Item description for Berlitz Mandarin Chinese Compact Dictionary: Chinese - English / English - Chinese (Berlitz Compact Dictionary S.) by Berlitz Publishing...
Available in both paperback and vinyl cover, these dictionaries feature: a high impact cover design in striking "Berlitz" blue, in-keeping with the whole "Berlitz" range for increased brand recognition. Bold, blue headwords offer the user maximum accessibility making it easy to navigate around the dictionary quickly. The handy, pocket format is ideal for a school bag, briefcase or rucksack. Over 45,000 entries capture the core words of the language, as well as the latest jargon.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Berlitz Mandarin Chinese Compact Dictionary: Chinese - English / English - Chinese (Berlitz Compact Dictionary S.)?
Excellent definitions, easy to use, small Jun 27, 2008
I've been using this dictionary traveling in China for several months and it is excellent. It has both C-E and E-C sides, the C-E is organized by TRUE alphabetical order (not character order), which makes it much easier for an English speaker to find a word. The words are in blue, with definitions in black and the text is a comfortable font and size to read. The main comparison to this dictionary is the Concise English-Chinese / Chinese-English Dictionary (Third Edition), which has also been highly recommended by friends. I like the Berlitz one better because it is more readable and offers more "hints" as to how to use a word. For example, under the E-C side, the word "colon" in the Berlitz dictionary gives"(punctuation) maohao [in pinyin and characters] and ANAT jiechang [in pinyin and characters]. In the Concise dictionary, they just list maohao and jiechang, without telling you which is which.
Also, the Concise dictionary is printed in a thin font, in a crowded format, with no color or formatting cues to help you find words quickly. The color and indentation in the Berlitz help speed word finding along.
Both dictionaries have problems with words listed on one side and not the other, but I've never found any language dictionary that didn't suffer the same fault.
Both are available in vinyl covers - a must if you are traveling with the dictionary. The Berlitz is NOT available in mainland China, while the Concise is readily found in bookstores in China (and quite cheap at only 46RMB, around $7.00 currently).
Also, there is a Mandarin Chinese: Chinese-english - English-chinese (Berlitz Pocket Dictionary S.) Pocket Dictionary which I haven't seen. I assume they trim words to make the smaller size (only 461 pages, vs. 672 in the Compact). The Compact is plenty small enough to fit into a purse or backpack. I wouldn't go any smaller (unless it really is just a shrinking of the font size, and not a reduction in words) than this, for fear you wouldn't have enough of the words you need.