Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Smart Characters interfaces with a variety of on-line dictionaries. You can
edit or create any dictionary. Dictionaries translate from one input mode type
(the key) to one or more other types or even languages. For example,
hiragana can be translated to kanji, pinyin or bopomofo to Chinese. Crucial for
non-native speakers, Smart Characters dictionaries contain English translations
as well as pronunciations to aid selection.
Dictionary Language Set
A language set specifies a pronunciation input mode or
(e.g., hiragana, bopomofo, or pinyin) and associated dictionaries containing
keys of the same type. The dictionaries you have installed for each language
set are called a dictionary language set and have names descriptive of
the key type, such as Japanese (Hiragana) and Chinese (Bopomofo). Only one
dictionary language set can be active at a time. Smart Characters uses up to
seven types of dictionaries per dictionary language set.
A syllable dictionary takes a pronunciation and yields a list of single
Chinese characters that match the desired syllable. Chinese tone matching can
be enforced or ignored. Japanese orthographic shifts can be ignored.
Word and Phrase Dictionary
A word and phrase dictionary takes a partial or exact pronunciation and
yields a list of words and phrases (i.e., multiple Chinese character compounds).
A user dictionary contains entries you create and maintain to provide
quick access to long words and phrases, additional pronunciations for existing
characters, or to document adding new characters to the
Entries can use any
and keys can be in any
A translating dictionary translates from one language to another (e.g.,
English to Chinese).
A reverse dictionary uses a
as the key to yield a list of pronunciations, words, phrases, and translations
that use that character.
A radical dictionary locates unknown characters by grouping them by
and other parts. This is used to enter characters by entering their parts, but
is only for those Chinese users who have not or will not learn the standard
Mandarin or Cantonese pronunciations. Japanese all learn the correct
pronunciations for the kanji.
a stroke dictionary is used only when pronunciations are impractical
because it requires an exact knowledge of
order, classifying strokes by shape or direction. The resulting sequence makes
a rather long key that almost uniquely defines a character. Much slower
than a radical dictionary, even for experienced users, and essentially
impossible for non-native speakers.
A reference dictionary is a dictionary that is loaded into a document
window for browsing using the Translate
command. Reference dictionaries do not use a direct keystroke interface, rather
links to allow quick jumps to topics of interest. You can install any document
file for use as a reference dictionary. A
radical and stroke(4-
dictionary is a good candidate.
Radical and Stroke Dictionary
A radical and stroke dictionary locates unknown characters by grouping
and then by
This method is not suitable for keyboard input, but rather relies on a special
document or window which visually displays the radicals and their associated
characters. This is handy for reading books or newspapers containing legible
but unfamiliar Chinese characters.
Although the Smart Characters
traditional Chinese and Japanese character set is arranged in radical and
stroke order for ease of browsing (see
Finding a Character in the Font(8-
an accessory radical and stroke dictionary contains a radical index and groups
characters by stroke under each radical, making for a much more convenient and
Smart Characters has an
interface for arbitrary dictionaries that are not practical to convert to the
Smart Characters dictionary format (e.g., extremely large dictionaries as might
be found on a CD-ROM). You can program this interface yourself. Contact
Apropos Customer Service(F-
for more information.
Dictionaries from Other Vendors
Additional dictionaries may become available from other vendors, who will
contact you directly. If you wish, we will forward address data from your
warranty registration to them for their mailing lists, or mail their
promotional material to you without releasing your name.
Reverse Dictionaries are Emulated
In the event that a
is not installed, the pronunciation (forward) dictionaries are automatically
searched, entry by entry, to obtain the equivalent of a reverse or translating
dictionary. This process is much slower, but takes up no additional disk space
or memory. Additionally, you can force a search of the pronunciation
dictionaries by selecting the Translate
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.