View Full Version : Trying to Find: PINYIN Bible


cancelx
03-24-2010, 10:35 PM
New Testament in Chinese Pinyin
I'm using the Astak Pocket Pro (so most any format is cool)

I tried to find but can't) -- especially free !

Not sure where to post, hope here is ok

Thanks !

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 12:23 AM
The whole bible in PinYin? How would that be readable? Much too complex to be understandable without the underlying characters.

cancelx
03-25-2010, 12:34 AM
just New Testament is fine.
Basic pinyin is just romanized letters in place of characters... not so bad.

actual chinese would be difficult on the reader maybe.

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 12:46 AM
just New Testament is fine.
Basic pinyin is just romanized letters in place of characters... not so bad.

actual chinese would be difficult on the reader maybe.

I know what PinYin is. The problem is that you have the same PinYin phonetics for so many different characters, that makes it extremely hard to read.

And no, actual Chinese is fine. I have a number of classics. Have tried PDF files, no EPUB. There are some formatting issues only.

cancelx
03-25-2010, 12:49 AM
i understand your meaning, you mean the tonal numbers right?
well, I saw pinyin Bible in print, but not on the ebook yet.

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 12:57 AM
Even if you have tonal marks you could still have dozens of possible characters for each PinYin word. Anyway, if you are happy with it, go ahead. I was just wondering that this would make no sense. If your Chinese is good enough, why use PinYin? And if you are learning, then a bible would be much too difficult.

cancelx
03-25-2010, 01:05 AM
I am only learning, but planned to use the Pinyin next to regular, learn by knowing the verses... you know?

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 01:23 AM
In that case I have 2 suggestions. First, choose something easier. The bible's language is difficult, extremely awkward and not exactly something you can use very often. Second, if you still want to go ahead, read the characters and use a dictionary as needed.

Mr. Dalliard
03-25-2010, 03:41 AM
I thought the Chinese were fortunate enough to have never been influenced by the bib, oh nevermind...

Pinyin, in isolation from hanzi, is kind of pointless anyway - much like learning Japanese using ro-maji only. I can't imagine what it would be like to read a tonal language book written phonetically (would each syllable be accompanied by a number?), minus its ideographic component . And the Bible, of all novels, seems to be a rather strange and impractical choice, from both a linguistic and cultural standpoint, for language learning.

Are you a missionary, by any chance? Either way, I think you should take HansTWN's advice.

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 04:42 AM
Are you a missionary, by any chance?

The only possible explanation that I could think off :blink:

LDBoblo
03-25-2010, 06:47 AM
I've read a few HYPY [漢語拼音] publications and it is usable for a lot of things (news in particular), but for more literary applications, its limitations can quickly be found. Characters can be ambiguous enough in literature, why magnify it by using Romanization?

Most learners would be better off with reading on a PC with Dr. Eye, Wenlin, Lingoes, StarDict, or some other program that allows rapid lookup. Ebook readers aren't really as useful yet.

If you insist on reading on an ebook reader, there are also some Chinese fonts that will give the phonetic pronunciation of each character alongside the character itself (typically for educational books, and almost always in zhuyin fuhao [注音符號]. Most are in FangSong style [仿宋體] if I recall.) I don't think they'll display very well at small sizes on a 6" ebook reader, but they should be readable at normal sizes if you're willing to invest the work to install and use them (though such fonts I suspect are pretty limited in character range, and many characters have alternate pronunciations in certain usage patterns).

For a single book as specific as the Christian Bible, I think it would be most prudent to simply buy a paper copy with both characters and phonetic notation. I admit I've not looked for such a thing as I'm not in that subculture, but I'm quite certain it'd be easy to find.

cancelx
03-25-2010, 11:05 AM
Hi all-

First, no, I am not a commissioned missionary. I'm a Christian writer in Canada who answers questions and offers info on faith when the situation arises.

To the point-- most of the Chinese language learning books at my bookstore are Learning Pinyin. Not Chinese characters or anything, just basic Pinyin.

My main goal is being able to read the Bible in Chinese and speak without sounding completely hopeless , haha. My understanding, and limited experience, said Pinyin was that way.

I know people from other cultures learned English from reading the Bible, and thought the reverse may apply.

See, no mystery involved (grin.)

thanks kindly.

petechan
03-25-2010, 11:12 AM
If I can give my two cents also. I am Chinese but putonghua is not my native speech and I am learning Chinese secondarily. I agree with the above advise that reading pinyin primarily is worthless for anything more than learning very basic conversational chinese. Most translations of the Bible in Chinese (eg. Union version) that I know of, is of a level high enough that it would not make sense phonetically.

Not that I am recommending buying another device right off the bat, but I have Plecodict software on my old Palm TX and the newer version (Version 2) can run off some Axiom PDAs and most smartphones running Windows mobile and also the iphones. I tell you it is a godsend in terms of learning Chinese since you can input words by handwriting (much much faster than looking up by dictionary specially if you can't pronounce the words), and the version 2 can automatically look up definitions on a Chinese text entered on the same device just by pointing at it.

