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25

Depending on how 'in touch' with the language (in terms of understanding grammatical constructions and context clues) you may be considered fairly fluent with 80% or so character recognition Think about your vocabulary in English. If you pick up a book with many words you don't know, you may still be able to comprehend it based on the context of the words ...


20

There are some historical reasons, in short: 一: one bar. May mean the whole, the universe. Reference. 二: two bars. May mean the positive and negative. The upper may refer to the heaven, the lower the earth. Reference. 三: three bars. The upper may refer to the heaven, the lower the earth, and the middle the human. Reference. 四: First |||| (four bars), then ...


17

Both of them refer to the same thing, "dog". “狗” is used much more in oral speaking, and “犬” is a formal word that you would see in books. For the words expressed in a classic(formal) way, you won't see "狗" but "犬". An idiom: 一人得道,鸡犬升天 When a man becomes an Immortal(God), even his pets like chickens and dogs go to the heaven. An analogy that when ...


17

You can use a SRS (Spaced Repetition System) software, I personally use Anki to create a deck of study cards and I review them on my mobile phone. I also recommend Memrise. 2014 update: I still use Anki, but combined with Google Images Search and Forvo: When I make new flashcards, I'll add the writing (hanzi & pinyin), its pronunciation (from Forvo) ...


17

Among the handwriting styles 章草, 今草 and 狂草, 今草 is the most frequently used. However, compared with 今草, 行书 is even more popular. That's because: 章草 is the rapid writing of 隶书. Currently, Chinese teachers don't teach 隶书 in primary schools for its old style. Only calligraphy amateurs and experts would learn 隶书 so as 章草. 今草 is based on 楷书 -- 楷书 is formally ...


14

金-shaped 金字塔 Pyramid (Because the shape of a pyramid looks like 金) 田-shaped 田字格 grids with the arrangement like 田 工-shaped 工字梁 I-beam 工字柱 I-column 米-shaped 米字旗 the national flag of UK 之-shaped 之江 another name of Qiantang River, because its course looks like the shape of 之 井-shaped 井形格床 two-way grillage 井号 hash sign 人-shaped 人字队 in V formation ...


14

I generated a bunch of files for some flashcard software that uses spaced repetition to help you learn efficiently. It's still a lot of work to memorize the flash cards, but I don't know of anything easier. In total, I generated 32614 cards with 4166 characters and 18385 words. They are divided into separate files, each with about 100 cards in it. You can ...


14

There are plenty actually, mostly due to the merger of multiple traditional characters into one simplified character. For example, the simplified character 后 maps to both traditional 后 (meaning 'queen') and 後 (meaning 'after' or 'behind'). Many of these mergers are listed in this Wikipedia article.


14

Etymology of 一, 二, and 三 Explanation of 一/二/三 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs) “一”是特殊指事字,抽象符号“一”既代表最为简单的起源,也代表最为丰富的浑沌整体。造字本义:最小原始单位,最小的正整数。古人认为“道立于一,一生二,二生三,三生万物”。就是说,混沌太初的存在整体是“一”;然后由太初混沌的“一”,分出天地“二”极;天地二极之间,又生出人这第“三”部分;天地人三者,衍化出宇宙万物。一 ,代替混沌太初的整体;二,上面的一横代表“天”,下面的一横代表“地”;三,上下两横代表“天地”,中间的一横代表“人”。 一 is a special self-explanatory character. The ...


13

It's your name and you can arbitrarily pick characters to be your name. We Chinese generally select characters with positive meanings (of course, I think characters with negative meanings would not be the choice for most people) and avoid possible bad meanings from the words with the same or similar pronunciation with the name. For example, it's common to ...


12

豚 is pronounced tun2 in Mandarin and tyun4 in Cantonese. The only word I know which still uses it is 海豚 hai3tun2 "dolphin". The Japanese reading is ton (on), buta (kun), as I'm sure you know. 豚 was the original character (with the meat radical on the left hand side), while 猪 meant a wild pig (which is suggested by its radical). Japanese borrowings from ...


12

Modern Chinese dictionaries include several methods for the user to look up a character. Radicals: This is useful when you don't know how to pronounce a character; Pinyin in alphabet: This is useful when you don't know how to write a character while you know its sound; Number for strokes: Based on my own experience, this only shown some characters that are ...


11

A rule of thumb is to look for the radical that seems to be more prominent. For those characters, it's pretty easy: In 烋, notice how 灬 spans the entire character horizontally: it is the radical (火) Same thing applies to 想 : 心 is the radical. As a bonus, in 强 which you have in your name, 弓 is the radical: notice how it spans the entire character vertically ...


11

Let the "foot" meaning of 足 be A, the "plenty, enough" meaning be B. Will discuss about this topic in the following two sections. Different Root First, 現代漢語規範詞典 第二版 ("Modern Chinese Standard Dictionary" 2nd Edition) suggests that meaning A and meaning B come from different origin, though they share the same character currently. Figure 1. Meanings of 足 in ...


