Dictionaries in other scripts.

Rodrigo   Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:02 am GMT
From what I know the Chinese "alphabet" works different from the English or Spanish, my question is: how do they organise dictionaries? In English we have a pre-established order for letters and in that established orders we compile dicionaries. I guess it's probably the same in Greek and Russian but if I was in a Chinese streer and saw a word how would I look it up in a dictionary?
Million thanks for your help-
Rodrigo, correcting typos   Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:23 am GMT
...we compile dicTionaries.
...in a Chinese streeT.
Sorry, I was in a hurry.
Guest   Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:52 am GMT
Chinese dictionaries are usually unordered and you look up the character with the help of an index based on stroke count, radical, or some other system like the four-corner method. There are some dictionaries where they're ordered alphabetically by their pinyin, though. Japanese dictionaries are ordered according to 五十音 (gojuuon) kana ordering.
Rodrigo   Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:18 pm GMT
Can a person little to no knowledge of Chinese use a dictionary effectively? I think that if a was in Russia with a basic knowledge of the alphabet I'd be able to find a word fairly quickly.
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:53 am GMT
No. Using a Chinese dictionary can be hard even for people who know a lot of Chinese.

furrykef   Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:08 am GMT
Electronic dictionaries, however, can be simple in Chinese. To look up a word, you just write it in. Even if you don't recognize the characters, with enough practice you will get a feel for how to write unfamiliar characters with the proper stroke order. It would be difficult for somebody with "little to no knowledge of Chinese" to figure out the proper stroke order for many characters, though.

- Kef