New Chinese Radical dictionaries

catusf

秀才
Hi guys
I created 3 radical dictionaries to help me study Chinese characters, and now share them with you. I hope you find them useful too.
  1. Chinese Radical Lookup (RAL) dictionary that allows you to find the Chinese characters from component radicals. You can search by choosing on screen or by searching the radical names (~150,000 combinations): You can search by browsing graphically or keying in radical names
  2. Chinese Character Component Dictionary (CHAR) allows you to see the components that make up a Chinese character (about 12,000 headwords)
  3. Radical Name Dictionary (RAN) which has information for all common Chinese radicals and their variants (about 650 in total)
See some images below.

1. Chinese Radical Lookup (RAL)
You see that character has 3 radicals ⽊⼈⽟ in it, right?
So you can type mu ren yu or ren yu mu to search for that little one.
Another way is to go to the "homepage" marked by 偏旁 (piānpáng) headword and start browsing until you find that one character: > ⽊⼈ > ⽊⼈⽟.

Weixin Image_20240109211631.jpg
Weixin Image_20240109211635.jpg
Weixin Image_20240109211638.jpg


My stats show that, with 5 or fewer radicals, you can reach 95% of all modern Chinese characters (96% for simplified characters). So searching for them using radicals is similar to using Roman alphabets.
1704807157383.png


2. Chinese Character Component Dictionary (CHAR)
This one breaks characters down into components for you to see. Very simple.
Also include mnemonics for ~4000 characters thank to Reinaert Albrecht wonderful data at https://rtega.be/chmn/

Weixin Image_20240124232434.jpg
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3. Radical Name Dictionary (RAN)
This one lists all the common radicals you can find, and lists useful information for you, helping you to remember them better.

Weixin Image_20240109211645.jpg
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Why I don't put all this into one dictionary? First, it would be to big a file. Second, separating them gives it more options to use.

Downloads
Only RAN dictionary is small enough to attach hereby. Others are at the Microsoft's GitHub download links below.

I look forward to your feedback and suggestions for improvements. Thanks
 

Attachments

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cowabunga

秀才
this looks amazing. for someone who is just getting familiar with the resources available, do you know how these (most specifically the component dictionary) differ from the dictionary (with component breakdowns) offered by Outlier Linguistics? It appears that Outlier would just be much more detailed (detail with which I'm not sure is best for my learning[?]). Any insights appreciated! Thanks so much again!
 

Shun

状元
Hi cowabunga,

the Outlier dictionaries focus on the origins of Chinese characters, while @catusf 's contain all the components for each character and allow searching by components. So one could say that the two dictionaries (and Pleco's CHARS breakdown feature) complement each other instead of competing against each other.

You can try and see if Outlier’s historical explanations help you as mnemonics to memorize characters, though in my experience I have to say that repeated practicing of character writing on paper works best. (write a character on checkered paper, check it, cover it up, write it again from memory, check it, cover it up, write it again, etc.)

Hope this helps,

Shun
 
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catusf

秀才
T
Hi cowabunga,

the Outlier dictionaries focus on the origins of Chinese characters, while @catusf 's contain all the components for each character and allow searching by components. So one could say that the two dictionaries (and Pleco's CHARS breakdown feature) complement each other instead of competing against each other.

You can try and see if Outlier’s historical explanations help you as mnemonics to memorize characters, though in my experience I have to say that repeated practicing of character writing on paper works best. (write a character on checkered paper, check it, cover it up, write it again from memory, check it, cover it up, write it again, etc.)

Hope this helps,

Shun
Thanks Shun for your comments.

My work now involves no paper at all. I rarely write anything except my name and signature

Now these dictionaries help me breakdown and memorize Chinese in term of radicals.

For instance, looking at 省 my mind now read it as 小-丿-目. Not much different from remembering 5 characters S-T-A-T-E in English.

A lot more managable than remembering all those strokes.

Hope this help other learners.
Screenshot_20240122_102943_Pleco.png
 

cowabunga

秀才
Hi cowabunga,

the Outlier dictionaries focus on the origins of Chinese characters, while @catusf 's contain all the components for each character and allow searching by components. So one could say that the two dictionaries (and Pleco's CHARS breakdown feature) complement each other instead of competing against each other.

You can try and see if Outlier’s historical explanations help you as mnemonics to memorize characters, though in my experience I have to say that repeated practicing of character writing on paper works best. (write a character on checkered paper, check it, cover it up, write it again from memory, check it, cover it up, write it again, etc.)

Hope this helps,

Shun
Very much appreciate the advice, I've begun trying writing characters/words down - currently for each flashcard (although this is very slow, and Idk if flashcards at the same time as writing is the best way[?]).

