Questions tagged [characters]

Questions about Chinese characters, called Hanzi.

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2
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1answer
307 views

Is knowing how Chinese Characters are formed common knowledge?

Are Chinese taught in school how Chinese characters are formed (mainly phono-semantic compounds) or do they just bruteforce remember them? At least I know Japanese people don't learn phonetic parts of ...
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5answers
784 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, ...
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1answer
112 views

Written Japanese and Chinese speakers' understanding

I'd like to know in general how (in which measure) written Japanese is intelligible to Chinese speakers (when kana syllabaries are not used). For example a few days ago when Yoshihide Suga was chosen ...
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8answers
25k views

Take away (when ordering food): is it 带走 or 打包?

I was told that when you are ordering food you can say either 带走 or 打包. However, when you are not ordering food and you mean "take this away", then you use 拿走。 Is there a difference in context or ...
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2answers
1k views

How do new Chinese characters get added to the language?

For example there are characters such as 熵 which as far as I know only means one thing - in this case entropy - and which have to have been deliberately added by some person or organization. An ...
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2answers
441 views

What character is 刄 + 丶?

Here's a pic I took in HK today What's the 刄 + 丶 char? In 堂飲2 xxxxxxx 28元 I'm guessing its similar to mainlands 两, for alcoholic drink sizes. I tried zisea & zdic to no avail... edit: is it ...
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4answers
226 views

Which memorization techniques are useful for remembering characters?

There are some other posts with similar questions, like Techniques for learning and retaining characters, but I'm looking for an answer that particularly focus on which memorization techniques can be ...
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8answers
16k views

Is there a site that can split characters into radicals?

For example, let's examine the character 天 (heaven). It has a 人 radical (men). And then we add a strip to become 大 (big). And then we add another strip to get 天 (heaven). Now, is there a site to do ...
2
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1answer
80 views

What means Nanfu? (Characters identified: 阿難)

A friend of mine bought that stone a while ago With the help of a friend, we were about to determine that the words in small seal script means (from left to right) 難 (difficult) and 阜 (plentiful). ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

App to learn stroke order and writing chinese characters

As the title says, I am looking for an app to learn stroke order and writing chinese characters. Ideally, the software would eventually teach me to draw a character (with my fingers on the touchscreen)...
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2answers
168 views

What is the difference between 乾 and 幹?

I know that dry is "乾燥", but according to Google Translate: dried apples = 蘋果乾 dried apricots = 杏乾 dried mangosteens = 山竹果乾 dried durians = 榴蓮幹 dried yeast = 幹酵母 dried chickpeas = 幹鷹嘴豆 dried ...
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1answer
169 views

What is a non-gender specific way to specify a group of people when writing Chinese

If you write 'they' (tāmen) in Chinese characters, you have to be specific about the gender: 他们 / 她们 / 它们 All of them mean 'they' but what do you use if you mean a group mixed with men and women?
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1answer
151 views

Is 𠱑 An Acceptable Form Of 逗 In Sichuanese?

The book《蜀籁》writes the word 逗猫惹草 as 𠱑猫惹草 and also contains many other usages of 𠱑 where 逗 would normally be. 逗 in Sichuanese is read dou in the first tone (tone value: 55). 逗 in theory should be ...
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1answer
143 views

⿺走巳 or ⿺走己: Can 起 be written in two different ways?

Whilst typing the character 起 on my Mac, I notice that the character appears differently, illustrated in the picture below. On some programs, the character appears with an extra stroke, on others it ...
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2answers
292 views

List of Chinese characters not used in Mandarin/putonghua

Is there any convenient list of all of these characters? Examples of such characters being: The Hokkien (Min) 𪜶 (which is the pronoun 'them/they/theirs') The Cantonese/Hakka/Gan 佢 (which is the ...
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3answers
317 views

Fonts that compose Ideographic Description Characters into one character

Are there any fonts that try to compose Unicode Ideographic Description Characters into one character? E.g., ⿰女子 would look like 好. I know the Wikipedia page says "rendering systems are not intended ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any connection between the choice of characters for 九 and 丸?

I just learned the character 丸 and naturally noticed that it is similar to 九 with the additional 点. Is there any interesting connection between these two characters or is it just a random coincidence ...
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2answers
523 views

Why do HSK lists differ from character frequency lists?

I have been wondering how come the HSK list be so different from the list of the most used Chinese characters. The only list I know about character frequency is Jun Da's list. On the first 2635 most ...
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2answers
170 views

Can't translate this particular symbol (Character identified: 启)

I have this message on my Android phone. I tried to translate it using OCR tools and Google translate. But there's one symbol I can't find anywhere: it looks like "ṔA" (the 4th symbol at the top from ...
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1answer
166 views

Is there a database/application that sorts characters based on pronunciation, radical, frequency; and disyllabic compound words by frequency?

Researchers have used/cited the Academia Sinica Balanced Corpus of Modern Chinese for finding disyllabic compound words and characters with top-bottom and left-right construction. However I haven't ...
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3answers
250 views

How does “do” (做) mean “become” (成)? [duplicate]

In the sentence ‘I want to be[come] a policeman’, why is the verb for ‘become’, ‘do’? 我想做一个警察。 Wǒ xiǎng zuò yīgè jǐngchá. I have seen one of the dictionary definitions of 做 to mean ’become’, but ...
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3answers
108 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 ...
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3answers
96 views

Which one has the correct “lian”, 炼功夫 or 练功夫?

