Online Chinese dictionaries
For everyone who feels there just aren’t enough digital Chinese dictionaries in their life:
Zhongwen.com, used as a reference in the last entry, is the best dictionary for foreigners learning written Chinese that exists. The best. You can click on any character and go to its entry, simplified is provided in parentheses for those of you who are into that sort of thing, explanations are given for how the characters were formed… What more could any 老外 want?
CantoDict, also used for reference in the last entry, allows you to search by pinyin, jyutping, 漢字, radical or English, so that covers all the crossing over between Mandarin and Cantonese you’ll need to do.
The site Languages of China has some good dictionaries in terms of concept and content, but the execution leaves something to be desired (certain characters are displayed as images rather than unicode, some of the search options don’t work, etc.) Still, they have an online Hakka dictionary, and where else are you going to find that?
Oh, here, that’s where. At the 香港本土語言保育協會 (“Association for Conservation of Hong Kong Indigenous Languages”, but the Chinese name lacks grammatical errors, so let’s use that), sponsored by The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust (thanks, Lord Wilson!), you can not only look up both Cantonese and Hakka simultaneously by Chinese character, but they even have audio recordings so you can practise saying “ngai2” (for “我”) in a sultry female voice at home. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Plus they have a cute logo: