Cross-strait Chinese dictionary published

Readers will be able to look up differences in language use between Taiwan and mainland China following the release of the Cross-Strait Common Vocabulary Dictionary Aug. 13.

Taipei-based General Association of Chinese Culture and Beijing’s Lexicographical Society of China jointly released the Cross-Strait Common Vocabulary Dictionary Aug. 13 to promote understanding of Chinese characters and phrases as used on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

“Although political, social and cultural differences still exist across the strait, shelving disputes and seeking common ground while respecting differences are keys to cooperation,” ROC President Ma Ying-jeou said at the book launch.

“Compiling a dictionary is a thankless task even under the best conditions, but as a collaborative effort involving the private sectors from each side it was even more challenging,” Ma noted.

“But toleration and acceptance of diversity in usage allowed the editors to work together on an equal basis to complete the dictionary for the benefit of all.”

The 1,700-page dictionary, containing more than 5,700 words and 27,000 phrases in frequent use on both sides, was completed in 15 months. Entries are presented in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. Compilation of such a reference book was part of Ma’s platform when he ran for president in 2008.

In February the GACC and LSC also jointly launched an online Chinese-language knowledge database to enhance mutual understanding of language use on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The GACC said it hopes to expand the dictionary to 12,000 entries in the future.

Grace Kuo