I'd like to look up 䟠 in 說文通訓定聲. My library has at least two versions of this (multi volume) book.

A (poorly) scanned version of it lives here: http://ctext.org/library.pl?if=gb&res=1866 (it's not fully digitized, no hit for 䟠).

Volume 1 is only introductory. Volume 2 has a kind of index, which I don't fully understand. It starts with a few pages like this:




It continues with a few pages like this:


東 (4 instances with that element)
重 (idem) ...


Then the book starts with the entry for 東.

Where should I start looking for 䟠? 豊...壯 are not 部首.

Any help is appreciated.

  • @user-487 I think the OCR is incomplete, it needs extensive editing. Clicking on the book icon before a quote allows one to see the original and the OCR side by side.
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 16:09

4 Answers 4


How to look up an entry in 《說文通訓定聲》?

前言 Introduction

一般中文字典的內容是按部首字形分類排列。 《說文通訓定聲》則是依音韻分類排列。 從內容順序來看,作者 朱駿聲 是假設讀者已熟悉字的音韻。 所以,他先列出自創的「古韻十八部」做為「總目」,然後才是各部的內容。
The contents of common Chinese dictionaries are classified and arranged according to the shapes of radicals. 《說文通訓定聲》 is arranged in accordance with phonology. Judging from the order of contents, the author, 朱駿聲, assumed that the readers are familiar with the sound of characters. So, he listed first the self-created "18 classes of classical rhyme" as the "總目錄, Main Contents", and then the contents of each class.

在每一部的前面是「字目」,隨後才是各字的說明。 「字目」是依「聲符」分類。 「聲符」即是形聲字的聲音部分。
Each class begins with the "字目錄, Contents of Characters", followed by the interpretation of each character. 字目 is classified according to the "sound symbol". 聲符 is the sound part of a picto-phonetic character.

Note: There are many English translations of 「形符」 and 「聲符」. The literal translations are used here.

所以,正規的搜尋方式是: 先在「總目」找到「待尋字」是屬於哪一部; 而後到該部的「字目」依「聲符」去找「待尋字」的位置; 最後才向後找「待尋字」的說明。
Therefore, a regular search is as follows. First, determine which class the target character belongs to in the Main Contents. Secondly, according to the sound symbol of the target, find its position in the Contents of Characters of that class. Finally, search the interpretation of the target in the subsequent contents.

此「聲符」是古韻,一般人不清楚全部的發音,所以很難使用這套工具書。 所幸,作者在後面列有索引之類的「韻目」,我們可以利用它來搜尋。 這「韻目」是依部首排列,是我們熟悉的方式,所以應該大家都會用。
The "sound symbols" are in ancient rhyme, which most people don't know all of them, so it is difficult to use this set of reference works. Fortunately, the author included an index-like "Contents of Rhyme" in the rear volume, and we can use it to search. This "Contents of Rhyme" is arranged according to radicals, i.e. we are familiar with, so everybody should be able to use it.

The following steps show you how to look up an entry in 《說文通訓定聲》by using 䟠 as an example.

步驟 Steps

⒈ 開啟《說文通訓定聲》網頁
Open 《說文通訓定聲》 page.

⒉ 點選「說文通訓定聲十九」。
Click 說文通訓定聲十九.


⒊ 「韻目」在第2圖到第6圖。
The images from 2 to 6 show the "音韻目錄 Contents of Rhyme".

䟠 belongs to 7-stroke 足 radical in Image 4.


⒋ 從第7圖開始,逐一列出各字。
Starting from Image 7, the words are listed one by one.

「足」部從第151圖開始。 「䟠」在第152圖
The 足 radical starts from Image 151. 䟠 is in Image 152.


如果是書本會比較方便,因為在奇數頁的邊緣印有部首。 掃描的圖片就只能在上方搜尋欄或瀏覽器位址列輸入圖數跳著找。
It is more convenient if using a paper version, because the edges of the odd pages show the radicals. For the scanned images, we can only jump to a specific image by changing the number in the searching field at the top or in the address bar of the browser.


⒌ 找到「待尋字」後,往上看圓角矩形,其內容說明它是屬於「古韻十八部」中的哪一韻。
After having found the target word, look the rounded rectangle above, which shows the class of the target.

For example, 䟠 belongs to 泰 [ ㄊㄞˋ | tài ] class.


⒍ 回到第1步驟的頁面,點選「說文通訓定聲二」。
Go back to the page in the first step, and click 說文通訓定聲二.

⒎ 「總目」在第2圖和第3圖。
The Main Contents are in Image 2 and Image 3.

The 泰 class is in Image 3.


