Question about Chinese bilingual dictionaries

Hello,
We know that In most Chinese (monolingual-)bilingual dictionaries, the entries are single characters. Below them, there is usually a list of the polysyllabic words beginning with that entry-character. I know of one paper Chinese-English dictionary (please, see attached snapshots) whose entries also include lists of the polysyllabic words ending with the entries-characters (no definitions nor examples, though). Does anybody know of other Chinese bilingual dictionaries, paper or digital, whose entries include both lists?
Thank you.

 

Attachments

Shun

状元
Hi sobriaebritas,

FWIW, the monolingual Xiandai Hanyu Cidian (not available through Pleco, maybe because it's a rather tough publishing house) includes a list of such words under the heading 语汇, as for example in the case of 地:

XHC di4.jpeg Xiandai Hanyu Cidian.jpeg

I think in Pleco, the WORDS tab in Dictionary is rather useful, and it's even ordered by frequency. If you set the option "Exclude beginning from containing", you of course get something quite similar—and you see the translations right there. Are you asking because you prefer handmade lists, like in a bilingual dictionary, over ones generated using an algorithm?

IMG_3175.png


Cheers,

Shun
 
Helo, Shun!

Thank you very much for your quick answer and the information and comments it contains.

The title of this post should have been "Question about Chinese bilingual dictionaries for learners of Chinese". As a learner of Chinese, I think it would be very useful to have a dictionary whose entries (single characters) would include two lists, one with the bisyllabic words which begin with the entry character, and one the bisyllabic words which end with it.

In addition, those two lists would include compound words (words of 3 or more syllables) made up of the bisyllabic words and additional characters. To get a better idea of what I mean, please have a look at the first attached image (Bisyllables beginning in 工), where the pink triangles are hyperlinks that open a file in a new screen. Most probably, a dictionary like that could only be (commercially) viable in an electronic form, because the information on a given polysyllabic word, let's say 工作, would be the same in the entry for 工, and the entry for 作.
Are you asking because you prefer handmade lists, like in a bilingual dictionary, over ones generated using an algorithm?
You seem to have read my mind!

As to what I prefer, handmade lists or lists made with algorithms, I tend to try to make the best of both methods in order to get rid of the worst of them both.

I think you will agree with me that any ordering is per se arbitrary, and the criteria by which one orders items are closely related to what one is ordering those items for. There lies the crux of the matter, I think.

The criteria I used to order the items listed in the attached image "Bisyllables ending in 工 1" are mainly: 1. position of the bisyllabic word in the compound word, and 2. number of characters of the compound word. As you can see, this sorting is not kept when a compound word is made up of another compound word and some other character(s), for instance 手工业, 小手工业, 小手工业者.

The sorting method I have chosen it is far from perfect. An alternative method, with its own shortcomings, can be seen in the image "Bisyllables ending in 工 2".

Maybe it is possible to build an algorithm that sorts items in a way similar to the way my method sorts them, I just don´t know. In any case, some manual work would probably still be necessary.

Thanks again, Shun!

Bisyllables beginning in 工.jpgBisyllables ending in 工 1.jpgBisyllables ending in 工 2.jpg
 
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Shun

状元
Hi sobriaebritas,

you're welcome, I'm glad you like my thoughts! But don't you feel this method is just a little bit mechanical? Does it come easy for you to remember all the compound words made from a mono- or disyllabic word? Perhaps if you're in love with words/vocabulary and the ways in which compound expressions are formed in Chinese, this may indeed be the right way. (There of course is no "right" way for everyone, only a method that fits a particular learner.)

Otherwise, I'm all for studying as closely as possible to real life usage, that is, translating entire sentences and noting down what you can improve about your translation another time.

Cheers,

Shun
 
But don't you feel this method is just a little bit mechanical?
What kind of method are you talking about? A learning method? If so, where in my message did I say anything about a teaching/learning method?
Does it come easy for you to remember all the compound words made from a mono- or disyllabic word?
Again, where did I say I want "to remember all the compound words made from a mono- or disyllabic word"?
What do I use those lists for, then? Browsing them, for instance, I get a general idea about different kinds of similarities, and differences between, let´s say, 系统, 体制 and 制度.
Perhaps if you're in love with words/vocabulary and the ways in which compound expressions are formed in Chinese, this may indeed be the right way.
I am in love with dialectology, phonetics, phonology, phonotactics, morphophonology, morphology, lexicology, syntax, morphosintaxis, semantics, pragmatics, (written/spoken) discourse analysis, paleography, collocationology, foreign languages learning/teaching, translations studies, corpus linguistics, NLP, philosophy of language and, last but not least, lexicography, of course (all of them from both a diachronic and a synchronic point of view).
 
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JD

榜眼
,As a learner of Chinese, I think it would be very useful to have a dictionary whose entries (single characters) would include two lists, one with the bisyllabic words which begin with the entry character, and one the bisyllabic words which end with it.

In addition, those two lists would include compound words (words of 3 or more syllables) made up of the bisyllabic words and additional characters.
I’m confused. As @Shun pointed out, Pleco already provides essentially what you are asking for here in the Words tab.

What are you referring to here that you aren’t getting today in Pleco? The sorting order?

As an even bigger benefit, This tab shows multi-character words across ALL the dictionaries you own, not just a single dictionary.
 

