Questions tagged [characters]

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

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9
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3answers
264 views

Is 了 a pictogram (象形字)?

當我看 Hinen 的答案時,看到近代書將「了」分為象形字。 大概是因為《說文解字》曾提及「象形」二字如下: 了,尦也。从子,無臂。象形。 作者許慎的意思應該是將「了」判為象形字。 《說文解字》的序文有象形字的定義: 象形者,畫成其物,隨體詰詘,日月是也。 象形字是依物體的彎曲樣子將它的形狀畫出來,譬如,日和月。 也就是說,象形字是直接描繪該物體。 但是,段玉裁的《說文解字注》...
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3answers
107 views

Reference for different looking ways of writing a character?

Is there any online database or printed reference work where it's possible to look up a character and see it written in many different styles, like different printing fonts, cursives and pictures from ...
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1answer
331 views

How come 星 (star) is used in 星期 (week)?

How come that the character 星 (star) is used in the word for week 星期? 期 means a period of time, but why is week "star"?
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4answers
120 views

Does Chinese character recognistion software exist? [closed]

does any one know if there is any method or software to recognize definition, sound of a character? Is there any software?
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3answers
1k views

What is the best way to memorize Chinese characters?

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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2answers
62 views

What character could be made with these radicals? [closed]

Chinese Characters Decomposition 丿 piě slash 十 shí ten 一 yī one 丨 gǔn line
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1answer
143 views

Are Chinese and Japanese characters decomposed the same way?

Decomposition Option of the Chinese Character 天 tiān ‘sky’ 天 tiān ‘sky’ 一 yī one 大 dà big 一 yī one 人 rén man 天一 大 一 人 NB. Synonyms: Structural analysis of the Chinese characters, Breakdown of the ...
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2answers
130 views

If the form for the character “I” (我) had been related to its meaning - how would it look?

Outlier's entry for 我 says: 我 depicts a saw-toothed weapon with a long handle. The modern meaning "I, me" is unrelated to the form. My best guess is: 俄 - modern pronunciation is e2 - but the logic ...
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1answer
56 views

Origins and usage of '襨'

I remember once reading about a Chinese character in Unicode that noone knew its meaning and purpose, and after some googling, I found 襨. Aside from basic character databases like Wiktionary or Unihan,...
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5answers
14k 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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1answer
98 views

What does this text bubble mean? i believe it's kanji

i cannot for the life of me figure out what this means... been trying to find out through the yomiwa mobile app, looking up online, and trying to match this to some kanji for over an hour halp
3
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1answer
334 views

Ancient forms of characters

According to Wiktionary, "This character, 朙, is an ancient form of 明". I'd like to know what exactly ancient forms are and their current role in the language together with some academic reference, as ...
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3answers
6k views

List of all traditional Chinese characters

I'm looking for a repository or database containing all traditional Chinese characters. Where can I find this?
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2answers
968 views

Chinese characters picture dictionary / mnemonics?

Are there any commonly used dictionaries of picture (mnemonic) representation of chinese characters? I mean dictionary to convert SINGLE character to a picture, not a picture to a word (i.e. not just ...
0
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1answer
200 views

Was Shuowen Jiezi 說文解字 originally written in the seal script 小篆?

Modern editions of Shuowen Jiezi 說文解字 use seal characters 小篆 only in the headwords. This is also the case with editions published a few hundred years ago. Was the whole original 121 edition of Shuowen ...
2
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2answers
403 views

天干、地支、八卦和六十四卦 Heavenly Stems, Earthly Branches, 8 Trigrams and 64 Hexagrams

When looking up individual characters in modern dictionaries, I often come across descriptions such as "one of the ten Heavenly Stems", "nth Earthly Branch", "one of the Eight Trigrams", etc. Is it ...
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2answers
405 views

Radical names and stroke names

Sometimes a character component has one pronunciation as a Kangxi radical, another one as a stroke, and perhaps even more: 一: yī / héng 丨: gǔn / shù 丶: zhǔ / diǎn 亅: jué / shùgōu 乙: yǐ / ...
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2answers
120 views

How is this character written: “一点一横长,二字下来口字方,两边丝绕绕,中间马大王,你也长,我也长,心字底,月字旁,打把金钩挂衣裳。”

《广安方言与民俗词典》has the following entry: 【biáng】 普通话中无“b-i-ang”发音,属于群众自创方音。象声词,本义指用力扯面中面条击打案板之声。生活中常作为口语化的象声词,如巴掌打在脸上的声音、面积较大的东西摔在地上的声音等。为了方便记忆,民间还有此字歌谣:“一点一横长,二字下来口字方,两边丝绕绕,中间马大王,你也长,我也长,心字底,月字旁,...
2
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1answer
373 views

Is there a dictionary of standard character variants?

Is there a (paper or online) dictionary/list that contains standard variants of Chinese characters next to each other? That is, the Kangxi Dictionary forms (正字/康熙字典體), the forms recommended in ...
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2answers
162 views

Meaning and use of ideograms around “language” : 说,话,语

I just arrived in this warm community and am glad to find a stackexchange about Chinese language. I merely began to learning Chinese and find it really exciting, yet many of uses and conventions are ...
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3answers
698 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 ...
2
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1answer
209 views

character encoding, script, typeface/font

I'd like to know what relationship ties those terms. According to wikipedia, "There is however no mandated connection between the encoding system and the font used to display the characters; font ...
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2answers
203 views

What does this mean in English, very few words (Screenshot inside)?

What does this mean in English if you translate it? And what does this mean in pinyin, please tell me its very important!
3
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1answer
150 views

How to determine if character can be used separetely?

