rosas (da_rosas) wrote in guangdong,

Cantonese dictionaries and similar reference books?

For background, I am an ABC of Cantonese background, but not proficient nor fluent. For the last couple of years, I've planned to start studying Chinese in some fashion though mostly not at a proficient/conversational level (no regular practice, nor studying).

Just the other day, I received this Chinese character reference that I had ordered:

  • Chinese Characters: A Genealogy and Dictionary (Paperback)
    Paperback: 550 pages
    Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (August 1, 1998)
    Language: English, Mandarin Chinese
    ISBN-10: 0966075005
    ISBN-13: 978-0966075007
    (Publisher's list price: U.S. $19.95 )

    I had heard of the above from Mandarin students' recommendations because it provides some etymology (genealogy) of modern written characters. Though I'm not yet truly literate, I believe that most of the modern characters are in *simplified* though most of the etymological characters provided are in traditional.

  • Additionally, previously I ordered this dictionary:
    Far East Chinese-English Dictionary (Hardcover)
    Publisher: Cheng & Tsui (June 1992)
    ISBN-10: 9576122309
    ISBN-13: 978-9576122309
    (Publisher's list price: U.S. $32.20 )

    Two main reasons I ordered this second dictionary reference is because it is in traditional writing and it includes the zhuyin fuhao (a.k.a. the "bopomofo") to supplement the pinyin of the Mandarin pronunciations. (NOTE: I think this is a Taiwanese publisher, hence the zhuyin fuhao and traditional writing.)

Though I think these Mandarin materials are excellent and invaluable references, I really want to have some solid Cantonese dictionaries and Cantonese language references in some fashion. Sticking points being that they provide Cantonese phonetics as possible plus use *traditional* writing, not simplified writing.)

Also though there are a few good Cantonese-learning websites, I'm old-fashioned in the sense that I still like having hardcopy reference books etc. If there are other useful Cantonese texts that you like in general (even if not typical reference dictionaries or similar), feel free to share here as well.

I assume at this point that any/most publishers of Cantonese material may be either Canadian, U.K., Hong Kong, or sometimes even U.S. publishers. These can even be *old* materials (published even in the 1980s, 1970s, or 1960s) if they are still available for sale, even used. If anyone can provide specific title recommendations, publishers, or references for such materials, please share.
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