You could hear the sobs of relief from long-suffering Android users around the world when Mike Love announced yesterday that the Pleco Chinese-English / English-Chinese dictionary software is out in beta.
I’m planning to install my version soon. But before I get all gushy* about Pleco’s virtues, I also want to point out a request that came in the announcement:
One area we’re still aggressively shopping for a dictionary is character etymology; if anybody has any suggestions for a good etymology dictionary (bilingual preferred, but even Chinese-only is helpful) we’d love to hear them. None of the online ones have been interested in working with us, sadly, so this would probably have to be something from a print publisher. We also very much appreciate suggestions for any other particularly-good dictionary that you think we should take a look at; the success of our OCR add-on has left us with quite a bit of of extra room in our budget, and we’d love to put some of that money towards acquiring more new dictionaries.
I’ve always been interested myself in getting a dictionary that had good, scholarly etymology work. If anyone has a good suggestion (or wants to suggest dictionaries to avoid) let us know in the comments. I can forward the conversation to Mike Love if we dig up anything.
*Gushy starts here. I almost didn’t get my Android phone last year because I like Pleco so much. I like the product and I like the way Mike Love runs the company. Although I think Hanping has done very well with the CE-DICT based app for Android, and I even purchased the full-featured version, when push comes to shove it’s still CE-DICT, which has lots of limitations.
I’m so excited about helping Pleco (for free, let the conflict-of-interest snoopers note) that I’ve broken my almost sacrosanct vow to avoid the computer except on Tuesdays. The avoidance has been a boon for my offline reading and writing endeavors and makes a good excuse for not having posted much of anything to Sinoglot or Beijing Sounds. But all abstinence, I say, must sooner or later be abstained from — lest the abstinence be impure — and what better occasion for indulgence than a Pleco Android beta!