New Release Adds 3D ‘Soundscape’ Aspect to Chinese Language Dictionary; Book by Conal Boyce, Released by Dog Ear Publishing

Vadnais Heights, MN, December 09, 2010 --( "Chinese As It Is" stresses better representation in a dictionary of the tonal quality of Chinese, using colors to denote a three-dimensional aspect inherent to the language. This technique is designed to give beginning and intermediate students a better chance at speaking – and experiencing – the language as native speakers do.

At one level, this volume serves as the student’s first 1,000 characters (plus 1,274 auxiliary entries for a total count of 2,394 characters). At another level, it provides an encyclopedic sweep of the whole Chinese language. In a departure from traditional formats, the dictionary is structured as a matrix with 396 rows and four columns, which correspond to the four tones of Mandarin. The author also uses green, black and red color coding to provide “an implied third dimension for indicating the ‘tonal weight’ of a given cell,” he writes. This final layer of information turns the matrix into a kind of three-dimensional soundscape. Nor is this merely a new kind of “character dictionary;” rather, it provides practical, detailed guidance on the question of stand-alone characters versus two-characterwords.

In 84 pages of appendices, the specialist will find a variety of topics in sinology, including morphology, dialects and the writing system.

Author Conal Boyce received his doctorate in Chinese language from Harvard University in 1975.

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Chinese As It Is:
A 3D Sound Atlas With First 1000 Characters
Conal Boyce
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-160844-757-2 210 pages $39.95 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere

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