a higher degree of confidence in the translation.
http://zh.wikipedia.org/
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Top 10 online Chinese Dictionaries? Top 20?

Postby bomblog » 17 Aug 2012, 22:02

Teddoman wrote:My question is, what online Chinese dictionary is actually reliable?


Teddoman referred to online Chinese dictionaries.

Here are my picks for the best (most useful) Chinese dictionaries on the Web:

1) NCIKU - so much more than a dictionary - many different ways to learn and improve your Chinese

2) Dictionary at Yellowbridge (that Ehophi also mentions above) - so many features, bells & whistles

3) MDBG is often cited on the Web (as is Zdic and Dict.cn). It hosts and maintains CC-CEDICT, and is associated with chinese-forums.com.

4) Zhongwen.com by Rick Harbaugh can't be left out (already mentioned by others further above); although on the whole it is not designed as a dictionary - sometimes described as a genealogical tree system of Chinese characters cross-referenced and hyperlinked by character components and radicals - I love following the whole tree of links - It's huge! And a good time waster if you find Chinese characters intriguing..

Most RELIABLE? Well, the Institute of Chinese Studies at Germany's Heidelberg University says that the Chinese University of Hong Kong's online version of Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage "is the best Chinese-English (English-Chinese) dictionary available online".

I quite like the various dictionary tools at Chinesesavvy, and there are also multiple dictionary tools at Chinese-tools.com, Mandarintools.com, Chinesetools.eu, Yes-Chinese, Chinalanguage.com and Zhongwenweb.

You can see my review notes on all of them here where I have my list of around 20 top picks of free online Chinese dictionaries. There are plenty of other good online dictionaries that I've seen, but not remarkable enough to be included there.

As for the OP's topic "Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese" - there are hundreds and hundreds of new links to Chinese learning websites there, all free material - I made it for myself to be bigger and better than the other older outdated directories that I've tried to use - and of course the organized lists continue to grow.
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Re: Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby cranky laowai » 18 Aug 2012, 09:56

Key, which is an excellent program, has recently made available its dictionary. Those used to getting everything for free may feel frustrated at the word-by-word entry. But the database here is very large and likely of better quality than you'll find at most sites (i.e., the endless uses of unmodified copies of CEDICT).
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Most Useful Websites to Learn Chinese

Postby barry0324 » 09 Nov 2012, 10:38

One of my students asked me to find Chinese dictionary for him. So I found three dictionaries very useful.

Share to anyone who is learning Chinese.


1. 國語辭典簡編本 :there are simple sentence and explaining,it would be easy to learn.
http://dict.concised.moe.edu.tw/jdict/m ... r/main.htm

2. 國語辭典修訂本 : It's a very professional and complicated one. I usually use this because of Chinese-teaching.
http://dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/

3. 當代漢英辭典 : This dictionary translate all the Chinese to English.
http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Lindict/

If you have questions, email me or post here.
barry0324z@gmail.com

Have a great Friday, everyone!

This post was recommended by 2 Forumosans: ehophi (13 Nov 2012, 07:09), Steve4nLanguage (09 Nov 2012, 10:54)
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