Oxford Compact Chinese Dictionary Paperback – Jun 15 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
The real drawback to this dictionary, which is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that, as other reviewers have mentioned, it does NOT provide the Pinyin for its example phrases/sentences; thus if the reader does not know a certain character s/he will have to find it by using the radically index or go the English/Chinese portion and find the word there (English traditions of the example phrases/sentences are provided). Also try the Xinhua Zidian (ISBN 7801031989), which is another excellent Chinese/English dictionary.
The first half of the dictionary is English to Chinese with the second half reversing that. The E-C section has the English word followed by the Chinese equivalent (if there is such a thing :) in characters, followed by the pinyin. For common words it also includes variations and short examples. This seems to be somewhat inconsistently done in terms of the amount of English included and/or pinyin. It assumes that the reader has at least a minimal grasp of Chinese. If they do not what are the expecting from a dictionary? Language cannot be equated word for word. You must study it in its cultural context.
The second half of the dictionary is arranged alphabetically by pinyin, tone and radical. In other words if you knew rice/meal was "fan" you would look up "fan" and then find the fourth tone section and then the character for rice. If you do not know the tone (always a challenge) or the character (a bigger challenge) it gets a little harder. Chinese is not a language designed for dictionaries. As with most Chinese dictionaries it is almost impossible for a non-native speaker to look up a character to find its meaning. It is an involved process of figuring out which stroke was first and how many there are and whether or not the character is single or combined with others. The radical index is well laid out and I have seen a Chinese locate a character in seven seconds with little problem. Anyone using this dictionary should already know that however, so I do not count it against the dictionary.Read more ›
-Despite its classification as a dictionary, this book is perfect for students who need to memorize the Chinese characters needed for core competency in the language. Each word/character entry is presented in simplified form, along with its traditional equivalent. (I use this dictionary myself as a study tool to maintain my grasp of Chinese characters.)
-Although you probably won't memorize every word in the Chinese-English section of this dictionary, it is useful for intermediate students who are trying to expand their vocabulary. The author has effectively chosen a wide variety of Chinese words without inserting too many obscure examples.
The English-Chinese section of the book is also very complete. You will find an accurate Chinese translation of almost any word common to the vocabulary of an adult English-speaker.
(Review by Edward Trimnell, author of "Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One," (ISBN:1591133343))
Most recent customer reviews
I started out with the much smaller predecessor of this dictionary--Oxford Concise (ISBN 0195840488). This Oxford (ISBN 0195911512) is a marked improvement due to its larger size. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Robert Albon
The Oxford Second Edition is one of the better English-Chinese/Chinese-English dictionaries on the market. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003 by orbit13
This dictionary makes it really easy to search for the Characters because it is in alphabetical order by pinyin. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2003
So far, I have found nearly everything I have tried to look up in this dictionary, and it offers a great number of usage examples. Read morePublished on July 21 2003 by Amazon Customer
I am currently an English teacher in China attempting to study Chinese. I have found this dictionary to be fantastic largely due to the fact that there is lots of pinyin, all of... Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by Sarah Jackson
Personally I did not like this dictionary because it relies too much on pinyin and not enough on the actual characters. Read morePublished on March 10 2003
I took this dictionary to China to study Chinese intensively at what could be best described at a "high-beginner" level, and quickly found it was inadequate to the task. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Bradley D. Fried
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