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Anybody else using this for Chinese?
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rich_burdon



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:20 pm    Post subject: Anybody else using this for Chinese? Reply with quote

Having problems (with 1.52):
a) pinyin doesn't appear in the word details
b) can't seem to make simplified hanzi appear

Anybody else?
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Rich.

I use WaKan for both languages, but I have been studying Japanese more than Chinese recently, so I haven't been using it much for Chinese.

In answer to (a), I have already mentioned this to Filip. What is being shown for "pronunciation" in word details is BoPoMoFo, a set of Chinese phonetic characters. Filip treats these throughout as if they were analagous to Japanese kana, which isn't quite the case. What should be shown here in my opinion is whatever you have selected on the Romanization tab of the Settings dialog (see bottom group box, "Romanization of Chinese"). Filip does use this setting to control what occurs in the "Phonetic" column of the Vocabulary list, but not in the Phonetic text box of the Word Details pane. If you haven't done so already, I will enter this as a feature request to remind him that it is something that most people using the program for Chinese will need.

As for (b), there is a setting on the Character List tab of the Settings dialog which is supposed to control this; you are supposed to be able to select Simplified only, Traditional only, or Both. However, when I tested it just now, it seemed to be giving both regardless of which radio button I selected. Are you seeing only Traditional hanzi, or are you seeing both? And did you mean in this part of the program or elsewhere? I don't know whether Filip intends to build in a conversion routine which would take a text encoded in one character set and display the corresponding hanzi from the other character set when some setting is changed, but I'm pretty sure that is not a feature of the program at present. So vocabulary lists and documents remain in whatever encoding they were created in.

The Dictionary is another matter. I believe that the version of cedict.dic which Filip has posted at the website was made from cedict.b5, the version in traditional hanzi. To get dictionary listings in simplified hanzi, you need to convert cedict.gb, the simplified hanzi version, into WaKan format. This is done in the Dictionary manager, but you first need cedict.gb available, and the two files in uniconv.zip in your WaKan directory. The first can be downloaded from:
www.cs.cmu.edu/~eepeter/cedictb5.zip
The second can be downloaded from
ftp.cc.monash.edu.au/pub/nihongo/uniconv.zip
Once you have these,

(1) Select "Dictionary manager" on the Database menu
(2) Click the button labeled "Import from EDICT" (yes, I know, should read CEDICT when in Chinese mode)
(3) In the Dictionary import window, click the Add button, use the Open File dialog to navigate to where you saved cedict.b5, and click Open.
(4) Fill in whatever you want other than"edict" or "cedict" for the file name without extension (if you name it AAA, the new WaKan format dictionary file will be named AAA.dic), and any name you want for the dictionary name (this is the name that will appear in your dictionary list). Click the radio button "Mandarin Chinese" in the Language group.
(5) Click the build button.

This worked for me, but the new dictionary didn't appear on the dictionary list until I closed WaKan and started it again, so you may need to do this.

Good luck. I'll suggest to Filip that he post both cedict.b5 and cedict.gb converted to WaKan dic format at the website, to save other Chinese users this ordeal.

--Tony
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wakan
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich & Tony,

I'm being a little slow these days with implementing new features, but I still want to answer serious bugs, particularly when they seem to prevent anybody from using Wakan fully.

It seems to me that these three improvements could solve your problems:

1. Ability to display romanized character reading in editor (in both Japanese & Chinese modes - could be also useful for Japanese students). I think that in all other areas the romanization is working correctly.
2. Automatic traditional -> simplified and simplified -> traditional character convertor. This convertor should be totally transparent and would function in word grids and in editor.
3. Fix bug in character list so that it displays only traditional/simplified characters.

I will probably include these fixes and some other bugfixes (-na recognition, etc.) in yet another "small" release - 1.53. Because 1.53 will be probably prepared in the weekend, I recommend you to wait for it. Importing dictionaries might be unnecessary burden for you.

It seems to me that I'm not getting enough feedback about the Chinese mode. The problem is that I don't use Wakan in Chinese mode personally and thus I would need some patient user who is actively learning Chinese who would test Wakan's usability in Chinese mode thoroughly. Rich, you're therefore welcome to evaluate Wakan's Chinese mode in detail.

Actually I suspect that there can be a number people who use (or who would like to use) Wakan in Chinese - because there are links to Wakan on several Chinese-related pages - but they unfortunately don't send me bug reports Evil or Very Mad .

Filip
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wakan
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or should I do something like actively advertising Wakan for Chinese students Very Happy ? Where have you found out about Wakan, Rich?
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]1. ...I think that in all other areas the romanization is working correctly.
[/quote]

Filip,

Your suggestions for improvements would be very welcome.

Just one comment about the statement above-- the one other place Romanization is not working as Rich and I expect it to is in the Word Details pane of the Vocabulary window, where pronunciation is shown in BoPoMoFo even when the "Show Phonetic in... PinYin / Wade-Giles / Yale" radio button is selected in Romanization Settings.

We discussed this once before, and the fact that it would require special case code in the Chinese case, since the code is currently showing Wakan's internal representation of phonetics, which is hiragana for Japanese and BoPoMoFo for Chinese. At least that was my understanding from the conversation.

Thanks,
Tony
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rich_burdon



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:16 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the response Reply with quote

Filip and Tony,

Thanks very much for the detailed responses.

Filip, I think your summary of improvements (June 24) seems right; very much looking forward to 1.53. However, I had the following thoughts on romanization vs. phonetic display (and thanks to Tony for clarifying some of this).

