Is there a database that breaks down each Chinese word into radical or component parts, sort of like this blog post does?
One of the first words you will learn in Chinese is 你好 nǐhǎo meaning “hello”. This word is made up of two characters 你 (“you”) and 好 (“good”) – let’s just take the character 好.
好, as you may know, is made up of two piece – 女 and 子, “woman” and “child”. The 女 is a little bit squished up in 好 but it’s still 女.
好 is a simple example that a lot of people know so maybe this isn’t too impressive. What you may not realize though is that every single character in the Chinese language works this way and that there are only ~200 of these pieces in total.
We could do this with any character in Chinese. Let’s go for a random yet relatively difficult one. Here’s a word I’ve picked at random: 矿物 (kuàngwù) which means “mineral”. The traditional version is 礦物，which we’ll get to shortly, mainly to show the main differences between simplified and traditional.
The first character of 矿物 is 矿 kuàng which means “mine” or “ore”. 矿 has two pieces – one on the left and one one the right. This left-right structure is very very common in Chinese. We saw it above with 好. On the left of 矿 is 石 which means “stone” and one the left is 广 which means “wide”.
Basically looking for something I can process with my computer, that maps a Chinese word to the Chinese radicals or component parts of that word.