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Palm CEDICT

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to Mike's Palm CEDICT page.  CEDICT is a publicly available Chinese / English dictionary compiled by Paul Denisowski.  Paul's web page has disappeared but this mirror site may still exist.  Erik (mandarintools.com) has unofficially picked up development of the dictionary.  His version is here.  An entirely different Erik is also actively working on a revision of CEDICT.  His version may be found here.

I've reformatted the dictionary so that it is suitable for handheld computers running PalmOS 3.x.  It's important to point out that the dictionary is just a bunch of data that is not extremely useful all by itself.  To search it you need a nifty shareware package from Hiroshi Kawashima called KDIC.  To display Chinese characters, I use a great shareware product called ChOS by Water Lou.  Although the Brando Workshop has several great Chinese / English dictionaries for KDIC, they didn't meet my requirements

1.     GB encoding

2.     "toneless" pinyin lookup

3.     customizable

4.     English-->Chinese capability

So I decided to write some software to convert CEDICT into PDB format for my Palm IIIx.

INSTALLATION

To use the dictionary,

1.     Download and install ChOS 2.51 (GB version).  Read the readme.htm file.

2.     Download and install KDIC 1.24.  Read the readme-e.txt file.

3.     Download and install the dictionaries (Big5 version is here).

This assumes you're familiar with zip files and installation of PDB files on your Palm handheld.

USAGE

The current version is extremely crude but I find it very usable.  To start from English, tap on the KDIC icon, tap on the circled "J" in the upper right corner of the screen, select the dictionary called "ecdict", then enter the English word using Graffiti.  For example, when I enter "Chinese", the Chinese character for "Han" appears.  However, the pronunciation is not given!  To see the pronunciation, just select the Chinese character by tapping and dragging, then tap on "ABC" to bring up the ChOS keyboard, and then write "/L".  ChOS then tells you how to pronounce the character, i.e., "han4".  By the way, "Han" refers to the ethnic group by that name.  To see the characters for "Chinese language", you have to enter "Chinese language".  Remember that you can use the Palm's up/down button to scroll through the entries.  Also, you can see a list of close words by tapping on the circled "L" in the upper right corner of the screen.

Likewise, to enter a Chinese word using toneless pinyin, launch KDIC, select the dictionary called "cedict", then use Graffiti to enter the pinyin without tone numbers and without spaces between syllables.  For example, when I enter "meiguo", the Chinese characters for "MeiGuo" appear followed by the definition, "America".

WHAT'S BROKEN

There are quite a few words in the dictionary which ChOS (GB/simplified small font database) cannot display.  Since these tend to be infrequently used words, this has not been a problem for me.

In list mode, KDIC does not display some Chinese characters properly.  You have to click on the item to see the Chinese characters.  I will ask Hiroshi to fix this.

WHAT'S NEW

Big5 Version 0.3 (March 21, 2002)

Experimental Big5 version has been added!  It comes in a separate zip file.

Version 0.3 (January 14, 2001)

Updated to Erik's latest version of CEDICT

E->C mapping was improved.  Removed the leading "a", "an", "the", and "to" from the English entries (e.g., "to make" becomes "make").  This should make it easier to find many words.

Version 0.2 (January 1, 2001)

Fixed some problems with word ordering.

Worked around a limitation in KDIC.  If you chose a word from KDIC "list" mode and there were other definitions for that word, KDIC would jump to the first occurrence of the word.  Now, duplicate words are numbered, e.g., "mei (01)", so they're all unique. 

WARRANTY, LIABILITY, Etc.

There is no warranty.  I cannot guarantee that this will not melt down your Palm handheld.  It has not melted mine.  Use the dictionary at your own risk.  I do not accept responsibility if someone punches you in the nose because you called them a word you looked up in this dictionary.  CEDICT is copyrighted by Paul Denisowski.  I believe that my reformatting the dictionary does not violate Paul's license agreement.  Paul's license agreement is included with the PDB files.

I cannot afford to offer support.

FEEDBACK

Feedback on the Palm version of CEDICT is welcomed.  Send to daimaike@yahoo.com.  If there are words that should be added to the dictionary, please let me know.  If you know both the word and the definition, you can always submit them directly to Erik.

If you like KDIC or have questions about it, please send e-mail to Hiroshi.  Likewise, if you enjoy seeing those Chinese fonts display on your handheld or if you have questions on ChOS, please send e-mail to Water.

Please send me e-mail if you download the dictionary files.  That way I can let you know when there is an update.

Also, when someone with more spare time than me inevitably produces a better version, please let me know.