DaveIRL

Member
Wenlin Institute, Inc. SPC's ABC Cantonese Dictionary (Edited by Robert Bauer) has reached its goal of $50,000 USD on Kickstarter.

Timeline / Specifications
The Wenlin ABC Cantonese Dictionary website will be published in two phases of development in order to make it available as early as possible.

The first phase has already started and will be completed in 4 months and will include:
  • Cantonese headword in both Chinese characters and Jyutping transcription including part(s) of speech and English gloss(es).
  • Most entries will also include example sentences in characters and Jyutping with English translation.
  • Characters that are unique to Cantonese will be included.
  • Each character's entry will show how it is written, using Wenlin's CDL stroke-by-stroke animation.
  • Dictionary look-up: directly entering a word in either characters or Jyutping; scrolling through entries in alphabetical order; searching for any word, character, or phrase that occurs in an entry; cross-references between entries; links from other pages on our website.
The second development phase will begin immediately after the first publication, and will last for twelve months. The goal for that time period include:
  • The addition of at least 15,000 thousand more entries to the Cantonese-English dictionary for a total of almost 30,000 entries including both 1) common words that were excluded from the original dictionary due to being essentially the same as Mandarin words except for pronunciation, and 2) uniquely Cantonese vocabulary missing from the original dictionary; a new English-Cantonese dictionary with at least 15,000 thousand entries
  • Cantonese sound recordings (monosyllables for all characters, polysyllables for headwords, and example sentences)
  • A collection of Cantonese texts (stories, news articles, etc.) suitable for learners
  • Tools for linking Cantonese texts with the dictionary, so that students can instantly look up any word by pointing to it;
  • Cantonese vocabulary flashcards
  • The ability to input characters by Cantonese pronunciation or by handwriting recognition
Assuming the Wenlin website & software progress/updates are also being applied to Pleco, either with 1) free updates or 2) consequent portions being a paid upgrade (similar to Tuttle Learner's Chinese Dictionary UPGRADE). No details known for this commercial/licensing deal.

There are many ways to access Wenlin's ABC Canto Dictionary:

1) Wenlin's own wiki-styled website.
The website can be accessed by consumers via a subscription fee. The subscription fee has not been finalized:
somewhere between $5 and $10/month —rather lower than higher because we want you to use it!" (Source)
Based on Robert S. Bauer’s print edition, the Wenlin web-based ABC Cantonese Dictionary will feature a new online Cantonese-English dictionary with now over 30,000 entries plus explanatory materials.
2) Wenlin's desktop software.

Take a look at Wenlin Software (4.2) for further comparison and/or speculation.

3) The Print Edition
will be published by The University of Hawai'i Press as part of the ABC Dictionary Series under the diredction of series editor Victor Mair.
I am unable to determine whether this will be available during the first or second development cycle.
If it's during the first, it will not include:
The second development phase will begin immediately after the first publication, and will last for twelve months. The goal for that time period include:
  • The addition of at least 15,000 thousand more entries to the Cantonese-English dictionary for a total of almost 30,000 entries including both 1) common words that were excluded from the original dictionary due to being essentially the same as Mandarin words except for pronunciation, and 2) uniquely Cantonese vocabulary missing from the original dictionary; a new English-Cantonese dictionary with at least 15,000 thousand entries

4) Pleco
hopes to release the Cantonese add-on mid-2017. You can follow their development here. (Source)
Includes entries for about 15,000 Cantonese-specific words, with part-of-speech tagging and lots of useful example sentences.
We are excited to announce that Wenlin and Pleco have just signed an agreement to make the Cantonese dictionary available as an add-on to Pleco. Some of our pledges to the Cantonese Dictionary wiki effort will also receive a free copy of the Cantonese dictionary to use with Pleco once released mid 2017.

If you have already pledged, you can adjust your pledge to make sure that you will also receive your free copy to use with Pleco - available only through this campaign.

Thank you so much for your support. We're half way there!

