Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
These are the Chinese introductory tutorials. If you are interested in Japanese
rather than Chinese, by all means begin with Getting Started with Smart
Characters in Japanese in Chapter 2J, which closely mirrors these tutorials.
Step by Step Instructions
This chapter is devoted to walking you through many of the major functions
offered by Smart Characters. The level of instructional detail is quite high
for the first two lessons, with essentially every keystroke explicitly stated.
Later tutorials allow more freedom, with the user expected to be able to
perform more and more complex functions following a functional description
alone. The topics range from beginning to intermediate with certain advanced
topics suggested for further study at the end of the chapter.
One Japanese, Many Chinese
Smart Characters works with both Japanese and several different flavors of
Chinese. While the Japanese system has been standardized for years, there are
many competing writing systems in Chinese, all of which are supported by the
Smart Characters system. For example, you can use traditional or
simplified characters, hanyu pinyin
(commonly known as bopomofo, abbreviated Bpmf), and Beijing
(Mandarin) or Cantonese pronunciations. You can select the appropriate choice
from any of these dimensions. This lesson uses the standard Chinese
configuration: traditional characters keyed to Mandarin pronunciations
represented in bopomofo and pinyin.
Pinyin is far more widely taught and used than bopomofo. Although bopomofo is
far superior to pinyin for learning spoken Chinese, bopomofo is not taught in
mainland China, and it's tough to argue with a billion Chinese. Accordingly,
this tutorial emphasizes pinyin. However, after completing this pinyin
tutorial, we strongly recommend that you take the time to learn bopomofo
(the introductory lesson Bopomofo.cv0 teaches the symbols in about 45
minutes), and give it a try. Because pinyin is an ambiguous romanization of the
sounds of Chinese, the confusion and irregularity of pinyin disappears when
using bopomofo, which is exact. Furthermore, a knowledge of bopomofo also helps
when working in pinyin.
Using Other Systems
The Simplified Character Font accessory allows you to use both
simplified and traditional characters in the same document. Although the
standard bopomofo dictionaries display and work with pinyin, pinyin
dictionaries offer a (misleading) roman-
partial match capability (e.g., ta partially matches tang in
pinyin, but there is no a in the bopomofo ang).
These lessons contain keys to press, things to note and observe, and
suggestions of alternate ways to accomplish the same task. Please read one
sentence or paragraph ahead so that you know what to expect as you press the
The lesson format follows a tutorial. Tasks are named by a topic heading
followed by a brief overview of what you are trying to accomplish. The
necessary steps are then described in general terms followed by specific step
by step instructions that divide the task into individual keystrokes. When it
is not obvious, you are directed to note some element on the screen to verify
that you have correctly completed a step. Finally, additional commentary or
alternate procedures are described when appropriate.
If You Make a Mistake
Because these lessons are interactive, they are not totally foolproof. From
time to time, you will be asked to make a choice, or you may press the wrong
key. If your choice turns out to be not what you wanted, or you want to try
again, try pressing BackSpace or Esc to recover. Extreme situations may require
selecting Cancel or Quit. In a menu or dialog, select Help or press F1
for help. Try not to panic, and resist the urge to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete! When
you do recover, you may have to go back a topic or more to get into
synchronization with the lesson.
Use the Cross References
Take advantage of the
links in the help system and the printed manual. If you are interested in
further exploration of a topic, turn to the page number indicated by the tiny
numbers following a topic reference, and satisfy your curiosity.
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.