Stroke count method

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Keyboard of a Chinese mobile phone, showing roles of the numbers 1-5 in the Wubihua method

The Stroke Count Method (simplified Chinese: 笔画; pinyin: bǐ huà), Wubihua method, Stroke input method or Bihua IME (Chinese: 五笔画输入法; pinyin: wǔ bǐhuà shūrù fǎ or Chinese: 筆劃輸入法; pinyin: Bǐhuà shūrù fǎ) (lit. 5-stroke input method) is a relatively simple Chinese input method for writing text on a computer or a mobile phone. It is based on the stroke order of a word, not pronunciation.[1] It uses five or six buttons, and is often placed on a numerical keypad. Although it is possible to input Traditional Chinese characters with this method, this method is often associated with Simplified Chinese characters. The Wubihua method should not be confused with the Wubi method.

Each of the five keys from 1 to 5 are assigned a certain type of stroke (resembling the Eight Principles of Yong):

  1. A horizontal stroke from left to right (一)
  2. A vertical stroke from top to bottom (丨)
  3. A long diagonal stroke downward from right to left (丿)
  4. A very short dash stroke downward from left to right (丶)
  5. A horizontal stroke from left to right, ending with a downwards hook to the left (乙)

To input any character, the user simply presses the keys corresponding to the first four strokes of a character and the key corresponding to the last stroke of a character. The user presses * or 0 after the last stroke for characters with four strokes or less. Some Wubihua systems have a match option that the user presses to indicate the code is complete. Some systems take more than 4 strokes.

The user must select from a list of matching characters. The list of suggestions to choose from becomes more and more specific as more digits of the code are entered.[1] The system will not recognize a character input with an incorrect stroke order.[1] Some people find this method of entering characters into a mobile phone to be faster than pinyin. In fact, as pinyin is based upon Mandarin Chinese, many Chinese people - particularly in the southern regions of China like Hong Kong and Macau - who speak other varieties of Chinese and never learned pinyin relied solely on this method of entering characters on their phones, until touchscreen-based Smartphones allowed the possibility of Handwriting recognition.

Wubihua is one of the easiest to learn methods because it is simple and does not require knowledge of pronunciation or Pinyin. However, it tends to be vague, as a Wubihua code will normally match ten characters, and each character has one correct code, which confuses users whose stroke orders are wrong.

Strokes map to Wubihua input generally according to the following table:

Wubihua Character Stroke Type Stroke Examples
(simplified Chinese and pinyin)
1 Horizontal, or Rising Cjk h-horizontal.png Héng
Cjk t.png
2 Vertical Cjk s.png Shù
Cjk sg.png 竖钩 Shù Gōu
3 Falling to the Left Cjk p.png Piě
Cjk pg.png 撇钩 Piě Gōu
4 Dot, or Falling to the Right Cjk d.png Diǎn
Cjk n.png
Cjk tn.png 提 捺 Tí Nà
5 Turning Cjk hz.png 横折 Héng Zhé
Cjk hp.png 横撇 Héng Piě
Cjk hg.png 横钩 Héng Gōu
Cjk sz.png 竖折 Shù Zhé
Cjk sw.png 竖弯 Shù Wān
Cjk st.png 竖提 Shù Tí
Cjk pz.png 撇横 Piě Zhé
Cjk pd.png 撇点 Piě Diǎn
Cjk pg.png 撇钩 Piě Gōu
Cjk wg.png 弯钩 Wān Gōu
Cjk xg.png 斜钩 Xié Gōu
Cjk hzz.png 横折折 Héng Zhé Zhé
Cjk hzw.png 横折弯 Héng Zhé Wān
Cjk hzt.png 横折提 Héng Zhé Tí
Cjk hzg.png 横折钩 Héng Zhé Gōu
Cjk hxg.png 横斜钩 Héng Xié Gōu
Cjk szz.png 竖折折 Shù Zhé Zhé
Cjk szp.png 竖折撇 Shù Zhé Piě
Cjk swg.png 竖弯钩 Shù Wān Gōu
Cjk hzzz.png 横折折折 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé
Cjk hzzp.png 横折折撇 Héng Zhé Zhé Piě
Cjk hxwg.png 横折弯钩 Héng Zhé Wān Gōu
Cjk hpwg.png 横撇弯钩 Héng Piě Wān Gōu
Cjk szzg.png 竖折折钩 Shù Zhé Zhé Gōu
Cjk hzzzg.png 横折折折钩 Héng Zhé Zhé Zhé Gōu

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wicentowski, Joe (1994). "Wubihua for Speakers of English". Yale University. Retrieved 10 October 2013.

External links[edit]