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Classical Historiography for Chinese History

Buddhist Terms

  • Buswell, Robert E., Jr. and Donald S. Lopez, Jr. The Princeton dictionary of Buddhism. With the assistance of John Ahn, J. Wayne Bass, William Chu, Amanda Goodman, Hyoung Seok Ham, Seong-Uk Kim, Sumi Lee, Patrick Pranke, Andrew Quintman, Gareth Sparham, Maya Stiller, Harumi Ziegler. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.
  • Ding Fubao 丁福保 , compiler.  Fo xue da ci dian  佛學大辭典 . Shanghai: Shanghai yi xue shu ju, 1921.
  • Fo guang da ci dian 佛光大辭典. Taibei: Fo guang chu banbshe 佛光出版社, 1989. Reprint Beijing: Shu mu wen xian chu ban she, 1993.
  • Mochizuki Shinko 望月信亨. Bukkyo daijiten 佛教大辭典. Tokyo: Bukkyo Daijiten Hakkojo, 1932-1964.
  • Oda Tokuno. Bukkyo daijiten 佛教大辭典. Tokyo: Okura shoten, 1920.
  • Soothill, William E., & Lewis Hodous. A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1937.
  • Zengaku daijiten 禪學大辭典. Compiled by Komazawa University. Tokyo: Taishukan shoten, 1987.

Character Dictionaries

  • Jian hua zi zong biao jian zi  簡化字總表檢字. Honkong: San lian shu dian Xianggang fen dian, 1972.
  • Shu dao liu ti da zi dian  書道六體大字典. For calligraphy forms.
  • Wang, Yankun 王彥坤,   Li dai bi hui zi hui dian  歷代避諱字彙典  . Di 1 ban 版 Zhengzhou Shi 鄭州市: Zhongzhou gu ji chu ban she 中國古籍出版社, 1997. For taboo characters 諱字.

