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Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Chinese/English English/Chinese (Turtleback)

Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Chinese/English English/Chinese (Turtleback)
Author/Publisher: Langenscheidt Editorial
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Dictionary
Level: Beginning - Intermediate - Advanced
Note: Simplified Chinese with Pinyin
List Price: $13.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Pocket Chinese-English, English-Chinese Dictionary is a convenient reference for everyday use containing a wealth of authentic idiomatic expressions and up-to-date words, Pinyin romanization of all Chinese characters, and a Chinese-English section arranged alphabetically according to pronunciation. Over 40,000 references.

Product Details
  • Turtleback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Langenscheidt Publishers; Miniature edition (February 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1585730572
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.9 x 1.0 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 12 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful:

The Perfect Dictionary For China, December 14, 2002

Reviewer: Matthew Price (Portland, Oregon)

I took a quick course in conversational Chinese. Being a bad student, all I really learned was basic phrases and how to read pinyin. Suddenly I was offered a chance to go to Shanghai for two months to stay with a friend of my Chinese teacher. His friend ran a middle school and wanted an American to talk with the students. I agreed, but between the time I agreed and when I arrived in Shanghai, the agreement changed from talking with the students to teaching four hours of classes a day! Having very bad Chinese skills (almost none), this was a little daunting. I somehow managed to get through teaching 13 year-old Chinese students with only a few years of English training, even while I knew almost no Chinese. There is one main reason I was able to do this: Langenscheidt's Pocket Chinese Dictionary. This book saved me every day, and that is no exaggeration.

The book gives single words, but it also gives common phrases in which that word is used. The radical index is pretty good, though like others have said, it leaves some characters out. Most of the ones I couldn't find were (I discovered) local characters used mostly in the Shanghai area. When I was standing around trying to read signs, I often would consult this book. Since I had a conversation class, I didn't know how to read anything when I arrived. Once I was able to learn how to pick out a radical, though, I was usually able to find out what the word was just by using this dictionary. During class, when I had written an English word on the board and wanted to write the Chinese word, all I had to do was look up the English word in here. You not only will find the Chinese pinyin next to it, but also the character(s) for writing it. When I wanted to find something, I could do the same thing. Even if I didn't say the pinyin right, I could point to the characters in the book, and almost always people would immediately know what it was and would help me get it.

Like others have said, the cover is rubbery, and stands up well to wear and tear. As I accidentally found out, this also means you can cover it with marker writings, or spill coffee and tea on the cover, yet it will wipe away clean. In the back of the book is a quick number section for dealing with all numbers, big and small. It also shows you the characters for writing numbers on checks, which are different than the characters for the regular use of numbers. The book also has the Chinese way of saying a lot of useful in-country phrases, like Communist Party, CCTV, People's Republic of China, and other things like that. It has slang and formal words in it, and covers thousands of words. I cannot believe how many things the dictionary has. I was teaching 13 year-olds, and like most kids that age, they wanted to know how to say some rather weird phrases in English. When they would write the Chinese, I could use the radical chart and look it up. Or, if they spoke it, I could find the pinyin using the Chinese side of the dictionary. I still cannot believe how many seemingly random words were in there. I'd say I could find any word (and I mean ANY word) about 95% of the time (one notable lack I found one day: "caravan" - can't have them all I guess). It is amazing.

I have put this book to the test. The sides of the pages are covered in dirt. The blue L on the front is slowly starting to wear off (not surprising after all I put it through). Physically, as well as language-wise, this book is great. I used it every day, flipping through and referencing it nearly non-stop. It has pulled me through every time. I've never really used another dictionary much, but I've never really had to. This one is great. If you are going to China and need a quick, handy, durable, and travel-friendly dictionary, this is what you want. Believe me, after two intense months of being one of the few English-speakers in a suburb of Shanghai, I know for a fact, this dictionary is good. Get it. You won't be disappointed.


