(CN) (JA) (EN) – Free Chinese Character, Japanese Kanji, Asian Symbol Dictionary | Oriental Outpost


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Apparently, we were the first ones who were crazy enough to think that western people might want a combined Chinese, Japanese, and Buddhist dictionary.

A lot of westerners can’t tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese – and there is a reason for that. Chinese characters and even whole words were borrowed by Japan from the Chinese language in the 5th century. Much of the time, if a word or character is used in both languages, it will have the same or a similar meaning. However, this is not always true. Language evolves, and meanings independently change in each language.

Example: The Chinese character 湯 for soup (hot water) has come to mean bath (hot water) in Japanese. They have the same root meaning of “hot water”, but a 湯屋 sign on a bathhouse in Japan would lead a Chinese person to think it was a “soup house” or a place to get a bowl of soup. See this: Japanese Bath House

This dictionary uses the EDICT and CC-CEDICT dictionary files.
EDICT data is the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group, and is used in conformance with the Group’s license.

Chinese Buddhist terms come from Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms by William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous. This is commonly referred to as “Soothill’s'”. It was first published in 1937 (and is now off copyright so we can use it here). Some of these definitions may be misleading, incomplete, or dated, but 95% of it is good information. Every professor who teaches Buddhism or Eastern Religion has a copy of this on their bookshelf. We incorporated these 16,850 entries into our dictionary database ourselves (it was lot of work).


via Oriental Outpost

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