My experiences with Pleco -> Anki droid. Some improvements that Pleco could use.


I've put off studying Chinese for a while, but in lights of some obligations had to get back at it.

Luckily, Pleco has some TTS... And god damn the new TTS sound so great, especially Qiang, so sexyyyyyyy---- <- this right here is a motivator. New husbando FTW.

In lights of attempting a new studying method -> using definition (w/ TTS) to words, I found it highly successful with Anki(droid). 1500 words learnt in barely one month speaks great success for me (same language front and back).

However, Pleco still doesn't have that feature yet, and it makes me sad.

Right now I'm just exporting cards from Pleco to Anki, and it's a pain (lol). Since I don't have a concrete plan on what lexical list I need, I decided to export the whole dictionary. But since there is no such option... I decided to add each card one by one, manually... It's been days(close to 2 weeks lol) already and I'm still not done. I'm halfway thru though.

I use: Settings-> manage dictionaries->browse all dictionaries entry.
Issues that I've encountered:

1. Since it's impossible to get everything done in one session, there should be a cache thing where Pleco can remember which is the last entry. Instead, Pleco only remembers where is the last scrolling spot. Sometimes it remembers, sometimes it does not. Such as when I use the back button, it will remember. But when I use the hamburger menu it doesn't save? Pleco doesn't properly remember the last word/entry you go.
Also, scrolling is hugely annoying since it behaves very inconsistently. And when you have around ten thousands entries and you use a letter as a landmark, the scrolling just flew part!

Solution: make the cache/remembering thing work consistently. AND. Making the scrolling experience smoother, having an alphabetical menu on the rightmost would be useful (just like Android custom launchers that can sort alphabetically)

2. A way to avoid the hassle of scrolling right (especially with such a small screen) is by adding a search bar/find option. Hell it doesn't even need to be a bar! It can be in the action button! This way, you can go back at your latest entry if you've noted it down in another app or something... Instead of experiencing the horrible scrolling.
Solution: add search

3. Since I want to make a very complete course, including words with multiple definitions is a must! However, since it's a manually, and Pleco like to mark a duplicate as added already (when it isn't) is very annoying. There should be an option to disable this behaviour! But because of this I've encountered a few duplicates.
Solution: have the option to disable duplicate prompt, or add duplicate cards without triggering the prompt each time.

Of course, all of this could be avoided if the option to export the entire dictionary to csv exists... But it doesn't for some obvious reasons.

4. I would like to export the pinyin in accents... Without using the number system please. Such as hé instead of he2. Having ankidroid pronouncing it as he-two drives me insane.

5. Disable the toast *card created*with a toggle or something. Since Pleco lags a lot whenever I create cards and it's interfering with other apps even after leaving Pleco.

Last rant: I like Qiang, but I can't use him in how I use flashcards *mad*. Mike said that because of the license restriction, the days using Qiang on anything other than Pleco is impossible. But I can't find the makers! Mike, plz share official download link/buy source to save a life!!!

6. Personal. I want to buy Qiang as my default Android TTS. #FreeQiang2018

7. When you export to simply Chinese with trade Chinese, why can't you make it to let it only show the simp Chinese with only the different Trad Chinese, instead of showing the full entry???


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Staff member

Definition TTS: already more-or-less done for 4.0. (pretty much had to be since now we allow arbitrary custom fields + thus need to potentially let you put a TTS icon on any of them in case you're, say, providing three different readings for something)

Other items:

1,2,3,5) To be honest, while I'm amazed by your perserverence here, since we specifically designed Pleco not to allow people to export entire dictionaries in this way it's not really a use case I'm inclined to spend a whole lot of time optimizing around :) And in fact I should also point out that totally unrelated to this, the Browse screen is in line for a revamp that will add a search box but that search box will simply give you a list of results rather than jumping you to a certain place in the dictionary (not because of the possibility for people restoring previous locations more easily but simply because dictionaries aren't always sorted in an order where that would be useful), and at the same time the saving-of-last-location behavior may be modified as well (haven't finished it yet).

All that being said: even ignoring copy-protection concerns, I'd really have to recommend against exporting an entire dictionary this way, simply because a lot of the words in any comprehensive Chinese dictionary are technical or rarely-used; maybe 1/3 of the vocabulary in PLC are words you actually have any realistic chance of ever encountering in the wild. If you can live without examples (or at least without well-formatted ones) - as I assume you already are if you're having Anki TTS the definition field for you - you might have a much easier time doing this through the regular Pleco flashcard import/export system: import the word list you want, it'll fill in the definitions for you, then export it back to a text file and import that into Anki. (can also run that text file through a converter to, for example, add Pinyin tone marks along the way)

4) Actually I thought there was an option for this already... will investigate.

6) AFAIK we're the only people offering it - we licensed it from NeoSpeech (says that in the copyright page, not trying to keep it secret) but we specifically commissioned them to port their desktop TTS to mobile for us and I don't believe they offer those high-quality files on Android in their own TTS software.

7) Not quite sure if I understand that one - should be possible to select only the simplified field, is that not working?