|Category||Encyclopedia and Dictionary|
I have been studying Mandarin for four months. Used it on a recent trip to China. Worth it's weight in gold. Sections on pronunciation, grammar, English Language to Mandarin and Vice versa.
Here's what I love:
1) Fits in my pocket, so I can bring it with me anywhere I go
2) Gives a brief description of each character in compound (multi-character) words
3) Gives a sample sentence in both simplified Chinese characters and pinyin for each word. The sample sentences are at an excellent level (for me, at least) of difficulty: neither using obscure words nor dumbing down the sentences.
4) Offers some additional usage hints (like the difference betwen "you4" and "zai4," each of which means "again" in English but is used in a different context in Mandarin
5) Shows the traditional character when different from the simplified version
I would love this dictionary to include (many) more words, but it does a superb job of giving me a much better feel for words and their appropriate usage than any other dictionary I've used.