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natra

Getting an eReader

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roddy

Has anyone got a Chinese dictionary set up? I don't need anything major, really just CEDICT or Unihan would be fine - it's more about checking the pronunciation and meaning of obscure characters in names and the like, and those 'hang on, what tone IS that actually' moments. Yesterday I realized I didn't know how to say 寐, or the tone of 泯 (could have guessed, would have been wrong) for example. At the moment I'm using the highlighting feature to mark stuff for future look-up, but we all know how likely that is to actually happen . . .

Incidentally, I suspect the option to send highlights and notes to Twitter could be useful for students - send stuff you don't know to a (dedicated, nobody else cares) Twitter account and then read that page later with a pop-up dictionary.

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gato

I did convert one of the C-to-E stardict dictionary to Mobi format using Mobipocket Creator publisher edition. The "mouse over" dictionary function didn't seem to work as it does with the built-in English dictionary.

The Kindle Chinese guide page below lists a few other Chinese dictionary choice. Maybe you can be our guinea pig. I haven't had a chance to try yet.

http://mrhaoji.com/blog/resources-for-kindle.html

Kindle Resources - Chinese Dictionaries

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gougou

Just to chip in here, I just got a HTC Desire and I love it for reading. It's small enough to fit in any pocket, but large enough that it is actually possible to read on it. Best purchase in a while!

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c_redman

I just got a Kindle 3 the other day, and I like it a lot. I wanted to do more reading for my studies, and Chinese characters on a computer screen was becoming really eye-straining. I find the e-ink display much easier to read, and being mobile means I can read a page or two if I just have a few minutes to spare. So, it's working out well.

1. Press Home

2. Type ;debugOn ' date=' press Enter key

3. Type ~changeLocale zh-CN , press Enter key

4. Type ;debugOff, press Enter key

5. Restart Kindle in Settings (Press Menu, Select Settings, Then Press Menu to select "Restart")

[/quote']

This definitely fixes any issues I had in displaying simplified characters. I had tried every combination of format -- utf8, gb, html, pdf, Word doc, .mobi (using Calibre) -- with both USB transfer and Kindle document service. With the default Kindle settings, a USB transfer had problems in the title, and all except pdf had the problem within the contents. With the document service, the content was ok, but the titles were even more messed up (except for .mobi), and couldn't display any character. The conversion seems to use the filename as the title, ignoring any metadata within the document. The web browser could display simplified pages ok, but again the titles couldn't display simplified characters.

After changing the locale, just dumping a UTF-8 formatted file via USB works perfectly for both title and contents, and the Kindle displays all the existing indenting and blank lines in the original file. Converting to .mobi also works fine, although Calibre seems to remove the indenting. With other formats, conversion and transfer using the document service suffers from two problems: a) it unwraps every carriage return, so you need double line spacing to keep paragraphs from joining (though you may actually want that feature); and B) it still uses the filename for the title. It now has the opposite problem as before: now it displays simplified but not traditional characters in the title.

The only negative effect the locale setting has, that I can tell, is that the menubar clock now reads 下午 and 上午 instead of am and pm. I was worried all the OS strings would be in Chinese, but they seem to be untouched. So it's a very minor change, but I'll have to remember to reset the locale if I ever give the Kindle away.

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hackinger

Hi,

also got a Kindle 3 and changing the locale did the trick for me as well.

Cheers

hackinger

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Glenn
The Kindle Chinese guide page below lists a few other Chinese dictionary choice. Maybe you can be our guinea pig. I haven't had a chance to try yet.

http://mrhaoji.com/b...for-kindle.html

Kindle Resources - Chinese Dictionaries

I tried it out, but it only goes E->C, unfortunately.

So, I don't think I've see this addressed much, but do I basically just look for ebooks and convert them to .pdf to read Chinese? I'd like to find traditional stuff if I can, but I really have no idea where to look. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what to look for, either (or what exactly I'd like to read... it would be nice if I could browse). Should I just do a search for 電子書籍 or something?

[Edit] Oh, and this may be asking a bit much, but it would be great if it were free.

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gato

You can try browsing at this online book site. It's all text, so if you can find something you like, you can copy and paste into a text file.

http://www.szqm.com/xd/zpj.html

作家作品集

Once you find something you like, if you prefer traditional, you can always then convert the text to traditional.

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Glenn

Alright, I'll give that a shot, but I'm sure I'll have questions when I get to spend some time on it. Thanks.

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roddy

Basically, search for the name of the book and 电子书, .txt, 下载, or look on verycd (I've got decent pdf copies of some stuff off there. Or was it via searching within emule, I forget) and see what turns up. Classics and older books are usually not too hard to find, more recent stuff can be a bit hit and miss.

What you convert it to depends on your preference. I'd most likely stick it in a .doc and email it to my kindle address with 'convert' in the subject.

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Glenn

Looks like I'll be learning more about the Kindle in the process of being able to learn more Chinese. I just got it recently, so I guess I have that excuse... :oops: Thanks!

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carlo

I once found a very good Chinese search engine for novels/etc, although I cannot remember what it was and can’t find it anymore. Using a general purpose search engine you have to wade through a seemingly never-ending sequence of pop-up ads, broken links and images not suitable for minors. The Baidu Text search engine is the best equivalent I can find.

I also have to take back what I said here on using a mobile phone to read books being hard on the eyes. It may be, but since I’ve had an Iphone I’ve been reading at least 5 novels a month. The convenience of carrying a library in your pocket is unbeatable, and I’m not blind yet.

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Glenn

How would I go about converting a .txt file from simplified to traditional, anyway? And would it be accurate? It seems auto-conversion ends up giving typos.

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roddy

To minimize errors you need something that parses into words and then converts, rather than just does it character by character. Adsotrans used to have something that did this I think, not sure if that's still available - might be on popupchinese.com if it is.

If it isn't word-aware, it's never going to distinguish between the 发 in 发现 and 头发 (which are the same character in simplified, but not in traditional).

You could always just stop fighting the tide and read simplified :P

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Glenn

I got DimSum and am trying it out. It seems pretty cool so far. Thanks for that, gato!

@roddy

I do read simplified. I have no choice; it's ubiquitous. I just prefer traditional. :P

Now I have another problem, though. I'm getting question marks in the places of characters. I went over USB after converting in DimSum. I tried the fix that worked the other way, i.e.

;debugOn

~changeLocale zh-CN

;debugOff

replacing "CN" with "TW", but that only partly worked, and now the squares are back for the simplified text. I guess that means I'll have to constantly do this debug thing depending on what I want to read, although I don't know how to get it to work with traditional. I even tried it with "HK". Maybe I'll try e-mailing to the Kindle e-mail. I guess I'm supposed to use an attachment for that?

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gato

I think zh-CN refers to GBK encoding, and zh-TW refers to Big5 encoding used in Taiwan. To my knowledge, GBK encoding actually contains all the traditional characters one might need in everyday use.

To read both simplified and traditional, you probably need the zh-CN setting for GBK. If you save your traditional text in GBK encoding, it probably would work under zh-CN.

Another thing to try is to copy and paste the traditional text and save it to a MS Word doc or RTF file. Then send it by email to your free.kindle account with "conver" as subject. It might use convert it to a readable format for you.

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roddy

Another possibility might be to read in the browser - save it as an online document (Google docs, whatever) and read it that way. Not ideal, obviously, but it's an option.

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gato

If the file is on a website, you can always use Instapaper to mail it to your Kindle account. In fact, you can email HTML files to your Kindle account for conversion, as well.

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