Best Quality (Relevance for Daily Use) Traditional Chinese Dictionaries


I've seen 'MOEdict', 'Cross Straits', 'Longman Advanced' mentioned (but don't see it online with a quick glance), etc.

I've parsed through some discussion online. Any insight is appreciated. I saw that MOEdict was described by one user here as 'archaic' and 'bookish', which make me think its not so useful for someone learning Traditional Chinese, e.g., someone who cannot decipher between what entries/words/phrases would be 'archaic', and what are useful for modern day language (speaking & reading/writing).



Hi cowabunga,

edit: Sorry, I thought you meant Old Chinese. I'll leave my answer in, in case anyone is looking for that.

I haven't worked with Old Chinese for a while, but I think your best bet should be the «A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 2nd ed.»; it's also available for Pleco, it's the newest Old Chinese dictionary, and it has English translations instead of Modern Chinese or French ones. It is also geared more towards beginners and therefore a good place to start.

The SCM focuses specifically on premodern texts, so you can tell immediately from it and your other, Modern Chinese dictionaries whether the expression you tapped on is in modern or premodern Chinese, or how its meaning has evolved. I also like how wordy its English definitions are, which I think is necessary to capture the often very open meanings found in Old Chinese. Here is its insightful, free introduction:

Hope this helps, have fun,

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