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markcarter

Hanping Update: Stroke animations, Anki integration, Multi-syllable audio

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markcarter

Greetings! We've recently updated our Hanping Chinese Dictionary (Pro, Lite & Cantonese) Android apps to include stroke animations. The animation data comes from the same source as Arphic Technology's ukai and gkai fonts, which means beautiful Kaiti animations. We've also updated the default Hanzi font in Hanping to use this Kaiti font so that characters can be animated in-place (i.e. without having to bring up a new screen or dialog box).  Alternatively, the system font can still be used, if preferred, as well as any imported font.

 

As you can see from the video below, single-character words are auto-animated whereas multi-character words' animations are manually triggered via long-press. I tried auto-animating multi-character words too, but as cool as it is, it's a little too distracting.

 

hanping-stroke-770KB.gif

 

There's also a stroke numbering mode, for those who don't want to wait for the animation or want less distraction:

 

hanping-stroke-numbered-small.png

 

Here's a breakdown of what's included within each app and what is available via in-app purchase:

 

Hanping Lite: 237 characters

Hanping Pro: 839 characters (HSK1-3) plus 8500+ via in-app purchase

Hanping Cantonese: 839 characters (the most common) plus 8500+ via in-app purchase

 

If you are using both Pro and Cantonese, then the in-app purchases are shared, so you don't need to pay twice!

 

Also, I'd like to say a big thank you to Shaunak at MakeMeAHanzi for his work and support.

 

AnkiDroid Flashcards Integration

 

I spent a lot of time earlier this year working with the AnkiDroid team to extend their Instant Add API they originally introduced last year. As a result, when starring a word in Hanping, flashcard(s) are automatically added to the Hanping deck in AnkiDroid.  This is done completely transparently (assuming you have enabled & configured the integration in settings, of course) and so provides a very easy way to test yourself against words you've starred. Anki also uses the same tagging system as Hanping so it's a perfect match :)  Other features include bulk export of starred words (this is very important since several of our customers have thousands of words starred over the years) as well as updating words (in Anki) that have already been exported.  Furthermore, through Anki's sync feature, this provides a way to take your starred words to any device and test yourself using one of the various Anki clients or just a browser.

 

I spent a lot of time refining the Anki templates for this. As a result, you can change things like simp vs. trad, pinyin vs. zhuyin, coloring etc without changing the notes themselves. Everything is configurable in the template CSS, and you can do things like click on the pinyin to play audio and click on the Hanzi to jump back to the entry in Hanping. More info on the blog post here.

 

This feature is included in Hanping Pro and Hanping Cantonese, at no extra charge.

 

Here's a quick video.

 

Multi-Syllable Audio

 

Since the beginning, Hanping has supported audio playback of multi-character words by stringing together audio for single-syllable sounds (taking into account tone sandhi, of course). This gives a somewhat useful, but rather unrealistic situation for the user. Now Hanping includes studio-quality audio for all multi-syllable sounds in HSK1-5 (HSK6 coming soon).  As before, single-syllable sounds are included in all apps as well as about 150 erhua variants (Mandarin apps).  For multi-syllable recordings:

 

Hanping Lite: HSK 1 only (about 100 multi-syllable words)

Hanping Pro: HSK 1 included, HSK 2-5 (about 1800 multi-syllable words) via in-app purchase, HSK 6 coming soon via in-app purchase

Hanping Cantonese: Single-syllable only

 

===

 

All of the in-app purchases mentioned above are $5 or less (plus sales tax).

 

All our apps can be found on Google Play and Amazon.

 

Thanks very much for all the continued support and please let me know if you have any feedback either below or email: [email protected]

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艾墨本

This is a wonderful update! Thank you.

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markcarter

> This is a wonderful update! Thank you.

 

You're very welcome!

 

Oh, I noticed you recently posted a short list of resources and you mentioned Anki.  Do you mention any apps that provide easy Anki export?  Also, any with free offline stroke animation support?

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艾墨本

Hey @markcarter. Yes, I mentioned pleco which has a nice system for exporting to Anki, though it is far from as integrated as this latest update has made Hanping dictionary. I was a long time user of Hanping due to the simplicity of the user-interface, which I much preferred over the power but full-of-options Pleco interface. 

 

I also love Hanping's OCR camera. It always worked so well for me and was a huge help during my classical chinese coursework. 

