On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Steve Cheng wrote:

> 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 :(

Now I -have- seen how Chinese input methods are typically done...  at
least as far as IBM is concerned with their North American distrib.  (I
stopped by and visited a large IBM store and checked it out there a ways
back :)

Anyways, you have about 5 keys (IIRC) mapped to different strokes.  A key
is used to bring up the entry window and you tap strokes, and the menu
gives choices of valid characters from that list.  IMHO I like it better
than the various Japanese systems I've seen - although you need to know
how many strokes and what order they are in for the characters.  (this is
how I learned to write the Chinese characters so... :)

Anyways, once you've selected the character (glyph) you want, it's
inserted where-ever you happen to be.

Now this -was- under OS/2 so Linux may handle it differently.  IIRC there
were no extra keys either so I'm not sure how they triggered the character
entry.  Though there could have been a key for it.

G'day, eh? :)
        - Teunis

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