It doesn’t matter how long you have been learning Chinese for, when browsing Chinese websites or reading Chinese news online, you’re certain to come across some at least some new words or phrases.
While it’s easy to copy a word into Google Dictionary, it does mean leaving the page you’re reading, finding out the definition, then coming back to continue reading. If you’re checking a few words, this can become tedious extremely fast.
First install Pera Pera Kun, after which you’ll be redirected to their homepage where you need to separately install the dictionary database, here is the Chinese version (scroll down to Step 2 and click on ‘Chinese-English Dictionary’).
You can now enable Pera Pera Kun by right-clicking on the page and choosing Pera Pera Kun > Chinese (or by clicking on the small star icon that is placed at the bottom right of the browser window):
With Pera Pera Kun enabled, simply hover over a Chinese word or phrase on a web page to view an English translation of the word, along with the Pinyin and sometimes alternate spellings or related words. Both Traditional and Simplified Chinese are supported, and the size and colour of the words can be adjusted, so have a dig around in the settings to find out what works best for you.
This is an extremely useful plugin and essential for anyone learning Chinese and who wants to read Chinese language websites – so now you don’t have an excuse for not being up-to-date on Chinese news 😉
For Chrome users, the Google Dictionary extension provides similar functionality, although it only features a definition and not pinyin pronunciation – if you know of a decent Chrome alternative to Pera Pera Kun, please post in the comments.