I’ve written a few tools for Chinese. Here are links to each tool, its description, and the blog post I made when I finished making it:

Pinyin Tone Tool description blog post
Cantonese Tone Tool description blog post
Chinese Number Tool description blog post

I have also written about some tools others have made:

Finally, there is also the Romanjinator, a tool for converting Japanese katakana into romanji (romanized letters). It isn’t really a Chinese tool, but it’s of more use to Chinese students than anyone.

The Romajinator blog post


Pinyin Tone Tool

This is a tool for adding tones to pinyin. Type Chinese words in pinyin, followed by tone numbers. Then press, “convert” to turn add tones to the words. For example,

“Wo3 zhi1dao4 le5.” becomes “Wŏ zhīdào le.”

This tool is a bit unique in that it leaves most English unmolested. In other words, you can convert Chinese words within English sentences.

“I want to go to Bei3jing1 next year.” becomes “I want to go to Bĕijīng next year.”

To the best of my knowledge, this tool is the first and only tool for correctly adding tone marks to pinyin from within a web browser. All of the other tools of this type that I’ve seen require server requests, and thus make the user wait during page loads. The inconvenience of waiting for numerous page loads is why I wrote this tool. The most recent versions of Microsoft Office can also handle this conversion.

Cantonese Tone Tool

This is very similar to my pinyin tone tool. The only main difference is that is adds tone marks Cantonese (Yale Romanization), rather than to Mandarin. To the best of my knowledge this is the only Cantonese tone tool on the web.

“Jung3 leui5 cham4 ta1 chin1 baak3 dok6。” becomes “Júng léuih cham tà chìn báak dòhk。”

I don’t speak Cantonese myself, but I wrote the tool in response to requests on Chinese Forums.

Chinese Number Tool

This tool converts a wide variety of Chinese numbers into Arabic numerals. Once again, I wrote the tool because there weren’t any good ones to do this. Chinese number converters have been floating around the web for quite a while, but they’re all terrible. The tool ranked at the top of my Google search couldn’t even convert 五千八 properly. My Chinese math tool handles a wide variety of input.

  • Traditional and simplified characters are both supported, and so are clerical numbers.
  • Floating point numbers can be placed before 萬(万), 億(亿), and 兆. For example, 14.2万 = 142000
  • Numbers with decimals, such as 三點一四 are properly converted
  • Non-integer output is okay, too:
    一万零四十三点一四一五九二六 = 10043.1415926
  • Buttons are provided for entering Chinese characters without the need of an IME.
  • Commas can optionally be included in the converted numbers. For example, 五萬零三十 = 50,030
  • Several numbers can be entered on separate lines and converted simultaneously

Writing this tool was John’s idea, and I’m glad he suggested it to me.