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

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6
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5answers
720 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Should 屋 and 居 use radical 户 instead of 尸?

户 means home. So these examples are not suprising: 房 fáng (house), 扁 biǎn (flat), 扇 shàn (fan [mostly used indoor]), 扉 fēi (door) 尸 means corpse, and it looks like it refers to tail or something ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Stroke order of 㠭

I usually use yellowbridge.com when looking up stroke order, but they didn't have any information on 㠭. This isn't the first time this has happened, but usually it's easy enough to guess. However, ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Translation of “繟”

In a version of the Dao De Jing that I found on Gutenberg.org, this character appears: 繟. I've done multiple searches of the web and of several dictionaries online, but wasn't able to find a ...
28
votes
10answers
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
115 views

砲響: were there cannons in ancient China?

After reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms, I was surprised to see a lot of references to 砲響 (the sound of cannonade). Here's a few examples: 嚴綱鼓譟吶喊,直取麴義,義軍見嚴綱兵來,都伏而不動;直到來得至近,一聲砲響,八百弓弩手一齊俱發。 ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Is there any compilation/resources/dictionaries on the transformations of how simplified characters came to be?

I had the same question as the OP of What is the story or reason of how 龙 came from 龍? and I like visuals given by Stan. The hardest part for me in Chinese is remembering the strokes of these ...
2
votes
4answers
65 views

Is there any printed or handwritten precursor to this 门 (door, gate) glyph?

I recently started seeing this odd rendering of the 门 character, may be it's only in the font that my browser defaults to. Here's an image (2nd character in the title): Does anyone know if this ...
1
vote
3answers
49 views

Has anybody heard of 嵌套结构(nested structure)? The dictionary I use lists 中 as it instead of 单一结构

I started (resuming) learning Chinese recently. And decided to go from learning the components first since I thought that it would give me a headstart. I found guoxuedashi, a online service/dictionary ...
5
votes
5answers
413 views

Learn the characters at the same time as the language?

Should I learn Mandarin basics first through pinyin and worry about the characters later, or should I learn them together? Pros and cons?
8
votes
4answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
239 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
142 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.
0
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
68 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)?
1
vote
2answers
89 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.
0
votes
3answers
150 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?
1
vote
1answer
74 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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?...
6
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
166 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 see ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
123 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
182 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
143 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, ...
20
votes
5answers
885 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 《出师表》,...
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: 乐手-...
4
votes
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? ...
-1
votes
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?
0
votes
2answers
160 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
418 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
136 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
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
120 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
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: 《...
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
113 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
488 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
486 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
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
186 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
129 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
787 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
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 ...
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
75 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
231 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 ...