Desktop Programs

Input Programs:

CantoInput & CPIME (Jyutping)

In terms of Jyutping input methods I have only found the two. Even though I use CPIME when typing on the internet I still find CantoInput useful as a notepad style input system, especially when writing long messages where I need to consult an online dictionary. Both are free.


Dictionaries:

GoldenDict & Stardict

These two little dictionary programs sit in the system tray and give mouse over definitions.

Over at 廣府話小研究 a converted CantoFish dictionary file was posted with instructions on how to use it: Link

The original CantoFish plugin for Firefox can be found here: Link

And there are also instructions on how to use a converted CantoFish dictionary in Google Chrome: Link

All in all these options are relatively similar. With the exception of the independent dictionary programs being able to translate from other programs outside of the web browser such as instant messengers and documents.


MDBG Chinese Reader

This is a brilliant little program. The reason I never used it beyond the trail was simply because it doesn’t support Jyutping. Apart from that it’s fantastic. It’s priced at $59USD, but taking the free trial is worth it just to see what you think.


Pablo

This program uses the CC-CEDICT so doesn’t support Jyutping, however, it does have a drawing pad which doesn’t seem to require proper stroke order, and it’s in general quite a useful tool to have running in the background. It also does mouse over popups.


Dim Sum

I haven’t really used DimSum much up until recently when I discovered that it has a Yale Romanisation method built in.  It’s similar to Jyutping in many respects and is useable if you’re used to using Jyutping.

The dictionary is quite good, and the popup dictionary is small and tidy.  For me I use popup dictionaries more than anything and it’s the one thing which encourages me to use a particular program over another.

DimSum is worth having a look at.  It has a few little applications within it which are quite a nice addition and if you’re using Yale full time then this would serve as a good desktop dictionary.


Wakan

Wakan now has a Cantonese dictionary which uses CantoDict (so it’s got Jyutping).

For some reason however I can’t get the popup dictionary to work in XP or Windows 7 and I’m not sure why.  When I click the popup button on in Windows 7 I get a memory dump and a blue screen of death… not brilliant.

I’m also having trouble getting Wakan to translate Chinese to English.  The other way around is fine.

This program has potential uses with Jyutping if I was able to get it working.  It has a few more features than Pablo (however missing the drawing pad) and my only problem with Pablo is the lack of Jyutping.

There is an extensive features list and if I can ever get it working properly I think it will be a great tool.


Flashcards:

I’m not a big fan of flash cards, I seem to learn better from actually using words than simply trying to remember individual characters one by one, however, some people find them quite useful.  There are two programs that I know about specifically for this, the first is from the creator of Pablo and its called Pingrid (more of a game).  The second is Anki which apparently has a CantoDict deck available.  You can also load some pronunciation following these instructions.

Pingrid is a game where you choose the characters based on the clue at the bottom of the screen.  Although its not in Jyutping its still quite useful for character recognition.  Its a little program that I use now and then when I have a few spare minutes.  I’m not a big fan of flash cards, but as a game I like it.


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