Shun

状元
Hi sobriaebritas,

that's kind of you to clarify! I based my assumption on the following paragraph:

The title of this post should have been "Question about Chinese bilingual dictionaries for learners of Chinese". As a learner of Chinese, I think it would be very useful to have a dictionary whose entries (single characters) would include two lists, one with the bisyllabic words which begin with the entry character, and one the bisyllabic words which end with it.
So I assumed that you were going to use this as a learning method, when in fact you use it to ultimately help other, perhaps less advanced learners.
 

Shun

状元
I’m confused. As @Shun pointed out, Pleco already provides essentially what you are asking for here in the Words tab.

What are you referring to here that you aren’t getting today in Pleco? The sorting order?
It looks like @sobriaebritas is thinking of something quite specialized, while I (and perhaps you, as well) am more interested in increasing the actual efficiency of studying Chinese for myself. Looking at it from that angle, I fully agree with you.
 

JD

榜眼
It looks like @sobriaebritas is thinking of something quite specialized, while I (and perhaps you, as well) am more interested in increasing the actual efficiency of studying Chinese for myself. Looking at it from that angle, I fully agree with you.
The original “ask” was for a capability. How one uses that capability depends on what the user is trying to do. I’d argue Pleco already provides this capability, with possibly a lack of sorting options being an enhancement request.

I use the Words tab daily. I use it to understand better the relationship in how characters are used across their broader context, both at the beginning of words and as later characters. And this seems to be precisely what OP clarified is one of the use-cases of interest.

I’m really just wondering if OP overlooked this feature and wasn’t aware of it. If OP was aware, then clarifying what the current feature is missing is the crux of understanding the original question. (Because IMO, this feature is already present, and an amazing capability that I use daily)
 

Shun

状元
Hi JD, true. In any case, I very much appreciate @sobriaebritas 's contributions to the forum. I guess it often happens in the (anonymous) academic world that scholars feel misunderstood.
 
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The original “ask” was for a capability. How one uses that capability depends on what the user is trying to do. I’d argue Pleco already provides this capability, with possibly a lack of sorting options being an enhancement request.
Thank you for your reply, JD, and for helping me understand what I really meant, mainly, the lack of sorting options. As far as I know, other similar software also lack sorting options, which may have to do with algorithms, I don´t know.
Just an example, in the hope of making myself understood: 帽子工厂 and 开帽子工厂 come up quite apart from one another when you search word with 工厂.
I hope this helps you and Shun understand what I really meant with the original question.
Goodbye for now, almost midnight here...
 
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Hi JD, true. In any case, I very much appreciate @sobriaebritas 's contributions to the forum. I guess it often happens in the (anonymous) academic world that scholars feel misunderstood.
Especially when they don´t quite understand themselves and/or don´t find the right words to say what they really mean. Thanks to you too for your contributions, this one included.
Goodbye for now, almost midnight here...
 

Shun

状元
Great! The forums are also here to get our thoughts in order, aren't they? :)

Just to explain the bit about the two expressions 帽子工厂 and 开帽子工厂: They probably have very different frequencies, so that should be why they don't appear together.

Good night!
 
Does anybody know of other Chinese bilingual dictionaries, paper or digital, whose entries include both lists?
I think I should have made it clear that "other Chinese bilingual dictionaries" does not include Pleco, or Wenlin for that matter. Having been using Pleco for years, I know it has the capability of listing words containing a certain character or word. Please, don't let me be misunderstood: I agree with the many people who say that Pleco is one of the best software of its kind, if not the best.
As an even bigger benefit, This tab shows multi-character words across ALL the dictionaries you own, not just a single dictionary.
More doesn't necessarily mean better. I think that depends on what one wants the sorted lists for. In my case, I'd prefer less words and sorted the way I need them sorted.
As to what I prefer, handmade lists or lists made with algorithms, I tend to try to make the best of both methods in order to get rid of the worst of them both.
Judging by the high number of websites that offer the capability of listing words containing a certain character or word, I'd say that it's comparatively easy to build algorithms for that (maybe they use the same or similar algorithms, because the searching and sorting options available don't differ much).
Maybe it is possible to build an algorithm that sorts items in a way similar to the way my method sorts them, I just don´t know. In any case, some manual work would probably still be necessary.
My tentative conclusion, which may be wrong, includes several factors: it's not easy to build sorting algorithms that suit specialized needs, manual checking the lists generated by algorithms is time and human resources consuming, and there isn't enough demand for that.
 
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Great! The forums are also here to get our thoughts in order, aren't they? :)
I couldn't agree more with you on that!
Just to explain the bit about the two expressions 帽子工厂 and 开帽子工厂: They probably have very different frequencies, so that should be why they don't appear together.
Good night!
Might be. But changing the settings (sort beginning/containing by frequency) doesn't make any difference here (at least when I search for 工厂).
 
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Hi JD, true. In any case, I very much appreciate @sobriaebritas 's contributions to the forum. I guess it often happens in the (anonymous) academic world that scholars feel misunderstood.
Just for the record, I'm not a scholar (which doesn't prevent my feeling or being misunderstood in forums too) ;)
 
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Shun

状元
Hi sobriaebritas,

thank you for your thoughts and clarifications. If you wish, you could state some of your ideas of how you would like to sort the expressions (or clusters of expressions) as programmatically as possible, then perhaps we could think of an algorithm that does it with the help of a Chinese corpus frequency list.

Cheers,

Shun
 
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