Dictionary Wishlist

#1
At the risk of getting greedy (the Grand Ricci is terrific, as is the Taiwanese MoE dictionary that alex_hk90 kindly Plecofied), I thought I'd try to start up a running list of suggestions/wishes for future Pleco dictionary licensings. As a graduate student in Chinese history, two immediately leap to my mind:

- 漢語大詞典
I know this has been mentioned on other threads, but as much as I despise the company that makes it (ever since they decided to require re-purchase of the v3.0 DVD for use on Windows 7 in lieu of releasing a simple update to the XP version), it would be an awesome resource to have in the Pleco ecosystem. An automatic buy. (This is the dictionary professors harp on their students to consult, and while the online 漢典 has lots of the same entries, I often wind up double-checking my understanding of 漢典's definitions using Wenlin. Having the 漢語大詞典 in Pleco would be far, far less unwieldy.)

- Morohashi's 大漢和辞典
This is more of a swing for the fences. As far as I know, it's the largest and most detailed dictionary of Chinese around - 500,000ish entries in 13 print volumes. That said, it's also in Japanese (which might be moderately inconvenient for many, although most of its users would probably be scholars, and therefore probably know enough Japanese to manage), and my understanding is that it has a large quantity of rare and difficult-to-encode characters. Plus, I don't think it's been digitized at all yet. So from a business perspective, the costs might outweigh the benefits. But for what it's worth, I think it would (especially alongside the 漢語大詞典) make Pleco the ultimate, unquestionably-best Chinese language resource for advanced learners/scholars.



Two other, slightly less great but also perhaps more feasible possibilities:

- Mathews's Chinese-English Dictionary
It's old, yes, and has flaws, but it wouldn't hurt to have it available. Harvard University Press reprinted it for a while, though I think a smaller house (Taius Press) put out the most recent run in 2011.

- Giles's A Chinese-English Dictionary
Older than Mathews, but - in my understanding - somewhat better. It might actually be public domain by now.



Perhaps others could add their ideas, and let this serve as a little online focus group? (Though I'm sure what's yet to come in terms of dictionaries will be great regardless)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#2
Thanks!

Good choices - one of these is actually going to be available with our Big iOS Update (on Android too, just timing it around that update since at that point Android and iOS will share the same data format), though you'll have to wait to find out which one. Another one is in discussion but can't promise any timelines about it yet.
 
#3
I just wanted to say that I also have a strong desire to see Pleco release the Hanyu Da Cidian 汉语大词典. Considering that Pleco already has relations with the Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House for the Gudai Hanyu Da Cidian and this dictionary is available in digital format, it seems like making it available should be easy enough. If this happens to be the one under discussion, I would like to add that in my opinion Pleco should not base their sales prediction of this dictionary based on the sales of the current classical dictionary by the same publisher, if this is the case, because the two titles are very different. The 汉语大词典, I believe, would attract new customers to Pleco, while this might have not been the case for the other title.
 
#4
That's great to hear! Can't wait to see which one(s)...

And I fully agree with joseph regarding the appeal of 漢語大詞典. Personally, I was tempted by the 古代漢語大詞典 - I'd long wanted a 古文 dictionary on Pleco, and the price is quite reasonable - but I ultimately decided against purchasing it *because* it wasn't the 漢語大詞典. That is to say, I decided that if I'm going to purchase a general dictionary suitable for reading 古文, it'd have to be something that has a scope and level of detail comparable to the 漢語大詞典 and/or unique advantages vis-a-vis that resource (e.g. the Grand Ricci, which is quite large and detailed, and has the added benefit of being Chinese-to-European-language), since otherwise I would likely have to fall back to the 漢語大詞典 2.0 or the 漢典 on my laptop anyway. That's not to say that 古代漢語大詞典 isn't a great resource - it's just that given the sorts of needs I have, working with some rather obscure historical texts, I'd rather spend more on something bigger.

PS - More topical dictionaries would be great too - say, a dictionary of Buddhist terms, or a biographical dictionary.
 
#6
The 漢語大辭典 would be the best possible addition Pleco to make. Even though it would be more expensive than the other dictionaries, I know a lot of people would buy it (myself included). I use Pleco a lot everyday, and having quick access to 漢語大辭典 would be invaluable.
 
#7
客家话

On the subject of dictionaries, I am living in Malaysia and I would love to be able to have access to a Hakka dictionary. From what I can see thus far it's very difficult to find dialect dictionaries. However when I visited Taiwan I found they actually teach Hakka in school. Do you have any plans to add dialect dictionaries? Hakka, Hokkien, Fuzhou, Shanghainese etc..?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#8
客家话

On the subject of dictionaries, I am living in Malaysia and I would love to be able to have access to a Hakka dictionary. From what I can see thus far it's very difficult to find dialect dictionaries. However when I visited Taiwan I found they actually teach Hakka in school. Do you have any plans to add dialect dictionaries? Hakka, Hokkien, Fuzhou, Shanghainese etc..?
We'll see how Cantonese goes first - to be honest, though, there aren't many of those dictionaries, their data is not necessarily available in a clean electronic format, and given our past difficulties with Taiwanese publishers we're not optimistic about our chances of licensing them either for Hokkien at least.
 
