Why Can I Not Type Chinese Words on a PDF?

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Why can I not type Chinese words on a PDF?

Chinese characters have their own logic. In many, if not most, cases, a character will consist of two elements. a phonetic component, which indicates roughly how the character is pronounced; and a semantic component, which indicates the category of word to which the character belongs (also referred to as its “radical”, denoting its “root”). This is very different to what we're used to in the West, but once you get the hang of it, it's fairly straightforward. The problem is, the phonetic component is only an approximation. In a Pinyin dictionary, you would need to know the exact pronunciation, or otherwise be willing to spend much time on educated guesswork. Fortunately, Chinese dictionaries come with a radical index, so once you know the character's radical, you can look up how many additional strokes are in the character, and the index will point you to the relevant page in the dictionary. It sounds complicated, but it isn't. Take the character for frog. 蛙. In pinyin romanisation, this is spelled “wā”, so if you were Chinese, you'd already know that, and know to look towards the back of the dictionary, under ‘W’, as you would in English. As a learner of Chinese, if you don't know the word for frog, you'll still have been taught to distinguish between the radical and the phonetic, in this case 虫 and 圭, respectively. (You can see the radical is on the left side of the character, and the phonetic is on the right.) Out of interest, that 虫 radical tells you that the word is in the category of “bugs” or smaller, critter-like animals. Different types of animal will be in different categories. In your radical index, you may be able to look up “radicals with 6 strokes”, which is how many lines it takes to write 虫; once you've found it in the radical list, you look up characters that have an extra 6 lines (which is what 圭 has), and you'll find your frog. Or rather, you'll find the page number with that entry. It's taken me a few paragraphs to explain, but even at an advanced beginner's level, all of this should take place within a minute or so, barely longer than it would take to find a word in an English dictionary. Alternatively, now that most dictionaries are on smartphones or PCs…if you don't know how to pronounce the character but can see how it's written, you just write it into your dictionary input screen, and all shall be revealed.

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Type on PDF: All You Need to Know

Note that in the case of 圭, the radicals are the characters in a single word. But, in some cases, you may be able to see that two characters have the same phonetic component, but have a different radical. For example, 蝸 in pinyin Chinese is pronounced, “PO,” and 韻蝸 is pronounced 韻朝, which would in most cases indicate an individual animal, rather than a subcategory. If you're using these radicals in your Chinese learning, be aware that some radical prefixes, especially those in place of 蝸, appear in a variety of categories. For instance, 蛙 would take on a myriad of permutations. Some radicals can even have multiple meanings. For instance, 花 is an adjective used to refer to flowering plants, and therefore can be used several ways depending on which type of plant it would be referencing. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves..