Mandarin dictionaries--a critique of traditional approaches

Sino-Platonic Papers has rereleased for free its very first issue: The Need for an Alphabetically Arranged General Usage Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese: A Review Article of Some Recent Dictionaries and Current Lexicographical Projects (1.5 MB PDF), by Professor Victor H. Mair of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Don’t be misled by the article’s name into thinking this is something so specialized or technical that it wouldn’t have much to say to general users of dictionaries of Mandarin Chinese. It’s highly readable and remains relevant.

This essay, which was originally published in early 1986, led to the publication of the .


The section from halfway down page 15 to halfway down 18 is priceless. :laughing: