Questions about the Chinese characters, called Hanzi, about their characteristics and everything that relates to them.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
88 views

An unknown, calligraphic Traditional Chinese character

I'm a Vietnamese preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year and have found this piece of decoration. I think the Chinese character on that is a Traditional one, pretty calligraphic and notably ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Why is 景 written “wrong” on the Nestorian Stele?

I noticed that 景 is written on the Tang-era Nestorian Stele with the "boxes" switched, ie. the 口 is above and 日 is below. Would this be a standard way to write the character during that time, or is it ...
9
votes
2answers
434 views

What is the difference between 夜(yè) and 晚 (wǎn)?

Both characters mean night, also when they are together, when is it better to use each character ? For example: Beautiful night: 美丽的夜 can be rephrased to 美丽的晚 ? Good night: 晚安 to 夜安 ?
3
votes
2answers
116 views

How to pronounce 调 in 同调代数?

Certainly 同调代数 means the mathematical subject of homological algebra. But different sources disagree as to whether the first two characters in that sense of the term are pronounced tóngtiáo or ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

What characters have been politically corrected before?

In the article "Mysogyny as reflected in Chinese characters", Victor Mair wrote: In the early days of the PRC, the government changed some characters for the names of minority ethnic groups so ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Is there really no unicode for “扌𬙙”?

(扌+方)的释义--字海网(叶典网) Getting 非unicode but it's kind of hard to believe. Is there really no unicode for "扌𬙙"?
4
votes
1answer
153 views

How to tell when one word starts and another word ends?

I am doing some work with scanning Chinese text with my computer and I have run into a problem that I do not have with other languages. Because there are no spaces between characters, I cannot tell ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Character for “□” 西南官话 kuai³¹: “~着走, 两脚尖向内地走”

□ is the official place-marker for unknown or unwritable characters. Sometimes though there are appropriate characters for the mistakenly believed unwritable or nonexistent. Here's my conundrum: ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Is the frequency of written characters much different from spoken ones?

I'm referring to frequency tables such as this one:. To take one example, it lists words like 商 and 业 in the top 500 characters and words like 买 and 卖 in the second 500 characters. That's true even ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Can you decipher what this seal stamp says and means? [closed]

I am told that this seal stamp character(s) are from the Chinese dialect, though I got it from my Japanese grandmother. She had it made and gave it to me. I was told it says 'strong and smart' and ...
3
votes
2answers
49 views

What is the correct style/format when including Chinese translations in academic articles?

For instance, I would like to write the following sentence about China: "Many songs were written to praise the Chinese Communist Party and the 'Motherland' ". By "Motherland", I mean 祖国 ( zuguo / ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

How to type these old and rare Chinese characters?

I've tried to google these old Chinese characters using their closest approximations but still haven't found out any. I want to find these characters so that I can copy and paste them instead of ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

How to write keys with keyboard?

I run on Fedora and I was wondering; is it possible to write keys with keyboard? I mean like only the left part of "说"? If yes, how to? Regards.
0
votes
3answers
72 views

What's a good way to review what I've learned? [closed]

I am taking a Chinese class and I keep forgetting certain words and characters like 照片, 贵姓, 老师, 女孩, 谁, etc., because we never/rarely use them after we move onto the next chapter. Is repetition the ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Fill in the Blanks/Grammar error

两个队的分数_都很_近. The spaces are where words/phrases are supposed to go. Are there such words that fit in these spaces? I've been going through google trying to find similar sentence structures but to no ...
0
votes
3answers
223 views

How do you say 'home is where the heart is' in traditional Chinese characters?

How do you say 'home is where the heart is' in traditional Chinese characters? Is this correct?: 家是哪裡的心臟是
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Any record of a “扌笨” character anywhere?

So I got this entry in my copy of 成都方言 "扌笨" ben ①蘸调料:紧倒~(佐料),不嫌咸了嗦? ②扳动,扯拉:猴子逮到绳绳儿架势~。 I tried looking for this "扌笨" character: I did a zisea.com 两分 search with no results. I did a zdic ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

箭牌 vs 诏书: emperor's decree

I'm thinking about a mnemonic for 令, and my wife mentioned that in former times the emperor's orders were written on tablets called 箭牌. However, I cannot find any information about this word, and the ...
2
votes
4answers
120 views

串 vs 丳: which one is used more often for “skewer”?

I've seen that both 串 and 丳 are supposed to mean "skewer". Which one is more regularly used? Are there other common use cases for 丳?
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Weird Chinese Characters

I was browsing through the Taiwanese version of apple.com. When I was checking out the iPad Air 2 section, one of the image showed the iPad keyboard with some characters that I have never seen before. ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Why is 遞 = (辶 + (厂 + 虎))?

遞 is most commonly used, nowadays, to mean "to pass" -or- "to give". Here's the definition of its simplified counterpart 递 given on zisea: ①传送,传达:传~。投~。~送。~交。~眼色(以目示意)。呈~国书。 ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Does 宝 have its own history separate from 寶?

I was trying to figure out the characters for Sapporo, the Japanese beer, the other day and found: 七宝 was one of the translations for it. My initial reaction was to search 七寶 in my Japanese ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere?

What's Baidu doing with all these crazy characters everywhere? Seems kind of meaningless to me.
7
votes
1answer
342 views

What character is 刄 + 点?

Here's a pic I took in HK today What's the 刄 + 点 char? In 堂飲2 xxxxxxx 28元 I'm guessing its similar to mainlands 两, for alcoholic drink sizes. I tried zisea & zdic to no avail... edit: ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Why some characters have different sounds? [duplicate]

My translator (Pleco) says that 乐 is pronunced as le. However, 音乐 seems to be pronunced as yīnyuè. Why? Is it possible to know if a character has different sounds depending on the context?
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Etymological character reference [duplicate]

Is there an authoritative etymological reference for characters? It looks like all books I'm reading about Chinese characters have their own explanation. To me, all of them seem reliable, but I ...
0
votes
3answers
456 views

Is 𫘏 ever used in the Chinese language? And what does it mean?

Here's 汉典's rendition of 𫘏: 𫘏 according to 四川方言词语考释 dictionary means 板着(脸). 字海 【字海】 该字暂无解释!希望有识之士提供! ("This character doesn't have an explanation yet! We hope someone who knows to add ...
12
votes
2answers
847 views

How are blanks indicated for placeholders in Chinese (like ???)

In English, in the middle of a sentence if data is being left blank (such as an unknown date, or a name to be filled in at a later time), commonly you see ???, ___ (underscore(s)), or -- to mark this. ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Etymologically Correct Character For The Sichuanese ‘niang’ Meaning “What”

邛崃方言 The character used here to represent ‘niang’ is 娘 but that obviously can't be the etymologically correct character for the above meanings (i.e.: what, how, etc.). Etymologically Correct ...
3
votes
4answers
141 views

What is the meaning of 么?

If you want to say "This dog," you'd say, "这只狗". If you want to say "This thing," you'd say, "这个东西". If you want to say, "This much," you'd say, "这么多". I understand the reasons for the 只 and the 个, ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Character: “Kei” For “To Go” (去) In Sichuanese

怎么在四川说话居然还会听不懂了 宜宾话和很多四川其他地方的话有代沟的,比如去字,宜宾读kei成都以南大多读ji以北读qi网上读qie 广安人表示也都kei 呵呵,就是,克耍。有些字眼他们真的不懂了 宜宾方言 出克:外出 克 seems to be the substitute character for kei but is there a ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

When was 华/華 first used as a reference to China?

E.g. as in 中华 or 华语, and other similar words.
13
votes
2answers
708 views

Are 乒 and 乓 used in classical chinese?

乒乓 is the modern word for ping pong, based around onomatopoeia (and similarity to 兵 for phonetic element) and, as some people claim, shape. I was wondering if this shape explanation is true, or little ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Interpretation of second character

Here's a picture I have found on flickr, taken in an outdoor museum in South Korea. I can only recognize the 1st, 3rd and 4th characters: 寶X山房. 寶 is probably not the variant written on the wooden ...
5
votes
3answers
105 views

Character classification by type

Can anyone point me to an online resource that lists characters by classification? I.e., I'm looking for a list of characters that are generally considered pictographs / complex and simple ideographs ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Is 𠱑 An Acceptable Form Of 逗 In Sichuanese?

The book 《蜀籁》writes the word 逗猫惹草 as 𠱑猫惹草 and also contains many other usages of 𠱑 where 逗 would normally be. 逗 in Sichuanese is read dou in the first tone (tone value: 55). 逗 in theory should be ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Documentation of all hanzi and their stroke order

Is there a document of all common hanzi (ideally both traditional and simplified) and their complete stroke orders? I have one for wubihua, but it fails to distinguish between, for example hs 丁 in ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

What Does Unicode 8.0 Mean For Chinese?

Was reading Unicode 8.0 Brings 7,716 New Characters Including 36 New Emoji and 5 Skin Modifiers on iClarified, the article also mentioned: 5,771 new ideographs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ...
2
votes
3answers
161 views

Why do some Chinese characters have multiple simplified variants?

According to Unihan database some Chinese characters have multiple simplified variants. For example the Chinese character 鍾 have 2 simplified variants: 钟 and 锺 How it could happen? What is the ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Does anyone know the meaning of this character (𣟂)?

The only things I found about it is its vietnamese reading "khuôn" and that it is used in 𣟂𩈘 (meaning "face").
2
votes
5answers
212 views

Can you apply 男子汉 and 女汉子 to non-Chinese?

The term 汉奸 probably only works for Han Chinese traitors, but what about other '汉's?
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Is the Chinese character “蒙” being associated with Mongolia and ignorance coincidence?

In the translingual section, Wiktionary mentions that the Chinese character 蒙 has a variety of meanings: to cover ignorant suffer fourth hexagram of the I Ching Mongolia - radical composition ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

How Many Characters Are There Where The Radical Is The Same As The Main Component?

How Many Characters Are There Where The Radical Is The Same As The Main Component? Example: 字海网:  字海网: 𧙿 This question is definitely answerable as there are only a certain amount ...
1
vote
3answers
122 views

How is the meaning of 不得已 formed?

I am under the impression that Chinese multi-character words form their meaning from that of the characters that form these words. (Let me know if I am mistaken!) I know that 不得已 means "to have to". ...
10
votes
1answer
462 views

How come 東/东 has a second meaning 'owner/master' or 'host'?

Examples include 房东 or 财东 and 东道, respectively. What is the etymology behind this additional meaning?
0
votes
0answers
39 views

The pronunciation of 的 [duplicate]

I have always pronounced 的 as "dė", regardless of the context, but I have heard people pronouncing it as "di"(fifth tone). For instance, 我的(di)姑娘 暖暖的(di) 漫長的(di)歲月 I do not remember ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Can't translate this particular symbol

I have this message on my Android phone. I tried to translate it using OCR tools and Google translate. But there's one symbol I can't find anywhere: it looks like "ṔA" (the 4th symbol at the top from ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Characters for Taiwanese

As far as I know, Cantonese has its associated characters. But as I searched for Taiwanese characters, I only find the pinyin system to indicate the pronunciation of words, such as: 遮雨 ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

What is the original meaning of 匈 (besides “chest/breast/thorax”)?

The Wikipedia article on the 匈奴 gives a literal translation as 'fierce slaves'. Did 匈 mean 'fierce' in former times? What is the etymology of this character?