Chinese, Japanese and Korean words and phrases

  • Ci hai 辭海. Revised edition by Ci hai bian ji wei yuan hui. Hong Kong: Zhonghua shu ju, 1989.
  • Ci yuan 辭源. Revised edition by Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Henan i yuan xiu ding zu, and Shang wu yin shu guan bian ji bu. Beijing: Shang wu yin shu guan, 1979-1984.
  • Ding Fubao 丁福保, compiler. Shuo wen jie zi gu lin 說文解字詁林. Shanghai: Yu wen shu ju, 1930.
  • Duan Yucai 段玉裁. Shuo wen jie zi zhu 說文解字注. : Yi wen yin shu guan, 1970.
  • Fu Dingyi 符定一, compiler. Lian mian zi dian 聯綿字典.S Beijing: Jing hua yin shu ju, 1943.
  • Guo yu ci dian 國語辭典. Compiled by the Zhongguo ci dian bian zuan chu 中國辭典編纂處. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1948. Originally published in 1943 in 8 volumes. Frequently reprinted. Now available in abbreviated single volume called Han yu ci dian 漢語辭典 and by other names.
  • He Cho 何焯, et al, compilers. Pian zi lei bian 駢字類編. Completed in 1726.
  • Hoshi Ayao 星斌夫, compiler. Chugoku shakai keizaishi goi 中國社會經濟史語匯. Kindai Chugoku kenkyu senta, 1966. Social and economic terms.
  • Hu Yingyuan 胡應元 . Zhongguo shi xue ci hui 中國史學辭匯 (Chinese-English Dictionary of Chinese Historical Terminology). Taibei : Hua xiang yuan chu ban she, 1992.
  • Kangxi zi dian 康熙字典. Compiled under imperial auspices by Zhang Yushu 張玉書, Chen Tingjing 陳廷敬 et al. Completed 1716.
  • Kondo Moku 近藤疼, compiler. Chugoku gakugei daijiten 中國學藝大辭典. Tokyo: Motomoto sha, 1959.
  • Kuraishi Takeshiro, compiler. 仓石武四郎Iwanami Chugokugo jiten 岩波中國語辭典. Iwanami Shoten, 1963. Modern literary terms.
  • Lu Danan 陸澹安, compiler. Xiao shuo ci yu hui shi 小說辭語匯釋 . Shanghai: Zhonghua shu ju, 1964. Classical novels and fiction.
  • Morohashi Tetsuji 諸橋轍次 , compiler. Dai kanwa jiten 大漢和辭典 . 13 vols. Tokyo: Taishokan shoten, 1955-60. New edition, published in 1984-1986.
  • Han-Han tae sajŏn 漢韓大辭典 (Great Chinese-Korean dictionary; Seoul: Tan'guk Taehakkyo ch'ulp'anbu, 1999-2008; sixteen volumes): Similar to the Dai Kan-Wa jiten 大 漢和辞典 (Great Chinese-Japanese dictionary) in its presentation of definitions and citing of sources; the preface (vol. 1, p. 2) to the dictionary explicitly relates the Han-Han tae sajŏn with Morohashi's 諸橋 dictionary. The Han-Han tae sajŏn does not cite any Korean sources, and is no more useful for research on the Chosŏn than are other general dictionaries of Classical Chinese.
  • Han'guk hanchaŏ sajŏn 韓國漢字語辭典 (Dictionary of Korean classical Chinese; Seoul: Tan'guk Taehakkyo ch'ulp'anbu, 1992-1996; four volumes): Explicitly a dictionary of Classical Chinese as it was used in Korea, citing only Korean sources as basis for its definitions. The dictionary's vernacular Korean explanations are more elaborate than those in the Han-Han tae sajŏn 漢韓大辭典, and its practice in citing sources is as rigorous as that found in Morohashi or its Korean counterpart Han-Han tae sajŏnHan'guk hanchaŏ sajŏn is arguably the best dictionary for specifically Korean classical Chinese terms, although it is not comprehensive.
  • Pei Xuehai 裴學海. Gu shu xu zi ji shi 古書虛字集釋. Taibei: Guang wen shu ju, 1962.
  • Song Yuan yu yan ci dian 宋元語言辭典 (Song-Yuan dictionary of language). Shanghai, 1985.
  • Wang Yunwu 王 云 五 , compiler. Wang Yunwu da ci dian 王云五大辭典. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1956.
  • Wu Lianming 吳廉銘. Zhonghua cheng yu ci dian 中華成語詞典. Shanghai: Zhonghua shu ju, 1949.
  • Xiang Guangzhong 向光忠, compiler. Zhonghua cheng yu da ci dian 中華成語大詞典 . Changchun: Jilin wen shi chu ban she, 1986.
  • Xin Yi 辛夷 , & Cheng Zhiwei 成志偉, compilers. Zhonghua dian gu da ci dian 中華典故大詞典. Beijing: Yanshan chu ban she, 1991.
  • Zhang Yushu 張玉書, et al., compilers. Pei wen yun fu 佩文韻府. 7 vols. Published in 1711. Reprinted by Shanghai shang wu yin shu guan. Works consulting for classical allusions.
  • Zhang Zilie 張自烈, compiler. Zheng zi tong 正字通 . Useful for 4-corners codes of Chinese characters in an index organized by total stroke number.
  • Zheng Jingyi 鄭競毅, & Peng Shi 彭時, compilers. Fa lu da ci shu 法律大辭書. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1936. Old legal terms.
  • Zhong wen da ci dian 中文大辭典 (The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language). Compiled by the Zhong wen da ci dian bian zuan wei yuan hui 中文大辭典編纂委員會 . Taibei: Zhongguo wen hua yan jou suo, 1962-70. About 40 volumes; the most comprehensive dictionary in Chinese.
  • Zhongguo cong shu zong lu 中國叢書綜錄. Look under Collectanea.
  • Zhuang Weisi (Wallace Johnson), compiler. Pian zi lei bian yin de 駢字類編引得. Taibei: Zong jing xiao si ku shu ju, 1966.

