A Dictionary that Could Change your Life

I see a lot of passing on of digital tools, and a fellow Fulbrighter sent along this link, a Chinese dictionary where you can write in the characters and it looks them up for you. I find it especially helpful for looking up strange characters in names while writing bibliographies. So for those too lazy/poor (like me) to buy a pocket dictionary that has the features, this will save you the trouble of ever having to look up a radical again.


  1. How does nciku compare to the dictionary at xuezhongwen.net? I’ve been using the latter for years, and it also has the draw characters search function. I’ve seen nciku getting lots of coverage the last few months but I haven’t looked at it closely. Is there any reason to prefer it over http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php? If there is I’d want to know.

  2. I actually don’t know, I was just sent nciku by email. Although I will say, at least my really old computer has trouble with Java Applet, which the other dictionary uses. I couldn’t use that dictionary to check on words and characters and such, but it seems to have compounds and such that all my other dictionaries didn’t have, and it recognizes book and movie titles. But I can’t really compare it to the other, it made my poor old computer freeze. It may work better for others who have faster computers, though.

  3. I guess different people just have different taste for different dictionaries… there isn’t really a need to quibble over which dictionary is better… after all, they are all just dictionaries and white cats and black cats all do the same job…

  4. Thanks for the nciku mention gina, glad you like it. Send me an email if you have any content requests.

    [Disclosure: I work at nciku.]
    MDBG has about 80,000 CE entries if I recall correctly, and we have over 1,300,000 CE entries – that’s a pretty good reason. We are weaker than MDBG/Xuezhongwen in the tools category but I am looking to fix that this year. Give us a shot.

  5. Nice dictionary, though it would be nice if they’d also put the definitions in traditional…though they won’t, for obvious reasons.

    For people without Internet access that need to, at the least, see how to pronounce a character or get it onto your computer for writing something, the IME Pad on Windows’ Bopomofo and Pinyin functions much in the same way.

Leave a Reply to ginaCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.