bloody cellphones

October 21st, 2007

It’s a pain in the arse to type the Chinese name of Hohhot into a cellphone. Really, 呼和浩特 is easy to type on a computer (and typing it shows I’ve gotten the first character wrong the two times I’ve had to type it on my cellphone this evening), but the severe limitations of the cellphone “predictive texting” mean it has to be typed out character by character. I’ve long thought that new cellphone input methods should be revised so that they consider strings of characters instead of the one character immediately previous. Sure, the physical limitations of cellphones would make this difficult to make practical and useable, but still….

Geeks, get cracking!

2 Responses to “bloody cellphones”

  1. John Says:

    Same on my phone. Also tried �都, but the second character is merely annoyingly far down the list of second choices.

    Unless you could get a SIM card programmed with a place names option, there’s little point in making place names a high priority for predictive text. However, you might expect with polysyllabic names in Chinese, your choices should be quite narrow after the second character. If you’ve typed in 呼和, then probably the most likely word you want is 呼和浩特.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I would’ve thought proper nouns would be a high priority for predictive text. Certainly, the big ones like Beijing and Shanghai are never a problem. I can understand having to work hard to enter the name of some obscure Mongolian village in the remotest corner of the Ordos, but is it so hard to include China’s provincial/regional capitals and other major cities? And it’s not just place names or other proper nouns, there’ve been a variety of words of more than two syllables that have caused me no end of trouble. 办公室, for example. It’s fine until you get to the third character. If predictive texting could be made to take into account strings of characters instead of only the one, immediately previous character, such words would suddenly become much easier to type.