Dictionaries are important for language learning. Visual dictionaries are especially important for young language learners. Visual dictionaries normally have both pictures and words next to each other. The vivid pictures make Chinese learning much more fun because learners can make the connection. In the case that a child is lacking a certain vocabulary, visual dictionaries help provide understanding and link. For this reason, visual dictionaries are also used for ESL program.

There are some good visual dictionaries for Chinese learning. Here I would like to share with you three  I use:

DK Mandarin Chinese – English Bilingual Visual Dictionary

DK Visual Chinese English Bilingual Dictionary


DK Publishing is famous for its high-quality publication with vivid images. This dictionary is no exception. Beautiful images make the words more memorable. Each label has Chinese characters, pinyin and English. Some people like all the 3 elements, others prefer to have only Chinese characters and Pinyin and they argue that the images show the meaning already. Well ,you can judge it yourself.

McGraw-Hill’s Chinese Illustrated Dictionary


This dictionary features 1,500 words and terms in Chinese. All the commonly used words are listed in characters as well as pinyin. The best part of the dictionary is that it contains a CD which provides pronunciation of the words, which is very helpful.

The Usborne Internet-Linked First Thousand Words in Chinese

First 1000 Words in Chinese

Machine generated alternative text: THE USBORNE INTERNET-LINKED FIRST THOUSAND WORDS IN CHINESE Stephen Cartwright

Like all Usborne books, this dictionary is very child-friendly. It has interesting and labelled pictures, featuring 1000 everyday words in Chinese. The Usborne Quicklinks website offers pronunciation of the words.

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