Converting Chinese characters to Pinyin or Jyutping on Google Sheets

If you study Mandarin, you probably know what Pinyin is. In Cantonese, Jyutping fulfills a similar role. Dictionaries will show you the Pinyin for individual words, but if you want to quickly convert whole sentences, such as when taking notes during a Chinese lesson, you need better tools.

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Step 1: new spreadsheet

Open new spreadsheet on https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/ . Enter the following column headers: Chinese and Pinyin.

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Step 2: choose add-on

In the Add-ons menu, choose Get add-ons, then in the search bar, type mandarin. Install the Mandarin Cantonese Tools add-on by clicking the + Free button.

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Step 3: use pinyin conversion function

In your spreadsheet in cell A2, type a Chinese word or sentence, such as 谈生意. In cell B2, type =PINYIN(A2) (don’t forget to start with the = sign). Then press Enter. After a while, you should see the equivalent pinyin.

You can also use =JYUTPING(A2) if you are learning Cantonese.

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Step 4: extend the formula to other rows

Drag the lower right hand square while on cell B2 to extend the formula to subsequent rows.

Done ! You can now quickly convert lots of chinese words or sentence to pinyin, which is particularly useful when taking notes during a Chinese lesson, especially if you’re going to convert those notes to flashcards. You can directly export the result to CSV and import into Anki.

Follow me on Patreon to receive updates about new functionality: https://www.patreon.com/lucw

This addon makes use of the following open source library: https://github.com/lucwastiaux/python-pinyin-jyutping-sentence

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