simplified to traditional by magic? -- a computer question

Discussion in 'Chinese Language' started by feng, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. feng

    feng 榜眼

    I like regular (traditional) characters. It's something of a fetish, I admit it. But so much of the web, and so much of my time on the web, is in simplified characters. Maybe that can be changed by magic?

    Comedian John Oliver is behind new Firefox and Chrome apps (called Drumpfinator) that automatically change every instance of "Trump" to "Drumpf" (but not trump, TRUMP (well, sometimes), trumpet, etc.). It worked in all the web pages I tried, except's wacky pop-up article pages. That got me thinking . . .

    What if one made such an app that changed simplified characters into regular (traditional)? There are almost 170 (I forget) more or less common characters that disappear in the PRC, and that would be something to overcome, but let's say there are 2,500 (a wild guess) common characters that are different between the PRC and Taiwan (this goes a little beyond the PRC's two lists of simplifications and the PRC's List of Variants). Would it be possible to do the same thing Oliver got someone to do for the Drumpfinator app to change web pages automatically as they load? Or would changing dozens or hundreds or even more characters on a page be too much for a brower app to do?

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge ;)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  2. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    The one-to-many mappings are the problem there - takes a lot of intelligence to figure out which one to use in some cases. (理/里 is particularly thorny)
    feng likes this.
  3. alex_hk90

    alex_hk90 状元

    It would be fairly simple to do all the one-to-one mappings automatically, in a similar way that website translation services work (instead of translating from Chinese to English, it would "translate" from Simplified to Traditional). As you and @mikelove have mentioned, the difficulty is in working out the correct Traditional character where there is a one-to-many mapping. Similar methods as automated translation services could again be used, looking at the characters surrounding it and combining it with frequency tables, possible user input, etc.
    feng likes this.
  4. Wan

    Wan 榜眼

    @feng If you just want to convert characters in webpages simp<->trad, and if you happen to use firefox, check out this addon: New Tong Wen Tang. Haven’t tried it in a while, but it used to work decently a couple of years back.
    edit: Just saw this addon also exists for chrome.
    feng likes this.
  5. feng

    feng 榜眼

    My eyes thank you! I just installed it in on Firefox and have started playing with it :cool:

    Thanks to Mike and Alex, also. I am glad to know this is not a big technical hurdle. The one to many I think is only a big problem for some characters, or so I imagine, but yes I can see 裏/裡 vs 里 and some others could present real issues. It is something for me to ponder :p
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

Share This Page