#11: 中文输入法

2009/07/20 Comments Off on #11: 中文输入法
搜狗输入法

在电脑上打字叫做输入。如果给你一个普通的、写满拉丁字母的键盘,你知道怎么输入汉字吗?

汉字有成千上万,如果在键盘的按键上印上汉字,那这个键盘要多大呀?于是,中国人发明了汉字输入的方法,叫做中文输入法。它的原理和查字典类似。中文输入法有很多种,最常用的输入法是拼音输入法,另外还有五笔输入法、笔画输入法、数字输入法等等。

拼音输入法是使用最广的输入法。拼音输入法很简单,学过拼音的人都会使用拼音输入法。要输入一个汉字,就在键盘上依次按下拼音字母。但是发音一样的汉字有很多,电脑把全部有同样发音的汉字排列出来,接下来要做的,就是按数字键挑选正确的字。选字,是拼音输入法的缺点之一。为了提高输入的效率,软件设计者把常用的汉字放在前面。现在的软件越来越聪明,它能记住常用的汉字,也能改正输入的错误。我喜欢用的拼音输入法是搜狗拼音输入法,它的界面很漂亮。另外,还有紫光拼音输入法、微软拼音输入法、谷歌拼音输入法等等,它们都很好用。对了,微软就是Microsoft。谷歌?你应该能猜出来,它是Google的中文名。

五笔输入法的根据是汉字的笔画和结构。“五笔”,就是汉字的基本笔画“横竖撇捺折”。学习五笔输入法首先要使用特殊的键盘,键盘上印的不是“abc”,而是汉字的笔画和偏旁。然后,人们还要背几句口诀,这样才能快速地找到正确的按键。因为五笔输入法几乎不需要选字,当人们熟悉它的规则后,可以又快又准地输入汉字,所以五笔输入法一度很流行。但是因为人们需要花时间学习它的规则,以至于使用它的人越来越少。

笔画输入法和数字输入法都不是流行的输入法,它们在特殊情况下使用。还有一种输入汉字的方法是手写输入法,这我就不用多说了吧。

Slow Chinese 11
Chinese writing input methods
Typing on a computer is called “inputting”. If I were to give you the usual type of keyboard filled with Roman alphabet letters, would you know how to type Chinese characters?
There are thousands of Chinese characters. If the keyboard were to be marked with Chinese characters, how big would it have to be? Therefore Chinese people have invented ways of inputting Chinese characters, called Chinese input methods. The principle is similar to searching a dictionary. There are many Chinese input methods, the most commonly used being the pinyin input method. There is also the five stroke input method, the character stroke input method, the numerical input method, etc.
The pinyin input method is the most widely used inputting method. The pinyin input method is very simple; it is the method used by people who have learned pinyin. To input a character, you have to type it out in phonetic order on the keyboard. However there are lots of characters with the same pronunciation. Characters with the same letters will appear arrayed on the computer screen, so what you must do is press the number key that corresponds to the correct character. Being able to pick out characters is one of the pinyin input method’s strong points. To improve inputting efficiency, software designers insert the most widely used characters first. Today’s software is becoming progressively more intelligent. It can recall the most commonly used characters and correct inputting mistakes. The pinyin input method I like to use is Sougou, whose interface is very beautiful. Additionally, there are the Ziguang, Weiruan, and Guge input methods etc. They are all very useful. By the way, Weiruan is Microsoft. And as you probably guessed, Guge is the Chinese name for Google.
The five stroke input method is based on the writing and composition of Chinese characters. The “five strokes” are the “horizontal-vertical-diagonal top right angling down to the left-diagonal top left angling down to the right- sharp turn” five basic types of stroke. To learn the five stroke input method, a special keyboard is required; a keyboard which is not marked “abc”, but rather with the key radicals and strokes of Chinese characters. People must also memorize a number of mnemonic rhymes for recalling stroke order. In this way, they can more quickly locate the correct key. Once used to the rules, one is able to more swiftly and accurately input Chinese characters, since the five stroke method does not require you to choose one character. Thus at one time, the five stroke method was very popular. But it necessitates people spend so much time learning its rules that the number of people using it is decreasing.
The stroke input method and the numerical input method are not popular input methods, and are used only in special circumstances. There is one other way of inputting Chinese characters and that is to write them by hand. But about this I hardly need say more.

Neil Armstrong (nbarmstrong123@gmail.com)