Geographic dictionary & Biligual Encyclopedia of world h

I might as well ask for it all.
These are my key items to learn Chinese.

And, they are clearly two separate items.

I think the first - A Biligual Geographic dictionary would greatly enhance learner's ablities to recognize the names of places in the news. Also, some names use very obscure Chinese characters that are not learned in the normal second language course.

Pleco could provide this down the road, it really is a simple bilingual database.

The second item is far more daunting because an encyclopedia requires a lot of manpower and a particular editorial cultural view [occidental or oriental]. It really may be up to Wikipedia or some other internet based service to eventually provide this. I suppost that with G3 services, it could become available 24/7 on a PDA.


Staff member
A geographic dictionary would be a good idea, but actually the free dictionaries we're releasing with PlecoDict 1.0 will improve matters in that area - they don't covery every conceivable place name, but they do cover a lot of the obscures ones that our current dictionaries miss. I don't know if anybody publishes a proper English-Chinese dictionary of geographic terms, I would imagine they do but it's probably part of a dictionary of foreign service vocabulary or something similar...

And it's already possible to put Wikipedia on a Palm using TomeRaider (assuming you have 400MB of free space on an SD card), but I don't think it works very well with Chinese characters yet... that would be a better bet on Pocket PC since there's Unicode support built into the OS. I suppose we could do our own conversion for PlecoDict of the Chinese Wikipedia ( already has 28246 entries) but PlecoDict really isn't designed for reading those long sorts of articles... maybe an idea for 2.0.
Place names

Place names are important means of identifying a topic or context - especially for news reports.

People names are nearly as important, but harder to keep up with as we all have are likes and dislikes, interests and disinterest.

Any geographical data should be global and include at least all the countries and regions of the world, their capitals, and populaton centers of over a half-million. Add to that places of specific interest due to history, beauty, and popular tourist destination.


On another note, there are endless kinds of dictionaries. I saw but did not buy dictionary of Chinese Food [it was about 200 plus pages] and I deeply regret not doing so. In a generally impoverished country such as China [I know it is changing], food has been its most creative means of self expression and local identity. India has a similar thing with curry and so on.

So, I guess I am saying a food dictionary would be another interesting item for a 'wish list'. But alas, wishing seems to get us off into the weeds.


I agree that an encyclopedia would be a great thing.

As for a geographic dictionary, that is a good possibility for a user-created dictionary. Once we have a tool for creating dictionaries from text files, you can just find a word list on the internet and convert it to a dictionary.
I too am highly interested in a geographical dictionary that includes at the very least all countries, national capitals, state/provincial capitals of all major countries (all countries would be even better), major cities, and finally famous cities and places (for historical or other reasons).

I cannot begin to explain how often I stumble when trying to read Chinese newspapers because of the number of place names that appear regularly that are not in our PlecoDict dictionary set.


Staff member
This should actually be fixed by the combination of our new 21st Century E-C dictionary (which includes vast vast numbers of place names) and our new full-text search feature that lets you search E-C dictionaries for Chinese words. While it only has half again as many entries as the ABC, far fewer of those entries are spent on proverbs / chengyus / ancient scholarly references / etc which leaves a lot more room for obscure place names.