writing chinese on windows?

January 14, 2011, 06:04 AM posted in General Discussion

hey just joined the site, loving it so far! i tend to gras grammar pretty easily in languages but have a seriously hard time with memorizing vocab - that difficulty is only compounded by having to memorize characters now as well! :) but i'm looking forward to the challenge!


so - how do i get chinese characters on my computer? i was taking a newbie quiz and wrote all the answers (correct, mind you! haha) and got it all wrong cuz it wanted chinese haha



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January 14, 2011, 07:46 AM

This question has been asked a hundred times :) hehe.. In fact it was asked just last week.. another indication that there is still a long way to go for the "Community" side of things here at ChinesePod. Even knowing that there was a conversation about this identical question less than a month ago, I still can't easily locate it with the search tools.

In the "FAQ" section of the site, for some reason it is hidden away down the bottom of the site, you will find this article, also hidden within the FAQ section:

How can I type Chinese characters on my computer?


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January 14, 2011, 09:00 AM

That guide shows you has to use the input method that comes with windows- as an alternative, more popular/useful ones are Sogou and Google IME. All the setup and options are in Chinese, but you can find a guide to setting up the Google IME a little way down the page here http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lrc/help/Google_Pinyin.pdf . 

After that, it's pretty easy, you just need to remember a few shortcuts:

-Alt+shift switches between English and Chinese input mode. When you're not typing in Chinese, it's easier to stay in English mode.

-When you're in Chinese input mode, press shift to switch between typing English and typing Hanzi.

-Shift+space switches between normal and large spacing (which solved a little mystery for me- ever wonder why you sometimes see Chinese speakers type like this?)

-Control+shift+T switches between traditional and simplified characters, probably only relevant when you do it accidentally and are trying to figure out how to go back.

(Sogou, I think, is practically identical. The Windows one is apparently not that great.)

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Soguo is great as is Google (the one I currently use).. the Windows one is already installed in many cases and provides to the quickest solution to the problem.

Again, all of this has come up (incl. Soguo and Google) on many, many occasions. :)