Pinyin Output Keyboard

magicspeller

Hi,

First time here. I'm excited to be learning Chinese.

I'm trying to find a keyboard or IME for both Windows and Android. I want to be able to type pinyin (with superimposed tones, so that it doesn't look like the word I just typed!) and get pinyin output so I can text or email a pinyin message.

The "pinyin keyboards" I've tested so far let me type the pinyin, but then they give me a list of Chinese characters to select from. This doesn't help me at all, because I don't know enough characters to know which one to choose. I just want to send the pinyin I typed.

Can anyone help me? (It may be that it's possible to do that with the keyboards I have installed, but if so, I need guidance.)

Thanks!

Eleanor-Rocket-Chinese-Tutor

Hello Magic Speller,

Welcome to the world of Chinese!

If I understood you correctly, renders what you're looking for: pinyin (in letters, not Hanzi or Chinese characters) + tone. Just insert the pinyin letters, and right after each "syllable", type in the tone with Arabic numbers, et voilà!

Hope that does the trick for you. If not, please don't hesitate to let us know, and we'll see how we could be of help. :)


Cheers,
Eleanor

magicspeller

Hi Eleanor,

Yes, that's what I'm looking for. But where is it? Did you intend to include a link? I don't see one.

I found a couple for Windows, and they work well. I still need one for Android, through. I found a site that said Google's keyboard will do that, but I can only figure out how to output hànzì.

Eleanor-Rocket-Chinese-Tutor

Oh no!! My browser's eating words again. Let's give it another shot here: http://web.csulb.edu/~txie/Itool/pinyintextfield.swf 

Although ... halfway through copy-pasting it, I realized you're talking about cell phones, aren't you? Well, the website I provided is for PC's; and if you need it on your phone, I would have to ask around and get back to you on this one. Until then, have a lovely weekend and happy learning!

P.s. I tried everything with Gboard, and nope it's all about Hanzi.


Cheers,
​Eleanor

magicspeller

Thanks. The link displays, but apparently there's a control character or something in there. This is what I get: The requested URL /~txie/Itool/pinyintextfield.swf  was not found on this server.

Anyway, yes, what I need is the same thing for my Android phone and tablet. Thanks.

Eleanor-Rocket-Chinese-Tutor

Hi, 

So I asked & tested around, and can report back that - 

1/ while iOS does, Android doesn't have anything directly satisfying your needs;
2/ however, "Google Pinyin Input" could get you somewhere close!

What you'll have to do is to download the app, make it your device's default keyboard, and then select "English" before you start typing. For consonants, they come out just like English letters. For vowels, long press the alphabet until all kinds of accents that are used as tones appear in a separate box, then slide to whichever tone you're looking for. When I tested with my cellphone, suggestions for word associations in pinyin (not Hanzi) automatically appear! 

Hope this is helpful. :)


Cheers,
Eleanor

magicspeller

Thank so very much, Eleanor! Easy when you know how.  (I'd add an emoji if I could see how!)

Eleanor-Rocket-Chinese-Tutor

Very happy to be of help!

By the way, once you move on to a stage where you might also want to have Hanzi present, simply switch to "Chinese" on the keyboard. In this mode, you can see Hanzi suggestions as you type out each pinyin. Should you want to still keep tones and letters, do the same with vowels (long-press and select accent marks for tones); and press enter immediately after selecting a consonant so it displays as an individual letter.

This case, you can have the perks of both worlds - just that the "enter" key on your cellphone screen might get a little bit tired. ;)



All the best,
Eleanor

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