Elisabeth & the Wenlin Team
(Source)
We’ve also made arrangements with our friends at Wenlin to offer a free offline Pleco copy of the dictionary to some backers of their ABC Cantonese Dictionary website Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wenlin/wenlin-abc-cantonese-dictionary-website-ed-robert

So you can now choose a Kickstarter reward level that includes a free, non-time-limited offline copy of the dictionary to use in Pleco.
(Source)
Is this offer only available to those with Kickstarter accounts / backers?
Or only the 'free' part applies to backers?
It's hard to tell with the statement "available only through this campaign."
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Assuming the Wenlin website & software progress/updates are also being applied to Pleco, either with 1) free updates or 2) consequent portions being a paid upgrade (similar to Tuttle Learner's Chinese Dictionary UPGRADE). No details known for this commercial/licensing deal.
Plan is that those would be free. Can't promise that will be the case forever - if they do a giant new edition with 80,000 entries or whatever that might be a paid upgrade - but the intent / goal / general legal understanding is that we'll keep the website and Pleco versions of ABC Cantonese in sync and that you won't have to pay for fixes from the website. (also planning to do that eventually when they website-ify ABC Chinese-English, though that's a bit more complicated as we also intend to [and have reason to expect that we'll be legally permitted to] do our own website for that at some point)

Is this offer only available to those with Kickstarter accounts / backers?
Or only the 'free' part applies to backers?
It's hard to tell with the statement "available only through this campaign."
You'll certainly be able to buy this dictionary directly from us outside of the Kickstarter too, yes. "Available only through this campaign" means you're not likely to see a bundle of the website + Pleco versions again, at least not at this low a price. We do not currently have an understanding in place for Wenlin to sell Pleco copies of the dictionary outside of this Kickstarter, at any rate. (so a different situation than with Outlier, where they are selling Pleco copies of the dictionary on their website even now)
 

Bennji

Member
Hm, so the 30$ reward includes one-year-access to the website. Is the Pleco version of this reward also limited in time? Is there any difference between the Pleco versions of the 30, 199, 299 and 499 rewards?
 

alex_hk90

状元
Not limited in time, no. Same Pleco reward at each level that includes Pleco.
I've pledged for the cheapest one ($30) that includes Pleco.

To be honest I found the number of different reward options a bit confusing, and don't feel that a time-limited subscription is that useful for a dictionary. I wouldn't have bought anywhere near the number of Pleco dictionaries if they were time-limited. :)
 
I've pledged for the cheapest one ($30) that includes Pleco.

To be honest I found the number of different reward options a bit confusing, and don't feel that a time-limited subscription is that useful for a dictionary. I wouldn't have bought anywhere near the number of Pleco dictionaries if they were time-limited. :)
Yeah, I'll be going back to my paperbacks when everything goes subscription-based.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yeah, I'll be going back to my paperbacks when everything goes subscription-based.
No plans to do that here, at least not as a requirement. We have been toying with the idea of providing the option of 'renting' our app and/or specific dictionaries for people who might only need them for a short time, but obviously at a significantly lower price than buying outright, and we wouldn't switch to that model exclusively.

We may also consider going subscription-based for other things that generate significant ongoing per-user costs, e.g. if we offer our own dictionary website or our own proprietary flashcard sync service or anything along those lines, or perhaps also if a future opportunity came along to do a dictionary with sizable ongoing editorial costs and relatively limited appeal (something for quickly-evolving technical vocabulary, say). But in those cases it would most likely be something that couldn't exist at all without subscription fees.
 

Thor

Member
Timeline / Specifications
The second development phase will begin immediately after the first publication, and will last for twelve months. The goal for that time period include:
  • [...] a new English-Cantonese dictionary with at least 15,000 thousand entries
Random question: any update about a Wenlin English-Cantonese dictionary? :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
No news on that, but they did actually release a print version of this recently, so... maybe if that sells well?
 
Top