Petition for adding Cyrillic support in Pleco for Android and iOS versions of Pleco (and some more)

I will buy the Pleco if:

  • There will be Cyrillic support in Pleco (it will make possible to search Russian words in RU-CH dic)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • There will be Cyrillic and 3-party dictionaries support in Pleco (

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • I only need Russian GUI translation, that will be enough.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3
#1
Hi everybody,

Firstly, thanks for the great app for learning Chinese, I and a lot of my friends are enjoying using this app, which make the Chinese learning process more easy and fun.

But, some of them can't use it, because of different reasons (for ex. their first learning language is Chinese and their English is way to poor to use Pleco efficiently, or they only study the Chinese etc.).

We have a big community of enthusiasts on WWW.BKRS.INFO who are busy working making an universal Chinese-Russian dictionary (CH-RU-RU-CH). The dictionary was made using Big Chinese Russian Dictionary as a basis, which were the most complete dictionary in 90-s. Currently, our community adds new words everyday , so the amount of articles grows day by day (now it is 387 498 articles). The dictionary is absolutely free of charge and everybody can anticipate in it's creation.

It is true, that there are a lot of dictionary apps on the market (like Abby Lingvo, Wordoholic or Golden Dict), but they are all lack of features that Pleco have (Optical Character Recognizer, Text To Speech, Flashcard System, Text File Reader etc.), so that is the reason why a lot of non-English users keep the program on their mobile devices.

The main points, that stop them from buying Pleco are:

1. Lack of Cyrillic support, without which, they cannot install RU-CH dictionaries.
2. Lack of GUI translation
3. Lack of 3-party dictionaries support

So here is the Petition.

P.S.: Sorry for my poor English. Chinese is the first learning language for me \\( ^^ ).

I and a lot of others do hope the Pleco team will consider to fulfil some or all of the points.

Thanks in advance.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#2
Thanks for your message.

To be honest, aside from BKRS we're not aware of any other popular Russian dictionaries we could use or license, and BKRS is problematic because (at least the last time we checked) many of the entries in it seemed to be copied verbatim out of other published dictionaries. We're extremely paranoid about that sort of thing because our business depends on maintaining good relationships with publishers; if they find that we're distributing their content without paying them royalties it could be really disastrous for us.

So we'd be happy to add Cyrillic support if there was another dictionary besides BKRS that we could use it with, but we're not aware of any at the moment. Likewise for GUI translation (already in the works for several other languages), which isn't very useful without a Russian dictionary.

As far as third-party dictionary generation: we don't do that for the same copyright-related reasons - we absolutely don't want anybody distributing copyrighted dictionaries illegally in Pleco, which would be extremely easy to do if we provided a dictionary converter. We'd rather have somebody not buy our software at all than have them buy it and then proceed to use it with pirated dictionaries.
 
#3
To be honest, aside from BKRS we're not aware of any other popular Russian dictionaries we could use or license, and BKRS is problematic because (at least the last time we checked) many of the entries in it seemed to be copied verbatim out of other published dictionaries. We're extremely paranoid about that sort of thing because our business depends on maintaining good relationships with publishers; if they find that we're distributing their content without paying them royalties it could be really disastrous for us.
OK, I understand this one, absolutely and agree with that statement completely.
So we'd be happy to add Cyrillic support if there was another dictionary besides BKRS that we could use it with, but we're not aware of any at the moment. Likewise for GUI translation (already in the works for several other languages), which isn't very useful without a Russian dictionary.
As far as third-party dictionary generation: we don't do that for the same copyright-related reasons - we absolutely don't want anybody distributing copyrighted dictionaries illegally in Pleco, which would be extremely easy to do if we provided a dictionary converter. We'd rather have somebody not buy our software at all than have them buy it and then proceed to use it with pirated dictionaries.
It is funny, but I need to say, that despite of that, there is a way to convert third-party dictionaries into Pleco format.
Moreover, there is even a way to overcome lack of Cyrillic support just by converting all Cyrillic entries into a Latin one through transliteration method.

So, firstly, despite so called "copyright-related-reasons", all the measures do not resolve the "piracy" problem, it is still persists (and will persist forever IMHO).

Secondly, by all those measures you lose a chance to get more new customers. There are a lot of Russians, Ukrainians and so on, who learning Chinese (no need to add that for some of the countries China is their neighbour)

Thirdly, from the main point of view, Pleco not a dictionary it is a dictionary interface app. In my opinion you absolutely can position the app as dictionary interface for the "selected" countries. In that way, the final user will decide what kind of dictionary he will be using with the app. Just like GoldenDict (http://goldendict.mobi/) it is shareware, like Pleco, and it is support 3-party dictionaries, among which thera Babylon, ABBY Lingvo dictionaries (that does not related to goldendict in any way. GoldenDict just support it and leave the decision to use 3-party dictionaries to final user).

Fourthly, you absolutely can cooperate with ABBYY company, their android and iOS Lingvo dictionary interface sucks big time. You also can purchase a licence from them to include some of the most common China-Russian dictionaries from them.

Finally, doesn't final user should to decide in what way and what kind of dictionaries he or she will be using with the dictionary interface app?

I just do not get it...
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#4
The lack of Cyrillic support isn't copyright-related, we simply have a hard time justifying it cost-wise if we aren't also selling Cyrillic dictionaries, or at least offering high-quality free ones that would motivate people to buy our other add-ons. We will certainly investigate which dictionaries ABBYY is using, though - we have no antagonism towards the Cyrillic-using market, we just get a *lot* of feature requests so we like to make sure that every new feature we add is worth the trouble.

As far as dictionary piracy: we simply don't want anything to do with that. Along with hurting our relationships with publishers, it ultimately hurts us directly too - people might end up pirating some of the dictionaries that we ourselves sell as Pleco add-ons. And frankly, the dictionary business has taken a real beating the last few years thanks to smartphones - if they can't keep generating royalties from apps, publishers are simply going to stop making new dictionaries, and if that happens then we can no longer make money selling those dictionaries.

Plus, can we really expect people who are willing to use pirated dictionaries not to try to pirate our app as well? Why would someone respect one type of IP and not another? We've been fighting software pirates pretty much since the very beginning: we actually had people selling pirated copies of Pleco for Palm in *legal* software stores in China for a long time (didn't even have to go to a back alley for it), and Pleco 2.0 on Windows Mobile was pirated so heavily that even after Palm OS was basically dead it still barely outsold our Palm version. (leaving us in pretty grim financial straits until we released our iOS app) It would be quite hypocritical of us to help facilitate the theft of other people's intellectual property while demanding payment for our own.

So if someone is of a mindset to go around stealing dictionaries we'd rather they do that in a competitor's app.

And yes, in theory you can import arbitrary dictionaries into Pleco as user databases, but the slow performance and limited feature set of user dictionaries makes it nearly impossible to have a whole bookshelf full of them, so the piracy potential is much lower than it would be if we supported third-party dictionaries in our official format. It's not perfect, but it's a reasonable compromise between offering the legitimately useful feature of user-created dictionaries and not doing too much to support piracy. (we also have no qualms about taking steps to detect / block pirated user dictionaries in a future update if their use becomes widespread)
 
#5
Not really related, but do the issues with cyrillic characters mean that other non-standard ASCII characters (umlauts, ß) will have issues as well?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#6
Not really related, but do the issues with cyrillic characters mean that other non-standard ASCII characters (umlauts, ß) will have issues as well?
We automatically translate those characters to their ASCII equivalents, both on the searching and the indexing side, so you should be able to use ß et al without any problems.
 
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