Writing Chinese Characters pen input to mac?

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Piezzzii Tre

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Nov 7, 2018, 9:03:06 PM11/7/18
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Hi there,

I've just arrive in Beijing and recently began my studies. My reading of Chinese is rudimentary but I can understand better. So I would like to be able to read some books in Chinese and I would like to input them into a translator program and learn new words that way.

I was wondering if anyone knows of any particular pen writing input for the mac and also that's it affordable?

I know I can use my keypad on the MBP to input characters, but is there any other pen like devices that also enable me to do so? I search for Penpower on taobao and came up with a few items, but i don't know the relaibility of these devices and if it's compatible with Mac 10.8. (yes I'm kindof backward in my os, but I'm really happy with it due to age of my MBP)

best

Piez

Kerim Friedman

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Nov 7, 2018, 11:13:56 PM11/7/18
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The macbook has built-in handwriting input via the trackpad. 


You can buy pens that work on the trackpad, but don't know how well they work. Here is an article about using one with the wireless magic trackpad:


You might also consider the new iPad with apple pencil 2...


Kerim

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教授國立東華大學族群關係與文化學系

Kang-Ling Weng

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Nov 8, 2018, 2:29:44 AM11/8/18
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Hi Piez,

this is a tiny offtopic,
but in additon to what Kerim suggested.
You can also look into Pleco for iOS.
If you can use Handwriting on the iPhone or use the Apple Pencil on the iPad it is pretty mighty.
You can let it speak out the words you look up and it does also support OCR via the device's camera.

I started using it when they released it for palm handhelds and I am still using it now on iOS.
20 years ago it was already very awesome and now it is even better.

best regards
Jacky

PS: I do not work for Pleco, and I was not paid to write this.

Jean Soulat (Smarthanzi.net)

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Nov 9, 2018, 4:13:11 AM11/9/18
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Hi All,
Off topic too: Pleco is an excellent tool for smartphone, SmartHanzi is not that bad for laptop (Windows, Mac).
PS: I am the developer of SmartHanzi. More seriously:

SmartHanzi targets more specifically reading texts, e.g. Web pages. Translations are based on usual dictionaries (CC-CEDICT for English) but the app adds indications on etymology and other stuff to help memorize unknown characters. More developments to come in next months. The Mac version is on Mac App Store. The app is also available for mobile. All versions are free.

Feedback welcome.

Best regards,
Jean

Kang-Ling Weng

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Nov 9, 2018, 4:27:32 AM11/9/18
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I do agree with Jean.

On my Mac I use brower - SmartHanzi on daily basis.
I never realized that there is an app …. *shame*

thx

Jean Soulat (Smarthanzi.net)

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Nov 9, 2018, 5:41:18 PM11/9/18
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Thanks, Jacky.

Piezzzii Tre

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Nov 10, 2018, 8:47:05 PM11/10/18
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thanks for all your advice!

Yes I'm using Pleco and goggle translate for my daily word translation. I don't seem to be able to use Pleco voice input though, which is strange, but it works well in google translate. At times it senses the wrong words, so it's problem with my pronunciation. I have an ipad mini  and a simple writing pen for that.

Well I would like to have a whole paragraph translated, so using it in Pleco would be tedious as it breaks it up into words. So for now, I guess I'll have to input words on the ipad mini and saved it as a text file and send it to my mac to have the whole sentences / paragraph translated. That way I can use google translate and get both read out and hanyu pinyin for me to read and correct my pronunciation.

best
Piez

Vitaly Osipov

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Nov 11, 2018, 10:22:24 PM11/11/18
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Jean,

I have even made a Pleco dictionary out of Lawrence Howell's
"etymology" PDF (https://www.slideshare.net/KanjiNetworks/) - it's
helpful for coming up with mnemonics/explanations for tough
characters. I place "etymology" in quotes, because AFAIK those purely
"meaning" based derivations, ignoring any phonetic considerations, are
not well-recognised.

Asking because Smart Hanzi appears to use the same source - what's the
copyright status on Howell's (and a collaborator Morimoto) text and
derivative works?


Regards,
Vitaly

Vitaly Osipov

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Nov 11, 2018, 10:22:27 PM11/11/18
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Google Translate has an app, you can copy-paste in it if you wish. You
can download GT translation files for Chinese once and use it offline.
Not sure this will work for the voice/OCR input part as well.
Moreover, "Yandex Translate" app (not from Google but quite good) has
a widget for translating web pages in-place (it's in "share" popup of
Safari browser).

As an aside - Google have acquired a licence to Tencent's translation
engine a couple of years ago, which massively improved the quality of
GT output. Which makes me sure there are Chinese apps that do
translation even better.

PS an opinion on Pleco - it is an excellent offline dictionary lookup
shell, but it lacks in other areas. Use the best tool for your
particular task :)

Regards,
Vitaly

Jean Soulat (Smarthanzi.net)

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Nov 12, 2018, 3:04:22 AM11/12/18
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Hi Vitaly,

I requested the authorization from Lawrence Howell when he closed his Kanji Networks website. There was already a link exchange between Kanji Networks and SmartHanzi.net/SmartKanji.net

Regards,
Jean
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