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Questions tagged [character-identification]

Questions about the identification of Chinese characters, especially characters seen in photos and other visual materials.

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17
votes
3answers
4k views

Characters which have several different shapes

For those who might not read the question fully: this not about simplified vs traditional characters. While the traditional and simplified version of a character can be considered the same, they at ...
13
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5answers
16k views

How to look up seal script characters?

When we know a modern Hanzi, finding its seal script equivalent in a dictionary is not a problem. However, a more common case is that we have an existing seal script character we cannot identify, and ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What do Chinese people do if they forget how to write a character?

I've heard that character amnesia is becoming more and more common. What if a Chinese has to write something and he doesn't have a cellphone or computer with him, what does he do if he forgot the ...
11
votes
2answers
765 views

Fast-written forms of 草书 characters

Are they frequently used? Which one of the three is applied more often: is it the 章草, the 今草 or the 狂草? Are they different in comparison with the 行書? Are there any online resourses to learn more ...
11
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7answers
6k views

Can one learn to comprehend Chinese texts while being unable to read aloud?

I've been enjoying the book Chineasy and it make me wonder if it would be possible to read Chinese without knowing how to speak it phonetically. Technically it might not be "reading Chinese" because ...
9
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5answers
2k views

Confusion about the ice radical 冫

As far as I know, the character for "ice" is 冰, and the radical derived from it is 冫 . I find it a bit weird that the ice radical 冫 is the radical for the ice character 冰 itself (ice + water = ice ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Where can I find a list of commonly mistaken characters?

I want to quickly identify potential mistakes created by OCR software. Where can I find a list of all Chinese characters that visually look very similar and might often be confused?
9
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5answers
2k views

Searching for characters by parts

Are there any online or computer dictionaries that allow searching for characters by any sub-part of the character? Occasionally it I see a character the parts of which I can already type. But I can'...
9
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5answers
2k views

Some characters look different handwritten and on the computer - how to learn the differences?

I've mainly been learning to read/write Chinese using computer based software as opposed to going to lessons etc. However, I've realised that there is a small handfull of characters that look ...
8
votes
2answers
357 views

What characters are on this ceramic jar?

What characters are depicted on this old jar? My (art-)sources have all different opinions: "fu2 shou4 an1 kang1" or "fu2 lu4 shou4 xi3" or 4 x shou4 or "fu2 shou4 kang1 ning2" and all without telling ...
7
votes
2answers
531 views

What is written in this satellite photograph?

What is written in Chinese at this location 40.449787, 116.548828 on Google maps? Tried using translators. But didn't find any feasible answer for this.
7
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3answers
969 views

够 or 夠 - Two characters, one meaning?

够 or 夠 both mean be enough according to my electronic dictionaries. I was surprised to find one character in my text "Reading & Writing Chinese," (McNaughton & Li, 1999) A different ...
7
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3answers
165 views

Is the description for components of 条 correct?

During studying 条 character in one of the dictionaries I have found decomposition of this character to two components: 夂 zhǐ: to go 木 mù: tree; wood (Kangxi radical 75) I see the 夂 component but I ...
6
votes
4answers
905 views

What does 塩 mean?

I've tried a number of online and paper dictionaries (Chinese-Chinese character dictionaries) and I still can't find this character. Since I don't know how it's pronounced or what the right part is ...
6
votes
2answers
184 views

Which ma belongs in the phrase 我 “ma” 好的

This may be a SE dialect thing, but plenty of my friends say 我 "ma" 好的 to mean 我很好 or "ma" 好的 to mean good or I agree with you. Can someone tell me which character (if there is one) is supposed to be ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

An unknown Traditional Chinese character on a decorative piece for Lunar New Year

I'm a East Asian preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year and have found this piece of decoration. The Chinese character on it is, I'm pretty sure, a Traditional one, literally full of strokes and ...
6
votes
4answers
121 views

What methods are available for looking up a character?

