Alphabetical index to the Hanyu Da Cidian

Here’s a bit of news I just received.

[quote]It is with the greatest pleasure that I announce the publication of the long-awaited, single-sort alphabetical index for all 350,000+ entries of
the Hanyu Da Cidian (China’s 12 vol. equivalent of the OED).

Compilation of the huge index (1,505 quadruple-column pages) began more than a decade ago, shortly after the first vol. of the HDC was issued.
Now you can find an entry in HDC as quickly and effortlessly as you can locate a word in the ABC Chinese-English dictionaries edited by John DeFrancis and others. This gigantic, alphabetically ordered index also serves as a very large data base that has important implications for research and applications relating to Sinitic language IT.

The index appears in an American edition and a PRC edition. They are:

  1. Victor H. Mair, ed., An Alphabetical Index to the Hanyu Da Cidian
    (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2003).

  2. Mei Weiheng (Victor H. Mair), ed., Hanyu Da Cidian cimu yinxu
    (Shanghai: Hanyu Da Cidian chubanshe, 2003).

Stocks of the American edition have still not reached the warehouses of the
University of Hawai’i Press, but they are on the way.[/quote]

That is good news … even better, though, would be an alphabetical index to the Dai Kanwa Jiten.

I bought my HDCD ages ago…let me see…it’s the compact edition in 3 books, published 1997 and I do have an alphabetical index for all the characters on the back of book 3. Or was it something else you meant?

Dear all,

[quote=“cranky laowai”][quote]Compilation of the huge index (1,505 quadruple-column pages) began more than a decade ago, shortly after the first vol. of the HDC was issued.

It took more than a decade to complete!!?? :shock:

Did they get monks to carve it out on wood blocks? You would think that in this age of personal computers and the Internet that it would have gone a lot faster.

I was reading this from

The computerized database at Academia Sinica is supposedly unparalleled, but of course us mere mortals don’t have acess to it …

The new release is not by character but by entry (word, phrase, etc.). In this way it is like the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary. (Click on the Amazon link below and then on “look inside this book” to see how it differs from most C>E dictionaries.)

Do you mean this one?

Huzzah, huzzah!

Here’s an article with some background on the book.

It’s interesting that it goes for 160 yuan in China – which is a lot cheaper than the US$45 it costs in the States. Does anyone know how to order books from China?

You should be able to order it through Shenghuan shuju:

聖環書局: 板橋市四川路一段31號8樓之3 02─29566460

This is a great scholarly bookstore specializing in books from China. The Banqiao branch is the main branch.

I’d never known about that store even though it’s just a few blocks from my house. (I still haven’t been inside, because it was closed by the time I got there yesterday.) Many thanks for the reference.

There’s a Web site, too:

In response to the above request re: getting mainland books, I’ve had a fair experience with the 朱本 Zhu1ben3 store in Beijing, at

It was recommended to me by a professor friend at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica (TWN). The books are cheap, postage is reasonable, and you can pay by T/T. They are a bit slow to process orders, though, and I had to send several emails to find out what was going on with my order.

BTW, the original 13th volume of the 漢語大辭典 (I’m told) has a pinyin 字 zi4 index. The Taiwan edition’s 13th volume, unfortunately, has only bopomofo order for this index. :raspberry: Too bad they didn’t keep the pinyin section!