I have begun my studies of the Chinese language and tried to set up my computer (which runs the Debian Stretch free operating system) to enable me to type Chinese characters. For that reason, I installed ibus and the auxiliary package "ibus-pinyin". Yet it seems as though I can't type Chinese characters that are more than three letters long. For instance, I can't type the Chinese character that represents "shìn", the word for "last name".
Fortunately, whenever the character has only three letters, my ibus works perfectly fine.
I've already tried replacing "ibus-pinyin" by "ibus-libpinyin", but this caused the pinyin option to disappear altogether. Moreover, I tried the command "ibus-daemon -drx", which has no effect whatsoever.
I understand that using the command "ibus-setup" (and subsequently clicking the right button a couple times) I obtain a window containing all sorts of options regarding pinyin. I've thus far been unable to locate the right option that does what I want. （A similar dialog also appears when I push the language button in my menu bar and then the "Preferences" button, which only appears when Chinese is the current input method.)
My computer language is French, but I'm using the German keyboard layout.