Speak Good Chinese
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If you want to look up words:

MDBG Chinese-English dictionary

In order to assist you and your students we provide some wordlists found in some common Chinese learning methods. You can open them via the Open List button on the Settings page. The wordlists will be installed in the wordlists directory.

Currently, on OSX and Linux the wordlists should have the .sgc extension for SpeakGoodChinese. If your browser renames the extension to .zip, you should rename the files again to have the extension .sgc. Wordlists with the .zip extensions will be loaded, but this feature is still experimental.

On Windows, you should unpack the word lists (.sgc or .zip) into a map with the name of the wordlist. Then you can install them using either by name or by opening an audio file (e.g., name.wav) or wordlist.txt or wordlist.Table inside the map. (this will work on Mac and Linux too)

Plain text wordlists (e.g., name.txt) or full tables (e.g., name.Table or name.tsv) can also directly be opened using the 'Open List' button on the Settings page.

How to create word lists

To load, or read, a new word list go to the Settings page and click on the Open List button. You can then select the file that contains the word list. It will automatically open and be stored in your local word list directory.

Very simple word lists

The easiest and simplest way to create a word list is to create a pure text file (.txt, or DOS file). The file should have the name of the word list and the extention should be .txt. Each line should countain a single pinyin word.

Example: SGC2example1.txt

Simple word lists with characters and translations

Characters and translations can be added to the simple, text based word list descibed above. Again, create a pure text (.txt, or DOS file) file with the .txt extention. Each line should start with a pinyin word. Next, follow the pinyin by a tab or ';' character and the characters that correspond to the pinyin, again a tab or ';' character and the translation in free text. Translations can be in any language. For instance, can be entered as to eat, कालो, 食べる, ჭამა or any other transcription in UTF8.

Example: SGC2example2.txt
chi1;吃;to eat
ta1;他;he, she, it
huan1ying2;欢迎;to welcome
duo1shao3;多少;how many

Audio files can be added in the same manner. Just add an item with the extention of an audio file to the line (between tabs or ';' characters). For instance, chi1.mp3 will be interpreted as an audio example.

These simple word lists do not contain information about the order and nature of the items. There can be errors in distinguishing characters, translations, and audio examples.

Word list tables

Simple word lists based on text files can lead to errors in the values of the items. Large lists with both characters and translations should be constructed as tab-separated-values (tsv) tables. These can be exported (Save as) from a spreadsheet or database program. The file extention of such a file should be .Table or .tsv.

A SpeakGoodChinese wordlist table is a tab-separated-values table that starts with a header line which contains the column headers Pinyin, Character, Sound, Translation. Then the column values are written on a line with tabs separating them.

Example: SGC2example3.tsv
chi1-to eat
ta1-he, she, it
huan1ying2欢迎-to welcome
duo1shao3多少-how many

Word lists with associated audio files

These word list distributions are simple flat ZIP files with the name <list name>.sgc. They contain a list of all the words in pinyin with the name wordlist.txt or wordlist.Table as is discussed above. Except that the name of the word list file should be either wordlist.txt or wordlist.Table. Other names are not allowed. The sound files should be named <pinyin word>.ext, where <pinyin word> is the pinyin transcription, eg, sheng1zi4, and ext the sound extension type (eg, wav). Note that SpeakGoodChinese uses Praat to process the sound files. So only those sound files recognized by Praat can be used (see Praat: Read from file...). SpeakGoodChinese will use WAV (.wav), Flac (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), and Speex (.spx) files as examples if they are present . Don't forget to include a LICENSE.txt file with the copyright and licensing information. If you use one of the Creative Commons licenses or the GNU GPL, we might be willing to put your list on our web-site.

It is possible to use SpeakGoodChinese to record example audio files for wordlists. See the Articles page for instructions. The recorded files have file-names that start with the intended pinyin spelling of the word, followed by other aspects (eg, a time stamp). Select those recordings you consider good enough as examples and rename them to <pinyin>.wav (replace <pinyin> by the target word, eg, ni3hao3). Copy them to the target wordlist directory for inclusion in the distribution.

Word selection and Lessons

Students can select the words to practise on the Settings page. The wordlist table can contain a collumn with the label Lesson and a lesson number for each line. The words are sorted and displayed with lesson numbers in the word selection window. The student can select the lessons to study when starting.

Example: SGC2example4.tsv
chi1-to eat1
ta1-he, she, it1
huan1ying2欢迎-to welcome1
duo1shao3多少-how many2

The entries in the Lesson column do not have to be numbers. Any string is allowed, Lesson 2, पाठ 2, レッスン2 and 第二课 are all valid lesson labels.

Global installation of word lists

The wordlists a user installs are placed in her local settings directory:

To install wordlists for all users, place them in: