From: Ed Trager (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jan 28 2010 - 13:05:19 CST
Hi, J Andersen,
On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:54 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Hi everybody,
> This is my first post, and I'm afraid it really is outside what is normally
> discussed here, but I think people on this list may be in the best position
> to answer my question; or if not, perhaps somebody knows where I should go
> and ask?
> As a keen amateur student of Chinese, I increasingly feel the need to have a
> proper, computerized radical index - but as far as I am aware, there aren't
There certainly are online dictionaries that will allow you to find
characters by radical and stroke index. ZDic.net is one resource that
is very well designed, comprehensive, and easy to use:
Scroll down the page of any given entry and you should find an English
definition for the character as well as all the Chinese explanations.
A few years ago, when I first began experimenting with AJAX-based web
applications, I put together an online resource of my own which,
although certainly not as extensive as something like zdic.net,
nevertheless has served my own purposes fairly well. Click on
"部首输入表" and then just click on a radical:
(this latter resource requires a fully standards-compliant browser
like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera -- I've never bothered to make my
resource work in Internet Explorer).
Christoph Burgmer mentions jisho.org -- which I agree is a great site.
But jisho.org is really for Japanese rather than Chinese.
> Most PC modern dictionaries are designed for native speakers of
> Chinese, reasonably enough, and of course if one reads a Chinese text on
> screen, the problem goes away. However, I find that I most often want to
> read printed materials, and it is cumbersome to balance a comprehensive,
> radical-indexed dictionary on my knees when I read (apart from the fact that
> there aren't that many around).
Some years ago in Taiwan I purchased a very small dictionary called
"标准汉语词典" -- I think it was published by "文化出版社". This dictionary is
about the size of a postcard and about an inch thick, with both zhuyin
fuhao and radical indexes. My favorite aspect of this dictionary is
that it also has a special chart of "Hard to Find Characters" -- which
has all those characters where you can't figure out what the radical
is actually supposed to be - brilliant!
Later, in Hong Kong, I found a similarly small-format dictionary for
simplified Chinese but with the equivalent traditional Chinese
characters in parentheses following the simplified.
So, in reality quite a lot of options are available in traditional
paper media. If you don't have the chance to buy books over in East
Asia, try exploring book shops in the "China town" section of any
large city and you may be able to find something that fits the bill.
Nowadays, I wonder if there are any good Chinese dictionaries for the
iPhone/iTouch (and soon the iPad)?
> The reason I put this to the Unicode list is that one can download a radical
> index as a PDF file from unicode.org, so somebody has already made the
> electronic version of the index. My question is, then: Is it possible to get
> a copy of this index in a form that I could load into a database, for
> example - something like a comma seperated list with number of radical
> strokes, radical number, number of remaining strokes and unicode character?
> J Andersen.
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