Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
ZhengMa Tutorial

ZhengMa Tutorial

Ratings:

4.0

(1)
|Views: 1,856 |Likes:
Published by iammegatron
ZhengMa

A Brief Introduction for English Speakers

Learning Chinese Characters by Typing Them on the Computer
ZhengMa

A Brief Introduction for English Speakers

Learning Chinese Characters by Typing Them on the Computer

More info:

Published by: iammegatron on Sep 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

12/06/2014

pdf

text

original

 
 ZHENGMA
 A Brief Introduction for English Speakers
 
Learning Chinese Characters by Typing Them on the ComputerBy MEGATRONCOOKIESeptember 2008
....................................................................................................1. INTRODUCTION 
1.......................................................................................................... 2. QUICK START 
is the most popular method to enter Chinese characters into thecomputer. This method is based on the pronunciation
Pinyin
 )
of the Chinese character, which can be
spelled out
with 26 English alphabetic letters on a regular keyboard. The obvious caveat is that many Chinese characters share the same pronunciation, thoughbearing completely di
ff 
erent meanings. For example, the Pinyin
zhi bing
matches thepronunciation of both
治病
and
致病
. The former means
curing of the disease
and thelatter means
causing the disease
.
Yes, read the label carefully next time you try some herbalmedicine.
 )
So this phonetic input method requires the user to interactively select the Chinese charac
-
ter among possible candidates after he/she spells out the Pinyin.
1
 
For example, to type the Chinese character
 
 morning 
or
early
 )
using Pinyin, one needs totype
zao
and more than 10 possible candidates pop out on the computer screen. Fortu
-
nately, number 1 matches what we intend to type, so the user would key in
1
or just space
-
bar to select that character.
 Fig. 1. Choose
 # 
om multiple Chinese characters with Pinyin input method 
 This extra interaction step slows down the speed at which a professional typist can feedChinese into the computer, since he/she needs to constantly switch attention between theoriginal paper document and the electronic version on the computer screen.
 
So in the beginning, people invented a di
ff 
erent category of input methods.
 
 They are calledXingMa 
stroke
-
encoding 
 )
.
 
 These methods assign codes
usually 4
-
letter or less
 )
for eachChinese character based on how the character is written
i.e. stroke, root and structure
 )
, which leaves almost no
 
ambiguity.ZhengMa 
郑码
 )
is one of the best XingMa input methods. Fig. 2. shows an example of typ
-
ing the same character
 
 
 morning 
 
or
 
early
 )
using ZhengMa. Its code is
ked 
, whichhappens to bring up a second character
. You may have noticed that both characters sharesimilar features. That is, they are made of the same parts:
and
 
called roots
 )
, but havedi
ff 
erent structures
i.e. one is top
-
bottom, the other is left
-
right
 )
.
 
 Fig. 2. Input a Chinese character with ZhengMa
""""""
'''
"""""
'
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
 2
 
By the way,
is such an ancient and obsolete character, it is safe to say that 95
%
of theChinese speaking population don
t know how to
 
pronounce
 
it.
 Try typing that with Pin
-
 yin, if you can.
 )
  There are some six thousand frequently used Chinese characters that, at
rst look, all havedistinctive shapes.
 Just the characters in Fig. 1 ca ngive you an idea.
 )
To uniquely encodeeach character isn
t an easy task at all. Remember that this isn
t the same as assigning a number
like the 16
-
bit binary 
 
Unicode
 )
to each character. A human typist needs to be ableto retrieve each code from his/her brain when typing the Chinese character.Since humans are usually equipped with a small size memory, but are good at logic deduc
-
tion. ZhengMa is one of the most
easy 
stroke
-
encoding methods. Because most of its en
-
codings are highly logical and can be deduced by a few generalized rules.
We will describethese in detail later.
 )
But still the codes of some basic building blocks
roots
 )
need to bememorized
e.g.
k
for
,
ed 
for
 
 )
.
 
 The memorization of these root codes poses a steeplearning curve, which impedes the wide spread of almost all stroke
-
encoding methods.
 
It
s not surprising that, over the time, the Pinyin method wins the popularity vote, due to itsease of use, as well as another important reason. When typing Chinese character by Pinyin,there are far less ambiguities, if one choose to combine the characters into 2
-
character to 4
-
character phrases.For example, to type the phrase
计算机
 
computer 
 )
by Pinyin is
ji suan ji
. There isonly one possible candidate to choose from. In fact, one may even reduce the key strokes to
ji s ji
and the computer will respond with the same characters.So in general, the longer the phrase into which the user groups the Chinese characters, themore probable he/she gets the intended input into the computer. With almost no training, a regular Chinese speaking computer user can type in Chinese characters at a reasonablespeed by Pinyin.Do all these reasons make the stroke
-
encoding method completely obsolete? Probably not. Traditionally one argument for the stroke
-
encoding method is that single character ratherthan multi
-
character phrases are the main constituent of the Chinese language, and Pinyin isa degenerative way of 
 
representing 
 
the language.
1
More importantly, new multi
-
characterphrases are being conjugated, as well as old ones phasing out, quickly every day. And the
 3
1
Literate Chinese speakers, who are used to word processing on the computer with Pinyin, often findthemselves scratching the head when it comes to write the Chinese characters by hand. The
 
symptom
 
iscalled
提笔忘字
. ZhengMa can help cure such memory losses. (no meditation needed)

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
SantiagoLuchinin liked this
Allen Redding liked this
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
edmundac liked this
UnePizza liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->