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

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analytic grammar and characters [migrated]

Is there any relationship (either one implies the other, for example) between the usage of characters and analytic grammar. By analytic grammar I mostly refer to the lack of conjugations, and hence ...
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67 views

The character 双 in the dish name 炒双冬。

How did the character 双 in the dish name 炒双冬 come to mean "bamboo shoots"? Isn't 双 just a character meaning "pair"? Also, why 冬(winter)?
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2answers
141 views

Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) the same as the Mandarin (子)?

Is the Cantonese diminutive (粒) as in 鸡粒炒饭 the same as the Mandarin (子)? Is that the right character to use? UPDATE: Sorry for the mistake, I really did mean 粒, not 里.
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2answers
85 views

When does an adjective end in hu1 (乎)?

When does an adjective end in hu1 (乎)? To paraphrase, what do adjectives ending in 乎 have in common? Thanks.
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2answers
130 views

沒地X, what is the third character?

I was watching a TV show, and some of the dialogue is giving me trouble. The father is teasing his son's love intrest (the pictured girl). At least I think that's what's happening. They as her if ...
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3answers
149 views

Why are there four ways of writing 黄?

My keyboard does not allow me to input them all but I have found four (similar) ways in total of writing the Chinese character for yellow (黄). Why is this and how have these four forms come to differ?
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1answer
71 views

Are Chinese symbols built from more elementary symbols or forms?

I know nothing about the Chinese language but, while we ate in a Chinese restaurant with lots of Chinese symbols around me, I asked myself if these symbols could be built up from elementary lines or ...
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1answer
84 views

Are the characters for sleep and feel the same?

I am learning Simplified Mandarin using Memrise. I just learned the character 觉, to feel. However, I'm pretty sure I learned earlier that 觉 meant to sleep. Is there a difference between the characters?...
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1answer
159 views

What is the story or reason of how 龙 came from 龍?

I'm just beginning to learn Mandarin and I have an excellent teacher. She tells me a lot of stories of how the characters came to be. Today we talked about the character for dragon, but she doesn't ...
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1answer
98 views

What are the etymologies of 局 and 局面?

As far as I know 局 applies to everything which demands crooking ones body. A job behind a desk almost always means you are sitting with your back bent: A small office is 局, a chess game is 局, a game ...
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120 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
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2answers
231 views

Frequency of hanzi by use in Chinese words

I can easily find a lot of lists with the most frequently used hanzi. But I think the frequency is linked to the use in sentences, independently of words. I need the frequency of used hanzi linked to ...
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3answers
181 views

Chinese names: Gah-Ning

I'm trying to translate the children's book "Where Is Gah-Ning?" in Chinese. The Gah-Ning in question is Chinese-Canadian, and the book is written in English, so I don't know how to render her name. ...
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1answer
139 views

Radical Pronunciation - Helpful to Learn?

I'm in the process of memorizing the radicals for the purpose of character recognition. I've been making an effort to memorize the pronunciation of them as well. While some of the tones are dead on, ...
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2answers
90 views

When to use 手 and when to use 家 for a type of musician or other specialist

Is it true that 家("jia")denotes perhaps greater competence or prestige, while 手(“手”) is a slightly less professional specialist? How can one know when to use one rather than the other? Examples: 乐手-...
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5answers
122 views

Pairs which are of the form AB / BA

I need help with 实现 v.s. 现实 and 罪犯 v.s. 犯罪. I find it hard to remember the distinction between these pairs which are of the form AB / BA. Can anyone help me grasp the underlying ideas/logic/feeling? ...
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2answers
158 views

Does xiang (third tone) mean “want” or “echo”?

I am reading this set of poems for my humanities class. One of the lines is: Supposedly, the last character is xiang with a third tone and it means to "sound" or "echo". But I thought this ...
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1answer
87 views

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations?

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations? For example, 兄 [xiōng] (elder) brother becomes 儿 [ér], right?
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2answers
415 views

Why is the character 漢 built in such a weird way?

漢 is the character meaning "China" or "Sino-". It supposedly ultimately derives from the name of the river Han. I understand why the water radical is present there, but I have no idea why the ...
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1answer
132 views

Why the popular name for Pandas 熊猫 consists of its words in inverse order 猫熊?

According to Pleco dictionary the popular name for Pandas is 熊猫, while the "original" name is 猫熊. Its characters meaning order change from: popular: bear cat original: cat bear
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1answer
119 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 ...
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1answer
108 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 ...
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2answers
480 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 ?
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2answers
121 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 ...
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152 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 ...
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2answers
126 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"?
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1answer
181 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 ...
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1answer
117 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: 《...
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2answers
100 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
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
54 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 / ...
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3answers
227 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 ...
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3answers
172 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.
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3answers
74 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 ...
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3answers
345 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 ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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3answers
268 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
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1answer
74 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 ...
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1answer
43 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 ...
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4answers
124 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?
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1answer
174 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. ...
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1answer
93 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。 ②顺着次序:~补。~变。~增。~...
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2answers
119 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 ...
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184 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.
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1answer
345 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: ...
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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?
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1answer
95 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 ...
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3answers
478 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 ...
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2answers
854 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. ...
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106 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 ...