Help with the Chinese Usage Dictionary

Yale University has a great Chinese Usage Dictionary with 85 entries. Only problem is that it uses the deprecated HTML practice of frames, and the links in the left sidebar are not right. You actually can get to the articles by hovering over the links, noting the HTML file it points to, and then editing the URL in your browser, but that’s a bit tedious.

To make access easier, AllSet Learning has added an index page for Yale’s Chinese Usage Dictionary, and at the same time, added a few relevant Chinese Grammar Wiki links as well. Check it out!

The Chinese Usage Dictionary isn’t a full dictionary in the sense of Pleco or MDBG, and it doesn’t stick strictly to vocabulary or grammar, alternating between the two. But if you like comparisons of similar words with examples of correct and incorrect usage, or want some exercises, then definitely give it a look.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. How do you edit a link on the original website?

  2. That index page really simplifies things.

  3. In addition to the above resources, I have also found the following useful:


    For bulk queries, the three on-line translators:

    3. (when/if it opens)

    Interestingly, I have found that the three translators do not always produce the same result, and of course all need the human touch to ensure accuracy.

    Lastly, of recent I had a new need, which was not just to find the Chinese character definition, but identify if it is classified as a “common” Chinese character or “general use” Chinese character as based on the lists set by the Chinese government:


    As you will see the two preceding pages are not “search” friendly, so the following site was built to quickly identify a characters ranking:

    Different tools for different jobs.

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