Here I can download the CC-CEDICT database, which backs the MDBG project's web site, as an CSV file. Personally, I am a fan of the great work of the MDBG project.

Now, I am evaluating dictionaries for a project which creates statistics for 普通话 texts like counting frequencies of words, characters, radicals, etc. The MDBG database maps characters to the 214 Kangxi radicals similar to the Kangxi dictionary, while the 新华字典 defines only 189 radicals. So, as input for the tool I'd prefer a database with specific 新华字典 contents or else the algorithm will count hits for radicals that don't exist in the 新华字典.

Does anybody know whether there is a legal resource available for download for the 新华字典 and/or the 现代汉语大词典, similar to the CC-CEDICT database?

Any hint would be highly appreciated.

  • CC-CEDICT is not the KangXi Dictionary nor is it related to it, it's 100k+ entry dictionary largely put together by enthusiast editors.
    – imrek
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:37
  • @DrunkenMaster Thanks for your comment. Of course you're right. I've updated my question to better explain what I'm looking for and why the MDBG database may not fit the requirements in this case.
    – rexford
    Feb 6, 2015 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


First, there is no legal source to download both of them.
More specific, they're content of copyright. The Commercial Press has made great effort to ban online version to protect its interest. So you can hardly find the website which is providing PDF or other format.

However, there's another way, but you'd pay a little money(~$2). Visit the greatest online market in China, Taobao(Taobao.com), search for the sellers who provide the electronic version book finding service. You can ask them on Ali Wangwang.

As far as I know, there are no latest version(6) available and most of downloadable are in PDF format. Some claim they're, but actually not. You may try this, it contains a mdb database which is 100MB, it's easy to convert it into CSV. I haven't tested whether it is the content of 现代汉语词典, because I'm using Linux OS.
For 新华字典, there are too many apps named as the name. You can search for some android app, unpack apk installer, often you should find a large file in it, and often it's in SQLite 3 format.

All the methods I mentioned above are not tested, you'd better carefully try them.
I also tried to find such files but I gave up because it's hard to deal with, both in legal and technology.
I finally selected an alternative, HanDian. They provided a series of contents and tools for free. Part of them can be found here. Though it's chm format, but to organize the content just a matter of extract and regexp, no any OCR or any other things involved.

  • Actually within a few minutes of googling around you (OP) can get an older PDF copy of 新华字典, but I am not advocating copyright theft so I am not sharing any links. If you really-really needed the 新华字典 data as a CSV or other structured format, you could scrape the data from an online dictionary, there used to be one that has the 新华字典 entries. But you could certainly not use it to build an online dictionary, nor do you need it. There are plenty of useful online and smartphone dictionaries, including Pleco and also a Chinese made app that (probably illegally) offers the content of 新华字典.
    – imrek
    Feb 6, 2015 at 9:42
  • Thanks for the reply! Yes, legal is an important keyword here, which I've originally forgotten. I've updated my question accordingly. I take it that Commercial Press did not make the contents of their dictionary available in form of any digital database and that there is no free "clone" project.
    – rexford
    Feb 6, 2015 at 10:59

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