Cantonese?

Hi Mike. I have version 2.0.x sitting on my PC but have been too lazy to install it. I'm wondering if you currently support, or plan to support, Cantonese romanizations in the dictionary. If not, would it be possible to add a feature where the user can input and store his own romanization for each character? Then I could add Cantonese readings for the characters as I (ever so slowly) learn them!

Thanks :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I'm afraid we don't support Cantonese right now, and as there's no simple machine transformation from Pinyin/characters into Cantonese I'm afraid the only way we could do it is to license a separate Cantonese-English and/or English-Cantonese dictionary. But putting in the ability to add custom romanizations is an interesting idea, and probably not even that difficult to implement once we've added the ability to add/edit entries on your Palm. (which is coming, but which requires a lot of effort from us to get it to work well in a 200,000 entry database like the ABC on a 33 MHz Palm). Thanks!
 
No, thank you! :) You could always do like we do in the PC software biz: When the going gets tough, up the system requirements :twisted:
 

baillies

Member
Is it possible to give an option to show the Cantonese when looking at the Unihan dictionary entry for the character. I know you can click on the details after looking up the character but it would be quicker if it could be displayed when you first highlight a character. ie show the character and the pinyin then the definition followed by the Cantonese or another language/field if that is chosen.

A better option would be to integrate cantofish (http://cantofish.wordpress.com/), which appears to only be available for firefox at this stage, as another dictionary.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I suppose we could add that as an option, yes - it'd be a little tricky to code given the way the Unihan database is set up in our software, but it should be feasible at some point.

As for a separate Cantonese dictionary, we contacted the guy responsible for CantoDict (which is where the title you link to got its pronunciation data from) a while ago and he wasn't willing to let us distribute his database as a free add-on.
 

baillies

Member
Maybe Mr Sheik will allow cantodict to be used as a free addon similar to adso now that pleco for iPhone has a free version. I can understand it not being available for a paid app.

Also maybe you could advertise on his site but this could get more complicated.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We were actually asking him about offering it as a free add-on before too, IIRC - just wasn't interested, I think he has his own mobile app plans in the works.
 

j40

秀才
I believe many entries in cantodict are from "dictionary of cantonese slang", which is now out-of-print and being sold on amazon for over 7xx dollars.
This is the most detailed cantonese-english dictionary, at least for now.
For the preservation of Cantonese, I am doing a project on my own - creating a free stardict file from this particular dictionary by typing word by word on madedit.


Here's the result
on windows chrome

on linux

on mac




I don't know about the copyright issue. :twisted: :(
I'm making it for free, for the future of Cantonese.

I have just finished 65 percent of typing.
Anyway, if you want to use txt file, I can give you.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
j40 said:
I don't know about the copyright issue.
I'm making it for free, for the future of Cantonese.

I have just finished 65 percent of typing.
Anyway, if you want to use txt file, I can give you.
The copyright would be the concern for us - we're trying to get access to several other out-of-print dictionaries (Matthews, Karlgren) too, but as with this one, even though they're out of print our ridiculous US copyright laws prevent us from legally using them without finding / obtaining permission from the current copyright holder. (no central registry, no way to just distribute them and pay royalties at a standard rate / into a pool, etc) Honestly it's unlikely you'd get in trouble for this, it's pretty unlikely we'd get in trouble in fact, but since we work with so many publishers we have to be extremely careful about respecting copyrights.

This looks like a really cool effort, though - incredible amount of work involved, clearly. Is there a copyright notice in the title page somewhere? I'd be happy to try to contact the publisher and see how they feel about releasing under Creative Commons or something similar.
 

j40

秀才
mikelove said:
j40 said:
I don't know about the copyright issue.
I'm making it for free, for the future of Cantonese.

I have just finished 65 percent of typing.
Anyway, if you want to use txt file, I can give you.
The copyright would be the concern for us - we're trying to get access to several other out-of-print dictionaries (Matthews, Karlgren) too, but as with this one, even though they're out of print our ridiculous US copyright laws prevent us from legally using them without finding / obtaining permission from the current copyright holder. (no central registry, no way to just distribute them and pay royalties at a standard rate / into a pool, etc) Honestly it's unlikely you'd get in trouble for this, it's pretty unlikely we'd get in trouble in fact, but since we work with so many publishers we have to be extremely careful about respecting copyrights.

