Typing Test

I’ve added a new feature that should show up in any vocabulary page that features a dialogue or article. It is called “Typing Test” and can be found in the same area as the Test Your Pronunciation, Sentence Builder, New Characters and other tools.

In the Typing Test, you can hear audio from the dialogue or article of the lesson, and your goal is to type out the lines that you hear. You can type them out in either simplified or traditional characters. When finished, click on “Check” to see if you were correct. Characters that you typed incorrectly will be highlighted in red, so you can try again.

You can try out a sample on this page.

For those of you who have never typed in Chinese before (quite an exhilarating experience I might add), here are the steps required to add this feature to your computer:

Here are the steps required to type in Chinese on your computer using a pinyin interface. Follow the steps below for your computer to add the interface. Once the interface has been added, switch to it when you want to type in Chinese. Just type the pinyin (don’t worry about tone marks) of what you want to type, eg. ni hao to type 你好. To see the Chinese, hit your enter button. If the characters aren’t what you want, use the left arrow key to move the cursor to the left of the character you want to change. Other characters with the same sound will be shown and you can choose the one you want.

If you have trouble with any of these steps, post a message here and I’ll see what help we can provide.

PC: Windows Vista

1. Go to the Control Panel (usually available from your Start Menu) and click on “Regional and Language Options”
2. Click on the “Keyboards and Languages” tab on top.
3. Click on “Change keyboards”
4. Click on “Add”
5. Search for “Chinese (Simplified, PRC)” and click the “-” button for more options.
6. Select the first option “Chinese (Simplified) – Microsoft Pinyin IME”
7. Click on “Ok” to get back to the previous screen and then click on “Apply”
8. A small icon that says “EN” should now appear on the bottom of your screen, just to the left of the icons near your clock. Clicking on this icon should now allow you to switch between English and Chinese. Somewhere in the options, you should see the option to switch to Traditional Chinese characters.
9. If you can’t figure out how to switch to Traditional Chinese characters, try this:
a. When you click on the “EN” icon, choose the option that says “Show the Language bar”. You should now notice a new bar on the top right of your screen that says EN English (United States) [if this is your default language setting].
b. Select “Chinese (Simplified, PRC)”
c. At the far right of this language bar, there is a tiny arrow button pointing downwards. Click on it to reveal more options.
d. Make sure there is a check mark on the “Character set” option. If there isn’t, click on this option to choose it.
e. You should now have the option to switch between character sets (simplified and traditional) by clicking on this new option within your language bar.

PC: Windows XP

1. Go to the Control Panel (usually available from your Start Menu) and click on the “Date, Time, Language and Regional Options” category.
2. Choose the “Add other languages” task or click on “Regional and Language Options” icon.
3. Click on the “Languages” tab on top, if you are not there already.
4. In the “Supplemental language support” section, make sure there is a check mark for “Install files for East Asian languages” and click Apply. If this box is checked, click on “Details” in the top area.
5. Click on “Add”
6. Choose “Chinese (PRC) from the top drop down menu labeled “Input language”
7. From the “Keyboard layout/IME” drop down menu, choose “Chinese (Simplified) – Microsoft Pinyin IME” then click on “Ok” and then “Apply”
8. A small icon that says “EN” should now appear on the bottom of your screen, just to the left of the icons near your clock. Clicking on this icon should now allow you to switch between English and Chinese. Somewhere in the options, you should see the option to switch to Traditional Chinese characters.
9. If you can’t figure out how to switch to Traditional Chinese characters, try this:
a. When you click on the “EN” icon, choose the option that says “Show the Language bar”. You should now notice a new bar on the top right of your screen that says EN English (United States) [if this is your default language setting].
b. Select “Chinese (Simplified, PRC)”
c. At the far right of this language bar, there is a tiny arrow button pointing downwards. Click on it to reveal more options.
d. Make sure there is a check mark on the “Character set” option. If there isn’t, click on this option to choose it.
e. You should now have the option to switch between character sets (simplified and traditional) by clicking on this new option within your language bar.

Mac: OS X

1. Click on the Settings icon
2. Click on “International”
3. In the top part of the window, select “Input Menu”
4. Look for “Traditional Chinese” Within that, there will be a few sub choices, one of which should be Pinyin – select this.
5. After this has been chosen, you can switch between English and Chinese mode by clicking on the flag on the top bar representing language.
6. Alternatively there is a third party program for Mac called QIM Sogou Dict that also provides a pinyin interface for typing Chinese. I found that one better myself, although it costs money. I believe you can download a demo to try it for free. Experiment with the built in Mac version and that one and decide which one you prefer.

If you have trouble with any of the above, please let me know. Happy typing!

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