The phrase means "to practice kung fu". Which one is correct? 炼功夫 (锻炼的炼) or 练功夫 (练习的练)? I've seen both versions floating about online but I've a feeling only one of them is correct and ...
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1answer
90 views

Can any one tell me about the script or the seals please? (Characters identified: 藍鳥深竹 癸亥年 二月 興利)

I would like to know what the script says and also what the seals denote. The seals are red on the painting but I have changed the colour to make them easier to read.
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3answers
1k views

What is the best way to memorize Chinese characters? [closed]

I think the best way to memorize Chinese characters is learning Chinese character decomposition! See how it is easy to remember Chinese characters with the help of a simple analysis of the character ...
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4answers
144 views

How to distinguish between homophone words 再 and 在 zài

I wonder how one can distinguish in an oral conversation between homophone words: 再 and 在, as both have the same pronunciation zài. For example, in the sentence Wǒ zài kàn diànyǐng. how one can ...
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1answer
206 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
127 views

Character-component “spelling” software

I was just reading about China's problem with rare given names and the absence of them in computer databases? For example, there was an individual with the given name pronounced "cheng" composed of 马 ...
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2answers
99 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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5answers
204 views

How would you describe the Chinese name 阮天文?

When a name is introduced such as 阮天文, native speakers might want to know what the characters are, so they can spell it. Does it make sense if you were to say 天气的天, 文化的文? However, what would be a good ...
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4answers
197 views

Does 伊 have any special meaning?

I know it’s often used in old script and such, but there aren’t many other uses. I was always told that my Chinese name meant light/beautiful girl, but I haven’t found anything pointing to that ...
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7answers
1k views

Do 朋 and 友 differ in meaning?

I've learned 朋友 as a unit for the word 'friend'. After looking the two characters up, I see that they both mean... friend. It seems 友 is often used as the latter part of words expressing something ...
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5answers
401 views

When do we use “廿”, “卅” and “卌”?

I am aware of a related question and I know that "廿" means 20. "卅" means 30. "卌" means 40. But I am wondering how to use them correctly. When and how do we use "廿", "卅" and "卌"? For example, are ...
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3answers
214 views

Are characters divided into meaning part and phonetic part, with no overlapping?

Following the question below about 认识 and 知道 and coobit's analyses of the characters, I am wondering, if a character contains a meaning part and a phonetic part, is there complete separation of the 2, ...
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2answers
136 views

Small Seal Request

I am currenly looking for the small seal character for the words 生 (Sheng) and 智 (Hui)? Which I cannot find in the wiktionary.
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2answers
303 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 ...
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2answers
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Why is 刻 used to mean ''a quarter of an hour''?

刻 means ''to carve'' but my dictionary also says it means ''to set a time limit''. What is the connection between 刻 and a quarter of an hour ?
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4answers
2k views

When searching in Chinese, why do things always come up in traditional characters?

I noticed that after a few attempts using google to search in Chinese, every result I was getting was written in traditional characters (even despite me searching in Mandarin, simplified characters). ...
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2answers
153 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
302 views

Is there a kanji tattoo meaning e.g. “live your life” or “love your life” or “be yourself”?

I'm thinking of getting a tattoo on my wrist, one saying: "Live your life" or "love your life" or "be yourself" in kanji. (Not more then 2 characters if possible.) I asked on the Japanese Stack ...
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1answer
537 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 ...
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2answers
74 views

Understanding 照相 and 照片

I am having some confusion about 照相 and 照片. In my Chinese lesson they introduced them: 照片 Zhào piàn (noun) photo 照相 Zhào xiàng (verb) to take a picture They also showed this example: 我照了几百张照片。 I ...
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4answers
488 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What is an “exoactive” Chinese character?

I have noticed that Chinese characters are labelled as “exoactive”, “endoactive”, “exopassive” and “endopassive” on Wiktionary. For example, it says that 娶 (marry) is the exoactive version of 取. I am ...
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3answers
283 views

Radicals vs glyph origins (specifically for character 肚 in 肚子)

I am trying to learn some vocabulary and am looking at the radicals to help me remember. The problem is, the radicals in some characters don't seem to make sense to me at all. In 肚, the two radicals ...
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3answers
194 views

How did 贼 come to mean “extremely”?

While watching a tv show, I heard the presenter, a Beijinger, say 贼好. In that particular context, the only possible meaning was 很好. Later I did some research and, as a matter of fact, it turns out 贼 ...
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4answers
22k 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is 足 both “foot” and “enough”?

足 is an ancient character meaning "foot". However, it also means "enough" or "sufficient", and this second definition is also very old. Consider this excerpt: 兵甲已足。——诸葛亮《出师表》 This is from 《出师表》, ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there a list on the web where I can find Cantonese special characters and their meaning?

The characters below belong only to Cantonese: 嚟, 咁, 哋, 畀, 佢, 唔, 睇 or 冇. Is there a list on the web where I can find all these characters and their meaning?

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