Questions tagged [character-components]

Questions about phonetic, semantic, or other components of characters.

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3answers
189 views

The relationship between 羞 and 醜

Since 醜 is the traditional version of 丑, why is the lower part of a traditional 羞 丑 but not 醜? I found this 羞, (會意兼形聲。據甲骨文,以手持羊,表示進獻。小篆從羊,從醜,醜亦聲。“醜”是手的訛變。本義:進獻) But it doesn't explain why it is 丑.
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2answers
115 views

Glyph origin of the character for frequency 频/頻 = steps + head?

What's the story behind this character 频? Neither of its components contribute phonetically to it, yet I can't seem to relate any of its components 步 steps and head/face 页 to its meaning of frequent/...
2
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1answer
185 views

Glyph origin of 盗

What's the story behind this character 盗? None of the components seems to hint at the sound, or the meaning of 'pirate/steal/rob', unless water in the upper left part and is the bottom component a ...
1
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1answer
192 views

Glyph origin of 邊/边

What's the story behind this character 邊? This seems to be another "phonetic-semantic" explanation on this character with 辵 as the semantic and 臱 as the phonetic. But what exactly is 臱? I ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is there any sun 日 in 昌?

I've been seeing conflicting explanations for this character 昌. Some sources say it comprised of two suns 日, some sources say it comprises of sun and speak 日 meaning flourish, though I don't really ...
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1answer
74 views

What are other words worth learning that follow this pattern with 象?

Today I realised that: 象 means "elephant" which is the biggest land-dwelling animal, 亻+ 象 = 像 means "statue" which is the biggest person (I mean, a statue is the biggest ...
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4answers
195 views

Glyph origin of 款

Where does this character 款 come from? Its meanings (model/style or fee/payment) doesn't seem to have any link to the semantic part 欠, unless it specifically refers to owed money/payment? And what ...
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1answer
138 views

𦰩 and 難 glyph origins. Did 难/難 used to be a bird?

Apologies if my question is too similar to the one in Why is the radical of 难 > 隹 and not 又? The link in there is broken unfortunately and I am unable to find the source. This character for ...
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1answer
383 views

Explanation of character decomposition for 缺

https://hanziyuan.net/#%E7%BC%BA Scrolling down to the "Character decomposition 字形分解" section, we see Compound 缺 from container 缶 fǒu and phonetic foot-hand 夬叏 guài. I don't understand ...
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2answers
203 views

Glyph origins of the character 微

How does this character meaning become "small/tiny"? So many sources tell me that it's semantic 彳 + "phonetic" 𢼸, but what exactly is 𢼸? I've never seen this character elsewhere ...
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2answers
896 views

What does rain 雨 have to do with mold 霉 and bad luck?

Almost all the other characters with the 雨 component have relation to rain, clouds, and weather. However, this character 霉 seems to be the exception. It means mold, but the rain semantic seems very ...
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2answers
407 views

Origin of double phonetic component 静

静 is another character that has confused me. 青 (green/blue) doesn't seem to be related to quietness or stillness, unless the colors are supposed to represent quietness? 争 (fight) certainly is not ...
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3answers
349 views

校 - How did “leg-brace” come to mean “school”?

When learning Chinese characters using radicals, this character 校 always seem to puzzle me. I've always known 校 to be school, but the "wood" radical never made any sense to me. What does ...
2
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1answer
260 views

Besides the radical, what meaning does the rest of a Chinese character have (especially when it was originally created)?

I am a beginning student of Mandarin Chinese. There is a key thing about Chinese characters that I am trying to understand. Besides the radical, what purpose does the rest of a character have? Was it ...
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2answers
103 views

When 马 is used as the left component (e.g. in 骑), does the 一 héng stroke change to ㇀ tí?

I am thinking about the 马 character. I know that when you use 土 and 车 on the left in a composed character (like 地,场... and 较,辆 ...) the 3rd stroke in 土, and the 4th in 车 change from 一 héng to ㇀ tí. ...
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2answers
205 views

How can I get a list of all the characters containing the “flowing water” component that is in 益?

Further to this question. According to "Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters" (which I have as a (paid-for) add-on in the Pleco app), in the character 益, the component (top part of ...
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2answers
251 views

If 冬 in itself means winter, why add 天?

