Especially good for those who want to learn Chinese, this Chinese/English dictionary lets you search by entering English, pinyin, or Chinese (GB, Big5, or Unicode encodings all work OK). Your results will include the Chinese term or phrase, the pinyin "romanized" spelling of the word, and the English definition.
A few features and limitations:
When searching by Chinese, you can tell the dictionary to find entries that start with the characters, end with the characters, or have the characters anywhere within the final word. You can also ask to only return the Chinese entries that exactly match the word being sought.
When searching by pinyin, you must include a space between the different pinyin syllables. You can include or exclude tone numbers (1-4 and 5 for the neutral tone). For example, if you were looking for the word for television set, you would type "dian shi ji" or "dian4 shi4 ji1" or "dian shi4 ji" (but without the quotes). All would work. But remember to include the space and set the dictionary to look for pinyin, and not Chinese characters or English. As with the Chinese characters, you can direct the dictionary to find entries that have the pinyin at the beginning, end, anywhere, or as the whole entry. You can return the results in GB, Big5 or UTF-8 Unicode.
When searching by English, searches are not case sensitive. Since this is designed as mainly an Chinese to English and not English to Chinese dictionary, if you can't find the word you are looking for, you may be able to find it using a synonym. Also, you may get many unrelated entries that use the word in the English definition but do not give the equivalent Chinese for it.
To search by radical/stroke order, please use the Character Dictionary at MandarinTools.com. You can search using a table of radicals and the remaining stroke count of a character. From the list of characters that are returned, you can click on the character to get a list of all words in the dictionary that start with that character. This will only work however if the results are set to be returned as GB, Big5 or Unicode and not as GIF's.
If you encounter problems, please make sure that you are searching by the correct field. For instance, if you are looking by the English word "computer", make sure you are searching by English and not pinyin or characters.
The CDICT database engine is the creation of MandarinTools.com.
The CC-CEDICT data dictionary is maintained by MDBG.net.
For an easy-to-understand introduction to the workings of the Chinese language, visit our Introduction to Mandarin Chinese Tutorial.