cantonese flashcard solution

dustpuppy

榜眼
I'd like to use pleco's extremely power flashcard module for cantonese words (with their jyutping transcription). Is it possible to disable the pinyin processing of pleco ?
Thanks.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Not yet, but an option for that has been much-requested... it would probably have to be something in the Pinyin string itself, an extra character you'd insert at the beginning of the string to indicate that it should be handled verbatim and not Pinyin-converted. But we're very worried about the consequences this would have for things like muti-choice and fill-in-the-blanks tests, which wouldn't be able to do anything with these non-Pinyin transcriptions and hence would probably have to skip them altogether...

We're hopeful that we'll soon be adding official Cantonese support, though, which would not only give you Jyutping but also let you automatically convert between that, Yale, Guangdong, etc - just waiting to conclude an in-negotiation license for a Cantonese dictionary.
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
i'm so happy to hear that ! please push through for the cantonese dictionary license, especially if it has audio. i'm ready to pay a lot of money for such a dictionary.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
dustpuppy said:
i'm so happy to hear that ! please push through for the cantonese dictionary license, especially if it has audio. i'm ready to pay a lot of money for such a dictionary.
Thanks! Audio would probably come out after the dictionary, we'd decide how much money to spend developing it / whether to invest in recording multi-syllable words or just single syllables based in no small part on how the non-audio-enabled dictionary sold.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
dustpuppy said:
ok that makes sense
have jyutping first would be more than enough initially.
For a lot of users maybe, but there seem to be vicious enough debates on the subject that it's probably best to support a couple of systems from the get-go so as to keep everyone happy.
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
Haha I just found out i'm actually not learning jyutping, but the sidney lau romanization method ! haha I understand why there is debate about which method to include now.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
jacky89 said:
Do you know how long this will take? I will shell out money for it right away.
Not sure, the negotiation process for this dictionary has been rather drawn-out and even once we get it licensed we have to find time in our development schedule to do the necessary programming work to support Cantonese (actually fairly substantial since we need to come up with a user interface to differentiate Cantonese from Pinyin input - can't always auto-detect it).
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
What can we do to help convince you to spend the development time on this ? For one thing, the pricing can be different, I have no problem spending a lot of money on a cantonese dictionary if it integrates with pleco.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
dustpuppy said:
What can we do to help convince you to spend the development time on this ? For one thing, the pricing can be different, I have no problem spending a lot of money on a cantonese dictionary if it integrates with pleco.
Bear in mind that we still haven't actually signed a license for a Cantonese dictionary yet, we're just getting close to doing so... I'm not too worried about pricing, though; we'd be almost the only game in town for Cantonese-to-English, and could certainly charge whatever we needed to to cover the costs of bringing it to people.

People have suggested using Kickstarter for stuff like this, but we can really only consider that once we have an Android version and can distribute stuff outside of anyone's supervision; right now we'd have no way to deliver a Pleco Cantonese dictionary add-on that people had paid for using Kickstarter without violating Apple's rules.

It would help matters considerably if we could find a reliable / inexpensive contractor to record Cantonese audio for us; a tricky thing about that is that we'd probably want at least one of our two speakers to be from HK (since that's the accent people are most likely to be interested in anyway), and that person's probably going to be considerably more expensive to hire than someone from Guangdong (or from Beijing as with our Mandarin recordings). Cantonese audio would be almost as critical as the dictionary itself, and it'd make us a lot more money to boot, but assembling tens of thousands of audio recordings is a ton of work and it's not easy to find someone who can do that with a satisfactory level of quality / accuracy. (our Mandarin recordings were done by someone I have an enormous amount of confidence in and there were still quite a few mistakes)
 

goog1e

举人
dustpuppy said:
What can we do to help convince you to spend the development time on this ? For one thing, the pricing can be different, I have no problem spending a lot of money on a cantonese dictionary if it integrates with pleco.
Just want to add a "me too". As I said in email a few weeks ago, I am willing to pay more for such a dictionary as well as for multi-syllable audio. Audio from Guangzhou would be fine for me.

There may be enough of us willing to advance purchase or "patron" the Cantonese add-on pack to pay for a lot of it up front. It's unfortunate Apple rules are hindering such an arrangement. I'm still on WM6, can I still fund it?
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
can you make the cantonese dictionary available for everyone to purchase at a marketable price point ? on top of that we can use kickstarter to commit funds towards development of the cantonese dictionary.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
goog1e said:
There may be enough of us willing to advance purchase or "patron" the Cantonese add-on pack to pay for a lot of it up front. It's unfortunate Apple rules are hindering such an arrangement. I'm still on WM6, can I still fund it?
Not enough WM users left to make a difference, unfortunately, plus it's not 100% guaranteed that we'll release this dictionary on WM - it's a lot more work on the programming side than the Classical dictionary (which we've already strongly suggested will make it to WM). If the current negotiations drag out for a few more months and we do wait to release this until the audio is ready then it might not be out until the end of 2011, and between Windows Phone 7 and our forthcoming Android release, our current prediction for Windows Mobile sales dropping to (essentially) zero is next spring. (the availability / cost of our WM-to-Android license transfers will also be a factor in that, particularly as many capacitive-screen WM phones like the HD2 can be re-flashed to run Android)

dustpuppy said:
can you make the cantonese dictionary available for everyone to purchase at a marketable price point ? on top of that we can use kickstarter to commit funds towards development of the cantonese dictionary.
Like I said, we can't use Kickstarter because we can't give iPhone users the dictionary they'd be paying for without violating Apple's rules. We do hope / expect that the price will be fairly reasonable, though - it's not as big a market as Mandarin but there's also a lot less competition in it.
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
i'm offering to donate money towards the development of a cantonese dictionary. i don't understand how that's against apple rules ?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
dustpuppy said:
i'm offering to donate money towards the development of a cantonese dictionary. i don't understand how that's against apple rules ?
Normally with Kickstarter, people put down money for something they'd like to see developed basically as a sort-of preorder; demonstrate that there's enough money out there for this proposed project that it's worth starting. We wouldn't be able to do that with an iPhone product since we can't process orders outside of iTunes.

Honestly, though, the up-front money isn't that big a concern anyway assuming the license for the dictionary we're currently working on goes through - it's not cheap, but it's in line with our typical royalty advances for new dictionaries and we're pretty confident we'll make it back.
 

pleco10

秀才
I am keenly looking forward for Canto support in Pleco, but PLEASE don't abuse your monopoly status to charge an extortionary price for Canto dict & flashcards!!! Please have student pricing!!!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
pleco10 said:
I am keenly looking forward for Canto support in Pleco, but PLEASE don't abuse your monopoly status to charge an extortionary price for Canto dict & flashcards!!! Please have student pricing!!!
Don't worry about that - we'll charge enough to cover our costs but there's no point in making it ridiculously expensive, we're making software because we want people to use it. I'd expect it to be in line with the costs of our other dictionaries (though if we offer Cantonese audio, we might charge more for that than Mandarin audio depending on how much it costs us to hire people to record it).
 

dustpuppy

榜眼
Is there anything new on the development of a cantonese dictionary ? since there aren't any cantonese dictionaries on the iphone, you would have the whole market to yourself.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
dustpuppy said:
Is there anything new on the development of a cantonese dictionary ? since there aren't any cantonese dictionaries on the iphone, you would have the whole market to yourself.
Progress is slow, so nothing to report yet I'm afraid.
 
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