A Chinese Pocket Dictionary Just In Case!

Last Updated on May 30, 2021

With a 26 hour flight ahead of me, I thought it would be a good idea to make a trip to Barnes & Noble for new books to keep me busy throughout the duration of my trip to China. I spent a few hours strolling past the book shelves looking for any good reads to eat up some of the free time I’ll have.

Speaking of which, if you have ANY book recommendations, I would absolutely love to hear them because I’m looking to stock my library with new books since I expect to read quite a bit this summer! So PLEASE SHARE THEM WITH ME! While I am not a picky reader, I tend to look for science, mystery, fantasy, and action novels.

When I came across the language section, I searched for books about Mandarin Chinese. I was hoping to pick up a little pocket dictionary to help me get around China since I’ll pretty much be on my own in terms of dealing with people and navigating around the cities and shops.

Which one should I pick?

I picked out four books that looked easy to follow and useful in terms of content (you’d be surprised how many of these books are filled with random phrases that I couldn’t picture myself ever using…).

I liked the Berlitz Mandarin Chinese Compact Dictionary more than the Oxford one but neither one was a true “pocket dictionary.” I literally wanted a pocket dictionary so I could shove it into my back pocket and have it readily available whenever needed. Having to dig out a book from my backpack seems much less convenient.

I’m ended up purchasing the Mandarin Phrasebook & Dictionary by Lonely Planet. It’s super thin, beautifully designed with colored sections dividing up the content, and it even includes cultural tips and pointers to help you avoid trouble due to cultural differences. It’s actually perfect for what I need! Since I’m only going for a short while, I realized I don’t need a full-blown pocket dictionary. A phrasebook is much more practical for my purposes.


  1. Craig J Golbach

    26 hour flight? You’re a bigger man than I. I don’t think I could do that. Kudos! I’m a huge reader. I dislike making reading recommendations without knowing what kind of material you might be looking for? I have a wide array of suggestions, covering casual, light, humorous, non-ficitional, historical, biographical types of reading. I’d just want to know a wee bit more I guess. Lol If you want, I could then send you some of my past favorites.

    1. I don’t know if I can do it either haha. But I will, somehow or another! I like action, fantasy, mystery, and science-based books a lot. I’m really not picky. I can read anything as long as there’s a cool storyline to it. I tend to not like history based things very much so I’m also not much of a non-fiction kind of a guy. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

  2. I feel as though it might be difficult to do direct translation from a Chinese dictionary. Unless you actually understand the syntactic order or have a familiarity with the language. There’s a cool translating app called “SayHi” you can speak into your phone in English and it translates into the language you want.

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