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19
votes
7answers
9k views

How do Chinese speakers pronounce unknown characters?

I'm wondering what do Chinese speakers do when they are reading aloud and encounter a character they don't know (sometimes it happens, isn't it?). In phonetic languages, there is a possibility to ...
7
votes
4answers
476 views

Is there an authoritative list of most frequent to most infrequent pronunciations for individual Chinese characters?

I'm working on a dictionary tool that provides, as an auto-assist, transcription of Chinese characters into corresponding (Modern Standard Mandarin) pinyin+tones on a naive, character-per-character ...
6
votes
2answers
465 views

Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?

The character 瞓 is a Cantonese character meaning "sleep". It is pronounced xùn in mandarin and fan3 in Cantonese. I was wondering how two so different pronunciations (I would expect xun to match syun ...
5
votes
4answers
212 views

Using 反切 to determine readings of characters in modern varieties of Chinese

From my understanding, 反切 is presented in the format XY 切, where a pronunciation of a character is determined from the inital of X and the rime of Y. However, there are still some points that are ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How many Chinese characters have multiple readings/pronunciations in Mandarin?

I'm wondering how many Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation in Mandarin. I understand this could be a difference in tone, initial, final, or some combination of these. Has anyone come ...
4
votes
2answers
648 views

Polysemous disyllabic words

I would like to know whether in chinese there are polysemous disyllabic words made up of disyllabic morphemes, that is a word made up of two characters and which when (at least one of) its syllables ...
3
votes
4answers
348 views

Does 上嗨 work as a pun for 上海?

While riding the subway in Shanghai last week, I glanced at the TV playing some commercials and saw what looked like a slightly off spelling of the city's name (上海). I could not get a very good look (...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Unusual looking characters at a temple in Hong Kong?

(source) It's from the Tsz Shan Monastery in the New Territories in Hong Kong. And I reading it up-down, left-right, or simply left to right on both levels? Many thanks to whoever can help.
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Why did the actor pronounce 程, “du” instead of “cheng”?

To improve my Chinese listening, I decided to watch 天下一碗 (Tian Xia Yi Wan), as actors tend to speak with very precise and clear tones. In the link, Liu laoye says: "如果是一时意气用事的话, 岂不是耽误了子女的前程了吗". I ...
2
votes
3answers
883 views

Hanzi pronunciation by radicals

I got into learning Chinese recently and since I already speak Japanese I find myself in a weird spot of being fairly familiar with a writing system, yet barely being able to read more than 30 ...
1
vote
3answers
174 views

How is the meaning of 不得已 formed?

I am under the impression that Chinese multi-character words form their meaning from that of the characters that form these words. (Let me know if I am mistaken!) I know that 不得已 means "to have to". ...
1
vote
3answers
440 views

How to create word/character sequence in Chinese that sounds the same as a word in English (or any other language)

Say I have a word in English "fooboo". What if I want it to be pronounced in Chinese as "fooboo" as well? My first attempt is to search in pinyin for "fu" and "bu". Fu gives results like 副 and 付. Bu ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

Tips to remember the pronunciation of these words: 旅,斿,施,旋,族? [closed]

I often misread these words and got mistaken between each other: 旅 = Lǚ 斿/游 = Yóu 施 = shī 旋 = Xuán 族 = zú as each of them doesn't have related phonetic indicator that I can use as clue to remember ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Why some characters have different sounds? [duplicate]

My translator (Pleco) says that 乐 is pronunced as le. However, 音乐 seems to be pronunced as yīnyuè. Why? Is it possible to know if a character has different sounds depending on the context?
0
votes
3answers
162 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
-1
votes
1answer
122 views

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations?

Can traditional and simplified counterparts have different pronunciations? For example, 兄 [xiōng] (elder) brother becomes 儿 [ér], right?