Learning Chinese with Python

 · 1 min read


I have been learning Chinese since 2016. Unfortunately it goes slowly but once upon a time I receive some task to prepare and present (read) some speech in that language. Because it is much easier to write it in Chinese characters text is usually written in my language (Polish) or English and in Chinese characters. I can barely recognize 20 or 50 of them so Pinyin is a must. And because on daily basis I am using Python I thought : let us so how to use it to automate my work.

Python is great

It has tools for everything. It took me only minutes to find nice libraries for segmentation, group characters into words (the leader is jieba) and then to use pinyin transliteration (xpinyin is one of the many examples). This is how easy it is to be done in Python

import jieba
from xpinyin import Pinyin

sentence = "我想说更好的中文,但很难,因为我是波兰人"

segments = jieba.cut(sentence)
output = " ".join(segments)

p = Pinyin()
pinyined = p.get_pinyin(output, splitter='', show_tone_marks=True)

It will produce output:

Building prefix dict from the default dictionary ...
Dumping model to file cache /tmp/jieba.cache
Loading model cost 0.899 seconds.
Prefix dict has been built succesfully.
我 想 说 更好 的 中文 , 但 很 难 , 因为 我 是 波兰人
wǒ xiǎng shuō gènghǎo de zhōngwén , dàn hěn nán , yīnwèi wǒ shì bōlánrén

Cool isn’t it? Now I can use it to document processing, thus making my work much faster now.