Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cell Phone Dictionary 

I was sitting in Lush today with my laptop, when a friendly American kid showed me a website where you can download dictionaries for cell phones. The Chinese English dictionary is a tidy 10 MB application. I suppose if you don't have the Chinese fonts on your phone already you might have to set that up, but if you live in China like me and have a Chinese cell phone, that stuff is already going to be in place. It's really handy for me, because the little electronic dictionary I bought four years ago is pretty much worn out after getting so much use last year during the nine months that I was in language school every day. An electronic dictionary for a Chinese person learning English is a much simpler device. All they need is a keyboard. But if you are learning Chinese, you need to have a screen where you can write the Chinese characters with a stylus. My Nokia has all that--I can write text messages in Chinese--just didn't have the dictionary part. It hasn't stopped me, of course--I use the radical chart in my Xinhua dictionary just like I did when I first started studying Chinese. But it sure it handy to be able to grab my cell phone and write a character on it to get the pinyin and a short definition.

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