CC-CEDICT is a Chinese to English dictionary, available for use online or for download (as a data file here: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?page=cc-cedict). What similar projects provide an English to Chinese dictionary, with definitions of the English words explained in Chinese? I am looking for something with can be downloaded or purchased in a digital format (the data file, such as a commas-separated file or spreadsheet, not the front-end software used to view it).

5 Answers 5


Only other two freely available that I'm aware of are Adsotrans and LDC wordlist.

Adsotrans is based on CC-CEDICT, but they also include (for non-commercial use) software for segmentation, hanzi2pinyin and apparently some sort of semantic analysis. I don't know whether dictionary itself differs from vanilla CC-CEDICT. Their download contains SQL instead of CSV. Also, if I remember correctly they used some sort sort of Latin-whatever encoding instead UTF-8.

If you're willing to pay then most popular option seems to licence ABC dictionary, but unfortunately University of Hawaii has granted Wenlin exclusive license so you'd have to sublicence it from them. See UH and Wenling respective pages here: www.otted.hawaii.edu/technology/00294/abc-chinese-language-database-dictionary and www.wenlin.com/abc.htm

If you find another free or free-ish/cheap database I'd be interested too.

  • Adsotrans data is not "based on" CC-CEDICT: the format is the same, but the data is different (it seems to me that CEDICT has higher quality control); I don't know if they borrowed from each other a long time ago or not, but they're certainly very different now. Also the licensing is different: I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Adso allows their data to be combined with proprietary data in the same product, whereas CC-CEDICT does not. (Disclosure: I maintain CedPane which is a public-domain dataset, plus software that can combine this with data-mining to generate annotators.) Jan 30, 2022 at 22:02

金山词霸 is a popular E-C dictionary among Chinese users: http://www.iciba.com/

It also has a downloadable version: http://cp.iciba.com/ .

  • 1
    The OP asked for "the data file, such as a commas-separated file or spreadsheet, not the front-end software used to view it", and I don't think any of these links provide this kind of data.
    – laurent
    Jan 3, 2012 at 13:08
  • 1
    Does not answer the question -_- Jun 20, 2012 at 14:30
  • Those websites look broken to me.
    – user11787
    Aug 31, 2020 at 5:01

You can try the "Youdao Dictionary" (有道词典) for iOS (available through the App Store).

There's also a version for computers, and an online version.

  • Is the database from this dictionary available?
    – Village
    Dec 24, 2011 at 9:01
  • This dictionary is only available for iOS devices (iPad, iPod, etc.) but not computers.
    – Alenanno
    Dec 24, 2011 at 12:05
  • Can you provide a few more details as to why someone would perform this search? What does this dictionary offer? Also, which App Store?
    – Shog9
    Dec 27, 2011 at 20:44
  • @Alenanno It is available for computers, but I don't if the database is stored on the local computer or retrieved online. A lot of the translations of Youdao dictionary come from the Internet.
    – fefe
    Dec 28, 2011 at 0:50

I went on a similar search today and found a real gem: ECDICT. It contains a whopping 770K entries! Here are my notes from investigating it:

English to Chinese, 770K entries (the biggest besides Wiktionary!). MIT licensed.

  • Glosses in Mandarin and English! Qualifiers:
    • there are multiple glosses in English and Mandarin separated by \n, but they are not related. The glosses are not translations, and one might have more or fewer glosses than the other
    • pronunciations are given in British English.
    • Uses simplified characters X(. Will have to convert to get traditional.
    • Which begs the next question... the dictionary contains "Taiwan" with English glosses but not Chinese ones XD. There are glosses for "Taiwanese", etc. though, so maybe that's a coincidence. Not sure if someone has been politically careful while putting this together.
    • Some entries don't have glosses in either Mandarin ("shuffle shame") or English ("grammatical marker")
  • Additional data such as POS, frequency in different corpora
  • resemble.txt is great: groups of words that are similar with short Mandarin glosses to show difference between them
  • lemma.en.txt gives you all forms of all words
  • wordroot.txt gives meanings of word pieces with synonyms, antonyms, grammatical type, and extensive examples. The meanings are English-only. Very cool! Latin, Greek, Germanic, etc. 611 entries.

There are several downloadable dictionaries for lingoes. However, the dictionaries seem to be in a proprietary format and can only be accessed with lingoes.

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