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How to access the Chinese dictionary on the iPhone/iPad

Another great feature for Chinese learners which is built in to the iPhone is the dictionary. Sure, there are a number of dictionary apps that you can install that have much more advanced capabilities, but for the convenience of looking up words in any application, this is a useful feature!

Ever use your phone to read websites or books in a foreign language, but find it impossible because there are too many words you don’t know? Now you can look up words as you go, and do a little reading whenever you get a spare moment!

Here’s how you do it:

In any application, (web browser, email and text editor all work) press and hold on the word you want to look up. You will see a bar appear. Click on Define.

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If you don’t have a dictionary for that language installed, you will see No definition found.

Click on Manage in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

You will then see a list of the dictionaries available. The ones you have installed will have a black cross icon next to them. To install the Chinese dictionary, click on the cloud to the right of where it says Simplified Chinese-English (the dictionary has English to Chinese and Chinese to English).  Simplified Chinese refers to a dictionary that is entirely in Chinese.

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When you have installed the dictionaries you want, you can navigate back to a text, and press and hold on a word you want to look up, then press Define.

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Providing the word is in one of the dictionaries you have installed, you will see the definition on the screen, and luckily for learners, it also includes a pinyin pronunciation guide.  If you select an English word, you should see a Chinese definition.

 

And that’s all you have to do! If you find this tip useful, feel free to share it using the buttons below!