Cang Jie Tutor Guidelines

This Cang Jie tutor contains short and concise information on all rules the method of Cang Jie provides (perhaps, only exceptional cases not included). 99 lessons and almost the same amount of drills for them may build a solid basement for typing Chinese characters in Cang Jie even without knowing Chinese language.

There are some plans to extend and optimize the tutor, but there's no particular time-table or even estimate when it may be delivered for public use.

Method Learning

The learning topics may be grouped as following:

  1. Introductory notions: some initial knowledge about what is to be learned.
  2. Principles of hieroglyph decomposition: the student must be capable to see different parts of hieroglyph separately and find them in other hieroglyphs, too.
  3. Lists of primary and secondary radicals: one key-code is responsible for one or more secondary radicals.
  4. Special cases of Cang Jie input method: simplifications and shortcuts – that's where one's imagination is the best friend.
  5. Complex hieroglyphs: X letter code use-case, where simplification is pointless due to high complexity of hieroglyph.
The above presented study flow is common for both native Chinese speakers and those, for who Chinese is a foreign language. This is a specificity of the method: it doesn't require one to know Chinese prior to speedy typing its hieroglyphs.

Keyboard

The standard keyboard 24 letters represent the primary and secondary radicals and their derivatives, which should be learned in both layout and mapping: one key is always tied to one primary radical, which may be used solely, and a set of secondary radicals, where each is presenting an integral part of hieroglyph only. This takes the bigger part of the tutor.

There is no need to install and use a Chinese Cang Jie keyboard/input methods as the tutor deals with standard English key-codes: keyboard layout should be English – USA English for instance in QWERTY layout to avoid any problems.

Touch Typing

One's touch-typing skills are highly desirable, and if it is not the case, one has to take care of it as quickly as possible. It is recommended to map/tie one's already learned keyboard layout to the one of Cang Jie. Practice proved this helps a lot.

Lessons and Drills

One lesson or unit is dedicated to one particular rule or rule set of Cang Jie. The lessons backed with no drills are scarce as it is better to practice, always. Some sections, though, give theory of Cang Jie, which is inevitable, but they are followed by lessons with drills.

It is useless to start doing exercises without reading an informational part at least once. In addition to explanations given in the info blocks of lessons, the user should be aware of the following:

  1. Every drill has input string of hieroglyphs - top right position from input field - which is shrunk in the course of the user's typing one hieroglyph at a time. At the same time every correctly typed hieroglyph is shown at the bottom left position. No incorrect code is accepted.
  2. There are two kinds of drills:
    - typing: use letter codes provided under every input hieroglyph;
    - self-checking: turn off code hints (see set of green helper buttons on the left) and keyboard helper.
Some drills are logical that is they require the user to reply Yes or No inside the input field, some may provide correct and incorrect codes (one of possible variation) for comparison (the latter are crossed out) and the user has to input the correct one; but the most are giving input codes only. For every uncommon type of drills the info part of lesson should notify the user.

Training Guide

Use of any drill may be extended dependently on the user's Cang Jie skills: one may start with plain hieroglyph input as-is and make sure the input is flawless. However, it is necessary to learn Cang Jie keyboard layout, too. For this, the user may turn on radicals instead of letter-codes in hint area for hieroglyph to be inputted. Typing this way one is forced to map Latin letters to radicals on keyboard.

The user is free to switch between English/Latin and Cang Jie layouts: there's a switch on bottom right side from keyboard having En and markings correspondingly. In the event the user doesn't need the keyboard hint, it may be turned off.

It is strongly recommended to use code hints in radical mode because this way one is tying deliberately a known keyboard layout, say, English with the layout of Cang Jie.

Finally, it is useful to get back randomly to any lesson passed and without reading its informational part start exercising.

Upon completion the whole set of drills, one is free to take any Chinese text on the Web and start typing it – copying into a text editor – using a real Cang Jie input engine installed on one's PC.