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灯笼 means lantern in the general sense, that is, a portable lighting device or mounted light fixture used to illuminate broad areas. The hot air balloon you described is 'sky lantern', which is called 天灯 (sky lantern) or 孔明灯 (Kongming Lantern) in Chinese.
I think a close search of the SE site is what's called for here. Doing so I was able to find a link to Yellowbridge.com and it's memory game (an alternative to flash cards). http://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/mtch-options.php?deck=ic-1-1. There are other websites like http://lingomi.com and http://zhongwen.com that may prove useful. Chinesetools.com is ...
There's one here with 2580 characters.
For surnames, there are many, and you can refer to the 《百家姓》。 this link may help：http://baijiaxing.51240.com/ Most surnames（姓） are one character（单姓）. some surnames are two characters, and are called 复姓。 There are no stationary forenames. But in Chinese tradition (although many Chinese ignore this tradition to make distinctive names), the first character ...
Here is a complete list of all administrative divisions in China (from province to village) from National Bureau of Statistics of China: http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/tjbz/tjyqhdmhcxhfdm/2013/index.html Unfortunately, I can't find official website about other alternative names of them, but there are several useful sites: http://www.xzqh.org.cn/ (by ...
According to Modern Chinese Dictionary(5th), there are 3400 separable words in chinese. You sure you want to get a list of them? See the definition from Chinese wiki reference: http://baike.baidu.com/view/165257
Skritter Learn vocab and hand writing at the same time, while keeping track of your vocabulary.
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