Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
shibole

InputKing

Recommended Posts

shibole

Recently I thought I'd play with wubizixing if for no other reason than to get some insight into character decomposition. I read over http://www.yale.edu/chinesemac/wubi/xing.html and rather than try to get a real IME installed I thought I'd try using the web-based IME at inputking.com since I wasn't yet ready to seriously use it.

Well, for some reason certain codes mentioned in that tutorial, included in the yellowbridge dictionary, and even provided by inputking's OWN dictionary don't seem to work with inputking! I did have wubi 89 selected (not the newer one). Is their IME data corrupted or what?

I guess if I'm really going to mess with wubi-z then I should just install the http://www.shunsoftware.com/ app, but I'm not really sure if I should get into messing with wubi yet. I was happy to see that I do actually know all of the primary radicals on the wubi keyboard, but I still basically just started learning Chinese so wubi might be a bit much to take on with all the other totally new stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

imron
I did have wubi 89 selected (not the newer one). Is their IME data corrupted or what?
Presumably you mean wubi 86? This is actually the most common version, and the version you should learn.

What characters in particular did you have problems with? I just tried it out then with the phrase 我喜欢这个输入法 and didn't encounter any problems.

In any case, I would recommend downloading the 五笔快打 software from shunsoftware. There's a free 14 day trial, and that's probably enough time for you to decide whether or not it's worth learning any further.

Note, that shunsoftware sells several different wubi related software. One is only an input method called 新概念五笔, and one is a typing tutor (五笔快打). Initially, you should probably just download the typing tutor, which has their input method built in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato

If you simply want to install a Wubi IME, you can try 极点五笔. It's free and has no expiration date. One of its advantages is that if you don't know the Wubi code for a character, you can also type in pinyin.

http://www.freewb.org/index.htm

极点五笔

Wubi does have a steep learning curve. I've given up on learning it twice already. For entry, I now use double-pinyin (双拼), which I think is probably just as fast as Wubi and much easier to learn. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shibole
Presumably you mean wubi 86?

Yes, sorry I meant 86. I did have 86 selected. I get the feeling from what you said in another thread that 98 is sort of like devorak... really great as long as you're using your own specially obtained and extremely rare keyboard but useless otherwise.

I think the problem I was having was that I had it in traditional mode and was trying to type simplified characters from the tutorial thinking that would somehow work, but it didn't.

In any case, I would recommend downloading the 五笔快打 software from shunsoftware. There's a free 14 day trial, and that's probably enough time for you to decide whether or not it's worth learning any further.

I downloaded that, I just hate changing my default system encoding to GB since it makes the fonts look ugly in most of the UI..... Do you know if there's any way around that?

If you simply want to install a Wubi IME, you can try 极点五笔. It's free and has no expiration date. One of its advantages is that if you don't know the Wubi code for a character, you can also type in pinyin.

Thanks, I think you mentioned it elsewhere but I had forgotten about it.

I've read about double pinyin but haven't tried to use it yet. At the moment I only know maybe 150 characters so I'm not too worried about typing speed yet as there isn't too much I can type. 我媽媽是老師!你呢?我太太是中國人.etc. I'm actually pretty amazed that with so little vocabulary I already know how to say and write "your momma is a ho", but I digress.... At the moment I'm only interested in wubi as a way to help me understand hanzi better. I feel like the better I understand them the easier it will be for me to read them and especially remember how to write them, but then again I tend to overanalyze thnigs a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
I get the feeling from what you said in another thread that 98 is sort of like devorak... really great as long as you're using your own specially obtained and extremely rare keyboard but useless otherwise..
A little bit, the original inventor of Wubi decided to make a few minor changes to remove some of the inconsistencies and remove some of the collisions etc, however it never took off, and for the most recent version (18030), he reverted back to original keyboard layout. As for Dvorak, Dvorak keyboard layouts come installed with every copy of Windows, available for anyone who wants to use it.
I think the problem I was having was that I had it in traditional mode and was trying to type simplified characters
That'd be the problem :mrgreen:
I downloaded that, I just hate changing my default system encoding to GB since it makes the fonts look ugly in most of the UI..... Do you know if there's any way around that?

Applocale
Wubi does have a steep learning curve. I've given up on learning it twice already. For entry, I now use double-pinyin (双拼), which I think is probably just as fast as Wubi and much easier to learn.
The learning curve is steep, and it will probably be even steeper if you don't already know a large number of characters. However, the main benefit of it for learners of Chinese is not its speed, but the fact that it helps practice active rather than passive recall of characters.

As an aside, since moving to a Mac, I've not really used wubi all that much, simply because the default Mac wubi is even worse then their default pinyin input. However I've just downloaded Fun Input Toy and it looks quite promising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shibole
Dvorak keyboard layouts come installed with every copy of Windows, available for anyone who wants to use it.

Yea, I suppose the keyboard doesn't actually have to be labeled for devorak for it to work.

Applocale
Awesome, thanks!
As an aside, since moving to a Mac, I've not really used wubi all that much, simply because the default Mac wubi is even worse then their default pinyin input.
Yea I've noticed that on Macs.... their pinyin thing doesn't even work at all for me half the time in firefox, and my wife has tried to use it and can't stand it. (I don't yet have the vocab to be annoyed with the poor predictive matching.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shibole

After messing with 五笔快打 for a bit, I can say for sure that it kicks ass. I haven't registered it yet so I can only do the exercises with region 1, but just doing those for a couple of hours I think I can actually tell on which key each of the region 1 roots go, even if I don't know the names of all of them and wouldn't be able to list them off for each key. I'm not even thinking in terms of what letter is on each key, just what finger the key is under. Also it does a good job of teaching you what sort of unusual stroke combinations fall on each key, for example something that looks like 六 but without the first stroke falls on "d" (I guess the theory being that it's more like 大).

