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rossg

Wubi question

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rossg

Hey. I was looking into wubi mainly just for fun, but had a question. Is there any way to type multiple characters at once in Wubi like you can in pinyin or do you have to press the space bar after every single character? I'm having trouble imagining how it could be faster than pinyin (for a skilled typist) if he/she is constantly mashing the space bar!.. Then again I probably am constantly mashing my space bar when typing English I'm just not as consciously aware.. Thanks.

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Publius

You can type words and phrases as well.

For two-character sequences, type the 1st & 2nd code of the first character, followed by the 1st & 2nd code of the second character, e.g. 中文 = khyy (口丨文丶)

For three-character sequences, it's 1st, 1st, 1st+2nd, e.g. 打字机 = rpsm (扌宀木几)

For four-character sequences, it's 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, e.g. 五笔字型 = gtpg (五竹宀一)

For phrases longer than four characters, take the 1st code from each of the first three characters plus the 1st code of the last character, e.g. 中华人民共和国 = kwwl (口亻人囗)

The speed mainly comes from the fact that you don't have to look at the screen to pick the right character from a list. When multiple candidates exist for a given code sequence, their order is fixed. A skilled typist knows which one is at which position and he can use ; for example to select the second candidate. In other words, he can touch type.

And don't forget, at the time of Wubi's invention, most Pinyin input methods were limited to one character at a time. Today of course it's another story.

 

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imron

You usually aren't mashing the spacebar.

 

Any decent Wubi input method will have an option to automatically output the character(s) when a full sequence is reached.  The speed comes because a single 4 character combination often outputs more than a single character  e.g. to type '我喜欢用五笔打字' I would enter 'q fkcqet ggttrspb'  compared to the equivalent in a sentence based pinyin method which would be 'woxihuanyongwubidazi '.  That's not a huge saving (17 vs 21 keys) but for sentences that have 3 or 4 character words then the savings tend to be greater.   The other savings come as Publius mentioned of not needing to look at the screen to proofread that the input was correct.

 

That being the case, the best benefit a learner of Chinese has in using Wubi is that it trains you to break down characters in to their constituent parts and makes you engage active recall of characters when typing, as opposed to pinyin based methods which only require passive recall.

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rossg

On a side note, is there an easier way to type 那 with wubi? "vfb" or "nftb" seems very awkward for such a common character

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imron

There isn't an easier way to type it by itself, but you'll often find that you type it with something else and then you'll find that there are many common combinations that use it, for example 'vfgh' gives me 那个, 'vftc' gives me 那么 and so on. 

 

This follows the rules for 2 character combinations where you type the first two roots of each character in the sequence.

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Publius

Nope. But you can type 那种、那个、那天、那边、那家、那份、那张、那是 etc. together :P

If your IME supports 'z' or whatever key for pinyin->wubi lookup, you can use it to check what's available.

(cross-posted with imron)

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imron
1 hour ago, Publius said:

(cross-posted with imron)

You beat me with the first reply, I beat you with the second :mrgreen:

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rossg

Do you guys know if there is any logic to the final components of 看, 年, and, 牛? They are 白目土, 白目, and 白目口 respectively. I assume the 土, 日, and 口 are disambiguations of some type, but I don't understand why they were chosen. 

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Publius

It's a two digit code called 末笔识别码.

The first digit is the shape of the last stroke: 1=横, 2=竖, 3=撇, 4=捺, 5=折. It corresponds to the five areas of the keyboard.

The second digit is the overall structure of the whole character: 1=上下形, 2=左右形, 3=其它形(整体字、外内形、半包围形等).

看=rhf, f=12, 1 means the last stroke is 横, 2 means the character can easily be divided into top half (看头) and bottom half (目).

牛=rhk, k=23, 2 means the last stroke is 竖, 3 means the character can't be easily divided into two halves.

扑=rhy, y=41, 4 means the last stroke is 捺(点), 1 means the character can be divided into left half (手) and right half (卜).

 

 

 

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rossg

Awesome thanks again. I've been having fun typing at a snail pace with wubi :) lol

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imron

What OS and input method are you using?

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Publius

Yeah, have fun! :D

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rossg

I'm just using the built in wubi on my macbook pro. It might suck. Even when I type the code for 牛, 年 shows up as the first option, and, as far as I know, it offers no way to select 牛 without either looking or knowing I will have to press "2".

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Publius

年 shows up because it's a common character and is assigned a 二级简码 rh.

You don't need to look if you type in the full sequence, i.e. rhk for 牛, rhfk for 年 (丿一一、丨、十、23).

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rossg

But I don't know of a full sequence that lets me just type 牛. rhk shows 年 as the first option for me

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imron
39 minutes ago, rossg said:

I'm just using the built in wubi on my macbook pro.

 

I figured this was the case when I saw you type 白目土 for 看, and I want to warn you that not only does it suck, it will likely slow down your learning.  It's really that horrible.

 

I've used WBIM for a long time and I was going to recommend it earlier in the thread however it appears the developer has disappeared and it's no longer available (except through third-party download sites, which I wouldn't particularly trust).  I did a bit of hunting and discovered 清歌输入法, which I've been using on and off for the last couple of days and it seems quite decent (I refuse to use the Baidu or Sogou ones).

 

There are two things about it that will really help you, first is that unlike macos' builtin wubi it will show a candidate window with suggestions (and remaining key sequences) to complete the word/character.  The second thing is that it allows mixed pinyin and wubi input (so you can type either wubi or pinyin) and if you type pinyin then the candidate window will show the characters plus their corresponding wubi sequences.  This can really help when you're trying to figure out how to type a certain character or sequence of characters.

 

I'd also recommend looking at a typing training program.  Several years back there was a really good one for windows called 五笔快打, but that developer has also gone out of business so you'll probably not be able to find a registration key even if you can find a download for it.  Kingsoft also makes one (also for windows) called 金山打字通 which wasn't as good (many years ago) as 五笔快打 and I haven't used it for years so I don't know if it's gotten better or worse but it's still around at least.  I did a brief search but didn't find a native 五笔 typing tutor for macOS.  If you run windows in a VM, definitely check out 金山打字通 though.  For windows my favourite 五笔 IME is 极点五笔 .

 

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Publius

Hmm, doesn't sound right. I don't have a macbook. Is it wubi86 or wubi98?

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imron
3 minutes ago, rossg said:

But I don't know of a full sequence that lets me just type 牛. rhk shows 年 as the first option for me

Download 清歌输入法 turn on mixed wubi/pinyin, type 'niu' and the first option you'll see is 牛(rhk) then 妞(vnfg) and so on.

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imron
1 minute ago, Publius said:

Hmm, doesn't sound right.

See my above post about how the builtin wubi on macOS is awful.

 

2 minutes ago, Publius said:

I don't have a macbook. Is it wubi86 or wubi98?

It's 86, but I get the impression it was developed by people who don't actually type 五笔.

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