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Shape-based computer input?

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So you mean that "鱼" means the sound "yú", which in turn means "fish"? This sounds a bit counter-intuitive to me, considering that (and do correct me if I am wrong) means "fish" in all languages that use Chinese symbols for writing, even though it would sound different when read out loud. What I have done is instead to connect "" directly to the meaning "fish" (by which I mean the concept of "fish", ie the mental images and associations, rather than the English word).


On a philosophical level what I'm am denying is that there is such a thing as a pre-linguistic concept called "fish". Indeed, even to say "fish" I have to use English. By adding English words to Chinese characters you aren't learning the "meaning" of the word in as much as you are attributing English sounds to Chinese characters. Chinese isn't a "universal script" that contains meanings independent of languages. The Chinese characters are just squiggles if it didn't represent language sounds at some point. We don't say that the latin alphabet has meaning independent of language even though the word "detail" represents the same 'meaning' in German and English. Neither should we think of Chinese characters in this way. But this is a separate argument from what I wanted to emphasise.


What I wanted to emphasise is that Chinese characters DO contain phonetic information in a way that resembles a syllabary. Leaving aside the discussion about the "meaning" of characters, there are actual patterns in Chinese characters that show how to pronounce them. Look at 僵 疆 韁 - the right hand side components of these characters are identical. They are all pronounced "jiang1". This is not a coincidence. Most Chinese characters have parts which provide phonetic information (in this case 畺). If you start calling these characters "stiff" "border" and "reins" this phonetic information is completely invisible. It's invisible because Chinese is not a universal script, but a phonetic script designed to represent the sounds of the Chinese languages.


edit: I agree completely with Limo

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Basically, we are questioning this method because you will probably end up teaching yourself "bad habits" for quick gains in the short term, but once you go back and try to "do it properly" you'll have a much harder time unlearning those bad habits.

@Joar, I know you have your reasons, but it's really worth sitting down and objectively thinking about their validity.  People here aren't giving you this advice just to naysay your ideas.  They are giving it to you because they are coming from a position of more knowledge with regards to the Chinese language.  You're still coming up against the freshness and novelty of the language and things that seem to work at your current level will fall apart (and or hold you back) as you progress.


What LiMo says in the above quote is spot on, and you'd be wise to heed that advice, even if it means you feel like it's holding you back initially.

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