This is a great bonus for students of the Chinese language: by scrutinizing the characters in order to spot the CangJie predefined shapes, you will quickly form in your mind a picture of the structure of the characters you are studying.
To emphasize this advantage, I have included in the CJ book special exercises which focus on "reconstructing" a character from the shapes of the signs forming its Cang Jie code. It is the best input method to help you remember the structure of the characters you are typing.
The Cang Jie method will definitively help you
improve your command of the Chinese language.
You do not need to know, at all, the pronunciation of a character in order to be able to input it: you analyze the shapes of the character according to the Cang Jie rules and proceed to input the character. This is very useful for students of the Chinese language when encountering an unfamiliar character and wanting to learn its pronunciation and meaning with an electronic language dictionary.
In Taiwan and in Hong Kong, it has been noted that many users, even people who do not need to type fast, still do not choose phonetic methods for input because it is often difficult to remember the exact phonetic transliteration of characters, even if they can pronounce them correctly. They find the Cang Jie graphical approach more suitable, even though they have already learned the Pinyin or Mandarin phonetic systems during primary school time.
This is one of the main advantages of this method.
It is a one-step typing operation --identical to the one used in typing English.
That is why, in the Cang Jie input method, characters can appear directly in your application as soon as you have entered the code. The character you want, and only it, will directly appear.
As you obtain immediately the character you want without any need to scroll through rows and rows of characters, you obviously can type much faster.
Thatís why Cang Jie is the input method of first choice used by professional typists in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Some professionals can type 150 characters per minute, faster than typing in alphabetical languages.
If you want to transmit a particular Chinese character to someone at a distance --give a Chinese address over the phone for example, itís not easy at all to describe the characters by their radicals and strokes, especially if the recipient does not know them. Indication of a character by its phonetic transliteration will point to too many homophones and will not solve the problem.
But with Cang Jie, which offers unique and therefore unambiguous codes, if your recipient has a computer or electronic language dictionary at hand, he can type in the code you tell him and immediately see the needed characters!
Because Cang Jie has its own system of representation of characters --which is precisely the object of this book -- you can input a character even when you do not know how to write it by hand, i.e.: the number of strokes and the stroke order.
This can prove to be very useful when you want to research a character that you do not know well. With Cang Jie, you still can use your computer or electronic language dictionary to get the character you need and all information related to it: meaning, grammar, phrases, etc.
It is quite often that school children using CangJie can type 60/80 characters per minute.
As you can see from the preceding examples, the principles of the CangJie system are simple. Application is also very simple for the great majority of the characters we commonly use. But to be able to avoid as much as possible multi-character representation by one code Ėthe hindrance of phonetic methods Ė the CangJie method needs to set certain rules which require your attention and some practice. It is worth all the effort!
8. The CangJie can be used for traditional as well as simplified characters.