So I looked up 爾 on tofulearn, and it gave me the most bizarre stroke order animation. You can see it here: https://www.tofulearn.com/dictionary/chinese/%E7%88%BE

I then checked a couple other places, but the first two resources I checked gave me two other different stroke orders: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/character-stroke-order.php?word=%E7%88%BE

and https://jisho.org/search/%E7%88%BE%20%23kanji

The last one is Japanese, so I'm not discounting the possibility that they may have slightly different rules when writing Kanji, than the Chinese do, but the last one makes the most sense out of the three and follows the general rules I learned about stroke orders (left before top and right in boxes, horizontal before vertical丨). The other two don't make as much sense.

Why are there so many different stroke orders for this word? Is there a correct one at all?

  • 2
    The first one is definitely incorrect. The third one is correct.
    – joehua
    Oct 24, 2020 at 1:06
  • 1
    The last one is correct. It's how I write 爾 in traditional chinese(Taiwan). Oct 24, 2020 at 8:12
  • It's what I thought too, but then how come only the Japanese reference gives the correct one? Am I missing something?
    – Curiosity
    Oct 24, 2020 at 8:28
  • 1
    You need to use better resources if you care about what is "correct"! If you're after traditional characters in Taiwan, use moedict.tw, if Hong Kong, then edbchinese.hk/lexlist_en. More here: hackingchinese.com/…
    – Olle Linge
    Sep 3, 2021 at 9:00

2 Answers 2


Am I missing something?

you need to distinguish a resource is reliable, or, dubious 😸

the ministry of education, taiwan 🇹🇼 maintained a site for learning stroke order:




the provided links, the first one is, unacceptable. the second one is, unreliable.

have fun :)

  • That's a great authoritative resource, thanks! Looks like I was right, the first 2 were just wrong. Odd that they would let something like that go.
    – Curiosity
    Oct 24, 2020 at 18:34

Why are there so many different stroke orders for this word? Is there a correct one at all?

Unfortunately, there is no one possible universal stroke order dictionary.
Stroke order differs:

  • from country to country,
  • between radical, standalone and handwriting forms,

It may be different in each of:

  • Mainland China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Taiwan,
  • Japan,
  • Korea,
  • Vietnam.

In English there are differences in spelling, too, e.g.: threater vs. theatre.

Welcome to the real world (c)

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