Category : Science and Education
Archive   : DIC2-A.ZIP
Filename : README2.DIC

Output of file : README2.DIC contained in archive : DIC2-A.ZIP

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 1

Will Jordan
6 Mar 90

This program provides a Chinese/English dictionary. Most operation can
be driven with a mouse. Indeed, some operations are only possible with
a mouse. You can look up the Chinese for English words and find all
occurrences of a particular Chinese character in the English dictionary.
Four display formats are supported: CGA, EGA, VGA and Hercules. You
(for obvious reasons) must have a graphics display (doing Chinese
character display with ANSI graphics is left as an exercise for the
reader). Characters are traditional as used in Taiwan, not the
simplified forms used on the mainland.

The screen will look something like:


left top right

e: ³ status box ³C³E³Card³

left bottom right


The box where the "e:" appears is where you can enter text:

e: followed by an English word results in the Chinese for that word in
the top display or 'not found' in the status box in the middle when
you press . Under each character is the pronunciation
(which I don't recognize, preferring pinyin) and an upper case
ASCII sequence which has something to do with the appearance of the

n: followed by a number (1 to 5401) shows that Chinese character in
the top display when you press

s: followed by a number (1 to 32) shows the number of the first
Chinese character with that number of strokes when you press enter
(you would press again to see that character)

end with no colon quits from the program

The key will clear everything after the colon. You can use the
right and left arrow keys to move the cursor around. The backspace and
the key should work as expected.

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 2

For some English words several translations are provided. For example,
the word "sound" currently is the only word having three. For this word
you will see 1/3, 2/3 and 3/3 in the status box. You can see each of
these by pressing the up arrow and down arrow keys. These keys will also
restore the last referenced English word if there has been an
intervening access of a numerically referenced Chinese character.

Well that is about it for running the program with the keyboard, now
with a mouse you get quite a bit more:

left button with the cursor ...

on any Chinese character puts "n:xxxx" in the text entry box and
puts that character in the top display

on the text entry box adds an English word there to the file
DIC2CARD.TXT (more on that later)

on the C box displays in sequential order Chinese characters in
the bottom window starting at the last accessed character (hit
to stop the update, you'll use it if your computer is slow
and if you run a VGA -- monochrome graphics is fastest)

on the E box displays sequential English words in the dictionary
starting from the last accessed word IF the text entry box contains

"e:" followed by anything BUT if the text box contains "n:" a
search for all words that have that Chinese character as a
dictionary entry

on the Card box does flash cards in English or Chinese depending on
which of the C or the E boxes is highlighted hitting any key or
pressing the left mouse button with the cursor in the bottom window
alternately displays everything known about that word, then the
next entry in DIC2CARD.TXT

on an English word or Chinese character in the bottom box puts
that in the text entry box and displays in the top window

in the bottom window anywhere is the same as a key press during
the (flash) card procedure

right button with the cursor

in the upper window displays the last referenced English word and
allows selection of multiple dictionary entries by positioning the
cursor to the left or right

in the bottom window with the cursor at the very bottom of the screen
does a proportional jump through all available characters or words
controlled by the horizontal cursor position

in the bottom window with the cursor not at the very bottom does a
page up/down function for the bottom window -- the and
keys also perform this function

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 3

The file DIC2CARD.TXT is generated automatically by tagging English
words in the text window. It can also be prepared with a text editor
if desired. Each word should be placed on a separate line. The
program just skips any word that cannot be found in the dictionary.

The ordering of the Chinese characters is typical of a Chinese
dictionary: first by number of strokes then by radical. I have
provided the "s:" feature by comparing against a Chinese dictionary.
The only break that I am not certain of is character 4899 as the first
19 stroke character.

My motivation for this program was provided by a Chinese family that I
have helped with computer stuff. The boy (fourth grade or so) is
determined to learn Mandarin. The last time that he went to Taiwan he
couldn't communicate very well, speaking only Taiwanese and English.
His mother is preparing flash cards by hand presently. I hope that this
can reduce some of that work as well as making it more fun by using the
computer. I have some personal motivation as well. The normal
Chinese/English dictionary will tell you all character groups starting
with a particular character, but for reasons of the size of the index
don't tell you all the character groups using a particular character.
It is easier for me to learn if I can see more uses of a particular

I am willing to make corrections and additions to this dictionary. Make
a "DOS text file" with your editor containing separate lines for each
word, numbers for the Chinese characters, "s" for a space and "e" for an
ellipsis. Note that there are only 5 character positions available. As
an example (taken from the current dictionary):


Put that file on a floppy disk (I can read any standard IBM PC format)
with the name "NEWWORDS.TXT" and send it to me:

Will Jordan
P.O. Box 5217
Pasadena, CA 91117

I will add the words to the dictionary, add your name (if you like) as
a contributor and upload to local BBS's. Please don't send new words on
paper -- it's too much work for me and too likely that I'll make a

Please write if there are some essential Chinese characters not now in
the dictionary. If you write a character for me it must be in the
'square' or 'printed script' styles (most Chinese handwriting I cannot
read). Stroke count, pronunciation and where it should go in the
dictionary would be a big help. Really neatly printed characters in a
0.25 inch square box would help a lot as I could scan the character at
close to the right resolution. If I get any response at all, I may have
to write that paint program (see below).

