Archive for November, 2008

iPhone: Using pinyin input, how do I type words that have a ü like 女?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 | FAQ | 5 Comments

When using the iPhone pinyin input and you need to type a word that has a ü in it, for example 女 (nǚ), you use the v key. So you would type “nv” to lookup 女.

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XiaoCiDian is on the AppStore!

Monday, November 24th, 2008 | News | No Comments

After many months, 小词典 has been released to the AppStore and available for purchase! You can get XiaoCiDian by following this link. The sales will help development of future features for both the iPhone app and the desktop versions of 小词典.

XiaoCiDian iPhone on the App Store

Monday, November 24th, 2008 | News | 1 Comment

The 小词典 iPhone application is almost on the AppStore. I’ve just received an email saying it’s status has moved past the review status!

It’s not available on the AppStore just yet, but will likely be available for purchase within a few days (fingers crossed).

XiaoCiDian By English

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | News | No Comments

A few people have downloaded 小词典 Desktop now, and I’ve received some very nice feedback.

(小词典 Desktop, by the way, is a plug in for Mac OS X dictionary that lets you use your Mac to look up simplified Chinese characters anywhere on the system).

The number one requested feature has been to add the ability to look up English words and get the Simplified / Mandarin equivalent.

The way the CC-CEDICT dictionary is put together, however, isn’t likely to work well going from English to Chinese. The main reason for this is an entry in the CC-CEDICT doesn’t have all the iterations for words (do, doing, did, etc).

On top of the dictionary limitations, often times a single Chinese word doesn’t equal a single English word. For example, 思 means “to think” but it’s more of a deep thought whereas 觉得 means “to think” but more of a “I feel like” kind of think. When you hover over “think” to get a definition the application would have to understand the whole sentence to know which word to show – it’s an interesting problem, and one I am not going to be tackling on Sunday, and surely not free.

Anyway, I decided to brute force the CC-CEDICT into an English to Chinese dictionary that you can use on your Mac. It works somewhat well, but be very weary of the words it suggests as translations.

Here is a movie of it in use:

You can download it from the 小词典 web site. It is based on the latest CC-CEDICT.

P.S. If you find it is not working after you install, launch the Dictionary applicatoin in your applications folder, go to preferences, and move 小词典 up the list (and turn it on if needed). Like so:

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P.S.*2 For those of you who have asked, no, Apple has still not approved the iPhone application.

小词典 is installed, but doesn’t seem to work

Friday, November 14th, 2008 | FAQ | 19 Comments

First, make sure you are running Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher. You can do this by clicking on the Apple menu on the top left corner of the screen, and choosing “About this Mac”. The Version should be at least 10.5.

Unfortunately, earlier versions of Mac OS X don’t allow for dictionary plugins so 小词典 will not work on any version before Leopard.

If you are running Leopard, check that 小词典 plugin is enabled. You can do this by running the Dictionary application (in your Applications folder), and then opening preferences (applekey + ,). You should see a window like the following:

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Scroll down and make sure the box is ticked next to 小词典. If the box was not ticked, after ticking the box the dictionary should work properly.

Additionally, if you use other dictionaries, you might want to drag 小词典 to the top of the list of dictionaries. The dictionary popin window will often only show the first result, and moving 小词典 to the top of the list ensures you will see results from 小词典.