3 posts • joined Tuesday 25th March 2008 14:15 GMT
"You can't send English messages using QQ, Windows Live/MSN, GMail talk etc"
This is 100% incorrect. I'm sitting in bed right now on Gchat chatting in *only* the Queen's English. The level of censorship has been almost unnoticeable (bar Youtube being unavailable, however there are many Chinese clones) until yesterday when the big fist came down on Hotmail...
Chinese on a mobile
Just because I accidently know:
There are 2 ways to enter chinese characters on a phone (with Chinese character support).
All Chinese characters are made up of a set number of 'strokes' or lines. The strokes are all uniform (straight horizontal line, straight vertical line, curved line from top to down right etc) and there are maybe 8 possibilites. When you're writing a character you must write the strokes in the correct order, and so by pressing the key strokes in the correct order there are a finite number of possible character matches. For example the keystroke combo 1,3,4 (horizontal line, curved line to the left, curved line to the right) gives 2 possibilites, the most common of which is 大 (da, meaning big).
The other method (more popular with me) is one involving Pinyin, or the phonetic version of Chinese characters.
Each character can be represented by a single syllable sound, link 'dong', 'xi', 'nan', 'bei'. There are not many of these sounds (maybe 50 possibilities? I forget) but anyway so each of these sounds represents a different number of characters (sometimes maybe 20 different meanings). Sounds difficult, but actually the most common ones are very common, and the phone dictionary knows this, so if I type in 'yang' it knows I mean 羊 (sheep) and not 痒 (itchy) since one is common and one is not. It's just like T9. It still offers you the full list of words (if you do want to say that your inner-leg needs a scratch).
Hope this sheds some light on the questions. Other quick info - texts are limited to 70char (although using characters means a huge amount of extra info can be sent) and a text costs 1mao = 1/10rmb = 1p to send.