Are there any tools that can convert an entire webpage from characters into either Pinyin or Zhuyin Fuhao?

Ideally something like Google Translate. So perhaps a website where I enter the URL of the page I want converted. Or a browser extension that allows me to convert whichever page is currently displayed in the tab or window.

I don't mind if it does only pinyin or zhuyin, but one that handles both would be great.

Something like this is handy when you want to focus on learning or practicing words and phrases, comprehension, etc when you don't know all the characters, especially when you don't have any speakers to practice with.

(Yes I know there are all kinds of tools that can pop up the pronunciation of an individual word or character in running text in the browser. Or where you can cut and paste plain text. For the purposes of this question I'm only asking about full-page conversion please.)

  • The resource CW mentions a tool that will convert any body of text as described above and a web browser add-on that will allow you to covert it on any character you hover on
    – 50-3
    Feb 12, 2014 at 6:49
  • @50-3: Really. I just read through it and can't find it. What's its name? As I specifically mentioned, for this question I don't want tools which just convert the character you're hovering over. Feb 12, 2014 at 7:00
  • 2
    pin1yin1.com just copy and paste
    – 50-3
    Feb 12, 2014 at 7:01
  • I specifically don't want copy and paste. I want to see the web page just how it was but with the text converted. Just like with Google Translate. I'll make the question more specific. Feb 12, 2014 at 7:05
  • Note: these tools are not 100% correct, it could not handle multi-pronounciation characters, and characters that not in the programming-list.
    – sfy
    Jul 21, 2017 at 8:16

9 Answers 9


On Android you could try the "Pinyin Web Browser" app in the Play Store (free and no ads), or "Cantonese Web Browser" for Sidney Lau / Yale. Both apps print their romanisation with word-groupings, formatted as large as the characters, and cope with on-page changes made by Javascript etc (the two apps also share their bookmarks with each other). But because every line of text ends up being twice as high as the webmaster intended, sites will break if they use too much "pixel-perfect" vertical positioning (which was not part of Tim Berners-Lee's original plan for the web, but too many webmasters do it anyway). The app does contain a couple of kludges for the layout code of sites listed on its start page, but one dev can't fix the entire web so YMMV.

The underlying annotators were trained using a variant of the Yarowsky algorithm and therefore take context into account for things like 差 (chāi or chà) and 为 (wèi or wéi) although it still makes some mistakes. Training data included proprietary documents, so, although the apps are free, the data cannot be fully open-source, and annoyingly CC-CEDICT could not be used because its CC license conflicted with this situation. But there are some limited English definitions available, or the apps will link to Pleco or Hanping if you have either installed (tap on any word to access the popup definitions and Pleco/Hanping button, unless that word is part of a web link, in which case tapping on it just opens the link as normal). The code without the data is Apache-licensed if you want to re-train it on another corpus yourself, but the results are not likely to be as good unless you have access to a better corpus than I do.

There exists code for an iOS version, but the Apple developer programme is incredibly unhelpful (1 they only accept apps compiled on a decent Mac with latest OS, not a few-years-old one, 2 they demand 100 pounds a year to subscribe to the programme, universities can be exempt but individual university members cannot, and 3 I have no idea how much extra they invoice for testing new releases). There are however a couple of established iOS developers who have been given the back-end code, so let's hope they release browsers soon.

As for desktop browsers, I have had some success making "bookmarklets" (like mini browser extensions), but these rely on sending the page to a third-party server to get the pinyin and are therefore not great for privacy unless you can also set up the annotation server on your own machine. Also an increasing number of sites are blocking the use of bookmarklets altogether in their "Content Security Policy" (CSP), so if you want bookmarklets you now need a browser extension to turn off CSP as well (or a proxy that does the job, but then the proxy has to rewrite secure HTTPS into insecure HTTP; an increasing number of sites have user-side scripts that break when this happens). There is however a Windows 10 developer who has the back-end code and is making a Win10 "universal app" for both desktops and mobile devices. In all cases the problem remains of fixing up the sites that are too fussy about layout. (You could work around this by cramming pinyin into the very small existing space between the lines, but the result would not be half as easy to read.)


