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I started a web site to collect and help differentiate similar-looking Chinese characters: HorizontalHanzi.com You can either search for a character to view a list of similar ones (e.g. search for 主 and get 王, 玉, 壬) or just browse the database. Lists show the characters placed side-by-side for easy comparison as well as definition breakdowns and links to ...


In terms of the individual 漢字 (characters), there's the classic 說文解字 (Shuowen Jiezi) written in the 1st to 2nd century AD, which is the first and the most authoritative Chinese dictionary to attempt to trace the origin and evolution of each character. An online version is available here, or ZDict as mentioned above also contains the Shuowen entry. The ...

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