As you know, BoPoMoFo is mainly used in Taiwan, so, I think functionally BoPoMoFo should really be in the same category as Pinyin and Wade-Giles -- not 2 separate radio panels in the settings. That is, depending on who you are you'll only use one system; e.g., if you're learning mainland Mandarin, to you, phonetic *is* pinyin (you never want to see BoPoMoFo). I think this is analogous ot Japanese -- you either want kana or romaji. The difference being that you probably never want romaji furigana, as you say. I think this is also what Tony is saying?

I use Wakan for both Japanese and Chinese (I've just started learning the latter). I'm a SW developer myself and was starting a mobile app based on EDICT when I found your program (via google!).

Relating to your "marketing issue" Smile; I think there are lots of places to spread the word (Chinese schools -- e.g., chinainstitute.org, universities, etc.), but it depends on what you're tring to do. I think open sourcing the project would be interesting also. I think there are very cool "social networks" kinds of things you could do also in terms of interactive learning...

Thanks again,

-Rich
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Jedi



Joined: 30 May 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Prague, Czech

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Universities Reply with quote

Hello,

is Wakan used on Universities?
Do teachers know about Wakan software?

Jirka
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wakan
Site Admin


Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a couple of nice questions, Jirka (Jedi).

For quite a long time I had the bugging notion that I shouldn't advertise Wakan too much because there are too much bugs in it and people might get prematurely discouraged. Thus I thought it was better to let the people who were the most enthusiastic to find their way to Wakan and let them help me clear out the most serious flaws.

Now, when I gradually begin to think that this software is nearly _usable_, I realized that the good word about Wakan is slowly spreading all by itself and that it probably doesn't need me to actively advertise.

But to answer your questions, I noticed two links leading to Wakan from German universities. I know also that some people tried to actively advertise Wakan on Czech universities, but I don't really know how successful they were. However, I might contact some language schools here at the beginning of the school year (September).

Filip
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ndt44
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Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 373
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, no 'foreigner' over here in Tokyo gets away from me without hearing about Wakan Very Happy . And the Chinese guy next to me at work is fascinated by it. Sadly though, it's become clear that relatively few of the expats living here are prepared to give kanji study a shot (not including the Chinese, obviously). About 90% dismiss it as 'impossible' or 'ridiculously complicated' and leave it to 'freaks' like me. Until we go to a restaurant, that is, and they all want me to read the menu to them... 'Now kids, who here likes CHICKEN?' Very Happy

Sorry, I know this is off topic for the Chinese language section. すみません! Wink

- Nigel
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wakan
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope I have fixed Rich's problems by 1.55, for 3. (see my post above) to fix you need to redownload WAKAN.CHR.

Filip
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Prof. Dr. Muhammad Schmid
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:46 am    Post subject: Nice Chinese character Input software Reply with quote

Hello,

MS Global IMEs are a bit unhandy to use and do not offer too many convenient additional features for the user....

Now, here the good news: I found some nice Chinese character Input software with many creature features, and I would highly recommend it to all using Chinese. It works fine on Western Windows systems for all Windows versions; you may need the MS Chinese fonts such as SimSun, MS Hei, MS Song etc. installed.

It is inexpensive software made by a Chinese author residing in Canada (Mr. Jiang Yi).

Check it out by clicking here:

http://www.hanwj.com

I obtained the full software licenses for all 3 products. I am about to conclude an agreement with the software producer to distribute his software here in Europe. User interface and help files are currently in Chinese and English; a complete German translation of both (which I just finished) will be implemented soon.

This software should also work fine with WAKAN....

Have a great day!
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Prof. Dr. Muhammad Schmid
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:48 am    Post subject: Nice Chinese character Input software Reply with quote

Hello,

MS Global IMEs are a bit unhandy to use and do not offer too many convenient additional features for the user....

Now, here the good news: I found some nice Chinese character Input software with many creative features, and I would highly recommend it to all using Chinese. It works fine on Western Windows systems for all Windows versions; you may need the MS Chinese fonts such as SimSun, MS Hei, MS Song etc. installed.

It is inexpensive software made by a Chinese author residing in Canada (Mr. Jiang Yi).

Check it out by clicking here:

http://www.hanwj.com

I obtained the full software licenses for all 3 products. I am about to conclude an agreement with the software producer to distribute his software here in Europe. User interface and help files are currently in Chinese and English; a complete German translation of both (which I just finished) will be implemented soon.

This software should also work fine with WAKAN....

Have a great day!
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taipei_luke
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our house we use it both ways, english person studying traditional chinese (台灣的'國語') and as a quick mouseover in a browser to
get the chinese for an english word.

Because of the way cedict is organised the popups work great for chinese-> english but sadly the other direction is very hit and miss. I wonder is there some project on the web for a good english->chinese dict.

My personal favourite study method is to browse some chinese web sites, use the popup tool to pick off some tough chars then cut and paste the web page into:

http://www.all-day-breakfast.com/chinese/big5-simple.html

Which can append a word list at the end, which is ideal for printing off.

I guess if you want more chinese students (i.e chinese studying english) then a better english->chinese dictionary is required. As for students of chinese language, wakan is fantastic already, there just arn't many students.
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: English to Chinese tool Reply with quote

I recently downloaded a tool which is really intended for Chinese speakers learning English, but I thought it might be usable for going the other way as well. I haven't figured out how to use it yet, because the menus are all in Chinese and I decipher (slowly) rather than read at this point. But it may be a better tool for the English to Chinese direction. It is called "Clicktionary," and can be downloaded at:

http://www.download.com/Clicktionary-Chinese-Version-/3000-2279-10305451.html?tag=lst-0-6

--Tony
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taipei_luke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havnt tried it yet but I think the great thing
about wakan is the mouse over pop up capability.

(I think its time you removed the 'exerimental' dialog
it works fine)
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