Bopomofo/ 注音 for typing traditional Chinese

I know this would probably be to big of a task but have you considered adding the possibility of typing in bopomofo for the traditional curriculum?
Outside of Hanzihero i never use pinyin and it be amazing to just learn it with the bopomofo right away.

I haven’t met many Chinese learners who took the (arguably short) time to learn bopomofo but Is anyone else here using bopomofo as a non native speaker?
It helps immensely if you have Taiwanese friends and language partners and you ask them how to pronounce something and it will enable you to read all the things that are made for children in Taiwan even if you don’t know all the Hanzi.

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Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

Yes, we have considered adding in this option! The main concern is compatibility across devices/how users could type it in especially if they can’t configure their keyboard to do so.

The main path forward we thought of was to have a pinyin->zhuyin typing conversion for those that want to learn the zhuyin of characters/words. e.g. z. Thus you still have the pinyin (which is necessary for the mnemonics) but you also get familiar with the zhuyin for the benefits you mentioned.

This makes it so one wouldn’t have to constantly switch keyboards while doing reviews, too. I wouldn’t be sure how directly typing bopomofo would look like with the mixture of meaning/pronunciation questions otherwise :thinking:

If you have opinions on how bopomofo support would look like, let me know :+1:

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Okay i see your point, i might have over looked that i have a Taiwanese Laptop with a Taiwanese Keyboard. And at my other PC i bought Taiwanese Keyboard stickers for typing bopomofo. I guess on a phone it would be super easy to just add a Taiwanese keyboard.

I really like the idea of pinyin to zhuyin conversion though! It would be a bit like the hiragana in wanikani, where you also type romaji but then it converts it into hiragana on screen.

As a side note my Taiwanese keyboard has messed up so many of my reviews cause i click on the actual tone signs and then will always forget to type the first tone or mess up the second and type 6 instead. So i am very grateful for the back function.

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To expand on this a bit more, one big issue is the inability to type raw Zhuyin on most platforms.

For example, on Mac it is only possible by hitting ENTER after every single non-tone character.

For iOS it is only possible by typing it out then laboriously finding the completion option that is the raw zhuyin. The auto-completions, incidentally, serve as a sort of live-updating cheat-sheet, which makes this pretty terrible.

I believe it is possible to add a custom non-Google keyboard on Android to do this, but 99% of users just use the Google keyboard.

For those using a physical keyboard, one option we’ve thought about is to just simulate raw zhuyin typing within our app directly, without relying on the underlying OS. E.g., inputting z would output into our input box, as those share the same physical key on the keyboard. Unfortunately this would only work for those with a physical Zhuyin keyboard, or a normal keyboard with some sort of rubber Zhuyin overlay or something.

Edit: If anyone is using Windows, please let me know if it is possible to type raw Zhuyin on that. I currently don’t have access to a Windows machine.

Sidenote, HH is the reason I had to get rid of autocomplete on my phone.

I don’t understand what’s wrong with just doing your solution though:

  • For physical keyboard w/Zhuyin key stickers it works like you said
  • For physical keyboard w/English key stickers, I’d imagine the users are touch typists who don’t use the stickers anyway. This is how things work for Korean learners in the west, you are a touch typist and intuitively know how that the F-key will type out ㄹ, etc. This requires a level of skill, but anyone who wants this feature probably can already do it or is willing to learn.
  • For phone, you could have two options. One is the same trick where the HH interface renders z as ㄈ. It would be perhaps confusing, because probably more people type on their phone by looking at the keys. Another option is to have a dynamic in app keyboard that switches between English layout and Zhuyin. I could understand if this would be not worth the trouble, after all the native iOS/Android keyboard has features like haptic feedback, appearing and disappearing based on focus, etc.

I think for me personally it would already help seeing the Zhuyin on screen so i can observe how i would write it. Ideally typing pinyin and then having the Zhuyin appear in the text field. that way i would also finally connect pinyin and Zhuyin in my head and not have to look up the pinyin for characters i only know the Zhuyin and vice versa.
This way everyone can use it without having fancy keyboards or installing extra keyboard settings.

I wonder if that is just my legasthenic brain that struggles with knowing the right letter for similar sounds and that’s why i struggle going back and forth between Zhuyin and Pinyin. I have the same problem in German and English, where pronunciation is completely off from the spelling all the times. And even in Japanese sometimes when you can’t really hear if it’s a long “ou” or not.

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I mean this would be an absolutely amazing setting for me!!! I just meant it doesn’t have to go that far to already be super helpful ^^

(I got confused for a second, cause at my tower PC i have a German keyboard with Taiwanese stickers and the z and y are flipped so my z is coincidently the same key as ㄗ )

Gotcha. I think just having zhuyin displayed alongside pinyin within the various pages in the app, and especially on the review/lessons pages (e.g., alongside the pinyin when you answer a pronunciation question correctly), would go a long way towards that, even without the fancy pinyin->zhuyin live conersion thing within the input field itself that Phil mentioned. We have that in our backlog, and hope to implement it in the coming months. :+1:

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