Resources - Dictionaries


字 典

Classic Chinese Text

中 文 典 籍

Business Chinese




A good dictionary is essential for the delivery of a 'reliable, accurate, and elegant' (信、达、雅) translation. Besides traditional dictionaries, the internet offers abundant resources. Dictionaries are now available online for free with a lot more examples than printed versions (e.g. Oxford Dictionary online). These online dictionaries are also more useful, and particularly compared to the printed versions of many classic Chinese dictionaries, such as Lin Yutang, and Shuo Wen Jie Zi dictionaries, as they did not previously use pinyin indexing, so it used to be difficult to find a particular character. Search engines such as Google also make available an almost unlimited number of bilingual texts, so that we can make comparisons and give careful consideration to choice of words, in order to deliver a more accurate translation.

The following are a few dictionaries that we find particularly useful.

English to Chinese:

Oxford English Chinese Dictionary, Commercial Press

English dictionaries:

Oxford Dictionary Online

Chinese to English:

A Chinese-English Dictionary, 3rd eds, 2010 Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (for its authoritativeness)

Modern Chinese Dictionaries:




Shuo Wen Jie Zi (说文解字)