Oxford University Press launch expanded English-Chinese dictionary

English-Chinese dictionary expands content to bring it up to date with some modern language

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 10:41am

About 1,000 new words and idioms have been added into the latest edition of Oxford University Press' newly updated English-Chinese Dictionary.

The Oxford Advanced Learner's English-Chinese Dictionary released its eighth edition, complete with an interactive step-by-step writing guide on a CD-Rom.

Newly added words include "Skype", "smartphone", "micro blogging" and more technology and computing related terms - one of the four categories which saw significant increase in new words, said publishing manager of the dictionaries publishing division Franky Lau Ho-yin.

The other three categories are business and finance, environment and life-style. New words in these segments include "ponzi scheme", "risk assessment", "carbon footprint", "carbon credit", "work-life balance" and "me-time". The four categories take up around 60 per cent of the new words and idioms.

Lau said the dictionary also included popular terms like "wag"- which stands for "wives and girlfriends" of famous men especially sportsmen, but said only words which were likely to stay in use were included.

"Words are picked by how often they appear [in various databases], but also if they appear over a sustainable period of time," he said.

For example, words related to a certain media-reported scandal, which were rarely used once the scandal subsided would not be included.

OUP's regional managing director Ben Mak Ka-lung said while the dictionary industry had seen a decline in business in recent years, due to the convenience of internet dictionaries and translators, OUP's dictionaries had been able to maintain average sales of three million copies per year.

"There is still a need for good quality and well-recognised dictionaries," Mak said.

"We've seen fewer casual users, and more serious users." Mak believed that the "iWriter" writing guide, targeted especially at helping Chinese speakers to improve their writing, also made the dictionary a good tool for English-learning.

The newest edition has more than 185,000 words and idioms, and more than 2,600 pages.