Typing Chinese characters

bai dan ning
December 28, 2010, 11:24 PM posted in General Discussion

Hi to everybody!

I've just signed up on this web-site, which I find litterally amazing. Only, I have a problem: as you probably know, one of the exercises you have to do after listening the dialogue consists of writing in chinese characters what you have previously heard from the audio. Only, as I can't write in Chinese characters, I write it in pinyin, but the system counts it as a mistake.

Is there a way to writing in chinese Characters (such as, for instance, a software to download or a bar to put on your desktop...) ?

Thanks in advance to anyone will answer me.

Zai jian




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December 29, 2010, 01:20 AM

I usually end up websearching and getting to the Microsoft website, and then screwing around on the computer control panel, then screwing around with language support.  I end up getting the character writing capability on my computer without being able to retrace my steps.

Try the link below; it looks like much of what I did if I knew what I was doing. Let me know if it helps.


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Welcome, Denis!

One of the best things about ChinesePod is the community here with members like pretzellogic so willing to help out fellow learners! We hope you enjoy this and look forward to hearing more from you!

Just one thing about the link above...I'm not sure downloading a language pack is what you want to do. From that link:

"Language packs or MUI packs are used to change the default language of Windows 7 to a language of your choice. For example, download and installing the French language pack will translate all the menus and options in Windows 7 into French."

If you just want to be able to type Chinese characters on demand, you can do the following:

Go to Control Panel >> Under Clock, Language and Region, click on Change keyboards or other input methods >> Change Keyboards >> Add >> scroll down and select Chinese (there are options for Simplified, Traditional etc. I selected Chinese (Simplified, PRC)) >> click on the box next to keyboard, in the same window, and MORE options will open up to you. I chose Chinese (Simplified) Microsoft Pinyin ABC Input Style >> OK >> Apply.

Once you've done that, on the lower right hand corner of your screen you should see a language bar, where you can click and switch between different input methods.

Happy typing!

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Yes, I would have said these clean instructions, I was just too smart for my own good! ;-)

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Meh.. the Windows IME sucks. Sorry.. but it does.. :)

If you can manage it, get the Google one.. unfortunately their download page is all in Chinese and the program instructions and menus are also all in Chinese.. but it's SOOOO much superior to the default Windows IME.

Here's a link to the download page:


The big blue button on the right needs to be clicked on to download it.

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I agree, Microsoft's input software isn't the greatest. Of the options that come pre-installed on most new computers, though, I think it's the most user-friendly...although that's not saying much.

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Except that it cannot write the cute little jiong smiley character, 囧, I have never had a problem with the Microsoft IME. Just my 2 cents.

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冏囧烱浻冏。。。Reminds me of a bunch of those little helpers in Despicable Me.

Which IME can't write the 囧?

The Google IME is constantly updating words to help the prediction; I guess they all do this.

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Yer.. I don't have a problem with it [Win IME] on a basic level, it is certainly functional.. but it seems to often suggest the wrong thing and I'm constantly having to backspace or fix errors. With the Google one, it has a much better success rate at predicting which character should come next based on the rest of the sentence as well as, from what I have understood, learning my selections for when it's a 50/50 choice in the prediction.. so it gets more and more efficient as I use it..

There's some other IME I had on my last computer.. though I can't, for the life of me, find it again now.. it was on some obscure, to me at least, Chinese website.. Every month the theme would change to some cute depiction of the Chinese starsigns.. cute monkeys and pigs and stuff.. was a very "Chinese" piece of software.. and I felt a little Chinese just by having it installed :) haha