Mark Crispin markrcrispin at
Fri Sep 26 17:24:35 CEST 2008

> Most Chinese computers use pinyin as their main textual input
> method, correct? If computers are capable of converting pinyin
> to Chinese script, then we can assume that a lot of systems
> designers will chose to display content tagged as Hanyu pinyin
> in the Chinese script by default, as it is generally easier for a
> native to read that way.

That idea sounds attractive, but in real life it does not work well.

The conversion of Latin script to Han characters involves an
intelligent human interacting with the conversion software to
choose the correct Han character from multiple choices.

Some software attempts to make intelligent decisions based upon
context.  There is considerable controversy as to whether that
intelligence is helpful or harmful.

The bottom line is that it is not safe to assume that any automated
process can convert Hanyu pinyin into Han without human
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