Since Chinese. Japanese and Korean have no alphabetical writing system how do those people sort their dictionaries?


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The second system of dictionary organization is by recurring graphic components or radicals. (...) As most Chinese characters are semantic-phonetic ones (形聲字), the radical method is usually effective, thus it continues to be widely used in the present day. However, sometimes the radical of a character is not obvious. To compensate this, a "Chart of Characters that Are Difficult to Look up" (難檢字表), arranged by the number of strokes of the characters, is usually provided.

Here is what a chart of radicals in a dictionary looks like

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  • You can otherwise search a character by its pinyin if you know it.

See also: https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-look-up-Chinese-characters-in-a-Chinese-dictionary

  • Thank you, my question was moved from the Language Learning forum, so I decided to generalize my question. Now I think it belongs back to the first forum again. I you know someone who can move it back that would be great.
    – Demis
    Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 19:41
  • 2
    @Demis Please don't change a question after an answer has been provided. Minor edits such as typos and clarifications are OK, but moving the goalposts is not.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 2:45

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