Albert on Laowai Chinese wrote another good post about his frustration with Chinese dictionaries.He mentioned a couple of "key issues" that Chinese learners face when using Chinese dictionaries. 1. Chinese is full of words carry similar meanings. 2. Dictionaries often don't help distinguish these definitions. 3. Dictionaries don't do much to explain the usage of the words.

Basically, he wants a dictionary with "notes". Having a great selection of notes in a dictionary is like the search for the holy grail. Everyone is looking for it, but will anyone ever attain it? For 3000 Hanzi's dictionary project, I've been thinking about how and where to fit in notes. And I decided that it can't fit in the dictionary project.

Notes, because of the open-ended nature of language, are rather open-ended. Do you have grammatical notes? usage notes? regional notes? frequency notes? cultural notes? And who has the knowledge and time to compile all of these? It would take many people hours.

Still, I think this is something to strive for. So I decided to add it a "Notes" feature to 3000 Hanzi's Chinese dictionary. Right now it's really simple: Disqus comments added to the bottom of dictionary definitions. But hopefully, if people are willing to contribute their knowledge, the notes section will grow and evolve.

I'm also committed to community, so all notes will be packaged and licensed with a Creative Commons license. If you're interested in adding notes to words, just search in the Chinese-English dictionary, and add away. You'll be making the world a better place for everyone.