Better Chinese Dictionary is for
use by elementary and secondary students in their study of Chinese as a
second or foreign language. Definitions as well as sample phrases and
sentences are provided for 690 Chinese characters that are most commonly
encountered in everyday communication. This collection of characters
encompasses characters and words learned in three Better Chinese
textbook series: My First Chinese Words, My First Chinese Reader, and
Discovering Chinese. The character included in this dictionary also
matches the list of high-frequency characters as designated by the
official tests of HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) .
Six categories of information are provided for each
Pinyin spelling and pronunciation; for characters
with multiple pronunciations, the most frequently encountered
pronunciations are presented.
2. English Definition
Meaning and usage are described in English.
The strokes and the character radical are listed to
help explicate the structure of the written character.
4. Stroke Order
Stroke sequence is illustrated to show correct
5. Sample Usage
Sample phrases and sentences are included to
provide a basic understanding of the meaning as well as the usage of
6. Extra Tips
Interesting stories about the origin and evolution
of Chinese characters are also included to add fun and efficacy in
learning. Animated stories can be found at www.BetterChinese.com.
There are two ways to look up each character: (1)
by alphabetical order according to Pinyin spelling; (2) by the number
of strokes with characters that have the fewest strokes appearing
first. All characters are entered in simplified version. Whenever a
character exists in both simplified and traditional form, its
traditional form is presented in brackets next to the simplified form.
When looking up a character, if you know the
pronunciation but do not know its meaning or stroke order, you can
look up the word under the Pinyin chart index I. If you do not know
the pronunciation of a character or its meaning, you can count the
number of strokes and find the character in the stroke number chart
The following appendices are included at the back
of this dictionary:
Appendix I: Chinese phonetics, equivalent to
the vowels and consonants in European languages, and pronunciation
Appendix Ⅱ: Names of basic strokes.
Appendix Ⅲ: Names of radicals.
Appendix Ⅳ: Basic Rules and Stroke Order for
Writing Chinese Characters.