I rarely use my Chinese book dictionaries ever since getting this software and if you really want to learn Chinese (which is a long hard journey), this will save you quite a bit of frustration.

petechan
03-25-2010, 11:29 AM
I posted my comment before reading the writer's last comment so I know better where cancelx is coming from. I am not aware of an ebook bible in pinyin text only. I saw some bilingual pinyin-hanzi paper bibles on amazon.com

I hope there are native Chinese speakers where you live. My only advise is to engage in many conversations. For most non-native speakers that I meet, the biggest hurdle, more than the vocabulary, is to overcome the problem of getting the right tone and pitch since Chinese is a tonal language.

HansTWN
03-25-2010, 10:19 PM
Actually, in Mandarin the tones are not that much of a problem, since people will still understand what you mean as long as you speak in whole sentences, even if you get it wrong sometimes. Knowing the written language helps, of course, since you could explain which character it is supposed to be.

LDBoblo's suggestion of reading on a computer and using DrEye (have seen people use it at work many years ago) is very good. You just hover over a word with your mouse and translation and pronunciation appear. Since that little program is from Taiwan, I don't know if it works with Simplified, though. And the Romanization may not have been PinYin. But I am sure the Chinese have developed similar programs.

I was suggesting the use of a dictionary since looking up characters by stroke order really is the best learning experience. Slow, of course.

By the way, there are much faster entry methods than handwriting for phones these days. Both on the Iphone and WM, using PinYin you only have to type in the starting letters of each word in a word combination. And the software learns which words you use most often and rearranges the order over time (not on the Iphone, I think). I have yet to meet a native Chinese speaker who can write faster on his phone than I do on mine.

LDBoblo
03-26-2010, 01:24 AM
Actually, in Mandarin the tones are not that much of a problem, since people will still understand what you mean as long as you speak in whole sentences, even if you get it wrong sometimes. Knowing the written language helps, of course, since you could explain which character it is supposed to be.

LDBoblo's suggestion of reading on a computer and using DrEye (have seen people use it at work many years ago) is very good. You just hover over a word with your mouse and translation and pronunciation appear. Since that little program is from Taiwan, I don't know if it works with Simplified, though. And the Romanization may not have been PinYin. But I am sure the Chinese have developed similar programs.


Lingoes (http://www.lingoes.net/) is a cool little free program that is almost as good as DrEye in function, has a relatively small footprint, and has pretty good support for simplified Chinese. Sadly, some of the host links for their traditional Chinese dictionaries are unreachable for me, thouth they can be found elsewhere mostly. StarDict (http://stardict.sourceforge.net/) is much the same and might have even more/better dictionaries supporting it, and works well on Linux (admittedly better on Linux than on Windows as it uses GTK+, though I've seen a portable version that kept it all self-contained). For traditional Chinese, I don't think they're quite as good or comprehensive as DrEye, but they're pretty good. I keep the portable version of Lingoes on a USB stick and find it can be handy from time to time with a few dictionaries in it.

While they are useful language aids and can be used effectively to study, they're really designed more for productivity and convenience. In my experience, the mental investment in phrases, words, and grammar using super-convenient dictionaries is minimal, and retention is exceptionally low. They also bypass many of the larger language structures in favor of vocabulary (since that's the function of the programs), which is a bit of a pitfall for way too many learners of many languages.

I also agree that tones aren't too hard. For many students of the spoken language, the trickiest things are slang and idiomatic expressions (which are generally just memorized and only rarely logically discerned on the fly) and alternative pronunciations for characters that don't always appear in dictionaries (A simple and common example is "dice" which dictionaries will almost invariably list as 骰子 [tuzi], but which a huge number of people call [shǎizi] which comes from a dialect reading of 色子 apparently. Use of "proper" Mandarin pronunciation will confuse a surprising number of native Mandarin speakers, especially in the south and in Taiwan). It's all doable, but those things are trickier to learn independently. Tones, tonal sandhi, the u| distinction, and the retroflex sounds seem to be hardest to many beginners, but among intermediate/advanced students, the problem quickly goes away. It doesn't mean they do it correctly, it just means they don't recognize it as a huge obstacle to learning anymore, and they have other problems to worry about.

Phew, sorry for the rant.

petechan
03-26-2010, 09:55 AM
BTW, regarding my comment on Plecodict.

You can input both by pinyin or handwriting. I just mentioned the latter since pinyin for me is slower to enter on PDA, and I don't text on my phone so am not good at it. Handwriting recognizes both traditional and simplified script. Output is in both also.

They have Chinese to English and English to Chinese dictionaries all of which exist in published book form. Their ABC Chinese to English by DeFrancis is excellent in my opinion. Includes slang and variant pronunciations and colloquialisms. The have text to speech pronunciation and flashcards capability also.

Sorry about my enthusiasm for the product, I don't work for them. Years of slugging through dictionaries almost killed my desire to learn Chinese, and wish I had found their product sooner.