How useful is a trilingual Electronic Dictionary

I’m thinking of getting a trilingual Electronic Dictionary to help me help my girl. I want to use it mainly for learning Chinese words but of course the Malay and English parts would be useful too.

At the moment I am helping my girl read her preschool Chinese Books. I read them BEFORE she does. I learn the words and check up the meanings and then I teach her. Its a little bit like the blind leading the blind. Its a laborious task. It takes me ages to search and understand the characters using a traditional Printed Dictionary.

I am told that an Electronic Dictionary might help. However it costs around RM1,500. Thats a heavy investment. So I’m not going to jump in and purchase an Electronic Dictionary without first doing some research on how useful it is.

What I would like to know is just how useful is an Electronic Dictionary? Is it much easier to use than the traditional printed Dictionary? Can I find the Chinese characters easily and learn them without taking so much time searching for the words?

Can anyone out there help me? If you have an Electronic Dictionary, can you explain to me how it differs from a Printed Dictionary? (apart from the price difference of course) 😉

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6 thoughts on “How useful is a trilingual Electronic Dictionary

  1. i am planning to get electronic dic next yr to prepare teaching my son on chinese. it will be easier for me instead of using a manual dic cause eletronic dic can translate eng-bm-chinese, and vice versa, its very conveneint. i hv seen it but unsure if it is a good brand but at least its easier than using a manual one. it oso tells us how to pronounce coz for a banana like us, we sure dont know how to even if we know pin yin. my 2 cts.

    I am told that Besta is a reasonably good brand but its not cheap

  2. One of my buddies is always talking about your blog at work – finally came and checked it out today, nice work! I’m subscribing to your rss feed – keep on posting!

    Thank you. 🙂

  3. Most of my students from Chinese school have one. I have played around with a few before. One problem thou, everything is in Chinese. No doubt it can translate Chinese to English but you must know Chinese and it uses those Chinese strokes and characters. Not sure whether they have it the other way round. As for the dictionary its definitely not on par with a proper dictionary. Alot of times when I need to explain something in Chinese and I will ask them to check it out in the E-Dictionary…but many times they can’t find the word.

    I think the best thing is to go to a place that sell such devices and ask to play with it and get full details from them. 🙂

    I do not know enough hard chinese characters to play around with them at the shop. Of course if I use easy words I can find them in the e-dict right? So, maybe I should consult a printed dictionary at the shop before asking for a demo. Hahaha.

  4. My friend has one. But he’s not here now to ask him. I know the one that they sell in school (much cheaper)has limited usage. Some e-dic can be upgraded, or change “type” by changing the cards…something like that.

    Ya, they have cards with 2 gig memory for upgrading. I asked around, the besta one sells its English Chinese dict at RM1,500 it comes in a package together with 4 cards. 1 card is for BM, another for UPSR and dunno what other test questions, one for essay compositions, I think and one more aunty here kenot remember. They can be downloaded from the Besta website and upgraded, me thinks. Something like dat lah.

  5. He sms-ed me. His dad bought for him when he was 15 yo for RM1000plus, Besta. Now he is 27yo, still using. He said good. He gave a tip here, “if you can find the word *fuck* with good explanation, then it’s a good one”…hahaha.

    Haha. Your friend is funny. From 15 to 27 years old not bad hor quite lasting. 🙂

  6. I don’t know about electronic dictionaries….only that I hope their pronounciation is right and clear!

    But I applaud you for your effort. You are one great mum!

    Its not much effort because its fun to learn too and it encourages her to learn which makes me happy. Its just a little bit time consumming.

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