11

Actually, "好包了" does not mean "I'm full". You may see "...打好包了..." in the Google hits. It refers to "have made something into a package. If your friend say "这顿饭我包了". That means your friend will get the bill, and you don't pay the bill. You will see "7天包退" on some goods's package, that means "7 days to cancel purchase for non-faulty goods". And ...


11

Brief Answer Q1. The Wiktionary list of characters with the 冫 radical contains the following two characters: 冬, 冭. Where in these characters is the 冫? Are the two lines at the bottom supposed to be the ice radical? Answer: You're right. That's true. Q2. When I look at the entry for 永 in the Chinese dictionary app on my phone (Pleco), then it says ...


10

This research seems to be relevant. Your question seems to be closely related to rapid reading techniques. Looking on those techniques, you may notice that many of them don't apply to Chinese, simply because logographic writing systems naturally allow rapid reading with no extra training. There is even an idiom, 一目十行 -- "reading ten lines at the same time"; ...


10

Huang's answer is great, some addition information here. 犬 usually can be used to say categories of dogs. 警(jǐng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs serve in police forces 导(dǎo)盲(máng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs to assist people with eyesight problems. 狗 usually can be used to refer a specific dog or dogs. 我(wǒ)们(men)家(jiā)的(de)小(xiǎo)黑(hēi)狗(gǒu)。 The little black dog ...


10

TL;DR : 饣 is the phonetic, not the signific. 饣, which is simplified from 食, is the radical of 饰/飾 only in the sense that it is listed that way in a Chinese dictionary. It is not the meaning-bearing part of the character. Here are two possible analyses. In both cases, 饣 is contributing to the pronunciation, not the meaning: 飾 = 食 (phonetic: shi2) + 布 ...


10

These are 2 different fonts for the same character. There are many website to check that, see this post for an overview. For example on chineseetymology.org and chinese-characters.org you can see that the simplified and traditional characters are identical (the former website explicitely writes: no simplification). Having said this. Although they are ...


10

Actually they all came from their pronunciation. America: 美利坚 ("美国" for short) England: 英格兰 ("英国" for short)


9

A personal experience, most etymology explanations of characters are not definitive. Explanations can be derived from theoretic work or maybe just personal imagination. That been said, I searched in google and found: Figures on how 奴 as written in ancient and modern times. Link from hkbu.edu.hk. Now, please look at the figure below, which is 奴 in its 小篆 ...


9

The best place to start is with the Wikipedia entry on stroke order. It lists these guidelines, along with more detail and some nice animated examples: Write from top to bottom, and left to right. Horizontal before vertical Diagonals right-to-left before diagonals left-to-right Center before outside in vertically symmetrical characters ...


9

Victor Mair has an essay answering your question directly: Danger + opportunity ≠ crisis, how a misunderstanding about Chinese characters has led many astray.


9

I agree with coolcfan. In my experience (Beijing), 带走 means take away or take out. 打包 means you want a doggy bag. Update: As a result of further observation, I've found that both 带走 and 打包 mean take away. However, if you want a doggy bag you would probably say 打包.


9

Generally,there are two types of characters. "Compound character 合体" and "Single component Character 独体". And there are four Character building method "pictogram 象形","ideogram 指事"、"indicatives 会意","phono-semantic 形声". "Single component Character 独体" characters are derive from "pictogram 象形" and "ideogram 指事". e.g: pictogram: "人" means people "山" ...


9

Tones Unless the name has a really old and/or well-known phonetic translation, a "safe" rule seems to be to pick characters pronounced in the 1st tone. This is particularly true for names that are either long, uncommon, or otherwise tongue-twisting (as far as Chinese speakers are concerned anyway). Male vs Female Certain characters convey masculinity ...


9

In the past Chinese characters were written from top to bottom and from right to left. Horizontal right to left is not that common even in ancient times. The top scroll in a couplet is one case which might be the one you see at the top of a gate. The one you see on vehicles may not be the case. I think it's just on the right side from head to tail of the ...


9

According to zdic.net, 饰 is formed of 巾, 人, and 食 (饣). 食 (饣) is the sound component, while the other portion suggests the meaning. The dictionary explains the character's components this way: 形声。从巾,从人,食声。人佩巾有装饰作用。 So, it's a 'pictophonetic' character which signifies a person wearing or adorned with a cloth, thus having the effect of decoration. If you're ...


8

There are many different dialects in China, for many special words in dialects, the "correct" character may not be found (the character has been abandoned in Mandarin), or may be a character but with a different pronunciation from Mandarin, or even can't be found. In fact, the average Chinese person can't tell you what the "correct" character in the dialect ...



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