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.

Advantages:

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.

Disadvantages:

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: http://www.wenlin.com/

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