This Dictionary refers to the Ministry of Education’s list of 3,000 essential Chinese characters. We have arranged these characters to maximize ease of use for students approaching Mandarin as a foreign language: characters are first arranged according to their spelling in the Hanyu Pinyin phonetic system. Characters that have the same pronunciation are arranged, in ascending order, according to the number of strokes used to write them. When the stroke number is also the same, characters are listed according to frequency, with more frequent characters coming first. To help students learn and practice characters, a stroke-by-stroke diagram accompanies each one. Also contained in each entry are the traditional and simplified forms of each character, Hanyu Pinyin and Zhuyin Fuhao (Mandarin Phonetic Symbols) phonetic systems, radicals, stroke numbers, phrases, idioms, and English definitions. For greater ease of use and flexibility, we have provided five indices to the dictionary: Pinyin, Zhuyin, radical, stroke number, and frequency. If one learns the 3,000 characters in this dictionary, one will be able to recognize 99 percent of the characters published in various Chinese media.