cantoneseAID

cantoneseAID 粤音检字法
 
Cantonese pronunciation, computer input, and self-study software for Putonghua (Mandarin) Pinyin - Free download 
 
Introduction
 
Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciation are very different. It is hard for the people in Hong Kong and Canton to learn the Pinyin Input Method. This software arranges together the Chinese characters with similar Cantonese pronunciation, and provides linkage between them. With a few mouse clicks it displays these characters and their Cantonese Pinyin as well as the Putonghua (Mandarin) Pinyin; and hence helps the users to learn. The users may also copy and paste the needed character to any documents.
 
There are about 3000 common-use characters.  Here we adopt the extended GB2312 Version (Guojia Biaozhen - National Standard) with 10800 characters. It includes 5600 characters common to the simplified and traditional style; and 2600 simplified characters and 2600 pure traditional characters. It should be enough for any usual applications. There are some duplicates because the same character may be pronounced differently in various situations.
 
 
Initials, Finals and Tones of the Cantonese
 
The pronunciation of Cantonese consists of 3 parts: Initials, Finals, and Tones. There are 20 Initials, with examples like '巴Baa叉Caa打Daa花Faa家Gaa'. There are 56 Finals, with examples like '啊aa夜e衣i柯o互u'. The 6 Tones are High, Low-Mid to High, Mid, Low-Mid to Low, Low to Low-Mid, and Low-Mid. An example is '夫Fu府Fu富Fu扶Fu婦Fu父Fu'. They represent the 6 different Tones but all have the same pinyin because almost all Pinyin Input Methods ignore the Tones. Note that the so called "Inward Tone" is in fact the Finals ending with k,p,and t; and should not be classified as different tones.

Traditionally most people use the Yale Pinyin for Cantonese. It is very similar to the English spelling. The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong designed the Cantonese Romanization Scheme, named as Jyutping, which is quite different from the Yale Pinyin. Most of the computer software use this Scheme. This software also adopts it and shows it together with the corresponding Putonghua (Mandarin) Pinyin to suit various purposes.

Initials Table

The Initials Table shows the 20 Initials (including the first one for no Initial). The first line is Jyutping (Cantonese Pinyin). The second line is its representative Chinese Character with "aa" as the Final. The third line is the English spelling. Striking any line will give the same result. 

In Jyutping the Initial J is equivalent to the English y; and Z equivalent to j. The capital letters are used just for differentiating them from the Finals. Small letters should be used during computer input.

Clicking the Initial will show all the representative characters with various Finals but for the same Initial. Click again the representative character will give all the characters with the same Initial and Final, together with their Cantonese Pinyin and Putonghua (Mandarin) Pinyin. To make it easier for selection, characters with different Tones are separated by the period mark. It is also possible to find the required character not by clicking the representative character but just search the pages below.

Usage Example: To search the character 富, click the Initial F (or 花, or f). The representative characters with Initial F will be displayed. The 6 Tones of 富 are '夫府富扶婦父'. Clicking the character '夫Fu' (which sounds similar) will show the required character 富 together with its Cantonese Pinyin and Putonghua Pinyin. You can use the copy&paste method to input the character.

Another Example: To search the character 統, click the Initial T (or 他, or t). The representative characters with Initial T will be displayed. The 6 Tones of 統 are '通桶痛同..'. Clicking the character '通Tung' (which sounds similar) will show the required character 統 together with its Cantonese Pinyin and Putonghua Pinyin.

Finals Table

The Finals Table shows the 56 Finals in 3 groups. The first 3 columns at the left have no ending sound. The middle 3 have ending sound k, p, and t (so called "Inward Tone"). The last 3 columns at the right have nasal ending sound m, n, and ng.

To search for a character, first decide which group it belongs to; and then click the character there with similar sound. All the characters with the same Final will be displayed. Clicking the Initial will show the characters of the same Initial and Final. Alternatively, without the second clicking but just check the page below to get the required character.

Usage Example: To search the character 富, click its Final "互u". You can see all the characters of the same Final. Again, clicking the Initial "F" will show the required character together with its Cantonese Pinyin and Putonghua Pinyin. 

Another Example: To search for the character 统, click its Final "用ong". You can see all the characters of the same Final. Again, clicking the Initial "T" will show the required character.

It is advisable to use the Finals Table instead of the Initials Table. You only need to understand the concept of matching the Finals sound and memorize the Finals Table. With a couple of clicking you can get the character.

Cantonese Pronunciation

To check for the Cantonese pronunciation of a character you can use the Edit/Find feature of the internet browser, or just press ctrl-F, and then copy and paste the character to the small window. The character and all other characters with similar sound will be displayed together with the Cantonese Pinyin and Putonghua Pinyin. Clicking "Next" will get the same character with various pronunciation for different usage.

Method of Practice

1) Learn to use the Initials Table. Click every Initial and read out the characters and confirm the sound of that Initial.

2) Familiar with the Finals Table. Click each Final and read out the the characters with the same Final to identify the vowel pronunciation. If you want to learn the Putonghua Pinyin, then memorize the spellings.

3) Copy and paste a paragraph of any article to Notepad or Word; and use this software to pick up each character. Copy and paste the picked character to the document. If it fails to find the character then type ctrl-F. From the article copy and paste the needed character to the pop-up window and start searching. It always works. 

4) To learn the Putonghua Pinyin, you can refer to another software '近音检字法pinyinAID'.
 
 

 
Software Download and Installation

The software can be used directly by clicking the website below:
 
 
This software is a HTML file and not necessary to install. It is suggested to put it in the Favorite (Bookmarks) so that it can be easily invoked. It can be downloaded free-of-charge from the websites below:

 
http://sites.google.com/site/pinyinsite/

Copyright and Revision

In order to promote the Chinese characters input methods, the author does not retain  copyright. It is welcomed to put the design concept or original codes in any other software for use. The cantoneseAID 粤音检字法 can also be used as a supplemental tool for teaching and learning Cantonese, or learning Mandarin by the Cantonese people.

It is a tedious job to manipulate over ten thousands Chinese characters and hard to avoid errors. Please send email to  mrpinyin@hotmail.com for any correction and recommendation. Thanks.

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cantoneseAID.htm
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Pin Yin,
Jul 9, 2013, 6:00 PM
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