Chinese-Western

  • Bilancia, Philip R. Dictionary of Law and Administration in Communist China. Seattle: University of Washington School of Law, 1967. (Mimeograph). Legal terms in tradition.
  • Brunnert, H.S., & V.V. Hagelstrom, Present Day Political Organization of China. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1912. Reprint Taibei: Cheng wen, 1971.
  • Chinese-Latin Dictionary, 1745. A two volume set compiled by Catholic missionaries in Beijing used from the mid 18th century onward for translation projects. Donated by Sir George Staunton to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1824. Estimated completion of conservation to be end of 2015. See brief report at: http://royalasiaticsociety.org/conservation-of-latin-chinese-manuscript-dictionary-a-progress-report/
  • Couvreur, S. J. Dictionaire classique de la langue chinoise. Second Edition, 1911.
  • Current Chinese Communist Newspaper Terms and Sayings. Berkeley: Center for Chinese Studies, 1971.
  • DeFrancis, John, ed. The ABC Chinese-English Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996. Contains, as Appendix 1, "Basic Rules for Hanyu Pinyin Orthography, by the Commission for Pinyin Orthography, State Language Commission, PRC." The document is in English. Among the many interesting features of this new dictionary is the arrangement of entries. Basically, arrangement is by pinyin spelling of whole terms rather than by spelling of syllables. Thus lingwai [ling wai] precedes linzhong [lin zhong] because g comes before z. For terms having the same sequence of letters, such as shishi, arrangement is by tone of the first syllable: first-neutral, first-first, first-second, first-third, first-fourth; second-neutral, second-first, and so on.
  • Dobson, W.A.C.H. A Dictionary of the Chinese Particles, with a prolegomenon in which the problems of the particles are considered and they are classified by their grammatical functions Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974. Reprint Taibei, 1976.
  • Fenn, Courtenay Hughes. The Five Thousand Dictionary. Beijing: 1940. (Revised American Edition) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1944. Good for romanization.
  • Giles, Herbert A. A Chinese-English Dictionary. Second edition. Shanghai: 1912. Good for 19th-century documents.
  • Guo Zhengzhong 郭正忠. Zhongguo quan heng du liang san zhi shi si shi ji 中國權衡度量三至十四世紀 (Chinese Weights and Measures: fourth to 14th centuries). Beijing: She hui ke xue, 1993.
  • Huang Yen-kai. A Dictionary of Chinese Idiomatic Phrases. Hong Kong: Eton Press, 1967. Identifies sources of 成語.
  • Instituts Ricci (Paris-Taibei). Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la langue chinoise. Paris and Taibei: Instituts Ricci, 2001. This extremely useful dictionary includes 6 volumes with over 13,500 entries and over 300,000 compounds, plus an additional volume of reference material. Also see Le Grand Ricci electronic dictionary.
  • Joint Publications Research Service (No. 20, 904). Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Communist Chinese Usage. (Second Edition) Washington: U. S. Department of Commerce, 1965. Based a on German-Chinese dictionary.
  • Karlgren, Bernhard. Grammata Serica Recensa. Stockholm: The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1957.
  • Lin Yutang. Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1972. Good for pronunciation; poor for PRC materials. Separate Wade-Giles index also available from Chinese University of Hong Kong. More accurate then Mathew's (see below), distinguishes modern from classical usages, and gives best English equivalent for Chinese phrases.
  • Mathews, Robert Henry. A Chinese-English Dictionary. Compiled for the China Inland Mission. Shanghai: 1931. (Revised American Edition) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1944. Phonetic Renderings are at times confusing; meanings are often just specific instances. Popular, but not recommended.
  • Mayers, William Frederick. The Chinese Government. Third edition. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1897. Reprint Taibei: Cheng wen, 1966. Ch'ing dynasty.
  • Modern Chinese-English Technical and General Dictionary. 3 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963. Not well organized.
  • Petillon, Corentin. Allusions litteraires. Varietes sinologiques No. 8. Shanghai: Imprimerie de la Mission Catholique, 1895.
  • Qiu Guangming 丘光明. Zhongguo li dai du liang heng kao 中 國歷代度量衡考 (Study of historical weights and measures in China through the dynasties). Beijing: Ke xue, 1992. Another standard and comprehensive study of historical weights and measures.
  • Schuessler, Axel. A Dictionary of Early Zhou Chinese. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1987
  • Sun, E-tu Zen. Ch'ing Administrative Terms. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961.
  • U.S. War Department. Chinese Military Dictionary: Chinese-English, English-Chinese. Washington, 1944.
  • Williams, Wells. A Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language. Tong Zhou: 1912. Large number of individual characters with a wide range of meanings.
  • Wong, Sybil. Dictionary of Chinese Communist Agricultural Terminology. Hong Kong: Union Research Institute, 1968.
  • Wu Chengluo. Zhongguo du liang heng shi 中 國度量衡史 (History of Chinese metrology). Shanghai: Shang wu, 1937. Second printing. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1957. For Chinese weights and measures, see , 1937: Wu gives detailed tables with citations for every type of measure.

