Posts Tagged ‘pinyin’

New keyboard shortcuts for diacritics on LRC Teacher PC

  1. The US international keyboard layout that has come with MS-Windows for many years (though – except in the LRC – not set as default, you need to enable it in the control panel) greatly facilitates typing of characters for most languages that use Roman script with common diacritical marks, but does not cover Pinyin and similar diacritical marks.
  2. Carly from Carleton, as avid a language teacher as a technologist,  had the great idea to extend Microsoft’s US-international keyboard so as to include all the Pinyin tone marks (and other accents useful for linguists). Here is the upshot, extracted  from her  instructions, but excluding  what (either shortcut or (use of common accents within Pinyin is now covered also below) purpose) has not changed from the shortcuts of the non-extended US-international keyboard  that used to be the default in the LRC:
  3. What you want Which keys you press (before comma  is “dead” key = no result until after next key) Example

    acute accent, pinyin 2nd tone

    ‘(=apostrophe), vowel

    á é í ó ú

    grave accent, pinyin 4th tone

    `(=grave), vowel

    à è ì ò ù

    macron accent, pinyin 1st tone

    hyphen, vowel

    ā ē ī ō ū

    pinyin 3rd tone

    %(=shift+5), vowel

    e.g. ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ

    ü with pinyin tones

    Accent, double-quote

    e.g. ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ

    letter with dot below

    ; (=shift+period), letter


    letter with double acute

    : (=shift+;) , o or u

    ő, ű, Ő, Ű

  4. We are offering the extended US-international keyboard this as an optional keyboard on the teacher and student PCs with Windows 7.
    1. To select the new keyboard layout, use the language toolbar, click on 2nd option:
    2. image
    3. To explore the new keyboard layout use the Windows On-screen keyboard which will let you peek ahead after your pressed a dead key.
    4. To bypass a special dead key (= get the normal behavior of the key), press SPACE after it.

Foreign Language Character Input on Windows 7 in the LRC

2012/08/16 1 comment
  1. The LRC, now on Windows 7, is testing  Carly J. Born’s U.S. International Extended 2.0 Keyboard, an improvement on the previously used US International Keyboard (still recommended for personal use, as it comes standard with all but ancient versions of Windows) for typing accented characters in Western languages, Pinyin-tone-marks for Mandarin (replacing the also useful, but more evolved Pinyinput), and other SLA tone- and length-marks e.g. for Latin.
  2. Not limited to specific application, you can use anywhere in Windows the following shortcut’s – taken from the original developer documentation (with some minor modifications).
  3. We hope you find the benefit for SLA far outweighs the need to getting used to typing a space between the 2 red characters and a vowel, in order to produce their regular form, without creating a foreign language character.

acute accent, pinyin 2nd tone

apostrophe (= ‘), vowel

(e.g. á é í ó ú)

grave accent, pinyin 4th tone

grave (= `), vowel

(e.g. à è ì ò ù)

c cedilla

comma apostrophe, c

(e.g. ç)

macron accent, pinyin 1st tone

hyphen, vowel

(e.g. ā ē ī ō ū )

vowel with umlaut

double-quote (= “), vowel

(e.g. ä ë ï ö ü ÿ)

vowel with circumflex

shift+6 (= ^), vowel

(e.g. â ê î ô û)

pinyin 3rd tone

Shift+5, vowel

(e.g. ǎ ě ǐǒǔ)

ü with pinyin tones

Accent, double-quote

(e.g. ǖǘǚǜ)

letter with tilde

tilde (= ~), letter

(e.g. õ ñ ã)

letter with dot below

shift+period, letter

(e.g. ạ ẹ Ẹ ị ọ ụ)

letter with double acute

shift+; , o or u

(e.g. ő, ű, Ő, Ű)


ctrl + alt + [


ctrl + alt + ]

ctrl + alt + 5


ctrl + alt + s/right-ALT + s


ctrl + alt + l

[won’t work in word, onenote, but works in excel]


ctrl + alt + /


ctrl + alt + 1

[To type ¡, disable the command called ApplyHeading1 in the Format category, in word or onenote, but not needed in excel]


Right alt + k

Pinyin Input: An Input Method Editor (IME) for Learners of Mandarin

Maybe the two biggest challenges for beginning Western non-native learners of Mandarin are:

  1. Mandarin is a tonal language (like e.g. Vietnamese);
  2. Mandarin has a non-alphabetic script (mainland China “simplified” theirs, as opposed to Taiwan and other “traditional” Chinese communities, while e.g. Vietnam has Romanized the writing system).
    A common workaround, when starting to learn Mandarin, is first using only Pinyin, one of the Romanized phonetic transcription systems for spoken Mandarin which includes special markers for the most common 5 tones.

Typing the tone markers on a PC needs a special program. A number of tone marker input editors are available (see PinyinJoe’s list). I have used and supported PinyInput, which works similarly to Pinyin input IMEs used by native speaking PC users. Instead of offering, in a popup window, Mandarin script when typing with an alphabetic keyboard, PinyInput offers tone markers.

A 1-minute screencast hopefully says more than 1000*fps*duration words: Watch this PinyInput demo.

Character Input for SLA (Mandarin)

·        Input for east Asian languages can use

o   so called IMEs (Input Method Editors) which allow you to type Roman characters and receive in return a dialogue with

o   Handwriting recognition (not very usable with only a mouse as drawing devices.

o   How to easily type pinyin with tone markers

§  Use the Pinyininput IME from the Language Bar (or Input Method  Selector keyboard shortcut).

§  Its first mode is “checked” mode, which only accepts (mostly) valid pīnyīn (mostly valid in that it only checks for correct combinations of initials and finals, and not valid/invalid combinations of tones). When typing, if you place a number at the end of a pīnyīn syllable then Pinyinput will automatically convert the correct vowel in the syllable so that it has the appropriate tone e.g. Typing Ni3hao3 will produce the output Nǐhǎo. (…() “Checked” mode also optionally supports “érhuà” so things like pingr2 will be converted to píngr. The “érhuà” support is pretty simplistic, and it will allow any valid pīnyīn syllable which is followed by an r (even though such syllables might not exist in valid pinyin). (…)

§  The second mode is “unchecked” mode, and in this mode you can type whatever you like

§  (…) the user can optionally decide whether they want to use combining diacritic marks or individual characters [which] are probably the best way to go, as not all programs handle combining diacriticals correctly. (…)

§  Pinyinput can support multiple different keyboard layouts.(…)  regardless of the layout used, the letter v of that layout is always automatically converted to ü.

View a demonstration screencast.

·        Simplified Chinese

o   Select the pre-installed IME from the Language Bar (or Input Method  Selector keyboard shortcut).

·        More Information is available here; Foreign_Language_Character_Input.pdf

o   The LLC attempts to have the optimum environment language for learning preinstalled. Suggestions for additions welcome.