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Questions tagged [characters]

Questions about the Chinese characters, called Hanzi, about their characteristics and everything that relates to them.

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3answers
390 views

what kind of gematria systems are there in chinese?

Since in Chinese culture there is a lot of materials about astronomy and supernatural methods so I'm interested to know about Gematria as it exists in most languages... Like this: Gematria ...
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1answer
101 views

Are Chinese characters always in a perfect square shape, or are there fonts with rectangular characters?

Are all Chinese characters in all fonts placed in a perfect square grid, or are there fonts which make characters slightly rectangular such as 5:6 aspect ratio or 8:9 aspect ratio, etc. E.g. you find ...
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1answer
143 views

Help with Buddhist meaning of 麼

麼 Occurs repeatedly in later Tang and early Song Dynasty Buddhist texts. Does anyone know of its Buddhist meaning, most translators disregard it. Thanks.
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72 views

How widespread is the idiom 蘑菇?

I have seen the word for mushroom [蘑菇, mógū] to be an action such as dilly dally. Is this an inherent idiom in the written language apparent across a large spectrum of dialect, whereas the word ...
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2answers
263 views

What are the original Chinese characters for the Chinese family name Suening in the Philippines?

My late grandfather left Macau, China to the Philippine to find work around the year 1918-1920. In my dad's baptismal certificate, my grandfather carries the name Leo Suening. It's also common in the ...
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151 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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1answer
67 views

Correct word for shiver 打颤 or 打战

Both 打颤 and 打战 mean shiver but I saw that in 兩岸詞典 they say that 打战 in the Mainland is not used “陸:今不用”. So which is the correct word to write for Mainland Mandarin?
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Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊?

Looking at the list of Kangxi radicals over at Wikipedia, I just noticed something I haven't noticed before. Radical number 34 (夂) and 35 (夊) are virtually identical. I write these radicals in the ...
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1answer
228 views

Is there a website for generating xíngshū (semi-cursive script) from jiǎnhuàzì (simplified characters)?

Google Translate can be a useful tool for converting Simplified Chinese hanzi into Traditional Chinese — but I'm looking for a tool that will enable me to paste in a set of Simplified characters, and ...
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4answers
2k views

Adding tone marks to characters

I'm looking for a way of adding tone marks above characters. It's fairly easy to add Pinyin with tone marks, but I want to add only tone marks. I want to use this as a teaching tool, because even ...
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3answers
154 views

What is the correct simplified character for Macau’s Taipa and Cotai?

Both Taipa and Cotai contain the character 氹/凼 in their names, with some saying that 凼 is the simplified version of 氹. However, I’ve seen 氹 being used in simplified scripts as well. So, which ...
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211 views

What Hanzi-Latin hybrid characters exist?

I was going through Babel Stone's PUA page when I came across, some, of the following characters. This one is Japanese: Kanji-Latin hybrid = 慶 in the name of Keiō University (慶應大学) This one is ...
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4answers
4k views

Apple Watch has a built in response of “一个字。非常棒!👊”. Is this correct?

When you respond to a text message on Apple Watch, there are a number of autoreply options. One of them: 一个字。非常棒!👊 I translate this to English as "One word. Excellent! 👊". This makes a lot of ...
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78 views

Is it OK to use 子 as a measure word

my Wenlin dictionary describes 子 as also a measure word for bundles/hanks etc. Can anyone confirm this ? by sample sentence ?
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672 views

Why are many Chinese characters almost symmetrical but not exactly symmetrical?

For example:西,南,而,憂,覚,蔸,悪,間,見,寓,凳,血,寠,and many others. Shapewise, they are almost symmetrical but not exactly symmetrical. Why are they not created as symmetrical characters? After all, symmetry is ...
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1answer
230 views

Glyph origins of '進'

Motivation While writing my recent meta question, I've cited Dr. Gavin Chiu (趙善軒)'s article to explain the character '進' and its simplified character '井'. However, a user points out that the linked ...
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687 views

Two-character homonyms with same meaning

This is question about synonymous homonyms in Chinese, in particular, two-character words with same sound, tone. Edit: to keep the question simple and broad, I am using the word "homonym" in a non-...
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971 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 ...
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7answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
79 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.
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1answer
88 views

Can anyone identify the characters on this seal?

I saw this seal recently visiting a friend of mine who collects old paintings and calligraphy in Shanghai. I'm hoping that someone here knows what these characters are. Any help is greatly appreciated!...
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86 views

蘇 (Su) surname Generation Poem

My name is John Su. I am came from an Indonesian speaking family, not a Chinese a speaking one. I need to know of an English or Malay or at least a mixed language website that tell exactly the ...
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65 views

尚活 can still work without 着?

Can this two hanzi alone "尚活" support the meaning "still alive" without this last one "着"? And if yes, what does "着" add to the general sense? I mean, what's the difference between "活着" and "活"? I'...
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4answers
177 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 ...
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0answers
45 views

Is there a breakdown of the simplification scheme into methods?

For the second round of simplification (actually, its second part), there is a scheme dividing the processes into classes by the method used, such as: leaving only part of the character that leaves ...
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12answers
3k views

Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
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3answers
210 views

What about the orthography of 苹 (like in 苹果)? It seems consensus is missing

I recently came across an anomaly in Chinese orthography which I can't explain myself. Please take a look at the following picture (screenshot from the Duolingo course on Chinese, I guess in lecture "...
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2answers
84 views

Can’t identify this character

I have tried a usually effective OCR on it, and tried imitating the appearance in a handwriting recognizer, but neither gives anything that seems possibly correct. If context helps, it is preceded by ...
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0answers
104 views

Composed forms of radicals in unicode

Unicode appears to define the composed forms of some radicals (e.g. 725C 牜or 2EA9 ⺩), but far from all (e.g. the left-half version of 6728 木). Yet there are texts (e.g. figure 18.7 in chapter 18 of ...
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1answer
85 views

Why is “xiang4” in 摄像 and 照相 different from each other?

Why is "xiang4" in 摄像 and 照相 different from each other? Other similar words are: 相片、相框、录像、影像、相机、摄像机 The xiang in each word seems have same meaning but with different form. Is that because 像 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
161 views

The meaning of “射” and “矮”?

The body (身) is only one inch (寸), which should mean "矮". Throwing (委) the arrow (矢), which should mean "射". What is wrong here?
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1answer
81 views

When was 呌 replaced with 叫?

I've seen a lot of books published near the end of the Qing dynasty where 叫 is usually always written 呌. It does seem less common during the Republic of China era, but I'm not sure. When was 呌 ...
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2answers
165 views

Pronounciation and etymology of 啱

I was reading the Wikipedia page on hypercorrection, and I noticed this particle section on Cantonese: In Cantonese, some speakers omit the initial [ŋ]. For instance, the character 牙 (Jyutping: ...
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4answers
203 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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1answer
102 views

How do you pronounce Erjie?

I have an interview and the interviewer's name is Erjie. I'd like to be able to pronounce when I get there. Can anyone give me guidance on how to pronounce his name? FWIW, the person is from ...
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1answer
292 views

Which organization defines CJK Unified Ideographs?

CJK means Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Well, which organization defines the standard?
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2answers
68 views

Error in Book? Need help

I was reading Assimil Chinese with Ease and came across this. 你见过他? Since this is a question, is 吗 necessary for the question? Perhaps an error? Or can you omit 吗?
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241 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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1answer
127 views

Is this the character 良?

Someone sent me this picture and asked me if I knew what it was: I had a couple of hunches and browsed through Pleco's Small Seal Script Chinese character font. The small seal script for 良 looks very ...
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1answer
124 views

untranslated characters and their meaning

I recently saw a movie where this appeared and unfortunately, this was the only part that wasn’t translated. Could anyone tell me what it says?
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5answers
228 views

In this dialogue, why does 一米八几 mean “more than 180cm tall”?

My HSK 2 textbook contains the following dialogue and translation: 他多高 How tall is he? 一米八几 He is more than 180 centimeters tall. The second sentence is not explained in the book and I am ...
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2answers
106 views

What does this character mean? (Screenshot)

this is a very quick question as I do not know any chinese at all, but what does this character mean? I've tried websites that recognize according to handwriting, but it just won't. I tried many times,...
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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: 《...
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2answers
110 views

Why this header of “世界日报” is written as “世界曰报”?

See the picture. There is an obvious mistake: the third character is written as "曰" (yue) instead of "日" (ri). Why it is not written correctly as "日" such as the following?
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2answers
420 views

How does 子 come to mean 'midnight'?

Arch Chinese lists the meanings of 子 as son, seed, egg, child, small thing, noun suffix(zi5), midnight, Kangxi radical number 39, 1st terrestrial branch The meanings of child, egg, diminutive ...
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2answers
134 views

Why 偏 has a meaning of partial?

For example, 偏導數 means partial derivative. But my intuition on this character is inclined and remote. How can I derive this meaning from the regular meaning of 偏? From 説文解字 I got this (偏) 頗也。頗、...
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2answers
130 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 ...
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2answers
137 views

Hanzi for “daigang”?

La société chinoise depuis 1949 by Tania Angeloff (2018; in French) is a book about Chinese society since 1949. The author sometimes uses pinyin without tones to give the Chinese counterparts of some ...
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4answers
429 views

How many distinct characters are there in a typical Chinese book?

This post gives some great statistics on Chinese character frequency, but I'm curious about the total number of distinct characters that appear in a "typical" book. By "typical" I mean something like ...