As mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts, one of the challenges you face when you are learning Chinese is that there is no white space in Chinese text. Fortunately technology comes in handy and you can use segmentation to help you add white space in Chinese text.
Once the text has whitespace, the next two time consuming tasks (for those of us who want to learn the language and won’t translate the entire chunk of text altogether) are:
- Find out the meaning or meanings of the word.
- Find out the sound of the word.
Usually the above two tasks are accomplished by copy pasting the text into a translator. But I thought there could be a better/faster way of doing this without having to go back and forth between the text you are reading and the translator.
After searching for an answer online, the closest to what I was looking for was Convert Chinese to Pinyin (Mand). This is a Chrome Extension that will take Chinese text and convert it all into Pinyin. So this solved task #2 but it still did not fully accomplished what I wanted.
So I decided to go ahead and write my own Chrome Extension and I called it Leo Chino, which means “I read Chinese” in Spanish : )
This is how Leo Chino will help you solve the two above laborious tasks:
First, let’s assume the below is a picture of the text you want to read.
After you have installed Leo Chino you can go ahead and click it.
Leo Chino will do its work and will show you the below transformed page.
So task #2 has been solved as you can read all the words on this text (notice the nice whitespace between words 😀 ). Now Leo Chino will also help you learn the meaning or meanings of this word as well as the way you should pronounce the word (just because Pinyin is written in English letters it does not mean you are saying it right). All you need to do is click on the Pinyin for the word you want to learn and a popup will show you the information you need.
To hear the pronunciation just click on the speaker icon : )
The only limitation at the moment is that Leo Chino only works in web pages served through HTTP.
Have fun reading and learning Chinese : )