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112 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 though I remain skeptical about Dathorne's historiography, I am unable to criticize it, for I am as ignorant as I worry he may be. At the very least, I would argue that the far greater facility Dathorne has at manipulating his English and American portrayals of the Pacific in comparison to his labored management ofthe parallel materials on China is argument enough that he should not have attempted the latter. I cannot, therefore, recommend this book. Hugh R. Clark Ursinus College Hugh R. Clark is a professor and chair ofhistory at Ursinus College. He specializes in middle-period Chinese social history. %m John DeFrancis, editor. ABC Chinese-English Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1996. xix, 897 pp. Paperback $28.00, isbn 0-82481744 -3The most immediately apparent distinctive feature of this dictionary is its arrangement of entries in single-sort alphabetical order, rather than a grouping of all compounds under the character representing the first syllable of a word. That is, it lists words and compounds in purely pinyin alphabetical order rather than grouping them under primary characters. This does indeed make it easier to look up a new word that one has heard and either wishes to know the meaning of or wishes to know which characters make up the word. On the other hand, if the user comes across a character whose pronunciation is not known, there is a character list, arranged under radicals and stroke order, which gives the pronunciation of characters, allowing a lookup by pinyin spelling in the main body. Characters are given following the pinyin spelling for each entry. They are printed in simplified forms, with the traditional form enclosed in brackets next to the single-character entry, and in an appended list of traditional forms of all those characters that differ from their simplified form. There are over 70,000 entries in the dictionary. Homophonous entries are listed in order of frequency of usage. Most of the best-known Chinese-English dictionaries published over the past y niversi y twenty years have been consulted for this book. It is interesting to note that the twenty-eight works that have been consulted could not include the Han-Ying Cidian ¿x. $z V\ $- (Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1995), which is a significant revision of the popular first edition (Hong Kong: CommerofHawai 'i Press Reviews 113 dal Press, 1979). The reason is perfecdy valid: ABCwas already in press when the revised Han-Ying Cidian was released. Curious whether this would have made much difference, I randomly chose a character ai %k (get close to; be next to; follow in sequence) to compare entries. Both ABCand the 1995 Han-Ying Cidian offer nine entries in addition to the single character/word itself. ABC contains two entries not offered in the Han-Ying Cidian, and vice versa. In both cases, an advanced student probably could deduce the meaning of the missing compound from information included in other entries. Probably every sinologist has her/his favorite sample colloquialisms used to test the usefulness ofany new dictionary. Mine are gazhiwo $iRL % (armpit) and niuniunienie &&&& (diffident; timorous), both ofwhich are found in ABC. Thousands of choices must be made when choosing which expressions must be included and which are omissible in a medium-size dictionary, and there are probably good reasons why the editors chose to include ruoyousuosi £^#T© (as iflost in thought) but not ruoyousuoshi %%#jtk. (to look distracted); or to include yifenwei'er —4t % — (one divides into two) but not yifen qian, yifen huo — 4t4k ' —4t^ (you get what you pay for). There are also minor oversights, which are inevitable in a work ofthis size and complexity. For example, ABChas huoguiyunshu "ffîfê-itMt, defined as "container shipment'V'transport," andjizhuangxiang Hk^fâ, defined as "shipping container," with no explanation ofdifference between huogui and jizhuangxiang. The Xiandai Hanyu Cidian íHKfctérfjfer (Beijing: Commercial Press, 1996) identifies huogui as a dialect expression whose meaning is the same as jizhuangxiang, which is the standard putonghua term. There are one or two entries that may raise the eyebrows oíputonghua purists . ABClists maidan X -¥-, defined as...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 112-114
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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