Other MOE dictionaries

timseb

举人
Hi,

Are there any hopes of Pleco getting the somewhat simplified dictionaries by the Taiwanese MOE? I'm thinking of 教育部國語辭典簡編本 and
教育部國語小字典, the latter being a very nice hanzi dictionary.

Thank you.
 

timseb

举人
Not sure, are they available under open-source licenses somewhere?
My Chinese is not good enough yet to have figured that out, unfortunately.

Here is the hanzi dictionary (beautiful, I know) and here is the simplified dictionary (also really hot). I have found this link concerning the second of the two dictionaries, but it's above my level, even if I think I might the gist of it.
 

timseb

举人
There is also a nice Hanzi dictionary for simplified Characters that ZDIC use. Same as with the MoE ones, I don't know about licenses. It says "© 汉典", does that mean it's not open-source? The Moedict (which is open source, right? has the same symbol so I'm guessing that's not what it means?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Very few reference titles from China are open-source, actually - even seemingly 'open' ones like Baike tend to be proprietary to their makers. There's quite a lot of illegal scraping and so on, but very little in the way of legitimate open-source reference projects. So I would assume whatever ZDIC is using it's not something available to us.
 

timseb

举人
Very few reference titles from China are open-source, actually - even seemingly 'open' ones like Baike tend to be proprietary to their makers. There's quite a lot of illegal scraping and so on, but very little in the way of legitimate open-source reference projects. So I would assume whatever ZDIC is using it's not something available to us.
I could e-mail the MoE about the Taiwan ones if that would clarify anything?
 

timseb

举人
I think this is the corresponding message in English? If so, does that mean Pleco are free to use it? I want to point out that English is not my native tongue and that I find these kinds of text quite hard to comprehend sometimes. My comprehension is that the *user* has the right to spread the work, but I might misunderstand, and that it points to the fact that the owner only has that right. Can someone with a more advanced English level confirm? Both these dictionaries are wonderful, so it would be great to have them in Pleco.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
No, it's a noncommercial license, so while it would not stop users from distributing this content in user dictionaries (and indeed we hope that'll happen much more when we've got better user dictionary support in 4.0), our current position is that any distribution by Pleco directly might potentially be interpreted as commercial use and hence we do not offer official Pleco versions of noncommercial-licensed dictionaries.

(obviously if MoE wishes to put out an official statement saying that no actually they're totally fine with app developers like Pleco distributing them as long as we don't charge for it, that would be a different matter, but we haven't seen anything to that effect so far, and informal assurances from somebody at MoE that they're not going to sue us over this wouldn't really be enough to make us feel confident in our legal position)
 

timseb

举人
No, it's a noncommercial license, so while it would not stop users from distributing this content in user dictionaries (and indeed we hope that'll happen much more when we've got better user dictionary support in 4.0), our current position is that any distribution by Pleco directly might potentially be interpreted as commercial use and hence we do not offer official Pleco versions of noncommercial-licensed dictionaries.

(obviously if MoE wishes to put out an official statement saying that no actually they're totally fine with app developers like Pleco distributing them as long as we don't charge for it, that would be a different matter, but we haven't seen anything to that effect so far, and informal assurances from somebody at MoE that they're not going to sue us over this wouldn't really be enough to make us feel confident in our legal position)
I understand and it makes a lot of sense. So this noncommercial license means that even if Pleco don't, I as an individual might be in luck if I e-mail them and ask for a copy for personal use?
 

timseb

举人
Hi everyone!

I bring good news! I have been able to find the dictionaries for download on the ministries website! Here is the link for all of them!

Now I have been tinkering a bit with 《國語小字典》 , and I have removed all zhuyin and tone marks and cleaned up a version, since Anki (and I guess that goes for Pleco to) can't deal with it considering how they're formated, but perhaps I'm wrong? Here is what I've got so far.

Now, there is one thing I can't seem to solve. For a more pleasant look I need each zhuyin entry in column E/5 to be separated with ", " (or even better, numbers like on the website) rather than a new line. I know how to do this in Notepad++ but not so that it effects only that column, and in Google Sheets I've had no luck. I also need all the numbers ("1." and "(1)" etc) to be on new lines or with big spaces, so it won't look as cluttered. Any design like this or this would both do.

