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An experiment: 倭慧哾衣典仆侗化

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webmagnets

this is an experiment:

can anyone understand this?: 倭慧哾衣典仆侗化

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Don_Horhe

我会说一点普通话?

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webmagnets

That is correct.

The reason I did this experiment is:

I don't know very many characters. I do know pinyin. I have started chatting on MSN Messenger with a new friend in China. With IMKQIM on my macbook I can type pinyin and then it decides the best character based on the context. With this experiment I wanted to find out if I would be understood if 1 or a few characters were wrong, but the tone was correct.

What do you all think?

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skylee

I don't recognise chinese characters by their pronunciations. I look at them (their shapes) and I know what they mean. If I read it silently in my mind they won't mean anything to me as my native language is Cantonese. If I don't recognise them when I look at them, I won't bother to guess if they are some kind of codes.

Your way might work if you chat with native mandarin speakers who are very eager to help learners like yourself. But my guess is that even they would find it very tiring to communicate with all the wrong words. It might be better if you just write in pinyin. For the same reasons above I won't bother to communicate in pinyin. But some native mandarin speakers might not mind.

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webmagnets

You don't pronounce them silently in your head?

p.s. - I wrote every character wrong on purpose. What if just one character or 2 were wrong in a sentence?

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skylee
What if just one character or 2 were wrong in a sentence?

That would be ok I think, if their pronunciations are the same as the correct characters'. Do note that for those who are not that familiar with the language, sometimes typos could really be a problem. Most recent example -> http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/22973-translation-question

Edited by skylee

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Don_Horhe
With this experiment I wanted to find out if I would be understood if 1 or a few characters were wrong, but the tone was correct.

Actually, not all tones are correct - 倭 wo1, 仆 pu2 or pu1 and 侗 tong2, and they should be wo3, pu3 and tong1. Since 衣's tone doesn't change (although it is the same as the etymological tone of 一), you'd need a character which is read as yi4 to write down what is really said.

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adrianlondon

You're better off just chatting in pinyin instead of converting the pinyin into random-ish characters.

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xianhua
I can type pinyin and then it decides the best character based on the context

Not particularly well it appears. I mean the chances are that if a sentence starts with 'wo'' it would be the 'wo' that meant 'I', more so if it was followed by 'hui'. No?

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webmagnets

For the experiment, I typed all of the characters wrong on purpose.

Here is what IMKQIM does automatically if I don't deliberately choose wrong characters:

我会说一点普通话.

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leeyah

Ummm, it really typed 倭 for 我? A Chinese once typed 沃野不例外 for 我也不例外 to me and when I asked what it meant the explanation was:

First,I will tell you that "沃野不例外" is a mistake.the right spell is "我也不例外". you must know that we spell is not so strict in daily life between Chinese.especially in the net, when we knew each other ...

:mrgreen: So, it happens ...

Anyway I second previous posters' advice that you better use pinyin since most Mandarin speakers are quite comfortable with it.

Native Mandarin speakers are taught to write through pinyin. Whenever Chinese kids don't know how to write a new character, they write it in pinyin (with tones). Here's a touching story of a kid who was put to shame for nonsense by a heartless teacher, see the pic of the child's handwriting. He wrote:

He put pinyin with tonemarks in place of characters: 强, (流)鼻涕, 嘲(笑) & 极(了) because he couldn't remember how to write them. Edited by leeyah

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c_redman

You don't pronounce them silently in your head?

On a cognitive level' date=' that's a very interesting question. I certainly do speak the sounds in my head. But I've already understood the meaning by the time I "speak" it. I've also grouped the characters into words by that point. It's as if I'm reading it for some other imaginary person. It's the same for my native English, which is why I read so slowly, as I can't read much faster than I speak.

Your original post reminds me of a rebus puzzle, or the game Mad Gab. You can play the latter online here. It's surprisingly hard to guess the meaning of a sentence when the words are deconstructed into their individual sounds.

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Guest Pipas
倭慧哾衣典仆侗化

At first I thought it has something to do with 火星文 (吙☆魰).

if you want to try something wacky, check this out :wink:

2775_thumb.attach

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webmagnets

Is understanding what I wrote in the experiment as hard as the Mad Gab game?

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Hofmann

No. Except for tones, what you wrote sounds exactly like the answer you're looking for.

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renzhe

I'm still waiting for someone to mention the grass mud horse in this thread.......

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webmagnets

I don't get it.

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Lu

Renzhe: Hofmann's avatar is right above your post...

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skylee

i think that is a llama.

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