If 冬 in itself means winter, do adding 天 Impact the meaning, or perhaps refer to winter time instead of the season itself? Or is it because 冬 is monosyllabic and 冬天 has two syllables?
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2answers
197 views

What's the meaning of the hat like character on top of 尔

According to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%B0%94#Chinese It is this character https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E2%BA%88 It simply means knife but the wiktionary entry is very short. Google ...
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3answers
410 views

What does 尔 really mean?

That character is the right part of 你 nu, which means you. According to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%B0%94 it means you. It reads er According to http://zhongwen.com/bushou.htm I saw this So ...
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2answers
143 views

How do I understand Ni (you) character correctly?

It says http://zhongwen.com/bushou.htm If I search for you I got this It consists of 2 characters The first is person and you. The 2 characters are very different than the character in character ...
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2answers
117 views

“Pixelating” the character 英

I would like to include a Chinese character (英) in a knitting pattern. To do so, I need to "pixelate" the character. Is this an acceptable representation of the character and is it easily ...
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2answers
150 views

Is the visual similarity of the simplifications 華→华 and 畢→毕 a coincidence?

華 and 畢 are very similar, the bottom is the same, and only the top 4/5 of their strokes differ. Their simplifications 华 and 毕 are also similar, the bottom and the top rights are the same and, and the ...
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1answer
256 views

What does “GHTJK” stand for in this part of a Wiktionary: entry: “…composition ⿸丆卜(GHTJK) or ⿻丆”

I generally understand the Ideographic Description Characters (IDSes) and the Ideographic Description Sequences,for CJK strokes and components but the abbreviation GHTJK in this entry and GHTK in ...
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3answers
314 views

Why is there an 'ear' component in the character for smell? 闻 聞

Why is there an 'ear' radical in the character for smell? 闻 聞 I find this pretty confusing. Perhaps there is a fun story behind it?
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3answers
348 views

What resources can I use for learning character decomposition?

I'm developing a set of tools meant to aid in learning Chinese characters and I realized that I don't know a good dataset containing character decomposition. Ideally it should be comprehensive (or ...
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2answers
106 views

How to understand “ideographic” decomposition of characters like 不 and 与

I was recommended "character decomposition database" on this site. I have started to explore it and found, that some decompositions I don't understand, like U+4E0D 不 ⿱一③ U+4E0E 与 ⿹②一[GTKV] ⿻②...
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4answers
259 views

What is the meaning of 刚 in 变形金刚?

I came across the word 变形金刚 in a short children's story that I read and Pleco dictionary states that it refers to either shape-shifting warriors protecting the Buddha, or Transformers (which Google ...
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4answers
1k views

Chinese character decomposition

I found that many (most?) Chinese characters look like they're composed of more primitive ones, like: 做 = 亻十口夂 你 = 亻尔 吃 = 卩乙 and so on. I this a real phenomenon or just my European imagination? If it ...
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2answers
222 views

What is the relation between 寨 (zhài, “stockade, stronghold, fort”) and 塞 (sài, “place of strategic importance; pass; fortress”)?

Most dictionaries say 寨 = 塞 + 木, but on its face, we could just as easily have 塞 = 寨 + 土.
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1answer
171 views

How do I know whether to write the written character or printed character?

I'm often finding differences in the printed form of the character than the written form, and I'm not sure which one to use. For example, in 窗, the typed character sometimes contains legs 儿, but the ...
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2answers
429 views

What's the relationship between 暖, 爱 and 愛?

I was curious when I noticed that 暖 contains the character 爱, so I thought that in the traditional form, it would have 愛, the traditional form of 爱. But it appears that 暖 has the same form in both ...
3
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1answer
272 views

What’s the difference between 円 and 月 as character components?

What’s the difference between 円 and 月 as character components? If we look at 青 and 靑. The bottom of 青 is: 月 and if we look at 靑, it's bottom is: 円 靑 is said to be an 异体字 of 青 and zisea says ...
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3answers
114 views

Why is the character 中 listed as a 嵌套结构 (nested structure) and not a 单一结构 (single component)?

I'm studying character components using guoxuedashi, a online service/dictionary where you can filter by components, and there's LOTS of them. The thing is, they use a different system of ...
11
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5answers
880 views

Why was the rice component added to 气 to form 氣?

气 is an ancient character that has roots in an oracle bone pictogram, but according to this, the rice radical was added in the Tang dynasty to form 氣. What were the reasons for this? What does 气, ...