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

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28
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9answers
2k views

How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?

Since there are many characters that share a common pronunciation and sometimes also the same tone, how do we properly choose which character best represents our name? Is it totally arbitrary or are ...
1
vote
2answers
121 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
164 views

Is there any website of where I can look up the origins of a Chinese character? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What etymology dictionaries are available? What was this online dictionary's name with ancient traditional and simplified characters and etymology? I always wanted to ...
0
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
117 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.
1
vote
3answers
167 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
130 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, ...
18
votes
5answers
845 views

足: why is “foot” also “enough”?

足 is an ancient character meaning "foot". However, it also means "enough" or "sufficient", and this second definition is also very old. Consider this excerpt: 兵甲已足。——诸葛亮《出师表》 This is from ...
6
votes
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: ...
4
votes
5answers
116 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? ...
-1
votes
1answer
81 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?
0
votes
2answers
155 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
402 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
127 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
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How many characters do Chinese pupils know at different ages?

I'm looking for data that would let me estimate how much written language young Chinese at different ages know, in terms of number of characters they can read/write. Examples of materials that would ...
3
votes
1answer
118 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
115 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
8k 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
106 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
466 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
467 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
120 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
149 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
169 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
119 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
756 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
98 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
69 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
211 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
53 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
159 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
278 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
73 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
105 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
248 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
90 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
72 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
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?
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
652 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
13k 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
554 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
votes
1answer
168 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
90 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
182 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
votes
2answers
113 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
923 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
344 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: ...