If you’re serious about studying Mandarin Chinese, you’re always on the look-out for the best online Chinese dictionary.
FREE Chinese Online Dictionary – TOP 3
Nciku.com is our favorite because they seem to have the most comprehensive dictionary, a rich Chinese learning community (users can create blogs!), Chinese study aids for sale, and more. If you don’t know the pinyin of the word you’re looking up, try out their handwriting tool to look up difficult characters!
Their BEST feature by far is their example sentences — this is the best self-study way to learn Chinese. If you understand how a word is used in the language with tons of examples in all possible contexts, you can master the usage of that word!
One problem: Their system is often down so check our the Top 2 and 3 as alternatives…
This dictionary is also very comprehensive, covering most words, phrases, idioms and proverbs of the language. The website also loads in milliseconds and is always dependable.
One thing it lacks – example sentences and a user community.
Because of the lack of a user community, you’re given only a few meanings of a word and very rarely, a context for its usage.
This dictionary is very simple to use and has pretty good example sentences. But it doesn’t let you handwrite characters to look up words. And, it’s usually loaded with ads which is always distracting. But the definitions are usually reliable!