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Lesson 4 How do Chinese people type Chinese characters?

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This lesson explains how Chinese people type out Chinese characters. You'll also see why you should prioritize learning how to read Chinese characters over how to write them.
This lesson explains how Chinese people type out Chinese characters. You'll also see why you should prioritize learning how to read Chinese characters over how to write them.

Comments (59)

If you're interested in typing pinyin on Windows, I found https://www.pinyinput.net/ to fit the bill. It's super easy to install and use. Just switch to pinyinput input mode, type the word in pinyin, then type the tone number and hit enter. Ta daaa! Instant pinyin with the tone marker in the correct place. So cool. I find it makes typing up my vocabulary lists so easy. I switch to the Chinese (Simplified) input mode for typing full characters.
steve917 2 months 3 weeks ago
Cool tip! Thanks!
JonathanYoyo 2 months 3 weeks ago
Watching a skilled Chinese writer using a black board is mezmerising, and the results spectacular.
Gwynfor 1 year 2 months ago
Yeah, even better have you looked into Chinese calligraphy? It really is a work of art.
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 2 months ago
I used Google to find out how to download the Chinese keyboard. Lecture notes aren't needed at the moment.
duhnoota 1 year 2 months ago
Actually the message I get when trying to see the lecture notes is "page not found"
duhnoota 1 year 2 months ago
Thanks for bring this to our attention, it has been resolved.
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 2 months ago
I wanted to find the reference download for entering Chinese characters, but the download center doesn't list it. I thought it might be in the lecture notes, but when I clicked on them I was told they are not available for this lesson.
duhnoota 1 year 2 months ago
awesome!! you teach me from the bottom of problem... i show me what i really need. Thanks yangyang!!!!
mrquangchanh 1 year 5 months ago
不客气!
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 5 months ago
How should I install chinese character keyboard for windows 10? i keep getting unavailable for this version of windows
Hojo Kuniko 1 year 6 months ago
nope got it. it's the same as windows 8.
Hojo Kuniko 1 year 6 months ago
These are my favorites: http://pinyin.sogou.com/ http://qq.pinyin.cn/ They are much better than the pinyin entry on windows or linux.
Kazuke Li 1 year 6 months ago
很好课老师! 谢谢您
Amorim 1 year 10 months ago
应该是(yīng gāi shì) - it should be 好课 (hǎo kè) - good lesson or 很好的课 - very good lesson. Thanks for the nice words. :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
I am trying to install the Chinese character keyboard on Window XP and followed the instructions on the guide. When I type a word, e.g. "wo", I only get one Chinese character back instead of a choice of several Chinese characters. Please help. Thank you so much.
Sianoei3 1 year 10 months ago
Hmm, can you try pressing the down arrow button? There should be a list of characters that you may choose from. Hope that helps. Let us know if the problem still exists.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
Thank you for your help. I have to press "enter" to get the first character; then I press the left or right arrow, and I get the list of characters. I then choose the character with the mouse. A bit cumbersome, but it works.
Sianoei3 1 year 10 months ago
I use Google Pinyin IME and the best part of it is being able to use shorthand for common phrases (and it will learn words that you use a lot): "w x h" instead of "wo xihuan" for 我喜欢 or "z g r" for 中国人
Alex Casey 2 years 1 week ago
I would +1 this if I could. Although this can backfire amusingly when you try to use an abbreviated form that isn't the most common interpretation of those initials, and don't notice it until after you've sent the message. ;) Especially useful on mobile phones.
chambm 1 year 10 months ago
Yes, that's really cool, isn't it! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 days ago
How do Chinese people type, or used to type, using a regular old typewriter machine?
Astete 2 years 2 weeks ago
There were Chinese typewriters back in the days too. Unlike English typewriter, a Chinese typewriter is much more complicated.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 weeks ago edited
There's an interesting article in wikipedia about this subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_typewriter
Corey 2 years 2 weeks ago
Good article, thank you!
Astete 2 years 2 weeks ago
Good read. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 2 weeks ago
Do Chinese people increase the text size on their browsers to read characters, or have they learned to read characters that are very small?
psamet 2 years 1 month ago
That's an interesting question. Chinese people can read directly from Chinese sites without increasing the text size, unless the sites intensionally make the characters too small to read.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 1 month ago
Would you mind to add instructions for Linux as well? I would gladly help with that.
clako 2 years 2 months ago
To do that completely would be a big task. There are so many different types of Linux desktops out there: KDE, Gnome classic, Gnome 3+, Cinnamon, Ubuntu's Unity, ... each with its own method of handling multiple language input methods, and Linux is running on only about 1.5% of personal computers. If you wanted to pick one, probably Ubuntu Unity would be the most popular. However, my gut feel is that most Linux users are pretty tech savvy and can figure it out on their own.
Corey 2 years 2 months ago
Even if 1.5% would be true, it would mean 400+ people from your FB followers. And what if 1.5 isn't correct as it depends mostly on data collected in North America? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_adoption#Measuring_desktop_adoption The difference between desktop environments isn't a big deal, it's about the graphical interface only. Half of the top 10 Linux distro users' OS is Debian based. Many of my friends started to use Linux in the past years, but only a few of them are "tech savvy" :)