「分部月」是指音韻為「月」分部。 「轉乾屯」是指轉音為「乾部」和「屯部」。
分部月 means that the sound belongs to 月 [ ㄩㄝˋ | yuè ] subclass. 轉乾屯 means that the sound is changed to 乾 [ ㄑㄧㄢˊ | qián ] class and 屯 [ ㄓㄨㄣ | zhūn ] class.

⒏ 從第4圖開始依「十八部」列出各部。
Starting from Image 4, it shows each class in the sequence of "18 classes".

豐部第一 starts from Image 4 of the 2nd volume.

「䟠」所屬的「泰部弟十三」在第13册。 也就是第1步驟頁面中的「說文通訓定聲十三」。
泰部第十三 that 䟠 belongs to is in the volume 13. That is 說文通訓定聲十三 in the front page shown in the first step.

⒐ 每一部先列出「字目」,然後才一一列出各字內容。 「字目」是依「聲符」分類,此等用來分類的「聲符」會被框起來。 此「聲符」是古韻,未必和現今發音相同。 一般人不知道古韻,就只能猜其相似的音。
It shows the "Contents of Characters" first in each class, and then the interpretation of each word. 字目 is classified according to the "sound symbol", and those used to classify the words are framed. The sound symbols are in ancient rhyme, which may not be the same as today's pronunciation. Most people nowadays do not know all the ancient rhyme, so we can only guess the similar sound.

以「」為例,左邊的「⻊」是形聲字的「形符」,右邊的「戉」是「聲符」,便以此分類「䟠」字。 「戉」是從「𠄌(居月切)」衍生而來,故用「𠄌」表示。
Using 䟠 as an example, the left component ⻊ is the "shape symbol" of the pictophonetic character; the right part 戉 is the "sound symbol", which is then used to classify 䟠. 戉 [ ㄩㄝˋ | yuè ] is derived from 𠄌 [ ㄐㄩㄝˊ | jué ], so 𠄌 is the indicator.


⒑ 要快速找到一個字的說明,要先知道該字在「字目」中的位置。 然後在上方搜尋欄輸入圖數跳著找。 這個時候瀏覽器要開兩個分頁,一個是「字目」,另一個是正在搜尋的頁面。 用搜尋頁上方的大字去比對「字目」,才能判斷出要向前或向後搜尋。
In order to find the interpretation of a word quickly, we should know its position in the "Contents of Characters" first. And then we can jump to a particular image by inputing the image number in the searching field. The browser should open two tabs now, one for the "Contents of Characters" and the other for searching. We have to use the large characters at the top of the searching page to compare the words in the "Contents of Characters" so that we can determine to search forward or backward.

譬如,「泰部字目」從第2圖到第12圖。 「䟠」在第11圖前面的位置。 此册共191圖。 我們就可以推測出「䟠」的圖數大概在第150到180圖之間。
For example, the "Contents of Characters" of 泰 class span from the second to the twelfth images. 䟠 is in the front part of Image 11. This volume has 191 images. We can roughly infer that 䟠 is somewhere between the 150th and the 180th iamges.

We jump to the 170th image first, and can see one of the big characters at the top is 茷.


茷 is shown in Image 12 in the "Contents of Characters", and 䟠 in the front part of Image 11.


So, we know that we should look up backward.
And so on, we can find 䟠 in the 156th image.


步驟摘要 Summary of Steps

  1. 用「說文通訓定聲十九」中的「韻目」查出「待尋字」所屬的韻部。
    Find out which class the target word belongs to by using the "Contents of Rhyme" in Volume 19.

  2. 用「說文通訓定聲二」的「總目」查出該韻部所在的册數。
    Find out the volume number of that class by using the "Main Contents" in Volume 2.

  3. 用該册開頭的「字目」查出「待尋字」的位置。
    Find out the position of the word in question by using the "Contents of Characters" in the beginning part of that volume.

  4. 在後續內容中查閱該字的解釋。
    Look up its interpretation in the subsequent contents.

「䟠」的意思 The meaning of 䟠

The original interpretation of 䟠 in 《說文通訓定聲》 is as follows.


䟠 means 輕快的 (brisk; nimble) 腳 (feet).

Therefore, 輕足 means "fast walking".

从足: The radical is 足. ⻊ is the shape part of a pictophonetic character.
戉聲: The pronunciation is 戉 [ ㄩㄝˋ | yuè ]. 戉 is the sound part.

《廣雅˙釋詁一》 䟠,疾也。
The first part of 釋詁 chapter of the book 廣雅 mentioned that 䟠 means 疾.

疾 means "fast or rapid".

Author's Note: 䟠 means 飛揚發越, and is roughly the same as 越.

飛揚 means "flying".
發越 means "fast".

