On Sat, Jan 22, 2000 at 04:05:06PM -0800, Jon M. Taylor wrote:

>       Nice, eh?  The unfortunate truth is that this crazy input system
> is pretty much required, due to the highly contextualized nature of the
> Japanese language.  The Kanji for 'Zen' (for example) can have over 20
> completely different meanings when used in different grammatical contexts.  
> Unless you keep track of the running context, it is impossible to
> accurately translate subsequently entered Kanji syllables into Kanji
> words.  This more or less requires a full Japanese grammar engine be
> embedded into the input protocol itself |-/.

There are free programs which do this kana -> kanji conversion (Wnn,
Canna, etc.).

>       As far a Chinese and Korean are concerned, I really don't know
> that much.  I think that the Chinese and Japanese kanji are mostly the
> same, but China does not have a phonemeic written alphabet.  And written
> Vietnamese is all phonetic (Roman alphabet with a bunch of phonetic
> modifications to the basic roman characters).

Chinese input methods are even more difficult.  There is a phonetic
syllabary ("bopomofo"), but it is never used in normal writing, only
learning, and only for Mandarin dialect I think.  (I speak Cantonese,
read Chinese, but still don't know the syllabary.)

Various Chinese input methods use the strokes/radical of the kanji... I
don't know how to use them myself and have not seen any documentation on
it, so I can't tell you much.  Using a tablet and (CJK) writing
recognition software for input is quite popular here, but unfortunately
the products are all for Windows :(

Steve Cheng

www: <http://shell.ipoline.com/~elmert/>

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