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Pinyin Dictionary transliterates Chinese characters (hanzi) to romanized forms. It supports Hanyu Pinyin, Zhuyin (Bopomofo), MPS 2, Wade-Giles, and Tongyong Pinyin.

What's New

Version 2.1.1:
  • Customizable Return key behavior.


Mac OS X 10.2 or later

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Pinyin Dictionary User Discussion

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Mrcoffeeluver Member IconComment+18

Good piece of software to get Chinese script into pronounceable form for us dummies who can only read pinyin.

Has also multiple "legacy" formats to transcribe Chinese script.

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Version 2.1.1
Zeitkind Member IconReview+21

Very nice tool for anyone who needs to read Chinese characters. Was looking for that for years now. Many Thanks! Feature request: Add the free chinese-english CEDict for single words.

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Version 2.1
mhar Member IconComment+2

Wow. As someone who reads and writes Chinese but is not a native speaker, this app is absolutely amazing. If only I had had it twenty years ago! How different life would have been.

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Version 2.0
musubana Member IconReview+38


I do not know a word of Chinese, but finally I can add sound to all those ”mute” internet adds… (ˆ_ˆ)

Unless you have a CJK keyboard/typing device it is a bit hard to use, though. I picked random signs from the System's floating Unicode palette (click the flag on your menubar), and discovered that Pinyin Dictionary only covers the mere basics. If you input some sign from the extended sign blocks, like "CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-20021" (𠀡), the program yields nothing.

I guess actual readers and learners of Chinese script will give this app their thumbs up. Let's wait and see…

(A final wish: Why not include IPA transscription as well? That would be a perfect way to learn Mandarin. [I assume the program gives the Mandarin pronunciation of the signs, though it does not explicitly says so - which it definitely should!])

Reply1 reply
Version 2.0

@MUSUBANA, as you own a Mac, you do not need a CJK input device. Your keyboard will do as well. Simply activate the ITABC Input Method in the System Settings, Localisation or Country Settings (I do not know exactly the wording as I am using german localisation). If you enable to show the keyboad menu within the menu bar, you may select the chinese flag and then you can simply input the romanized form that program produce (but without the accents) and you get a selection of all those chinese characters that will match the sound you wrote. Select the one you mean and you are set. :-)

For instance: typing hanyu will produce 汉语 following that method.

Is the Mac not a nice toy? :-)

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> 4 2


Current Version (2.x)


Downloads 2,861
Version Downloads 1,492
License Free
Date 06 Jul 2009
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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