Some dictionaries provide a radical lookup for finding characters. Are there other systems available besides radical lookup for finding the meaning of a word when one only has the character?
6
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3answers
309 views

What is the function of 已 in 好像她已出去好几天了。

What is the purpose of 已 in the following sentence? 好像她已出去好几天了。 The English translation given is: It looks as if she's gone away for a few days. Or is this an incorrect-character, supposed to ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Do you write every character? [closed]

I have been studying Chinese for a few months now. I am using some software to test my knowledge of the characters. Sometimes I do not recognize every character of a word but I can still derive the ...
6
votes
1answer
357 views

Unknown Traditional Chinese characters on lacquered boards

I'm a East Asian preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year and have been given these pictures of lacquered boards from my father. The first picture I suspect contains stylized Seal scripts. I cannot ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Only two characters but I have no idea what they signify

I was given a pair of gold cufflinks by my grandfather who was in Shanghai 100 years ago. Each shows a Chinese character (Mandarin, I guess) and I would like to know what these mean. However I have ...
5
votes
3answers
917 views

What does 嘞 mean

I actually suspect that this character may be a typo for ”了“, but I'll ask nevertheless. What is the second character in this snippet?: I managed to write it into my pocket dictionary, it simply ...
5
votes
1answer
354 views

Chinese characters for “bu da jie” meaning unrelated

Can someone assist with providing the correct Chinese characters for the saying "bu da jie" which means unrelated. This saying appears in the Suzhou dialect so it is quite common in our household, ...
5
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2answers
193 views

Mnemonic or Glyph Origin for 御

I can't fiugure out suitable mnemonic for 御. Does someone has a good idea?
5
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2answers
190 views

What is the missing character on the seal?

跟進此問題,題中之印 共收六字,其中五字無疑,作爲 後皇漢裔帝X X是何字,解之有難。僅看字形,個人釋之爲「亘」,而@水巷孑蠻釋之爲「亙」,因漢朝既無「亘帝」也無「亙帝」,二解都有問題。 先說說「亘」與「亙」二字的字源。二者在秦漢之後已經就被混淆了,甚至到今世多釋之爲繁簡或異體關係,非也。 「亘」字本義是環繞、迴旋,很可能跟「還」、「漩」等類似的詞有同源關係,但初期竝無「亘」字而以「...
5
votes
3answers
378 views

Is there any evidence that 90% of characters are phono-semantic compounds?

I've heard this claim a lot, from Chinese teachers in real life, and on this Wikipedia page, where the claim "At present, more than 90% of Chinese characters are phono-semantic compounds" lacks a ...
4
votes
3answers
279 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent for the Shanghai term for dirty?

In the Shanghai dialect dirty is pronounced something like "o co" with the o pronounced like the "o" in cot and the "c" pronounced like the usual c in pinyin (kinda like an 'ts' sound). Which ...
4
votes
2answers
431 views

What are the characters on this seal?

What are the characters on this seal? Flipped image for easier reading:
4
votes
2answers
375 views

How to describe 陈省身's name

Shiing-shen Chern, 陈省身 (1911--2004), is a famous geometer. When taking about him with Chinese people who do not study math and have not heard of him, how can I best describe which characters 陈, 省, ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

What is this character? How to identify it?

Came across this etching in a ABAC pattern as the A: The more complicated ones were easier to identify, but this one is kind of tricky. One guess was that it was the character for 今, but that doesn'...
4
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2answers
242 views

Help please me find out what this means

I’m looking to find out what this means. Please help was handed down to me from my family
4
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2answers
71 views

Journey to the West: “Mother of wood”

I am reading Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West in English (using the translation by Anthony C. Yu, don't know enough language to understand the source) and there seems to be a recurring theme of using ...
4
votes
1answer
875 views

Can anyone read Seal Script? I'm completely stuck

Is anyone able to give the modern character equivalents for these seals? I'm completely stumped on the top one, but got as far as "X 廾 東 X" on the bottom one. There's also a 詩塘 at the top, and I don'...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

What do the characters I've found on this old gun mean?

