Linguist Forum

Specializations => Computational Linguistics => Topic started by: giselberga on May 30, 2018, 11:33:40 AM

Title: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: giselberga on May 30, 2018, 11:33:40 AM
I saw Vietnamese typing system

Vie^.t Nam dda^'t nu*o*'c me^'n ye^u
→ Việt Nam đất nước mến yêu
To^i ye^u tie^'ng nu+o+'c to^i tu+` khi mo+'i ra ddo+`i\.
→ Tôi yêu tiếng nước tôi từ khi mới ra đời.

aw → ă
aa → â
dd → đ
ee → ê
oo → ô
ow → ơ
uw → ư

Vietnamese write alphabet but why is processing computer difficult?
And why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Title: Re: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: Daniel on June 05, 2018, 12:24:26 AM
I don't understand your question.

Different languages have different writing systems. Almost all of the the decisions about that predate computers by decades or much longer. The only answer can be "because of tradition".

Of course the first computers most easily encoded the English alphabet because they were made by English speakers. But with Unicode and other technologies, almost any language can be used on a computer now. There is no real problem, except sometimes software compatibility. And so now the answer is "because instead of changing the languages or their writing system, the computers are now more advanced and change to encode them better."
Title: Re: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: panini on June 05, 2018, 08:49:38 AM
Vietnamese is actually pretty trivial to type, once you install a Vietnamese keyboard program and learn a half-dozen general conventions, which puts it on a par with French or Norwegian. Compared to Arabic, Hindi, Hangul or Chinese, Vietnamese is simple.
Title: Re: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: Daniel on July 03, 2018, 10:10:11 PM
I agree about Vietnamese. (Though for some people it seems adding accent marks in Spanish, etc., seems like a lot of work.)

But I don't know if I agree with this:
Compared to Arabic, Hindi, Hangul or Chinese, Vietnamese is simple.
Chinese is complicated because there are several possible input methods (mostly either the traditional stroke-based system, or the more recent phonetic-based system), and Japanese similarly because there are multiple possible characters for the same pronunciation so it can be a little complicated.

But for Arabic, Hindi and Korean Hangul, they're just different symbols for pronunciation and aside from the computer knowing how to represent those symbols (and in each case changing the shape in certain ways to connect the letters together), typing them is quite easy once you remap your keyboard. It's basically the same as typing in Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, just different symbols than Latin. Learning the languages can of course be difficult, and the scripts too, but typing in particular is a pretty easy skill you can pick up in a couple weeks during your first language class, if you want, once you're familiar with the script. In fact, if you map your keyboard phonetically (but maybe not in the standard way for the language) you can actually "sound it out" on the keyboard and have the text appear onscreen. Or use an onscreen keyboard preview to memorize the arrangement that way.

Anyway, not an especially important point to make here, but I just thought I'd follow up because, once you remap your keyboard (different operating systems have various options, but they do all have options, usually by default if you know where to look), actually typing is really not hard at all.

Of course for any language using special characters sometimes it is hard to type when you don't have a your computer (or phone, etc.) set up properly, so accent marks get skipped, and sometimes languages are transliterated to Latin from other scripts. Typical of 9-button phones used for texting, although smartphones are making that less important now.
Title: Re: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: panini on July 04, 2018, 08:13:14 AM
I guess my metric of simplicity is based on how much extra you have to learn how to do or learn, in order to type. The baseline is simply, "if you want to type 'r', hit the key with an 'r' on it. 'R' is a little bit more complicated. Of course if you have a keyboard that actually has a physical 'ø' key or one for 'ش', that reduces the complexity of the task. That's my basis for concluding that Telex makes Vietnamese simpler than those other languages. Though I suppose properties of the language would count against Vietnamese, viz. the impossibility of writing any word without having to add zalgo. For Arabic, I'm counting the إِعْجَام, تَشْكِيل  and حَرَكَات to be fair (otherwise, we could just write "Toi yeu tieng nuoc toi tu khi moi ra doi").

When you do the cost-accounting, I would say that typing "gkek" to get 하다 is mildly bizarre, and imposes a significant learning burden (okay, buying a Hangul keyboard can reduce that), but that still puts Hangul at a disadvantage compared to Telex.
Title: Re: Why is typing Vietnamese difficult?
Post by: Daniel on July 04, 2018, 02:31:03 PM
That's true, actually especially from the perspective of the native speakers who (in theory) might not know how to type in English, because it's two steps. It's not much harder for a learner, but requires speakers also know the Latin alphabet (not much of a practical problem these days but still).