You can use an English-Chinese dictionary to help refine poor translations or to help you study Chinese. You can use online dictionaries and translation services or you can use online translation services as dictionaries. When you use a Chinese dictionary, you have to understand the differences between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese, and you need to know which one your document is using.
What is Simplified Chinese?
When the Catholic Bible was translated from Latin into English and printed with the Gutenberg press, it caused a lot of social problems for Henry VIII's England because courtiers and clergy were concerned about commoners having an English translation that could have errors and that could be misinterpreted. Translating Traditional Chinese into Simplified Chinese is not unlike translating Latin into English. Making Chinese easier to study and learn helped increase literacy, but Simplified Chinese uses the same characters in multiple ways. Simplified Chinese uses characters in the same way that English uses homonyms. The same word can have the same spelling but a different definition. For example, 'wind' can mean air blowing through the trees, a bend in a road, or a motion, like winding a clock. Chinese translations need to know the context surrounding some Simplified Chinese characters in order to choose the correct words. When you use a Chinese language translator, remember that free online services are not perfect. For professional translations, you should forgo the dictionary and use a professional human translation service.
Chinese dictionaries online
Mandarintools.com has a great Chinese dictionary. You can search words almost as though you are using paper translations. You can search by English and Chinese, but you can also search by stroke order and Hanyu Pinyin. Mandarin Tools advises\ that their dictionaries are only to be used to look up individual words, not for phrases. This dictionary is good for Chinese characters or symbols translation. To find phrase definitions, you will need to use a tool like the Google Translator. You can put a phrase in English in the translation field and choose Simplified Chinese translation or Traditional Chinese translations. Google offers an English audio dictionary to a degree because when you put a word into the translator, you can use the pronunciation option on the right side of the translation to hear the word and read the phonetic breakdown of the word.