Classical chinese and chinese medical dictionaries?

jornebof

Member
Hi!

I'm thinking about buying a PocketPC and the Pleco dictionary but I think I need more. Have you any plans for a classical chinese (gudaihanyu) dictionary and a dictionary for traditional chinese medicine? Or is there anyone who knows where to get those products?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We'd love to offer both of these, but the major classical Chinese dictionaries all appear to be too old to exist in electronic format (and it's highly unlikely that sales would justify the costs of scanning one ourselves), and after some initially promising responses we've pretty much struck out in all of our attempts at licensing a traditional Chinese medical dictionary.

I don't really know of any good software for traditional Chinese medicine, but there are several Chinese-made products for classical Chinese; no English, of course, but if your modern Chinese reading skills are up to the task they should do the job pretty well.
 
Try Dan Bensky's Chinese medicine textbooks for good, in-depth glossaries of Chinese medical terminology.

Also, try the State of California's Acupunture Exam Board for a list of good books that are up-to-date on the subject.

You will have to spend some bucks, but these are mainstream textbooks for training real medical personnel.
 

Henry

进士
mikelove said:
(...) and after some initially promising responses we've pretty much struck out in all of our attempts at licensing a traditional Chinese medical dictionary.
Would you mind mentioning which dictionaries you've tried to license?

Thanks, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Wiseman & Feng's "Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine," for one - the publisher seemed interested initially but we couldn't actually get them to move forward with a license deal. A pity, actually, they were very pleasant to deal with and people tell me it's a fantastic dictionary.

Beyond that, one or two other titles from Chinese publishers that I'm having trouble remembering the names of - a lot of the smaller Chinese publishing houses tend to be a bit hesitant about dealing with foreign companies, which is why most of the things we license come from big companies like FLTRP or Oxford.
 

Henry

进士
mikelove said:
Wiseman & Feng's "Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine," for one
Woah, that would be great! mmm... can you try again? ;)

mikelove said:
Beyond that, one or two other titles from Chinese publishers that I'm having trouble remembering the names of - a lot of the smaller Chinese publishing houses tend to be a bit hesitant about dealing with foreign companies, which is why most of the things we license come from big companies like FLTRP or Oxford.
How about the Xie Zhu-Fan "Classified Dictionary of TCM" published by the Foreign Languages Press?

Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Woah, that would be great! mmm... can you try again?
Well we've got about three other license deals we're in the middle of negotiating right now, but we can take another run at them after things settle down a bit.

How about the Xie Zhu-Fan "Classified Dictionary of TCM" published by the Foreign Languages Press?
Never dealt with them before, surprisingly enough... we'll take a look and see if this looks like it might be something we could adapt for PlecoDict.
 

Henry

进士
That is great news. I know how you feel about making predictions, but do you have an idea about when a TCM dict might be available?

The Xie Zhu-Fan dictionary is quite comprehensive. It is only C->E and all the entries are in the form of explanations rather then direct translations. As far as I can tell the explanations are all correct (as expected!) and the English is ... quite readable ;)

It has an English, Pin-yin and stroke index.

Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Way too early to even speculate on that, I'm afraid... right now getting 2.0 out the door in both its handheld and desktop versions is our top priority, and we're probably not even going to get started on something like this until that's done.
 
HI MIke,

Is there any possiblility of getting a Classical Chinese dictionary on Pleco? I'm taking a low level Classical Chinese course and it requires a lot of dictionary use!

A Classical Chinese dictionary on Pleco would be a huge help to Chinese language students.

Also, I'm really looking forward to the iPhone flashcard app!

Thanks,
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Possibly, but it would pretty much have to be Chinese-to-Chinese (not many Classical-to-English titles out there) and we're still trying to decide whether or not sales of the Guifan Cidian are strong enough to suggest that significant numbers of Pleco users are willing to buy those.
 

Sarevok

进士
Guifan is awesome and I regret I didn't buy it earlier (I was considering it for quite some time and I decided to go for it only about a month ago). It would have made my life a bit easier, as I was manually editing quite a lot of flashcards by adding example sentences/collocations and occasionally also explanations from 现代汉语词典 (mostly). Now I have it all in one place and don't have to switch to MDict all the time (only for technical stuff when doing this kind of translation work... speaking of which, some 专业技术词典 for Pleco would come in handy :))
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We're looking at a few possibilities for technical dictionaries now, though those are always dicey licensing-wise since the financial expectations are very often higher than what makes sense for us.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Non-searchable doesn't do much good, sadly. Though in any case there's the potential for differing financial expectations between us and publishers to prevent coming to a reasonable deal. Particularly given the extra pricing pressure on iPhone - even if a classical Chinese dictionary would be worth, say, $100 with no educational discount to some people, many others might find at that point that they were happier with a printed title. Then again, classical Chinese isn't exactly a huge seller on China either anymore, so it might not be quite so bad...
 

sfrrr

状元
:D :D :D Hijack alert--this is not exactly on topic but if we interpret subjects loosely...What is the best CE traditional Chinese medicine dictionary. I'd love it to be digital, but I imagine paper/hard copy is more likely. Any ideas? Thanks. :D :D :D
 

libowei

Member
Hi,

I am a grad student studying in Taiwan. I just downloaded Pleco for my ipod and am really impressed with it, now just working out which components to buy. I saw someone using Pleco on the Palm last year who raved about it, but I couldn't really justify buying another device at the time. So I am psyched to have it now. Until now just been making do with the other apps available for Apple devices.

I noticed a lot of people have posted ideas about a Classical Chinese dictionary for Pleco. The 王力 《古漢語字典》Wang Li Guhanyu Zidian has come up a few times in various threads, and I can't recommend this dictionary enough for anyone who studies even a little Classical. This dictionary gives accurate, concise Modern Chinese definitions for the different senses of a word, information about etymology, and it often tells which senses of a character developed later in history. It does all this without being overwhelming. Basically, Wang Li is an amazing linguist, he compiled a whole series of books for teaching classical and another famous dictionary, the Tongyuan Zidian. Anyway, I have the Hanyu Da Cidian (and the Zidian) on my computer, but I actually find myself reaching for the paper copy of Wang Li's book more often. I would pay lots of money (at least by grad-student standards) to have something like this on Pleco, or some good quality dictionary for learners of Classical Chinese.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Thanks for the note. Really we just need to find someone with a good Classical dictionary who understands that we're dealing with a much smaller market than a Chinese software company and is willing to accommodate that in the interests of promoting more widespread study / appreciation of Classical Chinese; as a pure business venture we're never going to be able to offer them the sort of volume they can get selling in China.
 

gato

状元
Maybe you can try 中华书局, which is a publisher of mainly Chinese classics (pre-1949) and scholarly books in the humanities. Maybe they would be willing to do a deal in the interest of promoting classical Chinese.
http://www.zhbc.com.cn/banquan.asp

They publish two classical Chinese dictionaries. The Wang Li one is probably the more comprehensive.
http://www.wl.cn/1042893
王立古汉语字典

http://www.zhbc.com.cn/book_view.asp?bid=6794
中华古汉语词典

商务印书馆 publishes a concise version of the Wang Li dictionary 古汉语常用字字典, which is the standard classical Chinese dictionary for Chinese high school students.

Have you tried either of them?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We've written them but haven't heard back yet - they're a much better prospect than 商务印书馆 who seem to be surprisingly disinterested in international licensing deals for such a large publisher.
 
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