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

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5
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3answers
187 views

或: how did “region” become “either”?

The character 或 is used today for the meanings "or", "either", "maybe", and "perhaps". Historically, it had the meaning of "region", and it is this meaning that characters like 國 and 域 derive from. ...
6
votes
1answer
634 views

勇 character on soldiers' uniforms in movies

I don't know much about Chinese military history, but I do see this character appearing on historical uniforms (fictitious or actual) worn by soldiers in movies, some are set in the Qing dynasty some ...
0
votes
3answers
439 views

What is my name?

I am not Chinese, and know very little of the language, but I was born in China since my parents happened to live there at the time, and somebody gave me a Chinese name, which, unfortunately, I do not ...
4
votes
3answers
306 views

Why was the rice radical added to 气 to form 氣?

气 is an ancient character that has roots in an oracle bone pictogram, but according to this, the rice radical was added in the Tang dynasty to form 氣. What were the reasons for this? What does 气, ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

How to describe 陈省身's name

Shiing-shen Chern, 陈省身 (1911--2004), is a famous geometer. When taking about him with Chinese people who do not study math and have not heard of him, how can I best describe which characters 陈, 省, ...
8
votes
1answer
12k views

What is the character with the greatest number of strokes?

I have seen an old and very rarely used character that consisted of four traditional dragons (龍). As I remember it meant "talkative." That makes a total of 64 strokes, are there any other characters ...
-1
votes
2answers
394 views

How to spell these words in Chinese alphabets? [closed]

since there is a wide range of letters in Chinese language , I need your best offers on spelling (pronounce) these words by use of only Chinese Characters in its most accurate form ? the spelling ...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

List of Chinese characters not used in Mandarin/putonghua

Is there any convenient list of all of these characters? Examples of such characters being: The Hokkien (Min) 𪜶 (which is the pronoun 'them/they/theirs') The Cantonese/Hakka/Gan 佢 (which is the ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

The character 瞓 is a Cantonese character meaning "sleep". It is pronounced xùn in mandarin and fan3 in Cantonese. I was wondering how two so different pronunciations (I would expect xun to match syun ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Learning to read Chinese but not speak [duplicate]

Are there good resources for learning Chinese from the ground up with a bias torwards reading and not speaking. For me the ability to read would be much more useful. Pronunciation is the hardest part ...
6
votes
3answers
874 views

Is “ 事出必有因 ” the most accurate translation for “ everything happens for a reason ”?

Is " 事出必有因 " the most accurate translation for " everything happens for a reason "? If not, what is it? Thanks!
7
votes
2answers
120 views

Semantic Puns and Alternative Hanzi

There seems to be a set of Chinese words that have alternatives (disregarding the traditional/simplified split). For example, 借 and 藉. Within this class of alternatives, however, seems to be a set of ...
18
votes
14answers
2k views

Techniques for learning and retaining characters

For many of us, memorizing characters is a difficult thing. In Chinese, just because you can speak the word doesn't mean you can read it. Just because you can read it doesn't mean you can write it. At ...
2
votes
4answers
363 views

What is the chinese translation for “ endure and move on ”?

I need help. I've been trying to get the chinese word with meaning of the phrase " endure and move on ". It has something to do with a break up w/ a girlfriend and you want too endure it and move on. ...
2
votes
3answers
205 views

Is the character 攜 still used in modern Chinese?

This character has in classical Chinese a very common meaning, namely "to take", like in the sentence: 攜妻子至海岸。 (To take wife and children and arrive at the sea shore). I recognize many characters ...
2
votes
3answers
245 views

Why is 那儿 just one syllable?

I was confused to find that nar4 is 那儿. I cannot figure out how to reproduce this with a pinyin IME. I type na and it gets the first character but when I type r it suggests 人 and refuses to let me ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Character etymology: are explanations in such dictionaries authoritative or just later vague interpretations?

I know this topic has been discussed in quite a few questions post on this site. My question concerns the 'authoritativeness' of such character etymologies based on the decomposition of characters. ...
1
vote
1answer
290 views

Does anyone recognize the characters written on this home shrine? [closed]

So far I can read most of the characters on this picture, except 1 character. The characters on the center is: 忠義 (zhong1yi4 - Tiong-gī), which means: Loyalty and is related to the story of the ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Recognise language from the image [closed]

Can someone help me by identifying ehat language it is?
-1
votes
1answer
123 views

Sentence Structure Edit Help [duplicate]

Is anyone willing to help me edit this monologue for grammatical errors? If so, I would really appreciate it. I have also included the pinyin and english in case it helps to understand what I meant. I ...
-1
votes
2answers
86 views

Need Help Editing (需要帮助的编辑)

Is anyone willing to help me edit this monologue for grammatical errors? If so, I would really appreciate it. I have also included the pinyin in case it helps to understand what I meant. I have chosen ...
7
votes
2answers
375 views

What is the difference between 升, 陞 and 昇?

There are some characters in Chinese which give me severe headaches, especially those that have the same pronunciation and mean more or less the same thing. I have learnt three characters which are ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Confusion about the ice radical 冫

As far as I know, the character for "ice" is 冰, and the radical derived from it is 冫 . I find it a bit weird that the ice radical 冫 is the radical for the ice character 冰 itself (ice + water = ice ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

Phrases with most popular characters?

I found a table of characters (about 3000) in which most popular characters go first. Here are first 20: 我的 高的 是的 目的 的确 不 不是 人 在 有 他 这 中 大 来 上 国 自个 到 说 道 子 为 和 and I would like ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

What does 自个 mean: “since a” or “onself”

As a title, I have found to meanings for 自个: "since a" or "oneself", what is correct and how to translate it?
1
vote
1answer
201 views

减/減 (Reduce/Subtract/Decrease/Diminish): What's it got to do with water?

