Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Mike Love from Pleco:
"We're also adding a dedicated UI for single dictionaries (think of an amped-up version of the current Browse Entries screen with a search box), so if you don't care for our software in general and just want to be able to get at this particular dictionary, there'll be an easy way to do that. It should also be possible to get at entries from this dictionary directly via link from another app, if, say, you want to be able to hop into them from an Anki test; we just added direct URL links to the definition screen for our 3.2.5 update on iOS and will shortly have them on Android too."Last updated:
In order to get to the bottom of what's really going on with the Chinese writing system, we — the team creating this project — need to know all that stuff. In order to answer "why does this character look like that?" we have to trace the character back to its origins and see how it evolved over time. But that doesn't mean that you need to know the whole back story!
Some people really like having information about the ancient character forms, and that's who the Expert Edition is for. But some people find it overwhelming and unnecessary, which is why we made the Essentials Edition!Last updated:
For right now, it will only be released through Pleco on iOS and Android. However, there is now a way to run Android apps on your PC. Here's some discussion about using Pleco in that way: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/37418-pleco-equivalent-for-desktop-pc/?p=366539
We'd like to license to other platforms (desktop and web) as well, and we'll announce that as soon as we have anything concrete. We'd also love to do a print version for those who would prefer that. Hopefully there will be more news soon!Last updated:
We're big fans of using mnemonics to learn characters! But the way they're usually applied hides system-level phenomena, and it's an understanding of the system behind Chinese characters which leads to long-term recall and predictive ability. Mnemonics are effective, but they'll be even more effective when combined with our dictionary because you'll understand the underlying system!Last updated:
Well, the first release will be geared toward Mandarin learners. We do plan to make a version specifically for Japanese learners (Ash and John are both learning Japanese, and John lives in Tokyo) and one for Cantonese learners (Ash speaks Canto pretty well and John is learning) later, but it will be a while before they can be released. Certainly the same principles apply, but there are things to take into consideration, like 1) often the characters will have a different basic meaning in colloquial Canto or Japanese than they do in Mandarin, 2) the sound formulas will have to be completely re-done to match up with Canto and Japanese, 3) there are quite a few characters used in colloquial Cantonese and even in Japanese that aren't used at all in Mandarin, and 4) some minor things like differing stroke orders in the different standards, a few variant forms like 線/綫, 龍/竜 etc. Frequency stats, vocabulary, etc. will all be different as well.
Of course, the Mandarin version can be used as a stopgap if you want, as long as you cross-reference with other resources, until the Japanese and Canto versions comes out. And of course for Cantonese learners, the vocab lists in the Mandarin edition will be useful for reading formal written Chinese, as long as you can look up the Canto pronunciations of the words. Fortunately Pleco already offers some pretty good stuff for Canto, and there's even more in the pipeline, so cross-referencing won't be too difficult.
We'd love to go ahead and announce both of those products, but that's getting into stretch goal territory and we're not quite there yet. Hopefully soon!Last updated:
Yes! Both versions will include all of the Essentials info. The Expert Edition takes it further by including lots of information about ancient character forms, historical tidbits, phonological information, etc.Last updated:
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