Education, Thought, History

  • Chen Kaochun, ed. Zhongguo gu dai jun shi wen hua da ci dian 中國古代軍事文化大辭典 . Beijing: Chang cheng chu ban she, 1992.
  • Hihara Toshikuni 日原利國 , ed. Chugoku siso jiten 中國思想辭典. Tokyo: Kenbun shuppan 研文出版 , 1984
  • Hu Yinyuan 胡應元 , ed. Zhongguo shi xue ci hui 中國史學辭匯 (Chinese-English dictionary of Chinese historical terminology). 2 vols. Taibei: Hua xiang yuan, 1992.
  • Li Chengzhong, ed. Jiao yu ci dian 教育辭典. Harbin: Heilongjiang ji shu chu ban she, 1989.
  • Tai Yi 戴逸, ed. Er shi si shi da ci dian 二十四史大辭典. Jilin: Ren min chu ban she, 1992.
  • Zhao Yongji 趙永紀 et al., Qing dai xue shu ci dian 清代學術辭典 (Dictionary of Qing dynasty scholarship). Beijing: Xue yuan chu ban she, 2004.
  • Zhongguo wen hua shi da ci dian 中國文化史大詞典 . Compiled by Shanghai shi fan da xue gu ji zheng li yan jiu suo. Taibei: Yuan liu, 1989

Electronic dictionaries

Geographical dictionaries

  • Da Qing yi tong zhi 大 清 一 統 志. Third revised edition of 1843. Jiaqing chong xiu yi tong zhi 嘉 慶 重 修 一 統 志 . Si bu cong kan 四 部 叢 刊 . Second Series. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1934. Photo duplicated from original manuscript by Commercial Press which has also added a supplementary index. Basic work of its kind treating Chinese historical geography until 1820.
  • Feng Chengjun 馮 承 鈞. Xi yu di ming 西 域 地 名. Shanghai: Zhonghua shu ju, 1955. Very useful for identification of Chinese rendering of non-Chinese place names in western Asia.
  • Gu Yanwu 顧 炎 武.Tian xia jun guo li bing shu 天 下 郡 國 利 病 書.
  • Gu Zuyu 顧 祖 輿. Du shi fang yu ji yao 讀 史 方 輿 紀 要 .
  • Hoshi Ayao 星 斌 夫, compiler. Shina chimei jiten 支 那 地 名 辭 典 . Tokyo: Fuzanbo, 1941.
  • Jin Enhui, & Hu Shuzhao, eds. Zhongguo di fang zhi zong mu ti yao 中 國 地 方 志 綜 目 提 要 (General digest of Chinese gazetteers). 3 vols. Taibei: Han mei tu shu you xian gong si, 1996. Lists 8577 gazetteers geographically, with information on authorship, dating and contents.
  • Liu Junren 劉 鈞 任, compiler. Zhongguo di ming da ci dian 中 國 地 名 大 辭 典 . Beijing: Guo li Beiping yan jiu yuan, 1930. Very handy due to romanized index. Reprint Taibei: Wen hai, 1967.
  • Manual of Chinese-Manchurian Personal and Place Names. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, 1943.
  • Playfair, M.H. The Cities and Towns of China: A Geographical Dictionary. Second Edition. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, 1910. Standard work in English. Reprint Taibei: Cheng wen, 1971.
  • Saishin Chuka Minkoku Manshu Teikoku jinmei chimei binran 最 近 中 華 民 國 滿 洲 帝 國 人 名 地 名 , Taimusu Shuppansha hensan. Compiled by Taimusu Shuppansha. Tokyo: Taimusu Shuppansha, 1939.
  • Tsiang, Amy Ching-fen, & Hong Cheng, compilers. A Catalog of Post-1949 Chinese Local Histories at UCLA. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles East Asian Library, 1997.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. Mainland China Administrative Divisions and Their Seats, Official Standard Names Approved by Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963. See Berton, Peter, & Eugene Wu. Contemporary China: A Research Guide. Edited by Howard Koch, Jr. Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1967, p. 184, #414.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. China: Official Standard Names Approved by the U. S. Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1956. Two volumes (979 pp.) containing some 37,600 entries exclusive of Hong Kong, Macao, Sinkiang, Taiwan, and Tibet.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. Hong Kong, Macao, Sinkiang, Taiwan, and Tibet: Official Standard Names Approved by the U. S. Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1955.
  • Wright, Hope. Alphabetical List of Geographic Names in Sung China. Paris: Ecole pratique des hautes etudes, 1956. Reprint Albany: Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, 1992.
  • Yue shi 樂 史. Tai ping huan yu ji 太 平 寰 宇 記.
  • Zhejiang gu jin di ming ci dian 浙 江 古 今 地 名 詞 典 (Dictionary of ancient and modern place names in Zhejiang Province). Compiled by Chen Qiaoyi 陳 橋 驛 . Hangzhou: 浙 江 教 育 出 版 社 , 1991.
  • Zang Lihe 臧 勵 龢 , et al., compilers. Zhongguo gu jin di ming da ci dian 中 國 古 今 地 名 大 辭 典 . Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1930. More comprehensive than the CHGIS (see below) but not as easy to use. Also does not have some of the names listed in the above. Reprints Taibei: Taiwan shang wu, 1972; Hong Kong: Shang wu, 1982. .

