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The Starter Oxford Chinese Dictionary Paperback – December 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0198602583 ISBN-10: 0198602588 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Starter Dictionaries
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (December 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198602588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198602583
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This is a great little, general-use, beginning dictionary.
WRKelly
The English to Chinese section also contains the measure words in the definitions, as well as British and U.S. English spellings if there is a difference.
Taijiguy
This is one that I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone.
Walter Reade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 85 people found the following review helpful By C. Sahu on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just completed my first two semesters studying Mandarin and they would have been a lot easier if I had had this dictionary from the beginning. Everyone says how easy Mandarin grammar is and that may be true relative to other languages (and relative to learning Chinese characters!), but you still need to learn quite a bit of Mandarin grammar before you can start formulating sentences. I always felt very uncomfortable doing my homework (translation from English to Chinese) because I didn't know whether I was using the grammar properly or not and had no way of checking. I was worried about accidentally getting into bad grammatical habits without even knowing it, because my textbook (Integrated Chinese) has really very little usage information and neither did the dictionaries I had on hand.
Once I got "The Starter Oxford Dictionary," however, homework became so much easier and I no longer feel insecure about sentence formulation. The emphasis in this dictionary is on usage, so instead of having tons and tons of words (which you can get from a regular dictionary), it has a fewer number of words with their usages very clearly explained and illustrated. For example: the entry for the English word "can": "Oxford Starter" divides "can" into three subcategories: "to have the possibility" (translated as neng); "to know how to" (hui); "to be allowed to" (keyi). The "neng" entry then gives two illustrative sentences "Can he come?/Ta neng lia ma?" and "Where can I buy stamps?/Wo zai nar neng maidao youpiao?" The "hui" subcategory has three such illustrative sentences and the "keyi" has four.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David M on December 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a handy companion for the beginning of Chinese study. It includes common words, has large type (very important to me), and lots of cross references and "topical" digressions (languages, dates, special words, etc. referenced with citations). It also has a nice measure word section (some are included with nouns, but not always). It also contains both American and British options in word uses.
What I don't like. It ONLY has simplified characters (I would like the traditional ones included also with a primary citation). Harbaugh's book focuses on traditional ones but has both; the bigger Oxford (Manser, 2nd Ed.) has both. It does not have a pronunciation guide which, as a beginner, would be helpful to remind us (constrain us?). Some common words are not in there (who's judgement call?). And, some examples would be helpful where the primary citation includes precedent words. For example, look up "qi" and be able to find "tianqi".
On balance: good overwhelm the bad. After all, it's only about $12-15. As other reviewers have commented, "You need several dictionaries anyway." Do I use it all the time. Absolutely. It's also more fun than the bigger Oxford (Manser). But if Oxford could see clear to include "my" downsides, I'd be much happier.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Taijiguy on March 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the best Chinese/English dictionary I've found so far. It's a beginner's dictionary, but hopefully Oxford University Press will learn from this one and apply the same quality standards to their more extensive, but miserably formatted and somewhat inaccurate "Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary". This dictionary is very easy to read. The lookup words are in large, blue print. Multiple definitions are bulleted and numerically categorized by noun, adverb, etc. Word definitions also contain the Chinese characters and examples of usage. There are radical and character indices, rules for writing characters, and a section on measure words. The English to Chinese section also contains the measure words in the definitions, as well as British and U.S. English spellings if there is a difference. There are also many language usage tips throughout the dictionary.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Walter Reade on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a "beginning" student of Chinese for a few years now, I have gone through a large number of Chinese language resources. This is one that I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone.
The dictionary is at the right level for beginning students. The entries are limited to the most commonly used words. This is a major advantage for those who like to learn vocabulary by browsing a dictionary -- you are sure to be learning useful words (as opposed to specialty or infrequently used words). There have been only a few times where I have look for a word that wasn't included in this dictionary. I expect that the casual learner of Chinese will not outgrow this dictionary for at least a year or two.
I found the format of the dictionary extremely uncluttered and user friendly. In addition to the standard word and definition, entries also include very useful notes of clarification. For example, after the character for hui4 ("to be able to") there a note explaining that this character can also be pronounced as kuai4 with a different meaning.
Another resource I have been extremely pleased with and highly recommend is, "Chinese Character Flashcards 888." Good luck in your studies!!
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