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 excuseicon_wink.gif)

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]


Bea Geenen  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2008)
Chinese 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!



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 linksicon_smile.gif

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?icon_wink.gif

Happy translating and studying!



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