So here we have 冫+咸 (or 氵+咸) = 减(減). 减(減) means something along the lines of reduce/subtract/decrease/diminish or what have you. What has water got to do with this though? Logically one would ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Number of unique characters in the X most common words?

I assume this would be wouldn't be too hard to calculate with a proper database, but does anyone know the number of unique characters/morphemes used in the 5000, 10000, 30000, etc. most common words? ...
5
votes
4answers
420 views

Searching for characters by parts

Are there any online or computer dictionaries that allow searching for characters by any sub-part of the character? Occasionally it I see a character the parts of which I can already type. But I can'...
13
votes
5answers
882 views

Is any simplified character also a traditional character?

I don't mean traditional characters that weren't simplified, thus being the same in traditional and simplified. What I ask if there is any simplified character which in turn has the same form of ...
6
votes
3answers
966 views

How are the terms for “male/female” and “man/woman” divided exactly?

I know that daughter in Chinese is 女儿, and son is 儿子. A little side-question: Why isn't "son" 男儿? My main question is this one though: apart from son and daughter stated above, what are the ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

When and why is right to left writing used?

I have encountered characters written horizontally right to left on signs (at the top of a gate) and on vehicles. When is this used and why? Was this more common in the past? Are the individuals ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Etymology of 奴隶 (Slave)

I vaguely remember hearing somebody make observations about the word 奴隶 (slave). I would like to verify the impressions of the person who was speaking as being factual or just his impressions. What is ...
7
votes
1answer
187 views

General guidelines for learning stroke order

A friend asked me for a brief description of the general guidelines for writing Chinese characters. What are the simplest ways to describe those "rules" that apply across most characters?
8
votes
3answers
215 views

Why does the radical for water and ice often look so weird

When I see the radical being used in 洗 and 凉 in some books or even sougou. They break it up into a broken radical that looks nothing like it. Is it one of those things that are related only to ...
3
votes
3answers
308 views

What character is this? (yu2)

The book "A First Course in Literature" from Shaddick uses this character: In the vocabulary section it is explained as "TV to cross; to exceed". But I can't seem to find this character anywhere ...
7
votes
2answers
330 views

Character and meaning for the 四川话 sentence-ending particle 'ga'?

Scholars of Chinese will have a lot of work to do in the next 100-200 years, because eventually academics will take notice and want to document the self-emergent standardization of orthography for ...
5
votes
2answers
746 views

Looking for very common dialect words which have no Standard Mandarin Chinese hanzi characters

I'm basing this question on several assumptions, so if they are wrong please say so as an answer: Written Chinese is mainly used for Standard (Mandarin) Chinese. Mostly other Chinese languages and/...
29
votes
11answers
3k views

Etymology of the Chinese number characters (一二三四五六七八九十百千)

Main Question: What is the etymology of the Chinese number characters (一二三四五六七八九十百千)? Related question: Why isn't 四 four lines? (the origin of 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九) I decide to write a Q&A-...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Tips to remember pronounciation of these words: 旅,斿,施,旋,族?

I often misread these words and got mistaken between each other: 旅 = Lǚ 斿/游 = Yóu 施 = shī 旋 = Xuán 族 = zú as each of them doesn't have related phonetic indicator that I can use as clue to remember ...
6
votes
2answers
351 views

奇 is a strange character

Lost Etymology 奇 ( jī | qí ) is a character that means strange but the etymology appears to have been lost. At least as far as I can tell after researching offline books, zhongwen.com, and zdict....
3
votes
3answers
127 views

Are these two Chinese words the same ( 更容易,才能)

Could someone tell me if these two words in the image below are equivalent? The top word I grabbed from an image, the bottom word I am creating in photoshop by typing in what I believe is the correct ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

why 秋千? Where does the name come from?

Had a look around in my dictionaries wondering if anyone has any input as to why a 秋千 is 秋+千, what's the significance?
0
votes
1answer
720 views

Letters for chinese wedding invitation

I'm looking for the (traditional) Chinese letters for 'he fu tong qing' (pin yin transcription), which should mean something like 'the whole family invited' in the context of a wedding invitation.
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Which is the additional stroke added to 末 and to 未? significance?

I'm curious whether the shorter stroke or longer stroke are the extra strokes added to 木 to form the characters 未 and 末? And do these strokes have a semantic significance? I learned that 本 has the ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Take away (when ordering food): is it 带走 or 打包?

I was told that when you are ordering food you can say either 带走 or 打包. However, when you are not ordering food and you mean "take this away", then you use 拿走。 Is there a difference in context or ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

Learn Chinese Step 2: Characters. Are there any good tips to learn the writing and make sense of these square characters? [closed]

Many Mandarin Chinese teachers claim that the step 2 for Learning Chinese is: Learning Characters, I know many learners skip this step and just focus on conversational skill, Q1: How different would ...
0
votes
1answer
297 views

Heisig's Learning the Hanzi books

Has anyone used the Heisig Remembering the Simplified/Traditional Hanzi? I've read that the traditional version is better. Any recommendations on whether it's better to use traditional book and then ...
18
votes
4answers
924 views

Reading handwriting

How can I get better at reading handwriting? Are there fonts that look like it, or web sites with examples for practice? Are there some common shortcuts that people take when writing by hand?
13
votes
6answers
3k views

How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?

I'm wondering what do Chinese speakers do when they are reading aloud and encounter a character they don't know (sometimes it happens, isn't it?). In phonetic languages, there is a possibility to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Table of Chinese characters taught in primary school, grouped by grade

Is there a table like this for Chinese characters, that lists which Chinese characters are taught for each year of primary school? (I'd like to learn Chinese, so this would be a great source of ...