Therefore, 䟠 means "fast walking" or "walking as if flying".

  • Motivated by this answer I’ve borrowed a physical copy of the book (影印本, facsimile edition, 上海 : 世界書局, 1936). The paper reproduction is much easier to read for me than the scan. I need to work now, but later I’ll try it out.
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 16:17
  • It's great to use the paper version. However, I suggest you read only the "Summary of Steps" section first in order to know the basic procedure. It helps, I think. Good luck.
    – hinen
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 4:16
  • 1
    (1) verify the approximate location of the relevant 部首 section in 部分検韻目 (at the back of the book) for the graph you look for (2) browse to the 部首 section in the main body of 部分検韻 and locate the graph (3) note the framed 〔韻X〕 that heads the group of graphs your graph is in, where X is the rime (4) go to the beginning of the book, to 総目 and note which 部第〇 X lives in (5) go to the index 目録 of 部第〇 and browse until you find your graph (my paper copy has a unified index and page numbers) (6) guess where your graph must be in 部第〇 (or, in my case, browse to the relevant page number). Yes, that works.
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 10:31

The 說文通訓定聲 is a compilation from the Qing dynasty of the original 說文 but organised in a phonologically-based order, although the names are derived from the hexagrams of the Book of Changes / Yijing. So 豊 is the final (聲) of an envisaged older form of Chinese. The 東/重/etc. are the initial consonants.

Hence to use this you'd have to know the fanqie of the character. So not that intuitive for the uninitiated.

  • Different dictionaries seem to give different fanqie. Using (reconstructed) pronunciation seems even more unreliable. Is there a specific scheme that 朱骏声 is using (apart from using 18 names that mostly come from the Yijing)? Is there a reference work (in English or Japanese) that can help using fanqie?
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 10:38

the internet archive has a copy of 說文通訓定聲, in volume 13, 泰部弟十三, it stated "分部月轉乾屯". the character 䟠(u+47e0) is in this volume, on page 156:


enter image description here

about how to find it, according to 說文解字: 䟠(u+47e0) 輕也﹒从足﹒戉聲

which stated the sound as 戉 (in cantonese, sydney lau scheme: yuet6, sound file)


a common character shares the same sound is 月(u+6708), which appears in "分部轉乾屯" of volume "泰部弟十三" of the 說文通訓定聲.

next, read the first 12 pages (~ table of contents), 䟠(u+47e0) is in page 11, which indicated that this volume had the wanted character. then, turn to the page which had this character (turn page by page, or jump to roughly position by guess).

it's the first time that i read this book, very interesting. may i ask how do you know its existence?

thanks in advance :)

  • I’m studying Japanese, hardly know any Chinese unfortunately. The reference that lead me to this work was in Kadokawa jigen jiten (2nd ed., 1983) by Katō Jōken et al (full: 角川字源辞典 加藤常賢, 山田勝美, 進藤英幸 (角川書店, 昭和五十八)), in the entry for 越. (The book is quite outdated.)
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 14:50
  • From the scan I have difficulty deciphering all the graphs: 輕足也从足以〇〇雅釋詰一䟠疾也按飛揚發越之意與越〇同. Perhaps I should try to borrow a paper version.
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 14:51
  • 1
    the remark is "輕足也﹒从足﹒戉聲﹒廣雅﹒釋詁﹒一﹒䟠﹒疾也﹒按飛揚發越之意﹒與越畧同" from your background, i guess this book is extremely difficult to comprehend :( Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:04
  • Without help impossible I’d say. My attempt at comprehension would be: “[䟠] means light feet. It comes from 足 and has the sound of 戉. Guǎngyǎ explains: ?one, 䟠 means ?illness. Press down and jump, step over.” You’re right, I don’t understand, particularly the bit about illness. :(
    – hurdsean
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 16:38
  • 1
    well, in "䟠﹒疾也", 疾 is not illness. it should means "快速、猛烈" (~ haste, quick, speedy). have a look: dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/… Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 17:32

A late answer...
Look for 朱駿聲,《說文通訓定聲》第三版。臺北:藝文印書館,1975。
This edition has a regular radical/stroke index. If you are lucky, your library has a copy.

Another more roundabout way is to look for 周法高's《漢字古今音彙》第三版。香港:中文大學,1982. This book has a key to 通訓定聲 for each entry that gives you the number of the rhyme class and the number of the character under the rhyme class (from 1 to xxxx).

For example, 「一」 is 12.1098, meaning it is the 1098th character in 朱's rhyme class 12 (履部). 周 got these numbers from a book called 檢字一貫三 by 三家村學究, if your library doesn't have either of the two books above, it might have this.

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