Immortals, Mythology, Symbols

  • Dai Yuanchang 戴源長. Xian xue ci dian 仙學辭典. Taibei: Zhu zhe zi kan, 1962.
  • Eberhard, Wolfram. A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. Translated by G.L. Campbell. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988..
  • Werner, E. T. C. A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1932.
  • Williams, C. A. S. Encyclopedia of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives. New York: The Julian Press, 1960.

Japanese names

  • Riben xing ming ci dian 日本姓名詞典 . Beijing: Shang wu yin shu guan, 1979.
  • O'Neill, P.G. Japanese Names: A Comprehensive Index by characters and Readings. New York: Weatherhill 1972

Literature and Music

  • Liu Chengfu 劉誠甫, compiler. Yin yue ci dian 音樂辭典. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1935.
  • Mayers, William F. The Chinese Readers Manual. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1874.
  • Tang Song ci jian shang ci dian 唐宋詞鑒賞辭典. Nanjing: Jiangsu gu ji chu ban she, 1986.
  • Yang Bojun 楊伯峻 . Chun qiu Zuo zhuan ci dian 春秋左傳詞典. Beijing: Xin hua shu dian, 1985.

Medical and Natural sciences

  • Chen Xihe 陳西河. Zhong yi ming ci ci dian 中醫名詞辭典. Taibei: Wu zhou chu ban she, 1974.
  • Du Yaquan 杜亞泉 et al., compilers. Zhi wu xue da ci dian 植物學大辭典. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1938.
  • Ou Ming 歐明. Han ying Zhong yi ci dian 漢英中醫辭典. Hong Kong: San lian shu ju, 1988.
  • Read, Bernard E. Chinese Materia Medica. Beijing: Peking Natural History Bulletin, 1931-1941.
  • ---- and C. Pak. Minerals and Stones. Beijing: Peking Natural History Bulletin, 1936.
  • ----. Chinese Medicinal Plants. Beijing: Peking Natural History Bulletin, 1936.
  • Tessenow, Hermann, and Paul U. Unschuld. A Dictionary of the Huang Di nei jing su wen. (Huang Di nei jing su wen Project.). Includes searchable CD-ROM. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008.
  • Xie Guan 謝觀 . Zhongguo yi xue da ci dian 中國醫學大辭典. Shanghai: The Commercial Press, 1927. Now out of date. The Zhong yi da ci dian below is a much better reference source.
  • Yu Yunxiu 余云岫. Gu dai ji bing ming hou shu yi 古代疾病名候疏義. Beijing: Ren min chu ban she, 1953.
  • Yuan Yixiang 原一祥, Han Ying shuang jie Zhong yi da ci dian 漢英雙 解中醫大辭典 ("Chinese-English Dictionary of Traditional Chinese Medicine"). Beijing: 人 民 衛 生 Press. An important recent arrival. Simplified characters. Arranged in stroke order, with pinyin and English indexes. Includes 8760 items chosen from TCM textbooks and explained in detail in both Chinese and English. By far the most comprehensive Chinese-English medical dictionary, aside from a couple of grossly incompetent ones published in the U.S. Definitions are generally aware of multiple meanings. This book reliably transmits the understanding of the present-day TCM practitioner. It is emphatically not, however, a historical dictionary, and cannot be used uncritically for reading premodern texts.
  • Zhong yi da ci dian 中醫大辭典 (Dictionary of Traditional Chinese Medicine), compiled by 中國中醫研究院廣州中醫學院 . Published by Ren min wei sheng 人民衛生 Press, 1995. Now the best reference book of its kind.