This looks like a really cool effort, though - incredible amount of work involved, clearly. Is there a copyright notice in the title page somewhere? I'd be happy to try to contact the publisher and see how they feel about releasing under Creative Commons or something similar.
Published in the United Kingdom by C. Hurst & . Co (Publishers) LTD
41 Great Russel Street, London WC1B 3PL

Christopher Hutton and Kingsley Bolton
All rights reserved
Printed in Malaysia
The two authors are professors in two Hong Kong Universities.
http://www.english.cityu.edu.hk/en/html ... ley-bolton
http://www.hku.hk/english/staff/hutton.htm

I know nothing about programming actually. I just create a file for a freeware called Stardict.
Stardict integrates with Linux very well. And for mac, just convert the starfile file into mac dictionary file and it will become part of built-in dictionary. Work OK in windows.
And this iphone app uses stardict dict file. However, like my project, most of the stardict dict files are copyright infringements.
http://app.weiphone.com/wedict/page1/page1.html

I wanted to contact them for my stardict project....but I don't want to pay :( as I won't charge anything for project.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
j40 said:
I wanted to contact them for my stardict project....but I don't want to pay as I won't charge anything for project.
There might not be a cost involved, actually - often with an out-of-print book where the authors control the copyright they're just happy to see their data being used, and might even have some additions / corrections they've collected that they'd be willing to contribute too.
 

j40

秀才
Things turn out to be great!
A member in here is a friend of one of the author of Dictionary of Cantonese Slang (although it is called Slang, the content is actually not Slang at all)
and she brought up my Stardict project in front of him. And I finally contacted him. He doesn't want money and even quite happy that more people can read his work.
He said "the more people can use it the better".
So, in the future, if you want any Cantonese dictionary, you can just take data from my blog and email the author.
He's happy that his work is used.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Sorry I let this discussion trail off a bit.

Anyway, we're still interested in / planning to include this in Pleco, we're just trying to combine it with another more general-purpose dictionary to fill in some of the missing parts; we'd ideally like to launch both titles at the same time. We're still pursuing two Cantonese dictionary leads and we're hopeful that one of them will lead to something soon.
 

j40

秀才
mikelove said:
Sorry I let this discussion trail off a bit.

Anyway, we're still interested in / planning to include this in Pleco, we're just trying to combine it with another more general-purpose dictionary to fill in some of the missing parts; we'd ideally like to launch both titles at the same time. We're still pursuing two Cantonese dictionary leads and we're hopeful that one of them will lead to something soon.
Professor Robert S Bause is another scholar in Cantonese field and he is releasing a new Cantonese-English Dictionary.
It's good to contact him as well.
http://www.hku.hk/linguist/cou/adv/ling ... 202011.pdf

I believe Dictionary of Cantonese Slang is good to be a "sidekick" as it lists terms that are "too vulgar/too low class" for general dictionary.

General purpose Cantonese-Standard Chinese dictionary:
http://www.cp1897.com.hk/product_info.p ... 8962070289
 

j40

秀才
Cantonese-Mandarin Dictionary.
http://www.cp1897.com.hk/product_info.php?BookId=9789620702891

Do you need an update on my Stardict file?
I spot quite a lot of typos. I've been correcting bit by bit for a month.

So which dictionaries you are going to use?

I was told that Hong Kong magazine, which contains many written Cantonese, can be bought from New York Chinatown.



Many HK magazines are written in half Mandarin and half Cantonese. Face週刊 and 新Monday contain the highest ratio of written Cantonese,
which I think you can take them to test the OCR.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
j40 said:
Thanks! We've had zero luck licensing anything from Commercial Press in Beijing, but we actually have had some good discussions with Commercial Press HK in the past, so I'll write them and see if this might be available.

j40 said:
Do you need an update on my Stardict file?
I spot quite a lot of typos. I've been correcting bit by bit for a month.
I think we'd probably want to convert the most current version when we're ready to do the conversion - I'll let you know when we get to that point.

j40 said:
So which dictionaries you are going to use?
Don't know yet, we're talking to several people about several different ones (hopefully that CP one you mention will become one of them) but it's proving extremely difficult to get from discussions to an actual deal - we've actually got a contract negotiated for one, but it's hung up because they can't receive payments in anything but RMB and the international payment company we hired to facilitate this keeps screwing up our test payments.
 

j40

秀才
http://bit.ly/f4201d
This Cantonese-Mandarin dictionary is good too and it is from the same authors of that Commercial Press book.
The publisher isn't Beijing Commercial Press.

The drawback of dictionaries that are written by these authors is that neither Yale or Jyutping is used. (the one you couldn't buy and this one)
Some one even took time to create a new version of this dictionary with Jyutping!
http://ishare.iask.sina.com.cn/f/9934599.html


Good luck with all the license buying!
 
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