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English Mandarin Dictionary?
Thread poster: The_Wordsmyth
The_Wordsmyth
Local time: 13:09
French to English
Mar 25, 2007

Hello!

I've been thinking of joining ProZ for a long time now and am finally taking the plunge.

My very first question is actually not for me... I have a friend going to China to perfect her Mandarin skills for three months and would like to get her a good dictionary as a gift for her trip. I thought perhaps some of the members here could recommend a good resource.

Many thanks for any help you can provide.

Cheers,

Louise
"The Wordsmyth"


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 19:09
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Probably she already has one Mar 25, 2007

Well, if your friend goes to China to perfect her skills, she must have a dictionary already. The standard one is published by Oxford University Press, in association with a Chinese publishing house. In China, this dictionary comes in a handy size with a red cover, the Western edition has basically the same content in a larger format.

Perhaps an up-to-date guidebook would be a better idea for a gift. As usual, Lonely Planet has the most user-friendly guidebook for independent travellers. They also have regional books covering for example Beijing, Shainghai, Hong Kong or South-West China, as well as Tibet.

Others swear by Rough Guide, but I'm a Lonely Planet-addict, and I used their China book extensively for several months in 2000/2001.

Other than a dictionary, another good idea could be some grammar excercise book, there are several types from several publishers.


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The_Wordsmyth
Local time: 13:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Needs an upgrade Mar 25, 2007

All she has is an old pocket dictionary with a very small typeface and she mentioned she needed something better. I may need to go the guidebook route, as you mentioned, because everything I've found online has long delivery delays, and she's leaving in a week.

Thank you for your answer and suggestions!


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:09
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Chinese bookstores? Mar 26, 2007

Hi there,
I don't know what the situation is in Canada, but in Germany there are Chinese bookstores where you can also buy online. I think I know the red dictionary Csasa Ban mentioned, they have it for various languages and you could buy the German version in Germany as well (unfortunately the German publisher forbade that because the Chinese version cost much less). Maybe you could find a Chinese bookstore in Canada. Another idea would be a food guide, because as probably every translator knows, menus can be a great problem in other countries (especially in one where you get dogs, snakes, jellyfish and so on in some restaurants - and not only in countryside villages). In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, many restaurants also have English menus, but not all, and she might also eat somewhere else than in a proper restaurant, so this could be very helpful as well.
Cheers,
Inga


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The_Wordsmyth
Local time: 13:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Another great suggestion! Mar 26, 2007

Danke, Inga. This is an especially appropriate suggestion, since my friend is vegan!

Thank you both for taking the time to answer.


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:09
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
If she is vegan Mar 28, 2007

and she has not been to China yet, she could use the trick to say she wants to eat "like the monks do". But as she knows Chinese she probably knows that: In China, chicken usually is also vegetarian and it is hard to explain what you mean by vegeterian or even vegan.
Good luck to her,
Inga


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The_Wordsmyth
Local time: 13:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Excellent advice... Mar 28, 2007

...once again!

I managed to find her a decent dictionary and guide book for Beijing. I'll make sure that I add a post-it note with the "monK" information.

Thank you very much for your help!

Louise


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