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

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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 ...
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
5answers
7k views

Is it possible to type traditional characters with a pinyin IME in Windows 7?

I am now used to typing Chinese using a pinyin IME from my time in mainland China. But as far as I know the pinyin IMEs usually generate simplified characters. I'm now in Taiwan and having trouble ...
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 ?
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 ...
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 ...
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
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"?
5
votes
2answers
714 views

What is a one-character translation of the English word “Freedom”?

I've been trying to find a single-character translation of the word "freedom," but I can't seem to find one anywhere. The best translation I can find is, of course, 自由, which seems to be a fairly ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the difference between 狗 and 犬?

狗 (gǒu) and 犬 (quǎn) both mean "dog" and both seem relatively common, but is there any difference between them? When should I use one and when should I use the other?
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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Which fonts show the stroke order of all characters?

For academic purposes, I need to print out some pages of characters with stroke orders shown. Which computer fonts (e.g. TrueType or OpenType) are available which show the stroke order of each ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 / ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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
2answers
88 views

What is the official total sum of all Mandarin pictograms?

I took a few books from a public library; I saw more than 600 different pictograms. What is their official total sum? I never found any way to learn them other than learning them by heart.
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
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?
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
629 views

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

My daily newsletter contained the following sentence: 长江是中国最长的河。 According to the dictionary, 江 and 河 both mean "river", but they seem to be used differently. Am I right in assuming that 长河是中国最长的江 ...
8
votes
7answers
12k views

Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
3
votes
5answers
516 views

Can whether a character is simplified or traditional depend on the context it is used in?

Are there any characters which are considered simplified in some contexts (where there would be a corresponding traditional character), and traditional in other contexts?
0
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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。 ...
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.
0
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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 ...
5
votes
5answers
865 views

Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters

I'm designing a curriculum to teach middle school students elementary Chinese. When I started learning, I began with Traditional Chinese characters and pinyin together on day one. I'm not so sure the ...
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: ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
4
votes
2answers
377 views

够 or 夠 - Two characters, one meaning?

够 or 夠 both mean be enough according to my electronic dictionaries. I was surprised to find one character in my text "Reading & Writing Chinese," (McNaughton & Li, 1999) A different ...
2
votes
5answers
359 views

Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?

Unlike English, Chinese is not a spelling language, which means there is no hint from the characters themselves for pronunciation. Therefore, we can only work on the characters individually to figure ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Writing Chinese Characters is Sloppy

Since learning Mandarin through Rosetta Stone, Youtube videos, and friends, I've begun to keep a journal of mandarin characters and phrases. I first draw the character, along with the pinyin and ...
37
votes
9answers
8k views

How many characters do I need to learn?

How many Chinese characters would I generally need to learn to be able to handle most text in typical every day circumstances? How many would be required to be considered fluent? Are there any good ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views
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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 ...
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 ...