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Converting Traditional to Simplified on a Mac


tristanmecham

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Having just read your post here, I'd be inclined to say that for the amount of effort you'd need to spend making a digital copy and then converting it and proofing it to make sure there are no mistakes (not something you'd want if you were using it as a learning resource), you'd be better off just spending that time coming to grips with traditional chars. There's not that big a difference between the two.

Edited by imron
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Most of us have learned to read both while writing one. (In my case reading both and writing none)

Edit: Unfortunately this would have to be done manually (for accuracy) by someone who understands Traditional Chinese and is willing to type out the document for you. Then he or you can convert it into Simplified once its in digital form. Sorry if this isn't the answer you wanted to hear. I recommend looking into a flashcard software like Mnemosyne which can let you visually recognize a bunch of characters. After only two years, I can now visually recognize 2000+ different characters of both Simplified and Traditional.

Edited by ABCinChina
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I've a small program Han Conv (1.67 mb) maybe you can find it online, no need to install it (a flashdisk will do)

I'm not sure about the address, though

It's very convenient and really works, you can convert 简体字 txts to 繁体字 and the other way around, and also romanize 汉字 texts to Mandarin & Cantonese & vice verso

Some simple 繁体字 such as 于 and 么 tend to remain in their original 繁体 but that's a minor problem really

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I've a small program Han Conv (1.67 mb)
Can it be done with a Mac?
Last I checked, HanConv was Windows only. Besides the actual conversion won't be the difficult part, scanning in all the pages and running them through an OCR program will be (not to mention proofreading and checking to make sure all the characters were scanned correctly).
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The difficult part here is OCRing the original book, rather than converting from traditional to simplified. However, mechanical translation from simplified to traditional is unlikely to be 100% accurate, as many characters have been merged in the simplified form. Going from traditional to simplified, as required here, would introduce no, or at least less, ambiguities.

It would be an unusual text book where this process was legal, from a copyright point of view.

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Going from traditional to simplified, as required here, would introduce no, or at least less, ambiguities.

Correct. The proofreading I was talking about, was making sure that the OCR program had recognised and generated the characters correctly in the first place. There are enough characters that are similar that a smudge in the wrong place will cause a different character to be produced 未,末,土,士 etc.
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I second imron's suggestion in this case.

I suppose it would be legal enough if you'd only make a copy for yourself. There's no law stopping me from retyping the whole book in simplified, so it should be ok to do the same thing digitally (if you want to make that kind of effort), as long as you don't start selling it to your classmates.

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Yeah, I third the suggestion.

If the course is really taught using traditional characters, then there will be other problems, even if one manages to convert the entire textbook to simplified. You'll still be expected to understand traditional characters in other contexts (maybe some other material, stuff written on the blackboard, etc...)

You could see it as an opportunity to learn traditional characters. I can understand that it can seem daunting at the beginning though, and that having the simplified versions as an aid would be useful. At which level is this course?

Regarding conversion, as far as I can understand, there are still issues/ambiguities, even if one converts from traditional to simplified, i.e. 甚 or 於. Not as often as other way around, of course.

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I suppose it would be legal enough if you'd only make a copy for yourself

Not in the UK. Almost certainly not in the USA or Europe. One would need to read the fair usage provisions of the PRC legislation, in detail, to be sure of the situation there.

(If the book is only published in traditional Chinese, and you always kept the original with the copy, it probably wouldn't be worth suing, as there would be no financial loss to the publisher.)

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I think we're neglecting the hard part of getting the text from the book into digital format here. :) Personally, I'd love to try a good OCR program so I can read some books I have with Powerword. But alas, it seems too troublesome to convert a whole book.

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