Off topic: Any recommendations for Japanese-Chinese or English-Chinese dictionaries?
Thread poster: Miho Ohashi
Miho Ohashi  Identity Verified
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Oct 1, 2009


I recently started taking a Mandarin Chinese course at a continuing education facility of a local university.

Well, the truth is that I had tried it many times, but I've been hovering at somewhere between biginner and intermediate for a looooong time... for zillions of reasons I can give for an excuse)

Since I am a native Japanese speaker, writing and reading are not too difficult, but I find speaking (i.e. pronounciation) pretty hard. But I find the language very rich and beautiful, and enjoy studying it and learning about Chinese culture very, very much. One of my teachers I had previously told me, referring to Chinese characters, that the Chinese language is like a necklace of pearls: it is beautiful all together as a necklace, but still as beautiful when you look at each pearl. And I think it is very true.

This time (like many other times), I am taking it seriously and finally decided to invest some money in good dictionaries. I am debating between a Japanese-Chinese dictionary and a English-Chinese dictionary, in both directions.

Are there any good dictionaries that any of you recommend?

Thank you very much for your help in advance.

[Edited at 2009-10-01 18:16 GMT]

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Bea Geenen  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ... Oct 1, 2009

Hi Miho,

As a loooooong time student of Chinese, I find that online dictionnaries are a lot more practical than paper ones. A good website for beginner/ intermediate level is It gives very practical examples, you can look up words either in English, pinying or by handwriting (with your mouse) a character. It also has an audiorecording for each word.

For a more advanced level, there is an excellent website called The characters are in traditional Chinese (with simplified characters between brackets) and it doesn't give a lot of examples, but it does provide a very good explanation of the origin of characters and a list of related characters - a real treasure and one of my favourite websites!

Good luck!


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Miho Ohashi  Identity Verified
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Thank you Oct 6, 2009

Hi Bea,

Thank you for your comment and advice!

I had a look at the online dictionaries you suggested and they look pretty resourceful. I also added them to my favorite links

Still too ambitious it may sound, but one of my dreams is to be able to translate Chinese texts one day... Well, dreaming is free, right?

Happy translating and studying!


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