In the Story 小蝌蚪找媽媽 there is this sentence i cant understand: 小蝌蚪看見小鴨子跟著媽媽在水裏劃來劃去 The tadpole saw the ducklings follow their mama in the water...? Can someone help? thanks a lot for your time.


This is a spelling mistake, and should be written as 「划來划去」.

In Traditional Chinese, 「划」 means to row, to paddle, e.g. 「划龍舟」 (to row a dragon boat). 「劃」 normally means to delimit, to partition 「劃分」 or sometimes to plan 「計劃」.


The wee tadpoles saw the ducklings following their mother in the water, paddling away.


  • I'm curious why you said it's a spelling mistake. 劃 is a traditional character for 划. They should be the same, shouldn't they?
    – dan
    Oct 10 '20 at 0:19
  • @dan No, 劃 means something different from 划, they are different characters representing different words. Just like 皇後 is a spelling mistake.
    – dROOOze
    Oct 10 '20 at 0:46
  • Ok, I don't know much about the traditional Chinese. But a quick search in dictionaries suggests it's simply just a variant of 划.
    – dan
    Oct 10 '20 at 2:30
  • 1
    @dan I don't know what dictionary you checked. Generally, we try to check dictionaries made by language regulatory bodies who regulate the use of Traditional Characters. Since PRC considers Traditional Characters non-standard, any dictionary published in PRC will not correctly describe the standard use of Traditional Characters and their corresponding use in word spelling. I've added a few links (3 Taiwan, 1 HK), feel free to check the individual definitions of 劃 and 划 there.
    – dROOOze
    Oct 10 '20 at 2:52
  • It seems like in traditional Chinese, it has two characters whilst in simplified Chinese there is only one character 划.
    – dan
    Oct 10 '20 at 4:12



  1. to row; to paddle

划船 ― huáchuán ― to row a boat

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