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Progress is Slow

DrWatson

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I have not abandoned the project...I am still struggling with memorizing the secondary symbols. I have most of them down, but I struggle with the secondary symbols that fall under: 心,尸,and 山. Especially 心. I suppose this is because so many of them seem like a stretch (in my humble opinion). But mostly it is my own fault. I am terrible about remembering to do my Anki decks daily. Suppose part of that is because I hate flash cards to begin with. Seems like I can only remember on the weekends when my head doesn't get full with stuff from work.

 

I found a really great app for a smartphone (iPhone and Android) for practicing Cangjie recognition and the keyboard. It is called 五色學倉頡 by Kotech (www.koketch.hk). It has a practice mode where you can pick three different levels: easy, intermediate, and difficult. It presents you with a Chinese character that is split into components by color. It also provides a Cangjie keyboard. The goal is to try to correctly input the character without mistakes. I much prefer this to reviewing my Anki deck.

 

So I've set a goal to memorize those secondary symbols by the end of the month, or.....well, frankly I'll just keep going at it, I'm stubborn. But I want to try to reach this goal by the end of the month in all seriousness. Perhaps I'll try positive reinforcement--if I achieve the goal, maybe then I'll treat myself to a nice lunch?



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Don't take this as cold water or anything. I admire your resolve.

I was curious about Cangjie so I took a look around and found this: https://www.zhihu.com/question/35097919

I lost interest :/

 

P.S. @陳德聰 You can use Jyutping for Traditional Cantonese input. It's developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong , and currently the most standardized and widely used romanization system. It's quite intuitive and easy to learn in my opinion. On Android you have Google Cantonese Input. On Windows I recommend Rime, an open source project. Just go to http://rime.im/, click the first big blue button, save and run the installer. During the installation process choose carefully under which locale you want it to appear (Simplified PRC or Traditional Taiwan), check Jyutping, and you're ready to go. Press F4 when Rime is active to choose the 'schema' (Pinyin, Zhuyin, Jyutping, Wubi, Cangjie etc, even Middle Chinese and IPA).

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Thanks for the tip @Publius, but I don’t use Windows :( I found a kind of crappy iOS app that unfortunately accepts every kind of spelling except jyutping so I’m sure you can imagine how awful that is.

 

I’m still rooting for DrWatson, add oil!!

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I'm a bit perplexed about memorizing cangjie codes with anki, or on an app without a physical keyboard.

When I was practicing wubi, muscle memory on a physical keyboard (index fingers on f and j, then extending fingers as needed) was an important part of recall/typing automation.

Isn't is the same with cangjie?

 

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8 hours ago, edelweis said:

I'm a bit perplexed about memorizing cangjie codes with anki, or on an app without a physical keyboard.

When I was practicing wubi, muscle memory on a physical keyboard (index fingers on f and j, then extending fingers as needed) was an important part of recall/typing automation.

Isn't is the same with cangjie?

 

 

Yes and no, in my humble opinion (but I haven't tried Wubi for more than a few minutes to try it out). First of all, I touch type on QWERTY keyboards, and I don't look at the keyboard at all when I type.  I first needed to memorize the primary symbols, as they directly map to a key on the keyboard. With this down, I know which key to press for the primary symbol without looking, and I can go in reverse to, knowing which primary symbol is produced by a key press. For the secondary symbols, they are subdivided amongst the primary symbol keys. So I also need to map the secondary symbols to the primary symbol keys. The use of Anki is for memorizing all of the primary and secondary symbols visually, as well as their mapping to a key on the keyboard. This is necessary to be able to dissect a character and break it visually into its proper set of symbols. I suppose all of this could be learned with rote typing practice, but when I first tried to learn Cangjie a few years ago I never really got far doing it by just typing and typing. I've definitely made more progress by putting in some up-front memorization work.

 

As for the app, well, its just a damn good way to practice when I've got nothing to do. Waiting in line at the post office, public transport, eating lunch by myself, et cetera. It allows me to get some practice when I'd otherwise be reading a news web site or killing brain cells swiping through Pinterest.

 

The muscle memory is certainly important, and frankly I need to make more time for. But I think successfully learning Cangjie requires some core memorization as well as putting in the time to type. Just my thoughts. I suppose if I had an hour a day to set aside to just typing I'd really be flying, but I just don't have the time for it at this period in my life.

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9 hours ago, Publius said:

Don't take this as cold water or anything. I admire your resolve.

I was curious about Cangjie so I took a look around and found this: https://www.zhihu.com/question/35097919

I lost interest :/

 

Many apologies, but, tl;dr. I did run it through Google Translate to try to get the gist though!  My Chinese is very poor! But don't worry, no cold water on this fire. This drive to learn Cangjie has been years in the making!! :evil: 

 

I can certainly appreciate Cangjie is probably not for most people. For native speakers of Mandarin, pinyin input just makes sense! And for those few occasions that you don't know how to pronounce a character, well that is where pen or mouse-drawing input works great.  But as a foreign learner that doesn't have the advantage of being in China submersed in the linguistic environment, plus having lots of daily life responsibilities, I just don't have the time I used to have to study. :wall I need a tool that can help me be faster.

 

Frankly I'm sick and tired after many years of having to constantly look up characters that I don't know how to pronounce using standard "mouse-drawing" on a PC, finger-drawing on a tablet, or even regular old radicals.  As I explained in my first post, I actually think Cangjie or Wubi, either one actually, is a good system for foreign learners in my situation.  At the end of the day I'm looking for a system that helps me input characters I don't know quickly, so that I can move on and focus on actually studying Chinese, rather than spending so much of my time inputing characters into a computer. 

 

As much as I like Pleco with its OCR system, I still find it takes a lot of work, making sure the lighting is OK and trying to get it to focus on the text so it can lock down the characters. What I'd really like is a pen that I could use like a highlighter, swiping over a word and then it automagically reads out the Mandarin pronunciation. Kind of like a Leap Frog device that works on regular paper. That is my dream for the future!

 

I suppose this problem does not matter to people who only use a computer and digital resources to study, but I have a lot of nice paper books and resources in Chinese that I'd like to utilize. 

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Pinyin input is not useful for:

- people who don't speak mandarin or speak only a little  (majority of Chinese who do not grow up/live in a mandarin-speaking environment, e.g. Hong Kong, overseas);

- input of traditional characters.

 

 

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5 hours ago, lips said:

- input of traditional characters.

This is incorrect.  All the major pinyin-based input methods have a setting to output traditional vs simplified characters.

 

Even the *Wubi* input method I have does this, that is, I enter the shapes for the simplified character and it will output the traditional version instead.

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I think I'd generalize and say that graphical input systems like Cangjie and Wubi are useful (though not required or necessary) for non-native Mandarin speakers, whether they be non-Chinese learners of the language or ethnic Chinese who speak difference dialects such as in Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc.

 

It appears that good Wubi or Cangjie software can handle both Simplified and Traditional. The Cangjie method built into MacOS can also be used to output Simplified characters using the Cangjie-style character decomposition, whereas the Cangjie method for the Linux IBUS system can only handle Hong Kong character sets. I wonder if it would be the same in Windows though, especially in Chinese Windows where default encodings like Big5 or GB18030 are used rather than UTF-8? I will have to try it out on a Windows PC some day. I am curious what the default Windows Cangjie input method system is capable of with respect to simplified character input. My hunch is that since Windows is the majority platform worldwide, a lot of resources have been put into its Chinese input methods to make them a good software product for Chinese language users. But assumptions are dangerous...

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