Recommended - This book has value above and beyond being a book of definitions.
Feel free to change the Amazon.com URL from .com to your language of choice. Odds are good that it'll be available from another amazon.foo website.
Size - 13cm x 19.5cm x 3cm
Cover - Traditional fragile paperback.
Pages - Bright white. The text on the reverse side of a page can be made out as a slight blur, but it vanishes completely when a page is lifted up on its own. The edges of many pages are coloured, so when the book is closed, the outside edge of the pages has a number of reference-marks. The sections which are organized alphabetically have their header on that outside edge, so it's a little easier to fan through and find a particular letter-section. Strangely, this is only done on the right-side of the pages and not the left, so you can flip through one way and get this advantage but you can't flip through the other way. Sorry lefties.
Text - A good size, and clear text. The Chinese characters are thin and easy to read.
This book does not have Traditional Chinese characters.
This has both British and American English.
I thought it was odd to have page numbers on the inside edge of the pages.
- Tones and tone changes
- A really thorough breakdown and explanation of how entries are assembled.
- Glossary of grammatical terms
- When looking up a character, and there are multiple possible radicals to search with, the book lists the character for multiple radicals. Cool!
- Character index - so you use the radical index to find a number, then refer to the number in the character index. Those entries are then broken down into groups of stroke order entries.
Pinyin -> Chinese character -> English translation
- Many entries have an example of use in a phrase.
- Basic rules for writing Chinese characters. Strokes and stroke order.
English -> (type: adjective, adverb, etc) -> pinyin -> Chinese character
- Many entries just have multiple examples and phrases.
- Some entries have a very thorough tutorial, even covering an entire page!
- Exercises. No seriously, there are some exercises in there, with blank spots as though these guys want you to write in a dictionary like it's a textbook.
- Chinese words and phrases you must know.
- Useful phrases.
- Important dates for the Chinese.
- Quick reference guide to life and culture.
Social survival guide.