Since visiting the museum, I've been very curious about these three characters (shown below). I've unsuccessfully tried to search it on the Internet. Their pretty calligraphic style is one of the reasons why I failed. Also, there is a possibility that these characters are Chữ Nôm.

Now I'm here to seek help. What are these characters?

Three characters

1 Answer 1


it's 寶藏院, roughly "the courtyard (院) of treasure (寶藏)"

the right one is 寶:


middle one is 藏:


left one is 院:


  • 3
    The characters are right, but I wouldn't provide a literal translation per character. Bảo tàng viện or viện bảo tàng is just the Vietnamese word for museum.
    – dROOOze
    Dec 15, 2017 at 11:33
  • 1
    @水巷孑蠻 I wonder why the left one is a little stretch. By the way, FYI, as droooze has pointed out, Vietnamese use the combination "寶藏" to indicate "museum". Dec 15, 2017 at 11:41
  • @drooze It seems that, to use "寶藏" for "museum" is rather unique for Vietnamese. By the way, I wonder why the character for "viện" is a bit unlike the picture. Dec 15, 2017 at 11:43
  • 1
    @VincentJ.Ruan I think bảo tàng is more commonly spelt in chữ Hán as 保藏 (preservation). 寶 is a homonym of 保 (in both Vietnamese and Chinese), so it works out. I agree with you too, I question the choice of 院, but I was also going to answer this question and 院 was going to be my best guess as well. I see what you mean though, in Korean and Japanese they're both called 博物館 like Chinese.
    – dROOOze
    Dec 15, 2017 at 11:45
  • @droooze You raise an interesting question: Did Vietnamese mistakenly use "寶藏" instead of "保藏"? The mistake might be due to the homonyms (or homophones) AND two different meanings are relevant in this context. Dec 15, 2017 at 12:04

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