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zhouhaochen

Does Pleco have a Chinese name?

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Angelina

you mean the 爱Phone?

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eddyf

Considering Pleco has always been entirely focused on the market of English speakers learning Chinese, I don't really see why it even needs an official Chinese name. It doesn't need to market itself to Chinese speakers or anything. It doesn't even support switching the menus in the app to Chinese as far as I know. If you want to talk about Pleco while talking in Chinese, then directly calling it "Pleco" as a loanword seems like the most natural approach to me. Chinese speakers these days are used to English loanwords for brand names and sometimes even prefer them over the official transliterated name. For example LinkedIn's Chinese name is 领英 but I have been told that this name is awkward and people just call it LinkedIn instead. Or if you must transliterate "Pleco", then you can pretty much do it in whichever way you want. 

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imron
I don't really see why it even needs an official Chinese name

From the very first post:

 

"We always try to speak as much Chinese with our students as possible and try to avoid English in communication"
 

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Demonic_Duck

That's why LTL needs wants it to have a Chinese name, not why it actually needs one.

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zhouhaochen

It doesn't have to have one and this decision ultimately is really up to Mike of course.

 

I personally however think that a Chinese English dictionary should have a name in both Chinese and English, even though for marketing you are of course right, most customers will not be that good at Chinese yet and more easily remember something written in the Latin Alphabet (which it does - it is just a transliteration).

 

My original main question was whether there was something other than the transliteration. Turned out there was not really, but there were some interesting suggestions for changing that.

 

Let's see what Mike says - it is his App after all.

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mikelove

I do like that 念鱼 idea pretty well - I think re imron's point that despite the fact that it's backwards for character composition purposes it would have to be 念鱼 rather than 鱼念 since "fish study" doesn't make a whole lot of sense as an actual word, but this is obviously something that I'll have to run past more people. My biggest issue with it actually is that I don't particularly like how 'Niànyú' sounds, but that's another case where the reactions of some native speakers would be more useful than my own.

 

As far as the larger point of whether or not we need a Chinese brand name at all - we actually have been toying with trying to do just a little bit more for the China market in general, mostly because, between the iOS App Store booming in China (just surpassed US App Store revenue, in fact) and the recent addition of Alipay support to our online store for Android (so we can actually sell our Android app in China relatively easily despite Google Play's not being a factor there), we now have a reasonable shot at making money from Chinese consumers if we can come up with something they might want to buy.

 

I still don't think we're likely to do a product for Chinese speakers learning English - I continue to feel that in that area the competition is too big + too rich and would instantly rip off + undercut us on any innovation we might make - but I do think we might at least make more of an effort to offer our now rather impressive collection of Chinese-Chinese titles to native speakers wanting a better reference for their own language. So that would mean finally localizing our UI / manual in Chinese, and it would also give us a strong business incentive to have a less foreign-sounding name to avoid turning off potential customers who wanted a Chinese-Chinese dictionary.

 

So yeah, it's a definite 'maybe,' and thanks for the nudge / reminder :-)

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eddyf

I think even now I've gotten some Chinese speakers to start using Pleco, not only for the C-C titles but also C-E and E-C. With a localized UI maybe even more would want to use it. But I guess by "do a product for Chinese speakers learning English" you mean add English pronunciations and recordings, flashcards for English words, E-E dictionaries, etc. At that point if you were going to do through the work of adding all that, you probably might as well make it a generic app for learning any language from any language...

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Demonic_Duck

Getting away from the original topic somewhat now, but does the product itself really need that much localizing to appeal to the Chinese market? Sure, having the UI in Chinese would help, and the business model would have to be adapted, but seems to me the core product is already pretty well suited to Chinese learners of English. Certainly no reason in principle that a product primarily offering C-E and E-C dictionaries couldn't work equally well both ways. Though of course offering E-E dictionaries and having features like reader and OCR work for English wouldn't hurt either.

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Angelina

I think advanced learners of Chinese would certainly benefit from having the UI in Chinese. I admit there are times I choose Bing over Pleco because I don't want to leave my Chinese thought, even though Pleco is extremely user-friendly. 

 

Chinese people might be interested too, there are many obscure characters. I remembered I was using Encarta Dictionary for English. It was meant for native speakers, but I discovered it. Chinese users might discover Pleco despite not being the original audience.

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AdamD

I think even now I've gotten some Chinese speakers to start using Pleco

 

I've met dozens of Chinese speakers who are blown away by Pleco, although once I mention some of the features cost money they go straight back to 有道.

 

At that point if you were going to do through the work of adding all that, you probably might as well make it a generic app for learning any language from any language...

 

I agree that Pleco is eminently suited to English speakers learning Mandarin/Cantonese, and that chasing other combinations could diminish what makes it great.

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zhouhaochen

I am all for a Chinese User Interface for students studying Mandarin. There is nothing better to get immersed in Chinese than using software in it. It might slow you down, it might be more troublesome, but once your favorite app is in Chinese only you really start to live Chinese.

 

And if you dont know the character, you have all the tools to look it up right there.

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AdamD

There is nothing better to get immersed in Chinese than using software in it.

Totally agree. My iPhone has been in Chinese for around five years. It really helped my learning because I was forced to work with Chinese all the time, and Pleco was always under my nose in case I got stuck. I'm now so used to the Chinese interface that switching to English completely throws me.

Everyone here who has a basic grip on characters and knows their phone well should give it a try. If you know the words 设置, 通用, 语言, 编辑 and 完成, you can easily find your way back to English.

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LinZhenPu

With software in Chinese, I find it too easy to figure out which buttons to press through trial and error without learning what the characters on the buttons actually are, but that's just me :o)

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