clako 2 years 2 months ago
This is the best for linux: http://pinyin.sogou.com/
Kazuke Li 1 year 6 months ago
Just to be clear, I am a student here; I don't work for Yoyo Chinese :-) You say "it's about the graphical interface only", well that's the point! You add another input method by using the graphical interface, and each of those interfaces is at least a bit different. Ubuntu is Debian-based, but not vice versa, i.e. I can't use Unity instructions on other Debian-based distros that doesn't use Unity, not to mention all of the others like Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce, etc.
Corey 2 years 2 months ago
I downloaded the Google pinyin app on my Android but I didn't follow through as it as it came up with the message "THIS IMPUT METHOD MAY BE ABLE TO COLLECT ALL TEXT YOU TYPE INCLUDING PERSONAL DATA LIKE PASSWORDS AND CREDIT CARD NUMBERS" If I allowed that would it be a security issue? Is there any way to prevent this happening? Would this be safe or will I compromise my security I AM 70 YEARS OLD AND I DO NOT YU
malncoll 2 years 3 months ago
We use Google pinyin too, and have not experienced any security issue. It should be okay. Have fun studying characters with us. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
Just so you know: this is a generic warning that Android will give for any keyboard which you install. Might be worth putting it on the lecture notes for people in the future?
ChrisS 2 years 3 months ago
Yes, you are right. Thank you for pointing that out.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
"requested site is unavailable or cannot be found"
Angel500 2 years 3 months ago
We've checked the download link under the video, however, it seems to work properly. Would you please try using a different browser or restart your device? Please let us know if the problem still exists.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
I cannot download lecture notes.
Angel500 2 years 3 months ago
Entering chinese characters or words is one thing, writing text in pinyin is another. Most Windows fonts do support pinyin characters showing the letter carrectly for example having been pasted from a proper source as YoYo website. Bot how to enter pinyin directly with all combinations of tones from keyboard (I use a german layout) fluently. The french way of entering diacritic additions does not match really, .no 3rd tone, (ü3 ?!) How does Yoyo team prepare all this super lecture notes
幸福熨衣服 2 years 3 months ago
You can use this web site to obtain the text: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/webime2_pinyin.php
Corey 2 years 3 months ago
I have a Chinese keyboard
Nhinks 2 years 3 months ago
On a recommendation from a friend in China, I downloaded the sou1gou3 (搜狗)pinyin input program. It seems to work fine with Windows 7. Do you have a preference about whether to use sougou or any other pinyin input? The main problem with sougou, of course, is that all the instructions and the web site are in Chinese, so it's a bit challenging for a beginner.
Adrian Widdowson 2 years 3 months ago
The Google one is quite good too, but the instructions for it are in Chinese as well :) I used to use it when I used Windows. You can find it here: http://www.google.com/intl/zh-CN/ime/pinyin/ These days, I almost exclusively use Linux, which has a very good input method editor called IBus smart pinyin.
Corey 2 years 3 months ago
Nothing simple is simple. Doesn't matter. I am a man of many sharpened pencils. I'm pumped. I can't wait to start!
Strain 2 years 3 months ago
Thank you for offering this course! I am interested in learning to write the characters as well (I am an art student planning to study Chinese art and calligraphy in China next year). So I would be happy to do the writing exercises you mention in the video :)
red13 2 years 3 months ago
Thank you so much for choosing Yoyo Chinese. Good luck with your Chinese studies. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
It's real fun to be able to type Chinese words on my computer using pinyin. Besides, using my Mac, I can dictate sentences I've learned in this course or read aloud some from books and have the computer write them for me. Then, I know whether I am pronouncing the tones correctly or not, as I can see if the right characters are written by the computer. I suppose such a feature exist for Windows users as well.
Jacko 2 years 3 months ago
Jacko, I also use Mac, mainly iPhone, and I have the Chinese keyboard, the Pleco dictionary app, and google translate app. Between these three, and the knowledge I have gained from this course, I am able to type messages in Chinese characters that I could otherwise not even read! In the process, I have begun to recognize a number of characters without even trying to learn them yet. I suspect Android or Windows phone users could use the same techniques.
Kristi 2 years 3 months ago
That's great to hear! Good job! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
Interesting
China Doll 2 years 3 months ago
For Linux (Ubuntu), see pinyinjoe.com
dmdnb9s 1 year 10 months ago
Thanks for the information.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
I'm really happy to see the character course begin. Wish me luck!
Baxter 2 years 3 months ago
Top notch info! You have answered several questions that I have sought answers to over the past few months. One of the guys(from Singapore) who worked in my lab for a while,was educated at Western schools and Imperial College of Science. He informed me that he could speak Chinese with his family , but his written Chinese was very poor! I have seen pictures of the very old Chinese typewriters on the "Wikipedia" site. Thank you for the spot on info.
dreadnought 2 years 3 months ago
That's great to hear! We are glad that we've answered your questions. Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
That's great to hear! We are glad that we've answered your questions. Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 3 months ago
I FEEL LEARNING TO WRITE CHINESE CHARACTERS ON ONES OWN BUILDS CONFIDENCE AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM DOING AND IT GIVES ME SO MUCH PLEASURE. Great course and great presentation.
PAPACHINESE 2 years 3 months ago
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