This question might be weird, but I haven't been able to find an answer to this. Some characters seem to be used only in combination with other characters. For instance, I believe 儿 cannot be used ...
2
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3answers
622 views

chinese bound trisyllabic morphemes

I'd like to know whether there're truly bound trisyllabic morphemes in mandarin Chinese. Thank you so much in advance.
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2answers
549 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
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2answers
214 views

Is there any record on this specific variant of the character 選?

The below variant of the Traditional character 選 comes from an old book of 20th-century Vietnam. I personally cannot find any source that acknowledges this variant. I'm also pretty sure that Unicode ...
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3answers
167 views

Blessed bat pun: 蝙蝠→__福

I heard about this pun, but I don't know how to identify the one character. I've tried a few tricks to search CEDICT but either it doesn't show up or there are too many hits to wade through.
4
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1answer
139 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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2answers
361 views

Why do some Chinese characters look like western ones? [closed]

I am learning Chinese and met few characters, which are looking like western characters with similar pronunciation. Examples are 子 which pronounced like zi and visually similar to Z and 匹 which ...
5
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5answers
685 views

斯 vs 这 vs 此 for the meaning “this”?

What are the differences between these three, 斯 vs 这 vs 此, and any other characters or words for "this" in Mandarin Chinese? I'm just a beginner and I've noticed at least these few characters are in ...
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1answer
175 views

Cannot find Japanese kanji in Chinese dictionary

I do not have any historical dictionaries installed (yet) in Pleco. I am trying to look up a character I found in the handle of a contributor on the Japanese SE, but could not find it in Pleco. Don't ...
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3answers
105 views

Meaning of 别 in 别开生面?

I am aware of the fact that 别 usually means "don't", but what about :/ the expression 别开生面​。 Here, doors it mean "another"? What exactly does it mean in this context? Thanks.
4
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5answers
369 views

Meaning of 翼 in 不翼而飞

The Chinese idiom " 不翼而飞" contains the character 翼 meaning wings, but how could one fly without wings? Here 不翼 = 无翼 ? I'm confused. I am aware of the fact that the saying means "vanish into the air ...
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3answers
216 views

To live: 住 versus 居, what's the exact difference?

I wanted to know what's the exact difference between 住 and 居. Since thesee characters mean the same thing, why can't I convince them together into one word meaning "to live"? Thanks.
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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). ...
2
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2answers
301 views

What does the following phrase mean “士不可不弘毅, 任重而道遠”?

I know it's a Confucian saying but I'd like to know the meaning behind it. Anyone have a clue?:)
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7answers
4k views

Where to look for history and etymology of Chinese characters? For example 工

Is there a website where I can look for history and etymology of Chinese characters? For example 工. It can be a Chinese website (I am VERY new to Chinese). But better in English. Please also drop ...
2
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1answer
151 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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2answers
115 views

For the character/word 煎, which of the English words “braise”, “pan fry”, “sauté” are the best way to think of it?

In my Memrise Chinese courses 煎 seems to be translated inconsistently and I'm always getting it wrong. This also leads to confusion when I'm looking at menus in real life. It seems that the ...
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4answers
288 views

What do the character components in 旅 and 派 represent?

Everyone has their most hard to remember characters. For me, these two were hard (旅 and 派), until today I just noticed that the bottom right pay looks just like the character 刃 (the edge of a knife), ...
1
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1answer
272 views

Do all 汉字 components (radicals and non-radicals) have names?

I would like to know, so all radicals and non-radicals that make up Chinese character have names? If so, then where can I find a radical and non-radical Chinese character component dictionary? I was ...
10
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2answers
878 views

How was 辣 used before the Columbian Exchange?

I'm assuming the character (and word/morpheme) 辣 is not a recent creation and goes back far in history. These days it means "chili/chilli", "pepper", "spicy". But chili peppers only came to China ...
7
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4answers
401 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
205 views

What is the origin of the character “糬” seeminly only used in “麻糬” to translate a Japanese word which doesn't use either character?

I was just given some mochi by a Taiwanese host in Kaohsiung. So I decided to look up the local word and found "麻糬" máshǔ. It's a transliteration of Japanese "mochi", which is written 餅 in that ...
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2answers
333 views

What is the purpose of the 賣 (卖) component in the character 讀 (读)?

Most sources I can find say that 讀 (读) is a phonosemantic compound (形聲), where 言 is the semantic component and 賣 is the phonetic component. However, the pronunciation of 賣 (mài) does not resemble 讀 (...
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2answers
451 views

Meaning of the name Didi Chuxing/滴滴出行?

Apparently the successful taxi app 滴滴出行 was originally called 嘀嘀打车. What is the meaning of 嘀嘀 here and why was it considered acceptable to change 嘀嘀 to 滴滴?
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3answers
879 views

Are Chinese people aware of the difficulty of their writing system?

How is the difficulty about the Chinese writing system viewed by native speakers? Is it a view they share with other learners around the world or do they see it the same way other speakers see their ...
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3answers
242 views

Does a Chinese character almost-always represent a word?

My guess is that (at least) 99.9% of Chinese characters represent words. The possible exceptions are 的 and 吗 -- as in: 的 in "my car" (wǒ de chē) 我的车 吗 in 你好吗? or "Ni Hai Hao Ma?...
3
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4answers
602 views

What percentage of Chinese words are 1-character ? … 2-character?

Within an average Chinese person's vocabulary ... (which may be ~ 30,000 (?) words, but this number isn't important) could you guess what percentage of the words are 1-character, and what ...