Chinese Input method editors
bababardwanJune 13, 2010, 06:13 AM
Ok,just solved one mystery. Changjie is under the Taiwan keyboard options and seems to work fine. I'd still be interested in others experiences with other input methods...both regular users and those who have just tried the other methods.
ha - i just figured that one out and was about to let you know. Missed your "I found it" comment. There are two choices actually - canjie and new canjie. I chose new and will play some. I still have some questions re trad vs simplified. Im sure we can flesh all this out but I am thinking this system would help one learn characters. Before now I have always dismissed this as unnecessary. Lets play.
exactly RJ. Yeah, I saw both choices and went for new canjie also. You've also hit on one of the reasons I decided to look into it. Namely ,to date I have just been recognising characters by sight rather than analysing them,mainly because I haven't gotten round to learning the radicals. However as vocabulary builds and the differences between some characters is subtle I am mindful of some advice Pete gave a very long ago that recognising them by sight alone becomes difficult at some point. I think it's time to follow that advice and learn the radicals at least. I was also looking at the 4 corner method. Neither canjie or the 4 corner method specifically uses radicals necessarily but at least it does get one focussing on the structure of the character.
btw I'd really prefer to go for option 3 [which didn't seem to be there and thus may have to be downloaded I guess]...namely speed cangjie. As you may have seen, with speed cangjie you only need to extract the first and last mnemonic and thus it's meant to be very fast.
this bopomofo looks like it also has the potential to be fast as for a character like zheng [5 letters in pinyin] ..you would only need 2 keystrokes plus one for the tone [and as tone is included it must therefore on average cut down about 4/5 of your options ]. I guess how good the ime is at predicting is an important factor too. Google pinyin I found much better in this regard than microsoft pinyin.
bodaweiJune 13, 2010, 01:08 PM
Your thirst for knowledge is pretty damn impressive. I have almost no idea of what you are talking about. :) I am still trying to perfect the input system on my mobile phone, the standard pinyin based one. I am curious about the 5 stroke input system called (I just looked it up) 五笔画 , but there aren't enough hours in my day to make it a serious study. I haven't ever seen a native speaker use it, but they are incredibly fast with the pinyin input system.
I see your point about unusual characters, or perhaps the ability to use both pinyin and cangjie would cover all bases.
I've always found 五笔画 very useful for looking up characters of which I don't know the pinyin in my phone dictionary. It's actually not too difficult to learn, but a basic understanding of stroke types/order is essential. Once you've got that though, it's can be quite useful. (Of course, these days, with apps like Pleco and Nciku, you can just write in the character, but it's somehow less satisfying that way...)
Yes, you beat me to it! I was just about to write something very similar. I find that learning 五笔画 has been one of the most useful things I have done while studying Chinese. After learning it, I generally use my phone dictionary much more than my little electronic dictionary with stylus because I find it to be much quicker and less cumbersome. The other benefit is that it is like a poor man's Skritter. My stroke order has vastly improved since using this input method. In the beginning it was somewhat hard because I didn't have an intuitive sense, and there were even times when I stubbornly sat in front of my cell for up to fifteen minutes trying to figure out the stroke order. I can't say I don't have problems anymore, but I usually can figure the stroke order on the first try.
I use my phone for calls and texting, not as a dictionary (mainly because it only works as English-Chinese, optimised for the native Chinese speaker). I use my electronic dictionary mostly these days and will write the character if I can rather than use pinyin (to improve my writing), although as xiao_phil says the pinyin is sometimes faster (depends on the character.) I'm guessing that 5 stroke input is always or at least mostly slower than using an electronic dictionary, and slower than entering pinyin for texting. If I forget the pinyin I find another word - bit of a cheat. Also the pinyin entry is pretty intelligent, throwing up the next likely character.
But I see that it could be satisfying to have 5 stroke input as an option - this has encouraged me to practice. Well, learn it first, then practice.
RJJune 13, 2010, 03:05 PM
here is a program that will give you the canjie code if you highlight a character. May be useful in learning.
Chinese is such a bottomless learning pit. You have two choices. Learn less and less about more and more until you know nothing about everything, or you can learn more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing.
thanks RJ. Rather than learning the code for characters in that way though I'm approaching it from the opposite angle. That is see if I can work it out myself and then use mdbg if I choose one of the mnemonics wrong. I don't want to memorise a whole set of codes but rather learn how to use the system [but frequent use would no doubt mean a lot of the higher frequency codes would just be memorised anyhow]. Really not sure if I'll stick with this for long or not though. I guess this programme could be an easier fallback than mdbg though so thanks again.