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Thread: Using Hanyu Pinyin to solve Chinese Language deficiencies

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Default Using Hanyu Pinyin to solve Chinese Language deficiencies

    I would like to know if anyone has developed a Hanyu Pinyin version of the Bible for use in BW? And is there a way to have it synchronized with the character version? This would allow word searches in Pinyin for those learning Mandarin (there are many who aren't that good at characters). It may allow the full program's tool set to be used.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default

    probably the easiest way to do that is to export the database of your chinese text, then use a hanzi to pinyin conversion tool to convert the chinese characters to pinyin. Save the result as a text file and compile a pinyin version using BW's version database compiler.
    one such free tool is: http://www.mandarinchineseschool.com...o%20Pinyin.zip

    the website http://www.mandarinchineseschool.com also has other free chinese learning resources.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2004
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    Default

    I hope the suggestion here works. But remember that in order to use the version database compiler, you need a .txt file in Roman characters. I do not know enough about pinyin to know if that will work. The current Chinese versions in BibleWorks are in double byte fonts and export in Unicode. So whatever the converter does, it has to take a Unicode text and produce a simple .txt file. And I do not know what font you would use to compile it in BibleWorks. I wish you God's blessings in trying to do this.
    Mark Eddy

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
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    Default

    it should work if you convert to pinyin without the tones and underneath hanzi characters., for then the pinyin will be just roman characters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Pinyin conversion

    Hi. I'm new here and just jumped in to provide a bit of information on Pinyin conversions.

    The best converter is Key Chinese, which is software, not a Web site. It's not free; but the demo version is fully functional for 30 days. A close second is Wenlin, another program that is not inexpensive. Both are high-quality software. If you want to undertake a project as major as a Bible conversion, I don't recommend using anything other than these two programs. Anything else would be a waste of your time. Key would be the faster of the two to use. (Key can also produce material with Pinyin above the relevant Chinese characters.)

    A distant third is the converter at Popupchinese.com.

    In fourth place is Google Translate's romanization function, which I do not recommend unless they fix some serious problems.

    From what I've seen, everything other than those does an especially poor job and should be avoided.

    Here are some related instructions that may be useful:
    http://pinyin.info/news/2010/how-to-...yin-subtitles/

    If Bibleworks uses Unicode, then it should be able to handle Pinyin with tone marks without a problem. But it's also easy to strip out tone marks, if absolutely necessary. (See info in the above link.)

    The Jehovah's Witnesses put out some good material in both Pinyin and Chinese characters. It may be useful as a reference.

    I hope this helps.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    May 2004
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    Default Too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    I hope the suggestion here works. But remember that in order to use the version database compiler, you need a .txt file in Roman characters. I do not know enough about pinyin to know if that will work. The current Chinese versions in BibleWorks are in double byte fonts and export in Unicode. So whatever the converter does, it has to take a Unicode text and produce a simple .txt file. And I do not know what font you would use to compile it in BibleWorks. I wish you God's blessings in trying to do this.
    Mark Eddy
    I think this solution is too complicated for me. I'm still having problems doing advanced searches in BibleWorks. Also, to drop tones from the characters when in Pinyin opens up a wide array of potential meanings, making it very difficult to know what is meant. For example, wu (without a tone, can mean five different things) but with the 3rd tone it means '5' normally. So either tone markings over the words (my preference) or the standard number of the tone right after the roman characters would help define things much more clearly.

    Honestly I'm about to post a question about searches in BW and don't think I could every do a version db compiler and have confidence that it was done correctly. Perhaps we have a Chinese scholar on here who would be able to do this and spot check it to make sure it seems accurate and offer that for the rest of us?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    123

    Lightbulb PINYIN Example

    Here's an example of PINYIN for those unfamiliar.

    In English we say 'hello'. In Chinese they say 你好 In Pinyin this is Ni3 hao3 (Nǐ hǎo)

    Each character in Chinese is represented in Pinyin as a syllable with a tone marker. Mandarin Chinese has four tones and one toneless marker.
    These are marked a little like Greek accent marks...except different. They also can be marked with an arabic number after each syllable.
    Without those, pinyin is a lot harder to read. Even with those there are many pinyin characters that are basically identical...so context becomes critical.

    But in essence anyone (and there are a growing number of us out there) who cannot read Chinese Characters, can still pronounce Chinese using tonal markings and Pinyin. So a Bible database in Pinyin is really a great idea. And going to the point where one could switch between Traditional or Simplified Characters with Pinyin on the flashcard or in the text allows a group of Chinese (ABC and Asian born) to read together. This is because many ABC's cannot read characters as well as Americans like myself who are trying to learn Chinese.

    Also I think it would be a marketing stroke of genius if BW put these sort of flashcards for the program as separate modules on iPhone and Android apps for free or a very small fee to get people into part of the program.

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