Chinese Annotation Tool
Created by Erik Peterson
This tool makes reading Chinese easier by automatically
marking up the words in a simplified Chinese text with their
pronunciations and dictionary definitions. You can type or paste in
Chinese text or the address of a Chinese web page. You have
several choices of how the text will be annotated:
- Segment Only: In this option, the program will
add spaces between the words in the text. No other information is
- Add Dictionary Entries at status line: After
segmenting the text, the program adds two kinds of ways of looking up
the word. First, when the user puts the mouse over an underlined
word, its pronounciation and definition will appear at the bottom of
the browser, at the status line. If the user actually clicks on the
underlined word, it will take them to the pronounciation and English
definition as a footnote later on in the page.
- Add Dictionary Entries as footnotes: This option
Holding the mouse over a word will do nothing, but clicking it on will
still take the user to the definition in the footnotes. The file size
is also smaller than option 2.
- Convert to Pinyin: The program segments the text
and uses that information to convert the Chinese characters to pinyin.
Only the pinyin is shown in the results.
- Add pinyin next to characters: The
pronounciation of each character is indicated by adding pinyin by its
side. No other information is added.
- Add Pinyin above Characters: Add the pinyin above the
character, in an annotation style called the ruby. Currently only
works on Internet Explorer 5 or higher (for other browsers the pinyin is placed
next to the character).
- Add Pinyin/Defs in Margins: Type a list of words
into "Words to Annotate" box, one word per line with no spaces.
Annotator will add definitions of these words to the right of the
paragraph the words occur in. If the words are not in the dictionary,
you can also include the definition besides the word, using the format
The user can add their own definition in this format:
Chinese [pinyin] /English definition/
That is, the Chinese (no internal spaces), followed by one space (not
a wide Chinese space), followed by the pinyin surrounded by square
brackets (with a space between each pinyin syllable), followed by
another space, followed the English definition/explanation surrounded
by slashes (this is the CEDICT format). One word or definition per
Users can use this to override the CEDICT definitions in the other
modes if the definitions or romanizations have mistakes.
When using "Add to Margins" the first time the word occurs it will
be in bold. Its definition will appear more or less to its right.
Right now it is set up to try to match words to paragraphs, so be sure to
have at least one blank line between paragraphs.
Users can add words or definitions to the "Words to Annotate" section
to supplement or override the existing dictionary. Use the CEDICT
format for entering entries.
The tool currently only handles the ca. 7000 simple-style characters
in the GB-2312 character set, not yet traditional characters where there is a difference. Dictionary
definitions are drawn from Paul Denisowski's
CEDICT Chinese-English dictionary. If you find a word that does
not have a definition, consider contributing it to the CEDICT project.
The segmentation algorithm is still under development. Just what
constitutes a "proper" Chinese word is also a good research topic. You
can download the
segmenter code (in perl) and run it yourself.
This page is a mirror of the annotator formerly available at Erik
Peterson's On-line Chinese Tools site.