Chinese popup translations in Google Chrome

by Dave Flynn | 14th May, 2010 | Software |

It seems that Google Chrome is really growing in popularity lately – and can you blame people? It really is lightning fast in comparison to other browsers. Although, one of the things that makes or breaks a browser is extensions, luckily Google added this functionality to Chrome a while back and the Chrome extension community now seems to be flourishing.

The benefit of this is that there is now a decent Chinese pop-up translator available (thanks to Chris and Confused Laowai for pointing this out): Zhongwen is the Chrome equivilent of the famous Pera Pera Kun on Firefox, and provides pop-up translations of words on Chinese language websites. While not having as many settings as Pera Pera Kun, the basic essential features are there. (Update: Since publishing this post Pera Pera Kun has been released for Chrome)

Installing extensions in Chrome is easy, if you haven’t done it before all you need to do is go into Settings -> Extensions (Window -> Extensions on the Mac), and simply search for Zhongwen:

When the search results are displayed just click on Zhongwen and then choose ‘Install’, after the download is finished follow the instructions to finish the install:

When Zhongwen is installed you’ll be able to see the icon to the top right of the Chrome window, cllick on this icon to enable Zhongwen:

Then just browse to a Chinese language website and enjoy realtime translations:

There aren’t a huge number of settings for Zhongwen, but one of the more unique features is the tone colouring – the colouring of the pinyin for a particular word is set based on the tone for that word. Words that are first tone are coloured in red, second tone orange, third tone is green, and fourth tone is blue. The benefit of this is debatable, but still it’s a nice touch.

Have a tip on a good browser plugin for learning Chinese? Please leave a comment below!

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Dave Flynn

Dave is a designer of websites, learner of Chinese and lover of technology. Originally from the UK, he's been living in Taiwan and learning Mandarin Chinese for the last seven years. He founded and runs Chinese Hacks, a blog dedicated to effectively learning Chinese.

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Tags: #Browser #Chinese #Chrome #Plugins #Translation

5 Comments

  1. That’s cool to know… I am tempted to have a look at using chrome now! I have stuck with firefox particularly because of mandarin tools like this (perapera-kun before)


  2. Yeah, even though Firefox seems slow compared to Chrome, without plugins like these i’ve had to stick with it. Looks like I’ll be able to start using it for browsing Chinese sites now.


  3. rgyhfdhg

    this is BS, perakun is also on chrome. i actually found out because zhongwen suddenly stopped working and i was afraid i’d have to go back to firefox because of that.


    • Hi rgyhfdhg (Is that your real name?) At the time of publishing Pera for Chrome hadn’t been released yet, so technically not “BS” ;) Thanks for posting the link below, though, I’ll update the post.


  4. rgyhfdhg

    here you go : https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hlcddplhfenagbaipfjhhcjmebhkkaif

    perakun for chrome


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