Dots for Tones

If you’re writing a lot of pinyin on the computer, and you’re not good with the numbers, you may want to try using something I call “diǎndiào”点调 (dot tone). It uses periods in lieu of tone numbers, like this:

  • dian…diao…. = diǎn diào

As opposed to:

  • dian3 diao4

Sometimes, in a chat, or an email it’s just quicker to type diandiao pinyin especially for a single word. Or, if you’re keeping a master list of your own personal vocabulary on the paper, diandiao is usually faster to type than the numbers.

Of course, on paper, there is no point in writing diandiao because it’s easy to just add those tone marks.

See also:

The Pinyin Wall

How to type pinyin (pīnyīn) with tone markings

2 Replies to “Dots for Tones”

  1. Hi there,

    Nice blog ! I’ve been studying Chinese for 12 years now (yep… 12 years… full-time…!) and I wish I could have found this kind of blog a few years ago, when I was totally lost !

    I try to write a bit in Chinese in my blog… you’re welcome to practise there anytime 😉

  2. This is a great idea!

    I don’t seem to have a problem with character recognition and associating it with the word I’m looking for, but I definitely can’t summon the character I need on demand.

    This tip takes a lot of guesswork out of typing pinyin on a computer!

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