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Outlier Dictionary
of Chinese Characters

Available exclusively through Pleco

Try Demo Order Now Starting from $9.99, Mini Edition available now. Pre-orders of the Essentials and Expert Editions include immediate access to the Mini Edition

" I think it’ll be a really great addition to Pleco. It’s going to help people get into where characters come from, what they mean, how they work — really at a much more linguistically rigorous level than it’s ever been done before. "

Michael Love, founder of Pleco

MICHAEL LOVE, founder of Pleco

A new dictionary of Chinese characters based upon cutting-edge research on the Chinese writing system. Learn more efficiently - discover how Chinese characters actually work.

How It Works

The first principle of effective memorization is understanding. You must understand what you’re trying to learn. So one of the best ways to increase the efficiency of your character learning is to increase your understanding of how Chinese characters work as a system, rather than as a bunch of disconnected single characters to be individually mastered.

To do that, you need to know what functional components are and how they work.

There are four types of functional components: form components, meaning components, sound components, and empty components.



About Functional Components (.jpeg)

Check out the different levels of understanding (.jpeg)
The authors behind this site know what they’re doing, which is surprisingly rare!
Olle

OLLE LINGE, author of Hacking Chinese

See the benefits of learning with the Outlier Dictionary

A very useful digital dictionary and digital tool which I think represents the next stage in the study of Chinese characters, and maybe even the next stage in the digitizing of Sinology itself.
David Moser

DAVID MOSER, Academic Director at the CET Chinese Studies Program in Beijing, author of "Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard"

Order Now Starting from $9.99, Mini Edition available now. Pre-orders of the Essentials and Expert Editions include immediate access to the Mini Edition
Not convinced yet? Try the demo

Three editions.
Which one is right for you?

The Mini Edition — available now!

Get acquainted with the Outlier approach

The Mini Edition gives you just enough information to get going with the Outlier method: component breakdowns for 2000 characters (i.e., what each character’s functional components are and how they function), the pronunciation, the original meaning and basic modern meaning, plus more detailed meaning and form information for semantic components (meaning and form components).


Want more? Check out
The Essentials Edition

Benefits

  • Correct information on Chinese character forms—available in English for the first time
  • Detailed information on semantic components
  • Gives you a solid introduction to the Outlier method—you’ll start to see connections between characters you never noticed before!
  • Gives you a basic understanding of how Chinese characters actually work!

What’s included

The 2000 most common characters (simplified and traditional)

AND
  • Component breakdowns for around 1700 characters:
    • - what are the functional components in the character, and
    • - how do they function?
  • Pronunciation is given according to both the PRC and ROC standards
  • Basic information about character meaning—more detail for semantic components (meaning and form components)
  • Stroke order diagrams (both PRC and ROC standards)
  • Very brief “Expert-level” explanations of semantic components, in case you want a bit more detail
  • Enough to get you up and running with the Outlier method!

The Essentials Edition - coming soon!

Enough to fuel up your learning

The Essentials Edition presents the information you need to know to master a character:
an explanation of the structure of the character (i.e., what its functional components are and how they function), the pronunciation, the original meaning and basic modern meaning as well as a chart explaining the relationship between the two.

Note: if you pre-order the Essentials Edition, you’ll receive access to the Mini Edition, as well as monthly updates until the Essentials Edition is finished!


Need more expert information? Jump to
The Expert Edition

Benefits

  • Shows you how Chinese characters ​actually work
  • Clears up confusion caused by similar-looking components
  • Helps you make intelligent guesses about characters you haven’t even learned yet
  • Helps you remember how to write characters
  • Opens a whole new world of sound connections between characters

What’s included

The 3500 most common characters (simplified and traditional)

AND
  • All the information required to master a character
  • Pronunciation is given according to both the PRC and ROC standards
  • Character form explanation:
    • - what are the functional components in the character, and
    • - how do they function?
  • Meaning chart with logical relationships between the character’s different meanings
  • Stroke order diagram (both PRC and ROC standards)
  • No extraneous information - just the essentials

The Expert Edition - coming soon! PRO

Meet your new superpowers

The Expert Edition contains a lot more information about the character’s origin and evolution over time, as well as interesting linguistic tidbits and historical facts. If you’re a language nerd, a scholar of Chinese literature, or someone who finds ancient writing systems fascinating, this is what you’re looking for. Even trained paleographers will find it to be a useful reference, because we cite all of our research within the dictionary itself.

Note: if you pre-order the Expert Edition, you’ll receive access to the Mini Edition, as well as monthly updates until the Expert Edition is finished!

Benefits

You will get all benefits of the Essentials Edition. On top of that, the Expert Edition:

  • Gives more detailed historical information about the Chinese language and culture
  • Can be used as a reference for paleographers—we cite all our sources

What’s included

The 4000 most common characters (simplified and traditional)

AND

Everything in the Essentials Edition

AND
  • Character form evolution
  • Historical tidbits
  • Phonological information
  • Other interesting things about the character

This project is no joke. They’re out to build something I’ve wished has existed for quite a while, and they’ve got the skills and dedication to make it happen.
John Pasden

JOHN PASDEN of Sinosplice & AllSet Learning

Order Now Starting from $9.99, Mini Edition available now. Pre-orders of the Essentials and Expert Editions include immediate access to the Mini Edition
Not convinced yet? Try the demo
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Outlier Linguistics Solutions © 2017. All content on this site are Copyright or their respective copyright holders. Do not use without permission.
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