On an antique shotgun I was told had Korean origin I found the following (what I presume are Hanja?) characters†. Four out of five I believe I have correctly identified. One character I could not find ...
3
votes
3answers
380 views

What character is this? (yu2)

The book "A First Course in Literature" from Shaddick uses this character: In the vocabulary section it is explained as "TV to cross; to exceed". But I can't seem to find this character anywhere else ...
3
votes
2answers
543 views

What are the characters in this seal script inscription on an ancestral altar?

Hi, this four character inscription is on an ancestral altar which contains two spirit tablets. I am unsure of the more modern equivalents of these characters and would be grateful for any assistance.
3
votes
2answers
448 views

Does anyone know what is the characters means (丁財貴寿)?

Does anyone know what is written on the image? I tried to find out what is it, and got 丁財貴寿 (丁财贵寿), but not quite sure enough. I tried to find the meaning of the words but seems can't find it or I don'...
3
votes
2answers
326 views

What does “a84” mean to Chinese people?

I own the Internet domain a84.com. Quite often I get unsolicited inquires from individuals in China asking if I would sell the domain. The inquiries come only from China. I'm not sure if the interest ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

What is the name of the university in this seal?

I was able to read the second half (大學圖書), but not the actual name of the university. The image is cropped from a book posted here.
3
votes
3answers
747 views

Some unknown marks: are they in Chinese? If not, what language is it? What do they mean?

I have been given a nice set of small white tea set with bamboo motifs and some foreign oriental marks. There is no single English character. I spent the whole morning trying to draw these marks and ...
3
votes
1answer
690 views

Is the meaning of this symbol “longevity”?

I'm trying to determine the meaning of a particular character. Sparing the boring details, I'm trying to figure out what the meaning of this character is: As near as i can tell it might be a symbol ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Paifang inscription identification

I am having a hard time trying to identify a character inscribed on this gate at the Yellow Crane Tower. I think I have been able to identify the other three characters (入山江). So the character I'd ...
3
votes
1answer
266 views

Does anyone recognize the characters written here?

Does anyone recognize the characters written here? I've tried to figure it out but still can't understand what is written there, since I've just recognized the rightmost character, 天. It's a carving ...
3
votes
1answer
577 views

Could someone help me to identify these characters on the screen walls

Today I visited a garden of one of my friends and there were several screen walls with a character on each one. (The owner was absent and neither could his housekeeper read these characters.) These ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

An unknown, calligraphic Traditional Chinese character

I'm a Vietnamese preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year and have found this piece of decoration. I think the Chinese character on that is a Traditional one, pretty calligraphic and notably ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Cannot recognise a chinese chracter handwriting

Can anyone else tell me what the last character is please?
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Translation of seal script text (Poem identified: 元・譚處端《西江月・作伴修行未是》)

I've been trying to translate some seal script on a small piece a friend brought back from Japan. I've been using http://www.guoxuedashi.com/ and hanziyuan.net to guess them and think I ended up with ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Character for “□” 西南官话 kuai³¹: “~着走, 两脚尖向内地走”

□ is the official place-marker for unknown or unwritable characters. Sometimes though there are appropriate characters for the mistakenly believed unwritable or nonexistent. Here's my conundrum: 《...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Any record of a “扌笨” character anywhere?

So I got this entry in my copy of 成都方言 "扌笨" ben ①蘸调料:紧倒~(佐料),不嫌咸了嗦? ②扳动,扯拉:猴子逮到绳绳儿架势~。 I tried looking for this "扌笨" character: I did a zisea.com 两分 search with no results. I did a zdic 字典 笔顺 ...
3
votes
2answers
566 views

Can anyone translate this Seal Script into english for me?

I played this game called Sleeping Dogs that I really loved! It took place in Hong Kong and the main character Wei Shen has this tattoo on his arm that I thought would be cool to have. After doing ...