Dear Clement Chou & List:
Thank you for the information on writing Chinese characters on a keyboard.
Have been told Japanese has Hierkana for writing Japanese words and Katakana for spelling foreign words letter-by-letter. Have been told Japanese Braille uses only the Katakana symbols.
Interesting Braille is not widely used in China.
Brian K. Lingard
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf of Clement Chou
Sent: Sunday, April 7, 2019 10:22 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Blind people typing Chinese
Thanks for the fascinating information Larry!
On 4/7/19, Larry Wang <email@example.com> wrote:
There are numerous Chinese input methods. This was a key problem when
processing Chinese with computers. There are roughly one hundred
thousand number of Chinese characters. About six thousand of them are
mostly used in daily life. But there are only about one hundred keys
on keyboard. At first publishing houses use big key board with many keys.
Input methods based on pinyin or zhuyin is not very popular at that
time since you need to spend many time on finding the correct
character you want to type. Also users at that time mostly rely on
word processing jobs, accuracy and efficiency is important.
A man called Wang JiangMin invented WuBi. With that you can type in
most Chinese character within four letters, as long as you memorize a
set of rules and practice for about a week.
At about 2006, people brought smart prediction into pinyin input
methods. The experience of pinyin input methods are much better now.
Since most people in mainland China have already learned pinyin in
primary school. Other types of input methods which requires additional
rules practice start fading away. Few people learn other input methods.
WuBi and other input methods are now learned by professionals and
enthusiasts. Sougou is the most popular one of these pinyin input
methods. But smart prediction is based on collecting your keyboard
input data, so there is a privacy issue. Sougou pinyin also pop up
advertisement sometimes. So I do not recommend using this. Input
methods bundled with operation system is just enough.
Support for Microsoft pinyin and WuBi is broken in windows 10 and 8.1
so you may find it hard to use.
As for braille.
There are three types of braille in mainland China. Two of them are in
NVDA, another one has just been published about a year ago and has not
gain popularity yet. However all of them are based on pinyin. They
cannot represent the shape of Chinese characters. Most schools for
blind in mainland China do not teach how to write Chinese characters.
So even if you use braille input, you still have to choose between
many candidates. Someone created a braille based on Chinese
characters, but it is not widely used. Braille display is more
expensive than smart phones and computers and its usage is very
limited. Braille has advantage in proof reading and l earning but the
nature of Chinese braille make braille less appealing for students.
Word segmentation and tone mark makes braille even harder to
understand. Even braille itself is not popular among blind people in China.