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Mark Yong

Books on Cangjie input method

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Mark Yong

Does anyone know if there are any books (either in Chinese or English) on the 倉頡 Cangjie Chinese input method? I am aware that there are some resources on the Web, but most of them are not very comprehensive, and only provide the basics on the method (e.g. they do not go into detail about the Secondary Signs, and how to ignore the redundant components).

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文言訓開班

The back of many Chinese dictionaries provides a comprehensive. Mine starts

A 日 297 ADHAF 鷴 826

A 曰 307 ADHL 晰 303

AA 昌 298

AA 昍 303

......

and so on, listing keyboard input, character, and page where its definition can be found

All the way to YYWS 逌. It's not instructional, but it is useful.

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skylee

This is perhaps off-topic. But I don't understand why one would learn an input method that would require a comprehensive guide. I think an input method should be very easy to learn (thus I use pinyin, stroke order and sometimes jyutping). The only reason I can think of is that a highly proficient Cangjie user might be able to type very fast (like > 100 wpm). I don't need to type very fast so I don't know how fast one can get using pinyin. Are there other reasons for learning Cangjie?

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Mark Yong
skylee wrote:

...I don't understand why one would learn an input method that would require a comprehensive guide. I think an input method should be very easy to learn...

Hi, skylee,

You are right. Actually, the main reason I want to learn 倉頡 Cangjie is simply because I want to move away from the pinyin method - which I personally find frustrating, because of the 異義同音字 homonyms (even when typing that 4-word phrase, I had to spend close to a minute filtering out the correct yi's!) - and adopt a stroke-based input method. And based on what I have read, 倉頡 Cangjie is the method most suited for 繁體字 Traditional Characters, which is my preference.

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skylee
And based on what I have read, 倉頡 Cangjie is the method most suited for 繁體字 Traditional Characters, which is my preference.

I see. I use traditional script (I live in HK). I type using pinyin and I think I type in a reasonable speed (my chinese typing is better than our secretary who uses cangjie, haha). Homonyms are not a problem at all. And I always wonder why everyone around me seems to be using Cangjie (and those guides as they often have difficulties typing certain words). But then we are Cantonese and not everyone speaks Mandarin so Cangjie might be their only choice.

Well 甲之熊掌,乙之砒霜. Thanks for the reply.

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Mark Yong
zozzen wrote:

I don't think we really need a comprehensive guide on the rules of each code. It's more useful to have a comprehensive graphical dictionary that explains how a character is "disassembled". These books are everywhere in hong kong, check this one: http://www.popular.com.hk/images/product/book/28219.jpg

Hi, zozzen,

Thanks for the heads-up! You are right - what I am looking for is not a dictionary of all the character codes (I do not plan to memorise all those alphabet combinations, if that is what you were thinking! :lol:), but rather, a good textbook to understand the principles of the character decomposition, so that I can apply them to any character.

Do you have the titles or ISBN's for some of these books? (Unfortunately, the link you provided links to a JPEG image which is too small for me to make out the book details other than the title. Also, the title of the book suggests that it is a dictionary, not a textbook.)

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zhwj

For any sort of speed in these form-based input methods, memorization is really the only way to go. That means practice - even if you have the principles down cold - so muscle-memory can take over. I haven't used Cangjie, but I'd imagine it's the same thing that I went through learning Wubi.

Here's a web edition of a printed pamphlet on Cangjie. There's a PDF somewhere, but I couldn't find a working link.

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zozzen

Thanks for the heads-up! You are right - what I am looking for is not a dictionary of all the character codes (I do not plan to memorise all those alphabet combinations, if that is what you were thinking! ), but rather, a good textbook to understand the principles of the character decomposition, so that I can apply them to any character.

Bad news is that no one is really able to understand principles applied to all characters. In the most popular cangjie's method invented 30 years ago, there's many strange combinations and exceptions always happen. I've heard that the fifth generation or new Cangjie made significant improvement on that, but it's not worth learning their new combination because it's not compatible with the old system.

in my experience, you don't have to "memorize" all combination of codes for each character, but you'll at least have to practice all of them before you achieve proficiency at chinese typing.

And this book may be better than the mingpao's book i recommended previously, hope it helps:

http://www.cp1897.com.hk/BookInfo?BookId=9621415098&SectionId=10

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Mark Yong
zhwj wrote:

Here's a web edition of a printed pamphlet on Cangjie. There's a PDF somewhere, but I couldn't find a working link.

I searched through the index of the website. I could not find a PDF in there, but I managed to find GIF-scanned images of the entire book. Here is the link: http://www.cbflabs.com/down/show.php?id=299

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Mark Yong
zozzen wrote:

Bad news is that no one is really able to understand principles applied to all characters... in my experience, you don't have to "memorize" all combination of codes for each character, but you'll at least have to practice all of them before you achieve proficiency at chinese typing.

Noted. But at the same time, it would be close to impossible to actually memorise the alphabetic codes for even the most common 3,000 to 4,000 characters! That being the case, how does one type a character that one is encountering for the first time in 倉頡 Cangjie? Surely there would be some rules and principles that the typist would have to know in order to correctly figure out how to type this new character (and not have to go by trial-and-error!), right? :)

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roddy
it would be close to impossible to actually memorise the alphabetic codes for even the most common 3,000 to 4,000 characters!

But why? Surely there's no greater amount of information / muscle memory to handle than in learning to write them by hand? I'm not saying it would be fun, mind . . .

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skylee
Bad news is that no one is really able to understand principles applied to all characters. In the most popular cangjie's method invented 30 years ago, there's many strange combinations and exceptions always happen.

This is so true, which is exactly why I don't use Cangjie. Thanks for pointing it out.

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zozzen
Surely there would be some rules and principles that the typist would have to know in order to correctly figure out how to type this new character (and not have to go by trial-and-error!), right?

Partly true. The rule can help you make a better judgement trial-and-error, but not always be able to tell you the correct order. But yes, I've never attempted to memorize ALL combinations of ALL characters. I learned the rule, practiced them, and I found that "oh, that should be typed in this way, instead of that way."

Considering the background how cangjie was invented, it's no surprising to see this method can be arbitrary in some cases. Many users have frustration with cangjie, and substitutes like 五筆 have been invented to make typing more consistent.

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Eddy9

Hi Mark Yong:

I come at a very late time regarding your book inquiry re CJ method in Chinese or English. Some answered half of the question: you can find an enornous amout of books in Taiwan and HK in every Computer book library, but all in Chinese.

To my knowledge there is only one book in English. This is the one I wrote from a foreigner perspective, not a translation of Chinese books. That means I have explained the principles in detail. You understand them, and then no need to memorize character codes.

Chu Bangfu the inventor came to live 2 years near my village in Taiwan and I made the book with him (he published it).

Before there was a website (cjmember.com) that I created and maintained and that presented the book. It has been abandoned but someone saved it as a kind of miror website and you can se it at : http://www.cocoanutstech.com/cang_jie/www.cjmember.com/the_cj_method.htm#Basic%20Principles

All the best.The author: Eddy Butler [email protected]

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老老

Hi Eddy! It would be great if you could make your book more widely available by getting an ISBN for it (if you still sell it). That would allow people to order via any bookstore. Your website is sort of difficult to find, and the email address in there does not really seem to work. If you are no longer selling the book, it would be great if you could somehow produce a PDF or epub and upload that somewhere. I can help with that, if you need it. Although I haven't seen the book yet, let me say many thanks for writing the book in the first place!

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jolyon

I second that,老老 - I would love to get my hands on Eddy's book... in the absence of The Real Thing, any ideas where a second hand copy might be lurking?

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