How to Write Chinese on Android Devices

How to Write Chinese (Hanyu Pinyin) on Android

I have no idea how useful this tutorial would be but if there are any other Nigerian Mandarin learners like me out there, especially those learning basically (or only) spoken Mandarin, they must have come across the problem of writing Hanyu Pinyin on their laptops and Android devices.

For non-Mandarin speakers, ‘’ is the ‘romanization’ of the Chinese language. In plain language, it is writing Chinese (Mandarin et al) with English characters.

Currently, I haven’t found a way to write Hanyu Pinyin on Windows keyboards but luckily I have found a way to do it on Android.

On Android, you will need to install Google Pinyin Input (a good alternative from downloading a new language pack, of which I don’t think Hanyu Pinyin is a part of) from the Play Store (it’s free, of course). Once GPI is installed, select it as your default input method (this can be changed anytime from the notifications/settings tab).

With GPI, you can simply write Pinyin the way you write regular English. To adjust/change the tone marks, all you need to do is to hold down the key until all the tone marks come up. Drag your finger along the screen to select the particular one you want.

Tone marks

GPI also comes with Chinese mode where it translates the Pinyin input directly to Mandarin. This is kinda tricky if you are a learner like me and can’t differentiate between male and female forms of characters or all those other tricky Chinese stuff. In GPI, you can also draw the characters on the keyboard and the best match would pop up, of course, this is an advanced option for advanced Mandarin speakers. GPI also comes with QWERTY and T9 dictionaries in both Chinese and English modes.

Dictionary modes

I hope this tutorial has been of help to my fellow Mandarin learners.

PS: If you would like to learn Spoken Mandarin Chinese, there is a free course on www.edx.org currently running. The certified version of the course closes on August 10th, 2015 though.


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