I can't imagine trying to learn wubi without something like this. This looks like it'll make the process almost literally 100 times faster. I'm going to register this thing. It'll be the best $3.50 I've ever spent. I just hope I can do so with paypal or something, otherwise I'll have to get my brother in law to do it....

I also installed 极点五笔 but haven't done much but tinker with it briefly to make sure it works.

BTW, Applocale didn't work because 五比快打 does some sort of integrity check on itself and exits with a virus warning type error. I'm assuming that applocale patches something in memory that causes the integrity check to fail. Lukily the font nastyness of switching the default character encoding isn't too bad.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shibole

I should hopefully be getting my 五筆快打 license real soon now and I was wondering... what's the main disadvantage if I decide to learn 18030? Simply that it may not be available on machines with older IME software?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
what's the main disadvantage if I decide to learn 18030? Simply that it may not be available on machines with older IME software?
Yep, that's pretty much it. This however will only cause a problem if you want to type traditional characters (which I'm guessing you probably do, considering you typed 五筆 and not 五笔). Support for traditional was not present in the earlier versions. As far as I can tell, for simplified characters, it's more or less the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
muyongshi

I have looked at the diagrams listed under the yale website here but I don't know if I didn't read it carefully or what but it didn't seem to work (with FIT anyway) also it didn't seem as if there was an easy to remember logical system to it (if there is please inform me as that would help).

Also the other thing is that you have to do it character by character and to me that seems that it would slow down the input rather than being able to do word by word or even an entire sentence. Would you say that at your highest speed does it even compare to pinyin input?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

Perhaps you just didn't read that page carefully enough :mrgreen: There is a logical sysem to it, although whether it is easy to remember depends on how much you practice. The Yale page is the best description I've seen for it. Anyway, once you've trained which character shapes go on which keys (and there is a logic to this), the system is easy enough to remember, and you should be able to figure out how to type any character (although there are a couple of tricky ones that aren't so obvious). After a 9 month break of barely using Wubi, my fingers could still remember where everything was.

Regarding FIT, I think you must have just got the examples wrong. I'll give you one that definitely works. Assume you want to type the word 想, then looking at the character chart (diagram 3 on the Yale page), you can see that 木 is on the S key, 目 is on the H key and 心 is on the N key, so you would type SHN and 想 will appear.

Although you can go character by character, you can also type in words and phrases. For two character words you type the first two shapes of each character. So, if you wanted to type 学习 you would IPNU. IP being the first two keys for 学, and NU being the first two keys for 习. There are further rules for 3, 4 and 4+ character phrases, and you can for example type a phrase like 中华人民共和国 just by typing KWWL.

As for speed, with 五笔 I'm currently typing at around 30-35cpm (in English I type 70-80wpm). I'm not sure what my pinyin typing speed is, but I suspect that when using an accurate, predictive IME (google/sogou/the new QIM) 五笔 would currently be slower for me. When using a non-predictive, or a not so accurate predictive pinyin system (i.e. MS Pinyin or QIM before the latest version) 五笔 would be faster. However, it's difficult to compare because although with predictive pinyin the actual typing part feels faster, with wubi you don't need to pause to re-read the sentence you've just typed, to check that the IME has produced the characters you meant. With 五笔 you can type blind.

Also, part of my current slowness is that many characters have slipped out of active recall since swapping back to pinyin. That speed goes up considerably if I'm typing a sentence where I know all the characters, and goes down considerably if I can't remember how to write a character. Once you get proficient at 五笔 your typing speed becomes dependent on how well you can actively recall a character. This is good motivation for improving your active recall. I'm currently determined to get my speed up to 50-60cpm before the end of the year.

Edit: Moved these posts over to the 五笔 thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
muyongshi

I reread the page and it makes more sense but there are still radicals that I can't find (like I was trying to type 顶 but couldn't find the 页) on there and I see some of the logic but I guess the logic I was referring to was which keys the radicals go on. I get the starting with vertical, horizontal being in the different regions but beyond that it seems just to me memorization.

How long would you say it took you to get used to the method and be "decent" at it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

顶 would be SDM. S for the 丁, D for the top part, and M for the 贝. The thing to realise is that it's not necessarily radicals that are placed on the keys, it's just shapes. Sometimes this will be a radical, and sometimes only part of a radical. This is where practice comes in, so you can get a feel for how you need to combine shapes.

Some memorisation is involved, but that memorisation comes automatically from practice. I certainly never sat down and tried to remember what shape was on what key, I built up that knowledge through practising (this is where typing tutor software comes in useful!). Now, I don't think about it, my fingers just know what shape is where, much the same as when I type in English and my fingers just know where the correct letter is, without needing to think.

As for becoming "decent", it's highly dependent on your knowledge of characters, and also your definition of decent. To get to a point where you can use it to type any character you want, might take a month or two. To build up a decent level of speed takes longer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
but I suspect that when using an accurate, predictive IME (google/sogou/the new QIM) 五笔 would currently be slower for me
Actually, I've just checked this out using a typing tutor program that also times your speed (the same one mentioned above for 五笔,which also lets you use different input methods). Using news articles taken from here, I get 29cpm using google's IME, and 33cpm using 五笔, so I guess 五笔 still just comes out on top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...