New Dictionary Ideas?

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Through a confluence of a couple of different business initiatives (white-label dictionary apps, government sales, etc) we're in line to get a small revenue windfall next year, which we would very like to reinvest in Pleco rather than paying taxes on. We'd ideally like to spend this on the editorial rather than the coding side of Pleco, since frankly we think we'll get a much better return on our investment that way, editors being (sadly) far cheaper than programmers.

Some of this money will likely go to things we were already planning - overhauling stroke order diagrams, finally getting through our backlog of new entry submissions - but we're also at a point where we can potentially contemplate making something totally new.

So: any suggestions for a brand new Chinese-English dictionary (or other reference work) we could develop that
  1. doesn't already exist (otherwise we'd just license it);
  2. wouldn't take a decade and millions of dollars to develop like ABC or Oxford (it's not *that* big a windfall - think Kickstarter-sized); and
  3. has enough mass appeal that we'd actually have a chance of making back (most of) our investment?
 

Shun

状元
That's good to hear! An "urban slang" dictionary is still missing from the line-up. One with all the new internet words that contain capital Latin letters, and so on? That would be something really modern!

Alternatively, a modern business dictionary, with all the modern words from IT, might also fill a need.
 
That's good to hear! An "urban slang" dictionary is still missing from the line-up. One with all the new internet words that contain capital Latin letters, and so on? That would be something really modern!

Alternatively, a modern business dictionary, with all the modern words from IT, might also fill a need.
CEDCIT has a pretty good collection of slang and internet slang, and it is already free. Searching CEDICT for 'slang' gives 337 results or entries, if you will. Speaking to your reference of Latin letters the very first result is
A A [A] /(slang) (Tw) to steal/

and then there is
巴比Q 巴比Q [ba1 bi3 Q] /(slang) BBQ/
K人 K人 [K ren2] /(slang) to hit sb/to beat sb/
K仔 K仔 [K zai3] /ketamine (slang)/
etc.

I would assume business and IT is already mainly covered in Pleco or at least the very least is licensable. KEY and CEDICT contain a fair amount of IT terminology.
 

Shun

状元
Yes, true, though since CEDICT is still mainly a general Chinese-English dictionary, a specialized slang dictionary would be far more extensive.

It’s already happened to me a couple of times that modern technological terms were not found in any dictionary.
 
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pdwalker

状元
Chinese has a whole shitload of expressions, like the 4 character phrases that I've seen a lot of books giving multipage translations. Is there a comprehensive dictionary of this, perhaps with references, aside what's in the ABC Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs?

Just throwing that idea out there; I don't actually know if it would be economically feasible for you.
 

Shun

状元
Chinese has a whole shitload of expressions, like the 4 character phrases that I've seen a lot of books giving multipage translations. Is there a comprehensive dictionary of this, perhaps with references, aside what's in the ABC Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs?

Just throwing that idea out there; I don't actually know if it would be economically feasible for you.
It’s good that ideas are thrown out there—they need to be handled with care.

Apart from the ABC Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs, there’s the Duogongneng Chengyu Dictionary with 8'000 chengyu. But the explanations are very brief. Multipage translations would be something.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Well translating a Chinese-to-Chinese title to another language is certainly one thing we could consider, e.g. with Duogongneng or something similar. (or heck, Chinese-to-something-other-than-English - could approach Ricci about an English translation of part of GR, e.g.)
 

Daniel C

秀才
English translation of Ricci would be a fantastic idea! I use this dictionary on an almost daily basis and while my French reading is not bad, an English language version would make my life a whole lot easier.
 
This might not be 'mass appeal' but how about Modern Chinese -> Classical Chinese dictionary, I believe there aren't a lot of resources that deal with this, other than reverse search.

您/你 would return 汝
我 would return something like 吾
etc.

edit: I'm sure Brendan O'Kane would have some good ideas....
 
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Sonntag

Member
Suggestions in the order of priority:

1. The coolest thing by far would be the implementation of Inkstone as a paid add-on. I am regularly asked the name of the app when I use Inkstone in the train. Even native Chinese speakers ask because they are heavily excited. In Inkstone I even like the explanations of characters (although maybe the Outlier guys could sometimes roll their eyes). It would be awesome to have everything I need in one place – and that should be Pleco.

2. It seems that Pleco (like Inkstone) is based upon a system of simplified characters. That leads sometimes to false references of traditional characters. So I feel like having a Pleco core system based on traditional characters would avoid such mistakes.

3. When I don't want to go through the dictionaries’ examples I feel it to be a waste of time to scroll through all the dictionaries to find the appropriate meaning. So I would like to have a kind of short dictionary with edited entries (the best of the best entries of all dictionaries in a Chinese-English “Pleco Super Dictionary”) as a paid add-on.

4. If I am allowed to dream I would like to see a Chinese-German “Pleco Super Dictionary” as a paid add-on as well. Maybe the German speaking Outlier guys can help with that (at least for the entries covered by the Outlier Experts Edition), as I don't know any reliable digital Chinese-German dictionary.
 

举人
Out of all the ideas I reckon the English Ricci is the one to get behind. I also can see a response from Chinese speakers who understand English showing an interest in it adding to it's feasibility
 

Shun

状元
Using a Chinese dictionary to interpret restraunt menus is still very much hit or miss. My suggestion: Chinese Dish & Drink Dictionary with quality english descriptions.
I'd love that, and it could be very detailed, because the scope is very limited. (perhaps even including pictures, if a future version of Pleco allows it)
 
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Shun

状元
Out of all the ideas I reckon the English Ricci is the one to get behind. I also can see a response from Chinese speakers who understand English showing an interest in it adding to it's feasibility
According to Mike, there's just the issue that Ricci is too big to translate as a whole as part of this project—it would have to be a partial translation. Then I would prefer something like a French-English pop-up definition built into Pleco, which would be much better than the iOS Define. (Before the Student’s Dictionary for Classical and Medieval Chinese came along, it used to be like that for users of the Hanyu Da Cidian who weren't proficient enough in Modern Chinese.)
 

Shun

状元
A Chinese friend who majors in Chinese recommended this supposedly best 成语 dictionary to me. At 1640 pages, it’s probably far too big to translate, but perhaps if it’s just offered in Chinese, it might fit in.

chengyu.jpg


Title: 中国成语大辞典
Publishing house: 上海辞书出版社
ISBN: 9787532620937, 9787532623167

If it isn’t coming to Pleco, no problem at all; then I’d probably get one for myself.
 
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JD

榜眼
https://www.skishore.me/inkstone/ I assume. Seems a bit off topic though.
Inkstone is an open-sourcish version of a character-writing testing application. I think a character-writing add-on would be a phenomenal addition to Pleco and would greatly augment the flash cards.

The best app for doing this now is the older version of Skritter (for which Inkstone appears to be directly trying to copy), but Skritter has been in beta for its “version 2.0” for two years now and still has many, many issues that just don’t seem to be getting addressed at a reasonable pace.

I’d gladly pay to consolidate over to a Pleco character writing module and have all my Chinese learning in one place.
 
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