fanfou, twitter, blogs,, and google translator working together

I am leaving or China in 5 days and thought I would check to see how possible it would be to post to Twitter from China. I will be renting a cell phone, but text messages to the US are expensive, and texting to Twitter from China means sending an SMS to the U.K. A quick google search turned up this very helpful workaround from Pandapassport: sign up for, China’s version of Twitter, then send the feed to Twitter using Twitterfeed. Nifty. But fanfou is all in Chinese! I managed to sign up for fanfou (jolifanta’s fanfou page) by deciphering some basic Chinese. Fanfou’s UI is exactly like Twitter, so I could pretty much guess what the text was based on placement on Twitter. I had some help in this with, my favorite online Chinese dictionary, which lets you DRAW the characters! You just need a basic knowledge of stroke order rules and voila, you can look up any word without knowing those pesky radicals.

Signing up for twitterfeed was easy in comparison (although I have yet to see my fanfou upodate appear in my Twitter feed…crossing my fingers). Next problem–how to verify my Chinese phone for fanfou?? Crap, my Chinese isn’t good enough to tackle this: despite the photos, I have no idea what this is saying. It is way too much for nciku translation, one character at a time. So I tried Google agian. I googled the url for this page and in google search results hit “translate” – voila! “No plug rice blog!” Well, yeah, it’s not the perfect translation, but it was enough for me to get the gist. And I could even navigate within the translator to other pages, where I found the SMS phone number that I will (hopefully) be able to use to send updates to fanfou. Phew…we’ll find out in a few days if all this works.


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