Thursday, June 17, 2010

A red-letter day

Got an e-mail that was written entirely in Chinese characters.

Answered entirely in 汉字.

Admittedly this would be much more impressive if free translation software did not exist on the internet.

Actually it's pretty cool -- Helen showed me where to download software that lets you type pinyin and get Chinese characters, and then walked me through the installation instructions (which were naturally entirely in Chinese). So it is now a largely trivial matter for me to type 我去上海上门杨姝 into a blogpost. ("I'm going to Shanghai to pay a quick visit to Yang Shu [Helen].") Even more cool (considering that a single pinyin syllable could mean lots of different things and therefore have lots of different possible characters -- there are something like 80 different characters for "yang", for example), the thing keeps track of which characters I use most often. So the first time I tried to type in Helen's last name "Yang," I had to hunt down to about #30 or so in the list to find the character that is used for her surname. The next time I typed it it showed up in the top ten. The next time I typed "Yang" the software's first suggestion was 杨. So, seriously very cool software may be found at (look for the button that lets you download QQ拼音输入法).


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Shockingly, this post is the #1 hit when you Google "我去上海上门杨姝"


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