Tone problems continue

So it looks like my big fix for the Pinyin tone marks not displaying properly wasn’t much of a fix after all. Some programs display it while others (such as iTunes) butcher it. One of the solutions I’m considering is switching the front page version of the Pinyin to using numbers rather than tone marks. So Nǐ hǎo would then become Ni3 hao3.

This wouldn’t affect the Premium transcripts version, which would stay as it is (using tone marks). The advantages I see are:

  • This should solve font issues as I’d be using normal characters and numbers without any tone marks
  • I could then integrate search capabilities to search for vocabulary. I had a search feature previously, but removed it since people kept using it without tone marks, so the system wasn’t able to find the results they wanted.

I’ll keep looking for other solutions, but I’m curious to know what you would think above. If I decide to go this route I’ll retype all the earlier lessons on the front page to keep it consistent.

No Responses to “Tone problems continue”

  1. I normally convert the pinyin to pinyin with numbers because my Palm PDA needs it in that format, but it’s a chore to use the converter program, sometimes easier to retype it and hope to make no mistakes.

    Also my old eyes cannot see the tone marks properly unless I make the letters half an inch high, but I can read the numbers fine even with a very small font size. In the past I’ve learned words wrongly because I could “see” a different tone mark. The numbers do take getting used to at first, though, and some people don’t like them at all.

    So if you want to make one version of the pinyin be pinyin with numbers, and another with tone marks, that caters for everyone and you’d at least have my support.

  2. I fully support a search function and the use of tone numbers.

    In the past I attempted to search for vocabulary, but with no luck. Now that the lessons include the tones in Mandarin, using tone numbers will be easy to understand. A search function will be a valuable asset to learning and reviewing past vocabulary.

    As a beginner, however, I appreciated having tone marks since was easier to understand the tone used. This is one of the reasons I chose CLO over other methods/websites. Perhaps some of the earlier lessons should include tone marks so that beginners can visualize the tone instead of memorizing numbers.

  3. Thanks for the comments! It looks like I may go the number route. Note that you will still have access to the regular tone version of the lessons in the Premium section as well as in the lyrics field of the podcasts if you download them manually as opposed to receiving them automatically via RSS.

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