To PinYin

Please use: Chinese version of word or WPS, in word you can see: 用鼠标选中需要注音的文字(拖黑)——格式——中文版式——拼音(Word2003,XP……) for Word2007 or above version, switch to "Home" page and then click this:enter image description here

  • WPS looks a little difficult for a beginner at Chinese to use. I can't even tell if it's a website or something to download and install. Feb 12, 2014 at 7:25
  • What about Chinese Word? Maybe you can consider using multpile languages to compare to learn;)
    – xqMogvKW
    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:33
  • In my case I don't own and can't afford to buy Chinese Word, but it might be the solution for other people that want to achieve the same goal. Feb 12, 2014 at 8:44
  • Haha……Hope Microsoft or someone publishes a on-line tool;)
    – xqMogvKW
    Feb 14, 2014 at 2:55

Sorry pal, I don't think such software exist for a simple reason of exponential combination process.

Chinese pronunciation has so many rules. Add on top of that, there are "occasional" special cases which may be frequent in usage. I gave it a minutes and I couldn't see how such a software could be designed to translate Chinese text to sound symbol.

The software will have to focus on character, word, phrase, context, even implication of the phrase into account as all these affect the sound, especially punctuation. I'm sorry to say even we software guys are good at abstracting logic, this is simply too much :(

  • Well if you proved the tool I want can't exist you have also proved that Google Translate doesn't exist. I'm not expecting something 100% perfect. These difficulties have been specifically addressed in the field of Natural Language processing. Feb 13, 2014 at 14:52
  • @hippietrail Google Translate can't translate whole page to sound symbols. Grammar and lexical analysis issue has been addressed in NL processing but not sound analysis. I'm not saying translating the page is impossible but figuring out each single character's correct pronunciation is quite more complex.
    – Xephon
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:50
  • For many languages, including languages with ambiguous writing systems and including Chinese, you can click on the Ä icon and you will get a transliteration of everything that was translated. Click on the little speaker icon and it will even speak the translation aloud. All I want is the transliterated text all inline instead of below the text box. Feb 13, 2014 at 16:04
  • @hippietrail I understand what you want. Trust me, I understand how that works in both software and linguistic perspective. What I'm trying to say is that the Pinyin or Zhuyin may change due to context and/or phrases around a given translation unit/point. Punctuations may change the sound as well to reflect different implications especially if the text is a "recording" of conversation. This is merely too much for the software to process in a big chunk. If you give a few sentences, it might be okay. Not so if you give a whole page.
    – Xephon
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:09
  • 1
    @Xephon There's thousands of services doing it for inputted text, there's no reason why it wouldn't work for websites. Sure there might be flaws, but that's only natural for a free online translation tool. Feb 13, 2014 at 19:35

http://hanyu.iciba.com/pinyin.html and http://www.ifreesite.com/phonetic/

These websites may do the work, but only for plain text.



copy the text that you want to convert and paste it in in the upper box, click on "查拼音" and you'll get the pinyin in the lower box.

hope this help

  • As I tried to make clear in the question, "For the purposes of this question I'm only asking about full-page conversion please". Apologies if I failed to make it clear enough. Mar 12, 2014 at 6:50

google translate is the best one. copy your words and paste to google translate

  • As I tried to make clear in the question, "For the purposes of this question I'm only asking about full-page conversion please". Apologies if I failed to make it clear enough. Apr 14, 2014 at 6:35

See chinesebrowser.com, the app is available in the playstore.

It does its Chinese analytics in real time, highly accurate and does not impact the web content in any way. This means it's a fully functional web browser and secure.

Characters in traditional/simplified are converted on the fly into your preferred encoding. The pinyin can be Hanyu pinyin or bpmf with numeral options.

You can also save your web page with the pinyin in PDF.


For Windows Chrome, there is a good extension which is so easy to use: https://chromewebstore.google.com/detail/pinyin-reader/hledmlpbeiablkglomlminfemnepgjlp?hl=en

Name is: Pinyin Reader

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Several browser extensions now do this. For Chrome try "Convert Chinese to Pinyin (Mand)"

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