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Top Chinese dictionary releases new version
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A new edition of the most authoritative Chinese language dictionary, "Xinhua Dictionary," or "New China Dictionary," has been published to include Internet words and reflect such concepts as animal conservation, cross-Strait exchanges and caring for people's livelihoods.

This is the 11th edition of the prestigious reference book, which has had a far-reaching influence in learning the Chinese language.

Since 1953 when the first edition of the dictionary was published, more than 400 million copies have been sold, said Zhou Hongbo, deputy editor-in-chief of the Commercial Press, the dictionary's publisher, during an interview. The two "Xinhua" are not related.

"The book has the world's largest number of readers," he said.

The latest edition, unveiled Monday after eight years of compilation, "unprecedentedly" increased its content by about one third, "highlighting social changes over the past decade," he said.

It includes new words emerging during the past few years such as "Xueli Men," or "diploma gate," referring to a scandal of using counterfeit academic degrees to gain jobs or official positions.

The usage was originated from the "Watergate scandal" in the United States in the 1970s. In current Chinese Mandarin, various words can be put ahead of the character "Men" to indicate different scandals.

The character "shai," which originally meant to bask or dry, now has a new meaning -- "to display" in the new Xinhua Dictionary, as "Shai Yin Si" -- displaying privacy, or "Shai Xing Fu" -- displaying happiness have been frequently used on the Internet by young people who like to share things with others.

"Nu" or "slave" is also added with a new meaning in words such as "Fang Nu", or "house slave," referring to people striving to earn money in order to buy an apartment at a time when housing prices soar. The case is the same with words such as "car slaves" and "credit-card slaves."

"The inclusion of these various types of 'slaves' in the dictionary shows that these new disadvantaged social groups have garnered great attention," Zhou said.

However, not all the nascent Internet words are eligible for an entry in the dictionary, he said, adding that compilers decide after discussing the words' social influence and analyzing their frequency of use in order to safeguard the "authority" of the dictionary.

"Adding Internet words into the dictionary reflects the ever-changing society," he said.

Meanwhile, characters referring to "kerosene," "horsepower" and other outdated words are removed as they have become "rarely used," according to annual reports of the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center under the Ministry of Education, which analyzes word usage, Zhou said.

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