You might not have heard about zhdict.com yet, but it is the most kick-ass online Chinese dictionary I have seen to date. First of all, it’s the only one with a decent-looking interface. Secondly, if you’ve ever wondered why searching on zhongwen.com or even dict.cn was so damn frustrating sometimes, you need to look no further. zhdict.com has the most obvious search tool – you type in the English, the characters or the Pinyin, and it finds it for you. There’s no need to separate out the Pinyin with spaces like you have to do in dict.cn (before I read their help page and found out that I had to do this, I had assumed you couldn’t search on dict.cn by Pinyin) or go to a specialized Search page to be able to search with Pinyin like you have to do on zhongwen.com.

Also, one of the absolutely wonderful features of zhdict.com is that it can annotate your text allowing you to mouse over characters (and words!) to see what they mean. If you’ve used Chinesepera-kun, Wenlin or something similar, you’ll know what I’m talking about and it really is amazing once you start using it. You can use it to read the sample material that comes up when you search for words, but you can also click Annotate on the links bar at the top, paste in your own text (say, from a news article) and read it with annotations. Just. Fucking. Brilliant.


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