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Google IME - Google Chinese Input Method Editor

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student

From today's People's Daily:

Google on Wednesday made itself more of a local player by launching its own Chinese input method editor (IME) to offer writers an alternative to writing Chinese characters.

Within hours of its release some Chinese websites began providing a free download service for the software. [/Quote]

http://english.people.com.cn/200704/04/eng20070404_363757.html

Has anyone tried it? Where can we find it?

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Pravit

I found a download here by googling "谷歌拼音", have not tried it yet:

http://dl.pconline.com.cn/html_2/1/77/id=43001&pn=0.html

The weird thing is, if you go to google.cn and google for "谷歌拼音" or "谷歌拼音输入法“, you only get third-party articles about the new pinyin IME but not a single page from Google mentioning anything about it. Searching for "拼音输入法" turns up Sogou's IME as the first result(I use the Sogou IME right now and think it's quite good, BTW). Usually the English Google mentions new products/services on the Google front page, perhaps Google pinyin is not out of beta yet?

Edit: After I installed, I was taken to this Google page: http://tools.google.com/pinyin/

First impressions: It is extremely similar to the already-existing Sogou pinyin IME. You could take the Sogou IME, give it a Google theme, switch the Sogou search button with a Google search button, and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The only difference is that the Google IME offers a "suggestive English" IME which is of basically no use to English speakers.

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yonglin

hmmm... i think it's a bit weird. google usually come up with their own things, but this looks so much like 搜狗..... ....... (sh)

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Hero Doug

I just downloaded it and I'll be using it for typing all my Chinese.

I like how you can type a whole sentence before submiting it. It's also nice how it'll usually pick the correct character for you. It'll kind of change the characters around based on the following characters.

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roddy

Well, google already handles the adverts I publish, the adverts I place, some of my mail, my website statistics, my desktop search, my Internet searching (almost forgot that one) and who knows what else, I guess it might as well help me type Chinese :help

Has anyone compared this to Sogou's, beyond the fact that they look similar. I could be persuaded to switch if I'm told it's better, I'm not that attached to Sogou's yet.

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trevelyan

Jay at Shanghaiist has a short review and seems pretty impressed. Input methods are so primitive and Google has such a wealth of Chinese language data available. Hopefully this is going to be a big improvement (he says, downloading....).

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Pravit

When I mentioned they were similar in the post yesterday I meant in terms of functionality. I regularly use Sogou's IME and gave the Google IME a test drive yesterday. It seems almost an outright copy of the Sogou IME to be honest - both IMEs function in exactly the same way: you type in the pinyin first and see a preview of the sentence. Both Sogou and Google IMEs are very good at guessing what characters you mean, so you usually don't have to change anything. If you do, you use the arrow keys to go back before the incorrect character, then select parts of the sentence until you reach the incorrect character(then pick the correct one). There is no support for picking characters based on tone in either IME. Both IMEs support a wubihua input method as well as using wubihua to differentiate characters. Both IMEs routinely update their word database from the internet. Both IMEs allow you to type in simplified or traditional without any fuss. Both IMEs offer pinyin "correction" for people who can't tell the difference between z, zh, c, ch, etc. Both IMEs offer a way of typing in Chinese where you only enter the first letter of each syllable. In short, there is basically no difference other than trivial features: Sogou includes an ASCII art generator and a bunch of funny symbols that Chinese teenagers like to use, and Google IME provides an "English IME".

I have always respected Google for their innovation, but in this case it's very obvious they wanted to model their IME after the already-existing Sogou IME. When I saw they functioned in a similar way I was hoping that Google would have fixed some things about the Sogou IME I don't like(difficulty of correcting incorrect characters, esp. ones just typed, no way of differentiating characters by tone) but alas, they seem to be content just to emulate it.

Of course, since it's Google, everyone will be raving about it as the Next Great Thing.

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zozzen

At a glance, it looks no much different from other pinyin IME. just wondering if there'll be a Cangjie IME by google?

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venture160
Of course, since it's Google, everyone will be raving about it as the Next Great Thing.

At least in the english speaking world they will be. If you do a quick search for 输入法 and google on baidu or google, all of the articles are comparing the google input method to sogou and most of them also conclude it just seems like an outright copy and there is virtually little difference between the two. It seems in this case google was simply playing catchup.

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adrianlondon

Having never heard of Sogou and just downloaded Google's IME, does the Sogou one have the same "feature" as follows ...

I can't type punctuation into the Google one without pressing the spacebar first.

In other words ... "nihao." works, but "nihao." doesn't and instead it seems to use the period as a prompt to guess the next character.

Using the standard Windows IME, "nihao." works fine.

Also, I don't like the fact I end up with two toolbars - the windows language bar and then the google IME bar.

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gato

I'd encourage everyone who's been using pinyin to try "double pinyin." It will give you a bigger speed-up than any new IME can offer.

I use Pinyin Jia Jia because it remembers the new vocabs that you type, and it works well using the double pinyin entry mode.

It's called double pinyin because every character can be input with just two letters. It achieves this by mapping final sounds, the 韵母 (in's, ing', an's, ang's, etc.), onto single keys.

For example, 's' is used for "ong", and 从 (cong) would be typed with 'c' + 's'.

It sounds a little complicated, but I think most people would get a hang of it with about an hour of practice.

You can use "double pinyin" within your existing Microsoft IME by selecting it in the options menu.

There are several different key layouts for ShuangPin, but it's probably best to learn Microsoft's because it's likely to be most widely available. See the image attached below for the Microsoft Shuangpin layout. The smaller letters show the "final sounds" mapped to each key.

To practice shuangpin, try this program.

http://polycrit.com/typing_test.exe

After decompressing, run 金码练习.exe. It gives a chance to practice until it become automatic and keeps track of your typing speed.

You can find out more about double pinyin here on this Chinese wiki page:

http://www.allwiki.com/wiki/%E8%87%AA%E7%84%B6%E7%A0%81%E5%8F%8C%E6%8B%BC%E6%96%B9%E6%A1%88

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Xiao Kui

i downloaded and installed the IME but I don't know where it went. Is it stand alone or only works with Internet explorer? I'm not using my windows IME rt now. Do I have to have that on to use the google IME? Thanks!

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Hero Doug

You'll find it in the Windows toolbar along with the native IME.

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adrianlondon

In the "regional and language" options (control panel) you need to install the "Chinese PRC" language and then pick the google IME as the keyboard you want to use.

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ABCinChina

Wow, I think this is way better than MSPY 2007! Like everyone has said, you can type out a whole sentence. It's just that the menu is in Chinese. Can this be changed?

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madizi
Well, google already handles the adverts I publish, the adverts I place, some of my mail, my website statistics, my desktop search, my Internet searching (almost forgot that one) and who knows what else, I guess it might as well help me type Chinese

[Just a thought, although it is out of topic]

Yes, Google is too much present in our life, like Big Brother (I assume that everybody knows that I don't have TV show in mind). But it's our fault. We could use other services.

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smalltownfart

Could Google have simply licensed this on-the-quiet from sogou?

The2 IMES are way, way, way too much alike.

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