I am making a word list of Chinese words:

  • Column 1: simplified Chinese word
  • Column 2: traditional Chinese word
  • Column 3: word meaning
  • Column 4: pinyin pronunciation

So, I am looking for a keyboard for my Android 4.4.2 device which will allow me to insert all of this (in particular both simplified and traditional characters using the pinyin IME, and a third ASCII-like mode that will allow me to enter all four pinyin diacritics above the letters.

  • I think "above the letters" is entirely impossible in Android. What the best Android can provide as I know of is long press English vowels while inputting, a list of pinyin (with tone marks) and some special symbol developed from the vowel will appear and you can move to the one to choose. Don't if 4.42 has this function or not. Commented Sep 20, 2020 at 0:42
  • In the stock android pinyin keyboards, you get the additional accented letters ǎěǐǒǔǖǘǚǜ available via long press. You need to have the pinyin keyboard currently selected though. (Though why do this the long way instead of just typing pinyin into Pleco, creating flashcards, exporting the flashcards as text, and editing it as you want? It saves you from typing both traditional and simplified)
    – gnucchi
    Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


I would recommend Google Pinyin which I use everyday: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.pinyin


Many of the keyboards available have loads of bloatware, ads and require an incredible amount of permissions on your phone. They sometimes come in installed sizes of nearly 100 Megabytes.

This is why I suggest another option: Multiling O Keyboard. It

  • needs next to zero permissions
  • has swiping
  • is free of cost and free of ads (albeit not open source)
  • supports more languages and modes than any other keyboard I’ve seen
  • is about 0.3 Megabytes + language support in size
  • is SUPER customizable
  • of course supports Trad/Simp, pinyin with tone marks etc

Via an (admittedly slightly clumsy) web interface, you can create your own layout, define the number of rows / fields of keys, function of long presses, basically every single functionality of everything. Once past the initial setup, it’s a big step up from heavily bloated (yet working) apps like Swype or TouchPal.

If you like to tinker with things, try this.

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