#9
Since I am now taking Japanese classes in simplified Mandarin Chinese, I would LOVE to see a Chinese <> Japanese dictionary. I realize, that 汉语大词典 will come first. Interestingly, even with their Canon Wordtanks and Sharps, my Japanese friends always ooh and ahh over Pleco when I'm using it. I suspect a dictionary between Chinese <> Japanese, which would give them something they can read, might have the potential to lure some of them into making a purchase . . .
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#10
Since I am now taking Japanese classes in simplified Mandarin Chinese, I would LOVE to see a Chinese <> Japanese dictionary. I realize, that 汉语大词典 will come first. Interestingly, even with their Canon Wordtanks and Sharps, my Japanese friends always ooh and ahh over Pleco when I'm using it. I suspect a dictionary between Chinese <> Japanese, which would give them something they can read, might have the potential to lure some of them into making a purchase . . .
Possible, Japan certainly hasn't been too good to us so far (generates about the same amount of revenue as Norway, in spite of having 25x Norway's population) but it may be very well be precisely because the Japanese have access to lots of high-quality C-J dictionaries and feel no need to put up with a C-E one.
 
#11
Two recommendations:
1. Classical Chinese
I bought and use frequently in Pleco the 古汉语大词典 but the dictionary I would still buy in addition is the 古汉语常用字字典。Both dictionaries offer classical sources showing how the word was used in context, but with the former I frequently am scratching my head trying to understand the source sentence, whereas the latter provides glosses for unfamiliar words and sometimes even translates the entire phrase into modern Chinese. (My edition dates back to 1979 - I have no idea whether it has been reprinted/updated since then.

2. Chengyu dictionary
I would also love to see a good Chinese-Chinese chengyu dictionary. The currently available Pleco dictionaries generally provide the meaning of the most common expressions, but what I would like to see is a reference work that provides, as appropriate, the classical source and examples of the phrase used in current prose.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#12
Two recommendations:
1. Classical Chinese
I bought and use frequently in Pleco the 古汉语大词典 but the dictionary I would still buy in addition is the 古汉语常用字字典。Both dictionaries offer classical sources showing how the word was used in context, but with the former I frequently am scratching my head trying to understand the source sentence, whereas the latter provides glosses for unfamiliar words and sometimes even translates the entire phrase into modern Chinese. (My edition dates back to 1979 - I have no idea whether it has been reprinted/updated since then.
Haven't had much luck licensing from CP so far, but this is just the sort of relatively specialized title that they might consider working with us on.

2. Chengyu dictionary
I would also love to see a good Chinese-Chinese chengyu dictionary. The currently available Pleco dictionaries generally provide the meaning of the most common expressions, but what I would like to see is a reference work that provides, as appropriate, the classical source and examples of the phrase used in current prose.
That one's already licensed and coming soon, though I don't believe it includes classical sources.
 
#13
Are you still planning to offer some new dictionaries at the same time that you release the "big update" that is currently in beta? I haven't noticed much talk about them amidst all the beta reports.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#14
Are you still planning to offer some new dictionaries at the same time that you release the "big update" that is currently in beta? I haven't noticed much talk about them amidst all the beta reports.
Yes, but the timing is tricky enough that we're able to say which ones until we launch it; we may also wait and release some of them a few weeks later.
 
#15
Great! I know you don't want to reveal which ones they are until they are actually released. I was just hoping that they are still part of the plan for the big release. Looking forward to it.
 
#16
Mike, I believe you said a while ago that it was pretty much impossible for you guys to license FLTRP's "New Century" C-E dictionary. Is that still the case or is there any hope? :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#17
Actually, Oxford did that for us - the Chinese-English half of the Oxford Chinese Dictionary is essentially an adapted version of "New Century," much as our own PLC dictionary is an adapted version of FLTRP's other big Chinese-English title "A Chinese-English Dictionary." If you compare OCD C-E and New Century item-by-item you'll see they're nearly identical.

I should add that our relationship with FLTRP is much warmer now - we recently licensed the 3rd edition of ACED (soon to be integrated into a massively awesome PLC update) along with the 2nd edition of Guifan and the Zhongshan Medical dictionary that we just released - so we might be able to license New Century ourselves if we wanted to, but with OCD already available I don't quite see the point.
 
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#18
I see, so basically you are saying that OCD's 78,000 entries + PLC's 79,000+ entries together will cover all of the New Century's 140,000 entries?
Btw, how many of OCD's 78,000 entries are actually C-E entries?
 
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