Sunday, 16 August 2009

Translation Tools - Wenlin Computer Dictionary

The device I use the most when translating is probably Wenlin. It's basically a piece of software that works like a dictionary. There are some very strong advantages to Wenlin that make it ideal for translation, and for learning of Chinese. It's made as a general dictionary so it doens't help me translating technical Chinese but it's really good for more general documents.


You can search buy radical, number of strokes, pinyin, and character frequency. Another really useful feature is being able to look for a character by clicking on components and selecting "show characters containing this component". So for example you can get a list of all the characters containing "Cloud" by clicking on "cloud". It's really useful if you know part of a character but not the entire thing.


Some of the words are just wrong. It has "to censor" translated wongly as "to supervise" for exmaple in my version. There is also a serious lack of even very slightly technical terms, although it does OK with older Chinese.

Overall, it's a really great thing to have for anyone, but it's not cheap. The cost seems to vary depending on the reseller, but in Beijing I saw it for more than 1,000RMB. You can visit the website to read up no it. You can check out the details on their website:


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