I've been using this convenient, compact dictionary of putonghua, or Mandarin Chinese, in China as an educator for a decade. I've found it easy to use: it contains both Chinese characters and pinyin, the Romanized version, with the four tones necessary to distinguish sounds and words. Instead of lengthy definitions, it provides one or two word meanings and synonyms as well as alternate pronunciation to account for regional variation in usage. Few, if any, other small dictionaries offer all these things. It has only the most frequently used words in 88 little pages. No extra pages stuffed in. Get it.