Here's another example of how not to rely on an English-Chinese dictionary.
In a web chat the other day, a young colleague asked: "In this sentence - 'The Chinese equipment was adjudged to be superior' - can I replace the word 'adjudged' with 'judged', since they mean the same thing?"
This is an excellent question and I know where my young colleague got the idea that "adjudge" and "judge" mean the same thing. He looked up an English-Chinese dictionary - that is where.
True, both words by and large mean the same thing - to act as a judge of a dispute of contest.
If you look up an English dictionary, however, you'll be able to see some subtle differences between the two.
In short, "judge" is a word used more widely and loosely in conversation. "Adjudge", on the other hand, is much formal and less flexible.
When you say "the Chinese equipment is judged to be superior", it could mean one of two things, either that a formal assessment is made by a panel of judges formed specifically to look into the matter, or that it's simply an opinion formed by anyone casting a casual look at the Chinese-made equipment and a piece of similar product from, say, Japan.
However, when you say "the Chinese equipment is adjudged to be superior", you imply that indeed a formal judgment has been made by professionals suffering through days of work in evaluation and assessment. I say suffering, because not many home-made products are so superior than those made in, say, Japan to enable us to make such a sweeping remark a sweeping remark in regard to quality without raising eyebrows. Not for now, at least.
"Adjudge", you see, is a seven-letter word. "Judge" has five letters. You'd better believe that the two extra letters are not in vain.
They are not.
The prefix ad- is from Latin ad, meaning "to". Adjudge hence means to judge, or to adjudicate (from Latin ad-, judicare, to judge), using another big word.
Big words are to be taken seriously. Don't tamper with them. Or trample them at your own peril.
Now back to the question, can you replace the word 'adjudged' with 'judged' in the sentence "the Chinese equipment is adjudged superior"?
The answer is yes, so long as you know what you're doing.
P.s. I'm going on vacation during and after the October Week-off. See you guys in mid-October. Happy holiday!