Learning Chinese - How To Write Tones in Pinyin on OpenSolaris

  More and More people are learning Chinese nowadays and one of the most popular and used latin transcript is Pinyin. As Chinese is a tone language, tones are written above syllables using  different "marks" :

1. First tone: " ¯ "  (bāo)
2. Second tone: " ´ "  (báo)
3. Third tone: " ˘ "  (băo)
4. Fourth tone: " ` "  (bào)

  So how to write pinyin with all those tones marks on OpenSolaris or Solaris ? Actually almost all of them it's quite easy, well for some you might get in troubles, but Sun is working on it and hopefully full support will be available soon.

  Before starting writing pinyin you need to know what's compose key is. Thanks to this key you can combine vowels with required tones. On Sun hardware keyboards (and maybe on some other keyboards) there is compose key located next to AltGr, on standard PC or notebook keyboards compose key is mapped to "Menu" key, again usually located between AltGr and ctrl. So what to do (please ensure you are using utf-8 locale):

1. To input first tone use underscore char:
  - <compose> + <underscore> + vowel  (e.g. <compose>+<_>+<a> => ā )

2. To input second tone use aphostrophe char:
  - <compose> + <aphostrophe> + vowel  (e.g. <compose>+<'>+<a> => á )

3. To input third tone is currently an issue :(
  - for "ŭ" use  <compose> + <u> + <u>
  - for "ă" use  <compose> + <a> + <u>
  - for "ě" use  <compose> + <e> + <v>
  - for "ŏ, ĭ, Ǖ,ǖ, Ǘ, ǘ, Ǚ, ǚ, Ǜ, ǜ" there is currently no compose sequence available.
To input those symbols you can use utility "gnome-character-map" (type "charmap" or "gnome-character-map" from your terminal and in "latin" script search for "ŏ" or "ĭ" etc ... Then you can copy paste them to your text.

4. To input fourth tone use grave accent char:
  - <compose> + <aphostrophe> + vowel  (e.g. <compose>+<`>+<a> => à )


  So that's it. For those interested in some background. compose sequences are defined in:
- OpenSolaris: /usr/X11/share/X11/locale/<locale>/Compose
- Solaris: /usr/openwin/lib/locale/<locale>/Compose

 Unfortunately if you want to add new sequence, manual edit is not sufficient, you need to rebuild X11 stuff (SUNWxwfnt) to make the new sequences working. For some missing characters I have submitted RFE and hopefully full support for pinyin input will be available soon.
(http://bugs.opensolaris.org/view_bug.do?bug_id=6750908 )


Comments:

Thanks for the tip. I tried on Solaris10 SunRay but it didn't work. Will this work in this env? When I hit the 'Compose' key, 'Compose' green LED indicator doesn't turn on. So, I'm guessing this key is disabled at much lower level.

Posted by Katsumi INOUE on September 23, 2008 at 09:46 PM CEST #

ups, I believe it should work. I'm also using SunRay and works for me. We have s10ur4 in our environment.
Maybe try to double-check your iiim setting. if you have activated or selected asian input method might happen compose key is not working. Try to switch to English/European input method and look if compose key working there. I'm also using SXCE and if I select S-Chinese input method comopse key is not working even if the input method is not activated. Also just for sure ansure you are usuing utf-8 locale, well in general compose key should work in not utf-8 as well, but just with limited amount of symbols supported by used encoding.
If still doesn't work I can try to ask some resp. engineer for the help.

Posted by Petr Hruska on September 24, 2008 at 08:26 AM CEST #

Petr, thanks! you hit the nail on the head. I selected "English/European" in "Language Selection" and it started to work.

Posted by Katsumi INOUE on September 24, 2008 at 08:58 PM CEST #

Good tips! Thanks!

Posted by xue on October 10, 2008 at 11:10 PM CEST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed
About

Solaris l10n & i18n, locales, keyboards, fonts and related topics.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today