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About the Cantodict Project - CantoDict

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About the CantoDict project

Quick Links: About CantoDict | CantoDict Statistics | Latest News | Changelog | Contact Us

CantoDict is a unique collaborative English/Cantonese/Mandarin dictionary started in November 2003 and coded by Adam Sheik.

A team of editors from around the world continuously adds and updates entries.

Our aims

  • To become an indispensable research tool for students of Cantonese.
  • To keep up to date with rapidly changing Cantonese slang and popular expressions.
  • To provide a database for use in our parent site, to populate tests, revision sheets and other learning aids.
  • To create a unique Mandarin dictionary, in the hope that we can complement other, more established works.
  • Features

  • Words are classified according to whether they are Cantonese only, Standard Written Chinese (Mandarin) only or can be used in both ways. As far as we know, CantoDict was the first online dictionary to attempt to note these distinctions.
  • Views may be filtered in order to define certain views. For example, Mandarin-only words can be excluded. This is an ongoing work and will improve over time.
  • Our Character Detail View shows similar looking characters, compound words that use the character, example sentences and more.
  • Our Word Detail View breaks down the word into component characters.
  • Example Sentences are incredibly useful to see how to use a word in the right context.
  • Extensive search features to look up words by characters, meaning or pronunciation.
  • A powerful Chinese Parser, capable of translating both simplified and traditional Chinese text in a format that is extremely useful for learners. This can also be used to parse remote Chinese websites.
  • The dictionary stores Parts of Speech for words, eg: noun, adjective etc
  • User Customisation

    Users who register on our forums (it is free), can customise CantoDict via the "Customise CantoDict" link in the dictionary.
    Current options are:
  • Chinese pronunciation - users can choose Mandarin, Cantonese or both (default)
  • Cantonese pronunciation - Jyutping (recommended) or Yale. Yale is provided as an option but please note that the entire site uses jyutping, and we generally prefer that on our forums too.
  • Vulgar Words - by default, CantoDict hides words and phrases that could be considered offensive. More information...
  • Latest News and How You Can Get Involved

    CantoDict has a dedicated forum for questions, help, policies and the latest updates.
    If you would like to become a CantoDict editor, please register on the forum and then make a post.


    CantoDict is updated by a team of volunteers but the copyright for the project is retained by Adam Sheik. This has been made clear to all the editors. What this means is that a company or individual cannot use the work without obtaining licensing permission, which would likely only be granted if they contributed financially towards the running of the host websites. I think that is entirely reasonable.
    However, CantoDict will always be free for online use at www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk.

    Credits and Thanks

    Our wonderful Team of Editors.
    Everyone who contributes to our friendly community forums.
    Our full character descriptions, strokecounts and radical indexes were obtained from the CCDICT project. We do not claim any copyright for this data.
    Yeegs has provided logos and banners (including the one at the top of this page)
    mdbg and icycloud both provided code samples for parsing unicode Chinese characters.
    This project has been coded by Adam Sheik using PHP and MySQL

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