 

I'm excited to read some user reviews of the new Hanping system and see if anyone recommends it to the list.

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mikelove

That AnkiDroid integration API looks nice, we'll probably support it in some form with our big update since we're finally migrating away from our wacky internal formatting code system (dating back to the Palm era, when the savings of a single PUA Unicode character versus a made a meaningful difference) and adopting standard HTML5, which should make it much easier to preserve our entry formatting in Anki.

 

We may be competing with Anki in the flashcard space, but we also make a lot of money selling dictionaries to people who then go and export definitions from those dictionaries to use in Anki, so we have every reason to make sure that process is as smooth as it can be.

 

@艾墨本, on the simplicity note: would you mind going into more detail on that? (by PM or email so we don't clutter up the thread) Always looking for ways to streamline things.

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艾墨本

@mikelove, to avoid side tracking the thread from this wonderful update, I'll message it to you instead.

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markcarter

@艾墨本 Anki integration as a bulk export is useful but, as you hinted, Hanping goes much much further than this.  First of all, it has to be done automatically. The user should not need to remember to perform some export/sync function. Secondly, it needs to handle edits on both the client (e.g. Hanping) and Anki side. For example, in Hanping, if you've starred a sentence, and then later you apply a Google Translate translation to the definition (because there is no dictionary definition for that sentence), then the corresponding Anki flashcard (Anki Note) needs to be updated automatically. On the other side it's important that edits (of exported words) in Anki are not overwritten (without user agreement). The other part is the sophistication of the Anki template I developed, which relies heavily on Javascript. You can see these templates in action here: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1907668496

 

Thanks very much for your kind words regarding our software. Surely, those can translate to a mention in your list (especially now that it's the only software to include offline stroke animations for free) ;)

 

Here is a very recent review:

 

https://zhongruige.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/in-paper-versus-electric-dictionaries-electric-wins/

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mikelove

(especially now that it's the only software to include offline stroke animations for free) ;)

 

We'll have a few hundred of them in our free app as of our next bug-fix update (maybe as many as a thousand, still debating that) - was planning that for a while now anyway because of Written Chinese Dictionary, which is available now both on iOS and Android and offers considerably more offline stroke animations for free than you do. (licensed from eStroke)

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markcarter

Ah yes, I forgot about Written Chinese Dictionary; I appreciate the correction. They should be congratulated on starting the ball rolling for free offline stroke animations.

 

They use GIFs (4400 animations totalling 260MB) for their animations which is quite large (note: they've done an excellent job optimising the GIFs down to that size) but probably not a big deal for most devices these days. Wenlin's CDL data (used in Pleco) is probably the one that takes the least space. The MakeMeAHanzi data is pretty good too; small enough that I could bundle all of them (9500 animations totalling 5MB) in the APK without much controversy.

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markcarter

I've recently updated (version 6.0) our dictionary apps to include a powerful new tagging system.

 

Also, for those of you in China, you can download from QQ.

For those of you outside China (or with access to a VPN in China), as usual the apps are available on Google Play Store.

 

select_custom_tags_dialog.thumb.png.744812005c8c2cee7aa43ed26e051dd1.png tab_tags.thumb.png.7b5be475659f17b6ebd48a819bc125c2.png

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markcarter

Greetings! Here is a round-up of Hanping updates over the past few months:

  • Hanping Chinese Dictionary Lite (free version) now includes our popular and recently-improved homescreen widgets (which used to be Pro-only). These widgets allow you browse words from predefined tags (e.g. HSK 3) or your own custom tags, right on your homescreen. You can star, copy, play audio directly from the widget as well as auto-advance, resize and separately configure multiple widgets at once.
  • Clipboard monitoring notifications (Lite & Pro) have been improved to fit better with the system styling (see screenshot) and support custom tagging
  • Now you can add your own custom notes to any word/sentence regardless of whether it is in a dictionary or not. This might be a translation, definition or simply a comment. It can be as long as you like. This note will show up when browsing tag lists and also for entries shown in Hanping Camera and Hanping Popup.

widgets.thumb.png.ebb6cf56486915d6fe6550245d4971e5.pngclipboard-monitoring-sentence-expanded.thumb.png.297c646f5e2d41b4210896a4bd88f49b.pngtab_tags.thumb.png.8244bb7c37ea9c2c30aa930c240d39c4.png

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