This past week, spurred on by the discussion on Laowai Chinese, I announced that I was starting a community project to create a "more humane" Chinese Dictionary. Afterwards, I received a lot of good input and a lot of support. You're receiving this email because you wanted updates on the project.
Over the last week, I set up a project site that will help manage sub-projects and foster communication. The site is at projects.3000hanzi.com . You'll need to get an invitation to access the site. If you are interested in getting an invitation, please sign up for the mailing list and I will send you an invitation.
This week I've also spent some time investigating an editing platform, and have made good progress. I think I have found a solution that will be flexible and useful. I still need to work out the kinks though.
- Creating an editing platform. I've come up with a good platform for editing a dictionary. It's based on technology similar to a wiki, which means it will keep track of the history of changes and also easily allow editors to see what changes have been made to an entry. If you want to know more about my plans for the editing system, send me an email.
- Sample entries: I'll be working on some sample entries, basically prototypes for what I think dictionary entries should look like. If you have your own thoughts on what an entry should look like and what content it should have, start a conversation about it on the project page.
- Some mini projects. I know some of you are just itching to start contributing and editing. You'll have to be a bit patient. I'll be working on creating some mini projects.
How can you help?
Lots of people want to help, but don't know how.
I believe that a project of this scale requires a good deal of community support to succeed. But many people don't know how they can help. Part of my job is to come up with ideas and plans for creating this dictionary. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
Here are just a few things you can do to help out:
- Make suggestions for what content and form English-Chinese and Chinese-English entries should have
- I created a short (7 question) survey about dictionaries. Filling it out will let help me better understand what you're looking for in dictionaries. You can take the survey here.
- Join the project website and introduce yourself. Let everyone know why you're interested in this project and how you can help.
- Share the project. Please forward this email to friends. Tweet about the project. Facebook it. The more volunteers we have the better.
Thanks for your support. Let's make a better Chinese dictionary.