Learn Chinese from Blog

Richard emailed me about a blog called News in Chinese which shows news written in Chinese, as you may suspect, but what’s cool is when you hover over a word it gives you the English translation and enlarges the Chinese character.

14 thoughts on “Learn Chinese from Blog

  1. Wow, that’s pretty nifty. I could see how that’d be useful for websites teaching Chinese (or other languages, for that matter).

  2. Matt still needs to learn some Spanish; after all Spanish is quite easy (for me anyway, unlike that damn French and Czech).

    BTW which city has more Spanish; SF or Houston?

  3. I’m not sure which city actually has more, but I heard a ton more Spanish in Houston, but that could be entirely due to my neighborhood here. I walk by the Mexican consulate every day and sometimes pick up phrases but there’s not much else Spanish in the SOMA area.

  4. I studied Chinese for a while, though I don’t claim to be as cool as Matt.

    The coolest part about the site is not necessarily the English translation (thought that is in fact very cool), but the Pinyin. It can be time-consuming to look up the pronunciation of Chinese characters in a dictionary–first determine the radical, then count the number of strokes, then look it up–so having the pronunciation pop-up in a mouseover is neat. Also, not just individual characters are pop-ups, but entire words, which are usually made up of more than one character.

    One downside, which is no fault of their own, of the website is that the RSS feed doesn’t contain the mouseovers. (Actually it sort of does, but most aggregators strip Javascript, and besides, the RSS doesn’t contain the functions that the individual entries call.)

  5. Thanks for all the positive comments, they’re very encouraging.

    It would be possible to include the mouseovers in the RSS, but it would need to be parsed into an HTML page with the javascript and CSS in the header before it would be useable – by which point you’ve cancelled out the benefits of RSS, and may as well visit the site directly. If there’s demand for it we can do it, but at the moment there are more pressing issues.

    The site is still in a final tweaking stage (it’s not yet officially launched) so if anyone has suggestions, let us know (feedback form on the site) and we’ll see what we can do.

    Thanks again


  6. when i launch the link in Firefox I see nothing but repeating ??????? where the caligraphy should be. rolling over the text does reveal the English translation….. but that doesn’t help. is there an extension or plugin for Firefox that i need?

  7. That is so cool. You might also be interested in:

    Rikai: a similar thing but with Japanese->English, Chinese->English, English->Spanish and English->Japanese.

    RikaiXUL: even cooler, a Firefox plugin which automatically adds the tooltips to Japanese pages you visit (from an included dictionary file).

    POPjisyo: Babelfish-style translation service (load a remote page in a frame) that does Japanese, Korean and Chinese into a few languages.