Although I'm basically going from near 0 known characters, so I have to look at the character first, search/get the stroke order (although I'm beginning to not need this having familiarized with the general sequences). But I suppose after that, I could transition to just hearing the audio and writing it down. Or just writing it down from no prompt.

Although the history is cool, Olle (HackingChinese) seemed to say this level of depth is unnecessary for everyday learners who don't want/need to know that history. Maybe the history can help with mnemonics, I'm not sure, but rather the components are what seem to make it easier for me.

Outlier does seem to have character breakdowns(?) (which was the main reason I'd consider buying), so that's why I was wondering - as it seems to me that Pleco and @catusf also do this, but for free. However, as far as I know in Pleco you have to switch to the CHAR Tab and then the components (a few clicks at list), whereas this lovely dictionary and Outlier's have that all on the first page (seemingly most useful for learning purposes).
 

Shun

状元
You're welcome, I'm glad you're making progress! I searched for the stroke order rules with Google; you may find the following rules useful:


I would practice writing all the characters you wish to study first, and then move on to Flashcards, so you don't have to switch back and forth.

I agree with Olle, historical information is just nice to have.

As an example, I took a screenshot of the entry for the character 鱼 (fish). No component breakdowns in this case:

IMG_7157.PNG


The System level info is quite useful and specific to 鱼, but you could get more or less the same thing with Pleco's CHARS ("characters containing"):

IMG_7158.PNG


I also think @catusf 's new dictionaries are a good option. Plus, you could always enter the components yourself.

Enjoy,

Shun
 
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Shun

状元
Hi catusf,

that's a great offering from Rainaert Albrecht I didn't know about. Congratulations!

Just wanted to report, primarily to @mikelove , that the dictionary pqb file[1] isn't converted correctly into the new Pleco 4.0 Beta format if I load it there. The import conversion seems to work, but then I'm getting the following listing, as if the dictionary contained 10,000 empty entries:

IMG_7159.PNG



[1]: https://github.com/catusf/make_pleco_dicts/releases/download/CHAR_RAN_RAL_v0.9/char.zip


Thanks and regards,

Shun
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
It actually came through OK for me (though the tree structure was a bit garbled) - would you mind backing up the 4.0 version of that database you have and emailing it to me?
Simulator Screenshot - iPhone 15 Pro - 2024-01-24 at 16.41.18.png
 

Shun

状元
Hello Mike,

I've sent it to you, but after I updated the .14 beta to version .18, the dictionary displays fine (except for the garbled tree structure), even without a re-import! Sorry about that oversight. At least it appears to be solved now.

IMG_7160.PNG

Regards,

Shun
 

cowabunga

秀才
You're welcome, I'm glad you're making progress! I searched for the stroke order rules with Google; you may find the following rules useful:


I would practice writing all the characters you wish to study first, and then move on to Flashcards, so you don't have to switch back and forth.

I agree with Olle, historical information is just nice to have.

As an example, I took a screenshot of the entry for the character 鱼 (fish). No component breakdowns in this case:

View attachment 4375

The System level info is quite useful and specific to 鱼, but you could get more or less the same thing with Pleco's CHARS ("characters containing"):

View attachment 4376

I also think @catusf 's new dictionaries are a good option. Plus, you could always enter the components yourself.

Enjoy,

Shun
Awesome, thanks for clarifying + tips.

Olle seems to argue (if I'm correct?) that writing should generally come last (input: 1. listening, 2. reading, output: 3. speaking, 4. writing). I thought then that expanding my vocabulary thru flashcards is preferable before learning to write chars?

Still looking into how best to structure my learning, read lots before and forgot it haha.
 

Shun

状元
Awesome, thanks for clarifying + tips.

Olle seems to argue (if I'm correct?) that writing should generally come last (input: 1. listening, 2. reading, output: 3. speaking, 4. writing). I thought then that expanding my vocabulary thru flashcards is preferable before learning to write chars?

Still looking into how best to structure my learning, read lots before and forgot it haha.

You're welcome! I'd say it also depends on if you're more of a visual type or an auditory-communicative type. Communicative types need a Chinese conversation partner early on, they will learn as they go, and will study characters later. Visual types usually need more time studying on their own and will venture out to speak only after they feel confident with their progress. I've just noticed in my early days that I needed to study writing first to be able to tell similar Chinese characters apart when reading. Here on the forums, there was another discussion on studying approaches:


(see Sean's posts) I suggest you try one approach for a week, then another for a week. That should tell you a lot, as well. You can also use the "Fill-in-the-blanks" feature to study writing characters with Pleco, so there's no absolute need for a sheet of paper. :)

Have fun, Shun
 
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