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Compact & Useful Everyday Dictionary, January 23, 2005

Reviewer: Hong M. Sharon "Milk Junkie 89757" (Singapore, Earth)

Although one of my native languages is Chinese, I went ahead and got this dictionary because I need a “portable” dictionary whenever I need to lookup characters that I have forgotten to write. The compact size of this dictionary makes it very easy and convenient to carry around, and it’s perfect for people on the go. (That is, no more suffering under the weight of a full dictionary!) ^^

The radical index makes it comfortable to look up a particular word even if one doesn’t know how to pronounce it, and the English-Chinese, Chinese-English dictionary format makes it handy to look up and translate words both ways. This dictionary also comes with a pronunciation guide, which is also useful for beginners. ^^ The Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese equivalents is great for people living and traveling to the two countries, but I noticed that some Chinese (also applies to Chinese in other countries like Singapore) uses a mixture of both. So regardless of whether you use Taiwanese Chinese or Mainland Chinese, I’m sure most Chinese will understand you. :)

However, this dictionary uses mainly Simplified Chinese, so if you’re looking to translate words which are written using Traditional Chinese, you’ll need to look for other sources (or if you know how Traditional Chinese can be converted to Simplified Chinese, then that’s good). If you’re looking forward to use this dictionary to write in Chinese, then I am sure the lack of traditional Chinese characters will not make a major difference too since most Chinese recognized Simplified Chinese characters (unless of course, you need to write entirely in Traditional Chinese). I can’t say the same for Traditional Chinese though; some of my friends don’t recognize Traditional Chinese characters. -_-0

Although I wouldn’t say this is a perfect dictionary for fluent Chinese speakers as it doesn’t provide as much words and extensive information as a complete dictionary do, it is, nevertheless, an excellent dictionary and guide for everyday use and people on the move as it covers useful and commonly used words. If you're tired of browsing through “thick” dictionaries just to find that simple, everyday word you want, give this a try. :)


Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Durability, September 24, 2005

Reviewer: Timothy D. Bina "TB" (Plymouth, MN USA)

There are many good reviews here regarding the content and durability of this dictionary. I just want to mention how durable this is. I'm very fussy about things like bent pages and deformed books. I'm very pleased with the fact that, even though I've carried this dictionary around in my pocket and in my backpack, and have allowed others (who are not as careful as I) to look up words, I still have no bent pages. Also, even though I've carried this in my pocket on hot-humid days and the cover has become deformed and somewhat wet, it returns to it's original shape soon after getting back to the air conditioning.


Exactly what I needed, July 23, 2005
Reviewer: Robert M. Nicholls "appledore" (New South Wales, Australia)

Smart card, Zip drive and DVD; if you are after an up to date dictionary which combines these phrases with all the traditional entries this is the one for you.
The Preface tell us there are 40,000 references and with 670 pages I'm prepared to believe it.
Suits beginners and intermediate level for those who work with both languages.


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

A TRUE Pocket Dictionary, November 23, 2004

Reviewer: Tom Reynolds (Wuhan, China)

This dictionary deserves five stars for being what it is: a pocket dictionary that actually fits in your pocket! It's not a list of a few common words but a real dictionary. That said, the size limits the number of entries (40,000) and also the complexity of the entries. A radical chart and index are included which will be helpful to more advanced users.

Although compact, the type is still easily read which is very important when trying to find the right characters. Furthermore, the pinyin and English headwords appear in bold type.

The biggest drawback of this dictionary is that it does not focus on spoken Mandarin. I doubt anyone would use a pocket dictionary for writing but when you are carrying it around spoken Mandarin is essential. It should also be noted that although the dictionary includes a list of Taiwanese equivalents this only covers three pages.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Extremely Useful Compact Dictionary, August 27, 2004

Reviewer: Lisa F. "lisafr" (Venice, CA USA)

This is my favorite Chinese dictionary for traveling. It's rugged, has a lot of useful vocabulary, and the alphabetical pinyin look-up is the most practical for translations on the run. Beginners will find that this dictionary lacks the detailed examples of say the Oxford Starter's Dictionary - but after a few quarters of study, this will be the one you'll shove in your pocket and take along. Highly recommended.


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