Join the Wenlin Developers!

If you are a registered, licensed user of the full, paid version of Wenlin 4.0 or later, and you're interested in programming, we invite you to join the team of Wenlin software developers. You may enjoy customizing the software to suit your personal use, or run the GNU/Linux version (Wenlinux). In order to have access to Wenlin's proprietary source code (C, Java, Perl, XML, etc.), we require that you fill out, sign, and send to us an amendment to the Wenlin Software License (see also licenses). If you are interested, please email Tom Bishop at (Wenlin's originator and chief programmer) to obtain an up-to-date copy of the license amendment. This offer is extended to individual users over 18 years of age only. Corporations and other organizations are also welcome to contact us about commercial licensing, under terms to be negotiated; please see below.

Developer and Researcher Licenses for Wenlin Data and Technologies

In addition to publishing our own ready-to-use software for learning Chinese, Wenlin Institute also grants licenses to developers and researchers, enabling them to use portions of Wenlin's data and technologies for new applications.

Some of our current and past licensors are Basis Technology, Pleco, Hanping, DeWenlin(tm), Murage, Hubermat and The Chairman's Bao.

Basis logo Pleco logo Hanping logo Murage logo The Chairman's Bao logo

Data and technologies which are available for licensing include:

  • Chinese and English Dictionaries, including:
    • the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary (with over 200,000 entries; which we maintain and sublicense by agreement with the University of Hawai’i);
    • English-Chinese Dictionary (with over 62,000 entries);
    • our own Zidian (Chinese character dictionary, with over 67,000 entries)
  • The source code for our published Wenlin Software for Learning Chinese (mostly written in the C programming language)
  • CDL (Character Description Language) Database
    • XML descriptions of over 82,000 CJK characters, providing stroke/component analysis, and high-quality graphic images and stroke diagrams as outlines convertible to SVG, PostScript, MetaFont, etc.
  • CDL source code
    • C source code for processing/rendering descriptions and stroke diagrams.
  • Other source code used for processing dictionary and linguistic data
    • Various programs for typesetting, consistency checking, conversion, indexing, etc. (written in C, Perl, TeX, etc.)

We welcome inquiries about licensing.

Since each developer or researcher has unique requirements, we don't publish a price list.

If you are interested, we ask that you please provide us with the answers to these questions:

  • Please tell us about your company or organization. If you have a website, please provide this as well.
  • What data or technologies are you interested in licensing?
    • ABC Chinese - English Dictionary
    • ABC English - Chinese Dictionary
    • CDL descriptions and if yes to what degree
    • Proverb Dictionary
  • How will you use the licensed material. For example: private use for academic research for twelve months; publication in commercial software on CD-ROM; etc.)
  • How would you pay for the license? (For commercial use, please include an outline of your business plan. For non-commercial research, payment may still be necessary; do you have a grant, etc.?)

Please email:

If you are a content Developer or have suggestions for Chinese literature to be included in Wenlin, we welcome you to contact us at