Almost there, it feels like! :D
 
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David

举人
The license was https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/tw/legalcode. Probably some minor differences, but the corresponding English page is https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/legalcode. Not a lawyer but it looks like it should be ok to distribute.
The above rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats,
Edit: To clarify, an earlier post had pointed to the non-commercial license but it should have pointed to the no derivatives license.
 
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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Thanks, but we generally consider ND a nonstarter too, actually. We have to add hidden simplified character mappings and various other bits of internal data to get a dictionary to merge correctly in search results with other titles - more than just a technical modification - plus the mere fact that we're presenting it in a screen merged seamlessly with entries from other dictionaries might be construed as making a derivative work.

Again, it's awkward because it's us doing it rather than a user; just as a user can't be blamed for any commercial benefit Pleco derives from the release of a particular free user database, a user isn't responsible for any other content/functionality we offer in our app, and so if they release it as a database they're clearly just doing what's necessary technically to make it available in Pleco. However, if we're the ones doing it, one might make the argument that our app is a single compiled work of some sort, and hence that by mixing this ND-licensed work into it we're violating the license.

(I would not actually concede the legal validity of either point - I don't think it's commercial use to offer a free database in an ad-free app, and I don't think it's a derivative to edit a dictionary to merge nicely with other dictionaries / display it with them - but nevertheless I don't want to take the risk of being sued and/or damaging our reputation with other publishers)

Anyway hopefully before too much longer we'll have a beta version of 4.0 for everyone to play with and the demand for us to do any official Pleco free dictionary releases will fall off considerably.
 

alex_hk90

状元
Hi everyone!

I bring good news! I have been able to find the dictionaries for download on the ministries website! Here is the link for all of them!

Now I have been tinkering a bit with 《國語小字典》 , and I have removed all zhuyin and tone marks and cleaned up a version, since Anki (and I guess that goes for Pleco to) can't deal with it considering how they're formated, but perhaps I'm wrong? Here is what I've got so far.

Now, there is one thing I can't seem to solve. For a more pleasant look I need each zhuyin entry in column E/5 to be separated with ", " (or even better, numbers like on the website) rather than a new line. I know how to do this in Notepad++ but not so that it effects only that column, and in Google Sheets I've had no luck. I also need all the numbers ("1." and "(1)" etc) to be on new lines or with big spaces, so it won't look as cluttered. Any design like this or this would both do.

Almost there, it feels like! :D
In case it might be helpful, I did some MoEDict to Pleco user dictionary conversions in the past (before the official Pleco version was available); you can see the scripts here:

Although reading @mikelove's post above, it might be worth waiting for 4.0 before doing too much work on user dictionaries.
 
Thanks, but we generally consider ND a nonstarter too, actually. We have to add hidden simplified character mappings and various other bits of internal data to get a dictionary to merge correctly in search results with other titles - more than just a technical modification - plus the mere fact that we're presenting it in a screen merged seamlessly with entries from other dictionaries might be construed as making a derivative work.

Again, it's awkward because it's us doing it rather than a user; just as a user can't be blamed for any commercial benefit Pleco derives from the release of a particular free user database, a user isn't responsible for any other content/functionality we offer in our app, and so if they release it as a database they're clearly just doing what's necessary technically to make it available in Pleco. However, if we're the ones doing it, one might make the argument that our app is a single compiled work of some sort, and hence that by mixing this ND-licensed work into it we're violating the license.

(I would not actually concede the legal validity of either point - I don't think it's commercial use to offer a free database in an ad-free app, and I don't think it's a derivative to edit a dictionary to merge nicely with other dictionaries / display it with them - but nevertheless I don't want to take the risk of being sued and/or damaging our reputation with other publishers)

Anyway hopefully before too much longer we'll have a beta version of 4.0 for everyone to play with and the demand for us to do any official Pleco free dictionary releases will fall off considerably.
Btw, will Pleco 4.0 include Wiktionary Chinese-English dictionary as one of the add-ons as well? (I remember there was some talk about it before.)
 
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