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 4


I don't know enough Chinese to do any good at all, but I have studied
it. When I saw a Chinese dictionary on a local bulletin board I
downloaded it immediately. The original program is nice enough,
basically providing the same functions as this program without a mouse.

I'm not very good about sending money when requested, but I sent a $25
check to Angela Lee in July of 1990 as a result of seeing the following
on the initial screens:

³-------------------------------------------------------- ³
³ ³
³ PHONE: (201) 854-7950 ³
³ ³
³ ³
³ ³
³--------------------------------------------------------- ³
³ ³
³ 70 LA SALLE STREET, #25, NEW YORK, NY 10027 ³
³ ³
³ ³
³ ( TAX EXEMPT NUMBER: 13-291-8243 ) ³

That check was never cashed, a letter to Mr. Li received no response and
a phone call on 6 March 1991 made obvious how poor my Chinese verbal
skills are (I am not really sure if she was speaking Mandarin or what?).

I found the DIC.VOC file to be not really suited to my needs and so
reformatted that one file. All other files are as originally
distributed by Mr. Li. I have omitted his DIC.240 file which only
contained special characters (e.g. ?><...) providing the only necessary
character "..." (ellipsis) directly in the program.

See also the file !README!.DIC which has earlier changes.

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 5

Maybe to do sometime:

Other things that could be done (but I'm doing this as a labor of love
and I've put too much time already):

1. don't dump the searched word list, but allow display of the found
words in Chinese as well as English sorted by Chinese word index
2. find all Chinese characters with a particular pronunciation, a
very typical dictionary feature (with wild cards -- I keep trying
to allocate storage for tones in my head, but I have yet to
3. find all Chinese characters with a particular appearance pattern
(also with wild cards)
4. do a paint program to add characters to the Chinese part of the
5. do a program to add new English words to the dictionary & to
modify existing entries (to date I have only patched the file
directly & resorted with qsort)
6. try to modify dic.two (the pronunciation file) to pinyin
pronunciation (this is a romanization that at least has a 1:1
correspondence with the pronunciation taught in mainland China and
with the pronunciation symbols used in Taiwan). It would also be
nice to expand the size of DIC2.VOC and DIC.TWO to allow for
selection of different pronunciations for the same character --
this would allow the pronunciation to be correct for each usage
(see below).


The pronunciation display is sometimes wrong. The format allows for
storing only 7 characters for each word. For example character 7 is
sometimes pronounced liau= and sometimes le. (neutral). Also many words
have more than one tone in use, e.g. character 1335 is shown correctly
in "behavior," but should be wei\ in "why." I don't think there is
really any way around this.

The following words were found to have partial or no entries for Chinese

beating gnat
beech manifest
centigram nettle
centiliter stanza
centimeter sticky
fathom toad

"Ourself" was found to reference 1094 rather than 1520 erroneously, see
"we" -- a common enough mistake in writing ... corrected.

README2.DIC Saturday, March 9, 1991 2:10 pm Page 6

Usage notes:

There are not really that many words in this dictionary, 5401 Chinese
characters and 7673 English words. A good Chinese or English dictionary
will have maybe 60,000 words or character combinations for Chinese. The
big advantage to this dictionary is finding words quickly and finding
related groups of words. Note that most of the Chinese characters that
you are likely to encounter are in this -- my best Chinese-English
dictionary has 7331 different characters, many of which are rare.
Several characters will be used together to express one meaning.

Suppose you want to learn colors. Name any color in English and access
that (e:red and press ). You can then select the last character
with the left button of the mouse. Selecting the E box will then
display all the colors in this dictionary because that last character
means color and is used after all colors! If you play around with this,
you will find all sorts of word groups to look at (try "teacher"...).

By selecting English words shown in the bottom box and then selecting
the text entry box you will build a flash card list automatically. The
name of this flash card list is fixed as DIC2CARD.TXT, but you can keep
different lists by renaming files in DOS. For example:
ren dic2card.txt colors.txt changes the current list name
ren jobs.txt dic2card.txt makes jobs.txt the current list


Finding a chinese character is hardest for me by stroke count. I would
very much prefer finding all characters with a certain pronunciation,
but not understanding this romanization of the pronunciation leads me to
be not that interested in doing the search. Second easiest is finding
characters by radical. With the sort order of Chinese characters in
this dictionary it's not too hard.

To learn writing, counting of strokes and the radical sequence, the best
book that I have found is "Read and Write Chinese" by Rita Mei-Wah Choy
which is published by:
China West Books
P.O. Box 2804
San Francisco, California 94216
I purchased mine from (this is an incredible place - sells new & used):
Oriental Book Store
1713 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
phone: 818-577-2413

For a real dictionary the best place is a Chinese bookstore, both the
price and the quality of the dictionary will be better. Mine has the
English title "A New Practical Chinese-English Dictionary" with the
editor in chief Liang Shih-chiu (characters 2175, 3434 & 1397 in the
dictionary) and was purchased from the Evergreen Bookstore in Alhambra
(phone 818-281-3622).

  3 Responses to “Category : Science and Education
Archive   : DIC2-A.ZIP
Filename : README2.DIC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: