Dictionary content from CC-CEDICT Simple English to Chinese dictionary
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Word dictionary (词典)

The word dictionary contains information about Chinese words, consisting of one or more Chinese characters. Results of searches in the word dictionary will be shown with the following details:

Look up Chinese, Pinyin or English

Just one input field to search dictionary entries by Chinese characters, Mandarin pinyin or English definition. Every word you enter is a search term.

Pinyin words should be entered without spaces, either with or without tone numbers: ni3hao3 or nihao. The character ü can be entered as v instead.

Example queries: hello, nihao, ni3hao3, 你好, rest*, zei*, *zei*, *茶, 英*公司, chinese *文, "to rest", bill -gates

The following syntax can be used to further specify your query:

All of the features mentioned above can be combined, making it even more powerful.

'-', 'c:', 'p:' and 'e:' only influence the search term immediately after these prefixes. When used with groups, they influence the whole group they prefix.

Look up All Chinese Words in a Text

Allows looking up dictionary entries for all Chinese words in a text. It will try to find all separate words in a sentence and return the dictionary entries for all of them. The following options are available:

If "Inline / popup annotation" is selected, an additional option will appear:

Character dictionary (字典)

The character dictionary contains information about Chinese characters. Results of searches in the character dictionary will be shown with the following details:

Show entries for all Chinese character(s) in a sentence (汉字)

Allows you to find dictionary entries for one or more Chinese characters. The following options are available:

Show entries with English definition matching (英文)

Allows you to search for Chinese characters matching (part of) their English definitions. The following options are available:

Show entries containing character components (汉字部件)

Chinese characters can often be decomposed into smaller pieces. Many of those pieces are characters in their own right. This search allows you to search characters containing one or more of such components. For example:

To search using components, just enter one or more of the known component, in any order. Click the "Show common components" link to see a list of commonly used character components.

Please note: our database contains character decompositions for most of the common characters, some more rare characters might not be listed however

Show entries with Mandarin pinyin matching (普通话拼音)

Allows you to seach characters by their Mandarin pinyin pronunciation. Multiple character searches at the same time are allowed by entering the pronunciation of all characters. For example: "ni3 hao3" will result in a separate result set for both "ni3" and "hao3". The character "ü" can also be entered with "v". The following options are available:

Pinyin tone number are indicated by the numbers 1 to 5:

1 = high level tone
2 = mid rising tone
3 = mid falling rising tone
4 = high falling tone
5 = neutral (weak) tone

Pinyin tone marks are indicated as follows:

ā = high level tone
á = mid rising tone
ǎ = mid falling rising tone
à = high falling tone
a = neutral (weak) tone

Show entries with Yale / Jyutping Cantonese matching: (耶鲁 / 粤拼 粤语拼音)

Allows you to seach characters either by their Yale or Jyutping Cantonese pronunciation with or without the tone number. The Yale romanization used by this dictionary is a modified version of the Yale romanization, modified as follows:

Multiple character searches at the same time are allowed by entering the pronunciation of all characters. For example: "nei5 hou2" will result in a separate result set for both "nei5" and "hou2". The following options are available:

Cantonese tones are indicated by the numbers 1 to 6:

1 = high level / high falling tone
2 = high rising tone
3 = mid level tone
4 = low falling tone
5 = low rising tone
6 = low level tone

Optionally you can show to display results with tonemarks instead of tone numbers. If you choose for this option, Cantonese tones will be indicated in the following way (only used for displaying results):

ā = high level / high falling tone
á = high rising tone
a = mid level tone
àh = low falling tone
áh = low rising tone
ah = low level tone

N.B., the Hong Kong dialect of Cantonese is in the process of dropping initial NG- before non-null finals. Any word with an initial NG- may actually be pronounced without it, depending on the speaker and circumstances. Many words with a null initial may similarly be pronounced with an initial NG-. Similarly, many speakers use an initial L- for words previously pronounced with an initial N-.

Show entries with cangjie matching (仓颉)

Allows you to search characters by their cangjie mnemonics. Multiple character searches at the same time are allowed by entering the cangjie of all characters. For example: "ab ha" will result in a separate result set for both "ab" and "ha". Cangjie mnemonics can be entered with both the cangjie characters and the equivalent letters ("日月", "ab" or "a月"). For more information see: ChangJei / Cangjie / ChongKit 倉頡輸入法 Input Method and Cang Jie / Chong Kit . The following options are available:

Show entries with four corner code matching (四角号码)

Allows you to search characters by their four corner code. A "?" wildcard can be used in case one or more numbers are unknown. For example: "71?2". For more information see: Wikipedia - Four corner method.

Radical/strokes lookup (笔划检字表)

Allows you to search characters by their radical and stroke count. First you have to choose the radical of the character, the radicals are ordered by the stroke count of the radical itself. Second, you have to choose the number of strokes beside the radical itself. After choosing, a list of characters appears, you can click on a character to look it up in the character dictionary.

For more information about radicals, look at this page at Chinaknowledge and "Writing Chinese Characters and finding penstroke count" .

Translate (翻译)

Allows you to translate a small text from English to Chinese or the other way around.

Results of an English-Chinese query can be looked up in the word dictionary with the sentence lookup mode by clicking on the result. The following options are available:

Chinese Character Flashcards (汉字闪卡)

Shows a random Chinese character everytime you press the "next" button. On the left side you can find a description of the character. On the right side you can find an overview of words using this character.

Each character is shown only once during a flashcard session, unless you press "Next & show again later".

The following options are available:

Type Chinese (打字)

Allows you to type Chinese without the help of Chinese text input utilities or operating system support. Two buttons are included to directly look up the result characters in either the character or word dictionary. This feature can also be used separately from the dictionary in situations like when using a public computer which does not have any Chinese text entry utilities installed.

The Chinese typing interface supports the following entry methods:

To enter a character (Example uses Mandarin entry, other entry methods work similar):

Sometimes more than 10 matching characters are available, you can page through the list of matching characters using the page up / page down keys. Currently only the Mandarin Pinyin input method allows entry of whole words.

After you finish typing, you can use the result in Google by pressing the "Google" link, in the MDBG dictionary by pressing "MDBG Word Dictionary", "MDBG Character Dictionary" or "MDBG Translate" or in other applications:

The original idea of this web based Chinese typing interface is based on this tool: 网上中文输入法.

Type Pīnyīn (拼音)

Allows you to type Pīnyīn without the help of Chinese text input utilities or operating system support.

After you finish typing, you can use the result in Google by pressing the "Google" link or in other applications:

What is HSK?

The latest version of the Chinese Proficiency Test (revised HSK, Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng kǎoshì 汉语水平考试), is divided into six levels according to difficulty.

The levels and approximate number of words in each level are:

The HSK level information was kindly provided by the folks at Lingomi and is meant to be only a reference tool. MDBG is not affiliated with the HSK in any way.

How do I display Chinese on my web browser?

Please read the Chinese font support section for more information.

How do I type Chinese?

If you are using Microsoft Windows, then Google Pinyin is probably the best option. This page provides an English manual for the installation and usage of Google Pinyin.

http://www.pinyinjoe.com/ offers guides for various operating systems explaining how to enable Chinese input methods.

If you are not able to install software on your PC, you could try out the MDBG web based input methods.

 


Tip: Pinyin can be entered with or without tone numbers, e.g. 'nihao' or 'ni3hao3'.
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