Xinhua Zidian

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2004 10th edition of Xinhua zidian

The Xinhua Zidian (simplified Chinese: 新华字典; traditional Chinese: 新華字典; pinyin: Xīnhuá Zìdiǎn; literally: "New Chinese Dictionary") is a Chinese language dictionary published by the Commercial Press. It is the best-selling Chinese dictionary and the world's most popular reference work (Xinhua 2004). This pocket-sized dictionary of Chinese characters uses simplified Chinese characters and pinyin romanization. The most recent Xinhua Zidian edition (the 11th) contains 3,300 compounds and includes over 13,000 logograms, including traditional Chinese characters and variant Chinese characters. Bopomofo is used as a supplement alongside Pinyin. Xinhua Zidian is divided into 189 "radicals" or "section headers" (DeFrancis 1984:291).

Under the aegis of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the People's Education Press published the original Xinhua Zidian in 1953. The linguist and lexicographer Wei Jiangong (魏建功, 1901–1980) was chief editor. In 1957, Commercial Press published the Xinhua Zidian (1st edition), which was alphabetically collated in pinyin order. They have subsequently revised this dictionary ten times, with over 200 printing runs, and it is a longtime bestseller among students in China. In early 2004, the total number of published copies exceeded 400 million, unquestionably making the Xinhua Zidian the most popular dictionary in the world.

Besides their popular concise version Xinhua Zidian, Commercial Press also publishes a large-print edition and a Xinhua Dictionary with English Translation (Yao 2000, reviewed by Clark 2001). In addition, the Shanxi Education Press publishes a pinyin-edition Xinhua Zidian with both characters and orthographically precise transcriptions (Yi et al. 1999).


In 2016, The Commercial Press (Beijing) filed a lawsuit at Beijing intellectual property court, claiming Sinolingua Co., Ltd. had violated The Commercial Press's trademark for Xinhua Zidian by publishing Xinhua Zidian without permission from The Commercial Press, even though the trademark name was not registered. (""新华字典"不能随意被"傍名"". 2016-11-02. ) The original case started when 3.2 million copies of student edition of Xinhua Zidian (学生新华字典) were recalled for poor quality. (""傍名"出版伤了谁". 2013-07-26. )

See also


  • Clark, Paul. "Han-Ying shuangjie Xinhua Zidian (Xinhua Dictionary with English Translation) (review)." China Review International, 2001, 8.2, 387–388
  • DeFrancis, John (1984). The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy.
  • Xinhua news (2004), "400 million copies of Chinese-character dictionary", People's Daily Online, 13 February 2004.
  • Xinhua Zidian (新华字典), 10th revised edition. Beijing: Commercial Press. 2004. ISBN 7-100-03931-2, ISBN 7-100-02893-0 (large-print)
  • Yao Naiqiang (姚乃强), ed. Han-Ying shuangjie Xinhua Zidian (汉英双解新华字典), Xinhua Dictionary with English Translation. Beijing: Commercial Press. 2000. ISBN 7-80103-198-9
  • Yi Ken'ichirō (伊井健一郎), Dong Jingru (重静如), and Yamada Ruriko (山田留里), eds. Xinhua Zidian Hanyu pinyin ban (新华字典汉语拼音版, "Pinyin edition of the Xinhua Zidian"). Taiyuan: Shanxi Jiaoyu Chubanshe. 1999. ISBN 7-5440-0941-6

External links

  • The Commercial Press (Beijing) page: Chinese