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Using a PDA to learn Chinese


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I'm curious as to how many people are using PDAs for Chinese study.

I'm using Plecodict on my Tungsten PDA, along with TealDoc+TealAgent. This combination lets me download Chinese websites and look up new characters as I read. Once the final version of Plecodict is released I'll also be abe to input them into the flashcard function.

Anyone else?

Roddy

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I'm also using my Tungsten for Chinese, and have been using a PDA ever since I had a Palm III. I use Wenlin on my PC to do the reading and lookup that you mention, but I do also have Plecodict and no longer carry, or even open a paper dictionary. I also have CJKOS installed to get Chinese characters in other applications.

The other program I use for Chinese study on the Tunsten is Supermemo. It isn't a Chinese program per se but it is a good flashcard program. The nice feature of it is that it provides daily tests with the cards selected according to the results of previous tests. If you answer a test question correctly then the card is pushed farther into the future. If you get it wrong you will see it again tomorrow or the next day. This approach makes it possible to manage a huge number of cards. I have 7045 cards in my Chinese vocabulary database, 1632 in Chinese sentences, etc. With this method I'm spared seeing qu4 until 2013 but I'll see more difficult words much sooner, like this weekend. There are, of course, a lot of words scheduled in between.

The only bad part of Supermemo is that it doesn't display Chinese characters real well. It has a system to allow for variable size fonts that does a mediocre job of resizing characters. I put up with it though because the program's flashcard method is so efficient.

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I have a PocketPC. (HP2210) I use a free dictionary called Mdict. I have mentioned it before. Below are some link to screenshots with some of the different input methods I use. I took the Unihan Database, slimmed it down, improved the look, and made a database for Mdict. With my Chinese input, I am able to write out characters I see and look them up right on the spot. It can be downloaded here. There are also other dictionary databases out there.

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I use Supermemo and a Chinese OS. I also use KDict to look up the pronunciation of characters. There's a C-E/E-C dictionary that comes with the PDA that's better than nothing. Some day soon I'll check out Plecodict. I installed the first preview, but it wasn't worth buying. Hopefully the updated version will have fixed most of the problems.

For anyone who likes a disciplined approach to Chinese study, definitely get Supermemo.

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  • 1 year later...
hdejarne

I've got a Tungsten E. If I want to use Supermemo on the Palm do I need to download a Chinese Font like CJKOS? Is there a cheaper alternative?

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I use plecodict on my tungsten t3. It is my constant companion. For me, Plecodict on the Palm is both faster to use and easier to read than a paper dictionary.

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atitarev

Not quite related but I use my laptop to learn Chinese and other Asian languages. As Nubix said, it' so much faster to look up characters/words. I use a combination of software at different times - Wenlin, NJStar (Word Processor, not Communicator), Wakan, CQuickTrans, MS IME (for input only), HanConv (converter), HanDict (with Unihan database).

I heard feedback that it is hard to get a PDA + software that supports equally, say Chinese and Japanese (no problem on a PC) or works OK with simplified but not traditional, it works for one but not for the other language. Anyone had this problem? My knowledge of PDA support for Asian languages, the cost and availability of software is limited, please bear with me. So, my next question is - how easy/expensive is Chinese WP and dictionary software for PDA's?

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  • 1 month later...
smalltownfart

It's much easier to do multiple languages simultaneously on PocketPC. Since PocketPC supports UTF-8 natively, it can display multiple languages simultaneously (eg Chinese + Russian) using a universal font like Arial Unicode MS (ARIALUNI.TTF), available in MS Word.

This is currently not possible on PalmOS (maybe with some hacking).

Do a search here in the forums, this has been discussed in some detail before.

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atitarev

I don't know the difference between PocketPC and PalmOS, so I am just reading people's opinion. Not sure I can use the search becasue I don't what to look for.

Has PocketPC enough software (dictionaries, WP's for Chinese). Will any of PC application work there?

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self-taught-mba
I don't know the difference between PocketPC and PalmOS, so I am just reading people's opinion. Not sure I can use the search becasue I don't what to look for.

Has PocketPC enough software (dictionaries, WP's for Chinese). Will any of PC application work there?

Do a search for Mike Love in the Pleco forum.

Also see here Palm or Pocket PC? Help!!!!

And from the Pleco web site here

(Mike, can you link to that page from your support database? It took me awhile to find it but I knew it was there)

He talked extensively about Palm versus Pocket PC. He is the owner of Pleco.

I also used Pleco. Additionally my Mandarin school in Beijing buys Pleco for the students studying Chinese in China. It is a really good program. Pricey but definitely worth it.

I personally would like to use Pocket PC, but the fact is is that there are some integration issues related to running Chinese on it. Furthermore, there are many more programs available for the Palm and other Chinese learning softwares including many more open-source/free things.

The selection available alone makes Palm preferable.

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atitarev

It's hard to decide, which one is better based on what you guys suggested and the other discussions :(. Both have pluses and minuses but I am not ready to make another big expense before I understand both.

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roddy

If, like many on here, you are buying a PDA to run Plecodict and learn Chinese on the go, get a Palm OS PDA and you won't be disappointed (well you might, but that's your problem. I think you'll be happy though). If you want to be doing other stuff (multimedia, navigation, whatever) then to be honest you need to look beyond this forum to dedicated PDA discussion groups.

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roddy

Have you tried the Instant Access feature of Pleco? That's the nearest you can get, as far as I know. Adso type pop-ups won't work on handheld browsers (as far as I can see) and other document readers won't even get close.

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Shadowdh

I have an acer n50 ppc and its great... not only can I learn Chinese but I have Russian software installed and a heap of other things... most I can run on the go and the only limitation is memory... invaluable as a learning tool... Pleco rocks imho...

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