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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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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'...
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4answers
576 views

Why was the rice radical 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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267 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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650 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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Origin of beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom

Why in Mandarin chinese, USA is beautiful kingdom and England is hero kingdom?
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5answers
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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?
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Are Chinese characters taught in school in Vietnam?

Vietnamese is a language that used to use Chinese characters, but doesn't use them in everyday language nowadays. Are they still taught in school?
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Stroke order database

I'd like to provide SVG, or at least GIF stroke order diagrams on my website. Is there a database similar to the Japanese KanjiVG, but for Simplified and Traditional hanzi? If not, is there a free ...
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321 views

Does “坊” also mean “square”, “plaza”, “piazza” like “广场”?

Where I am in Kunming there is a square that seems to go by two names: 金碧广场, Jīn bì guǎngchǎng, "Golden Square" 金马碧鸡坊, Jīnmǎ bì jī fang, "Golden Horse and Green Rooster Square" When I look up ...
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332 views

Have any fonts been released that are based on slender gold?

I remember the first time I saw slender gold I had something like an 'am I dreaming?' moment. That's not how characters were supposed to look! The lines aren't supposed to cross, etc., etc. But wait,...
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258 views

What is the part without the radical called?

For example, these characters have different radicals: 根 跟 恨 狠 But the part of the characters minus the radical is the same. Does that part (艮 in this case) have a name?
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348 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 ...
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393 views

Why does the radical for water and ice often look so weird

When I see the radical being used in 洗 and 凉 in some books or even sougou. They break it up into a broken radical that looks nothing like it. Is it one of those things that are related only to ...
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2answers
485 views

Is there an authoritative reference for the stroke order of simplifed characters?

It seems various people often have various ways to write the same characters. For instance, I have seen the radical "忄" being written in three different ways (left, middle, right; left, right, middle; ...
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Can I use a rare character like 飂 in a name?

I am trying to find a new Chinese name for myself. Before, I simply used a transliteration of my western name. Now, as my Chinese progressed, I would like to find something that does not immediately ...
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4answers
374 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 ...
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1answer
366 views

What is the story or reason of how 龙 came from 龍?

I'm just beginning to learn Mandarin and I have an excellent teacher. She tells me a lot of stories of how the characters came to be. Today we talked about the character for dragon, but she doesn't ...
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What is “qiou”?

Apparently this character has been dubbed the character of the year (2018): It's pronunciation is said to be: qiou but a lot of people claim it should just be pronounced the same as: 我 I can'...
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394 views

What character is 刄 + 点?

Here's a pic I took in HK today What's the 刄 + 点 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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436 views

Character and meaning for the 四川话 sentence-ending particle 'ga'?

Scholars of Chinese will have a lot of work to do in the next 100-200 years, because eventually academics will take notice and want to document the self-emergent standardization of orthography for ...
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1answer
248 views

General guidelines for learning stroke order

A friend asked me for a brief description of the general guidelines for writing Chinese characters. What are the simplest ways to describe those "rules" that apply across most characters?
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着 vs 著? Is it the same

Is 着 the same as 著? Can I interchange them, for example: Is 這位着名的歌手的名字是__ The same as 這位著名的歌手的名字是__ (put a name in "__")
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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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938 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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4answers
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How to type these old and rare Chinese characters?

I've tried to google these old Chinese characters using their closest approximations but still haven't found out any. I want to find these characters so that I can copy and paste them instead of ...
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1answer
477 views

Why 意大利 and not e.g., 意国

I always wondered why all main European countries are spelled in chinese with a Hanzi that identifies them or some about their origins more the 国 morpheme, Italy has a uncontested importance in ...
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3answers
326 views

Visual puns and phrases

Some characters are visual puns: 尜 (小大小), 尖 (小大); others are a phrase written as a single character: 膥 (未成肉), 籴 (入米), 汆 (入水), 奀 (不大). What are some other characters which fit into these categories?
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869 views

What is the difference between 升, 陞 and 昇?

There are some characters in Chinese which give me severe headaches, especially those that have the same pronunciation and mean more or less the same thing. I have learnt three characters which are ...
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1answer
221 views

What characters have been politically corrected before?

In the article "Mysogyny as reflected in Chinese characters", Victor Mair wrote: In the early days of the PRC, the government changed some characters for the names of minority ethnic groups so ...
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4answers
404 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
173 views

Semantic Puns and Alternative Hanzi

There seems to be a set of Chinese words that have alternatives (disregarding the traditional/simplified split). For example, 借 and 藉. Within this class of alternatives, however, seems to be a set of ...
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6answers
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Looking for very common dialect words that have no Standard Mandarin Chinese hanzi characters

I'm basing this question on several assumptions, so if they are wrong please say so as an answer: Written Chinese is mainly used for Standard (Mandarin) Chinese. Mostly other Chinese languages and/or ...
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6answers
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Which fonts show the stroke order of all characters?

For academic purposes, I need to print out some pages of characters with stroke orders shown. Which computer fonts (e.g. TrueType or OpenType) are available which show the stroke order of each ...
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5answers
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When to use 想 versus 喜欢?

Could someone please give we a hint when to use either of those?! My take is that 想 is used for actions and 喜欢 for things!? Am I right?
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1answer
699 views

勇 character on soldiers' uniforms in movies

I don't know much about Chinese military history, but I do see this character appearing on historical uniforms (fictitious or actual) worn by soldiers in movies, some are set in the Qing dynasty some ...
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7answers
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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 ...
6
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2answers
408 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 ...
6
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1answer
204 views

Why the popular name for Pandas 熊猫 consists of its words in inverse order 猫熊?

According to Pleco dictionary the popular name for Pandas is 熊猫, while the "original" name is 猫熊. Its characters meaning order change from: popular: bear cat original: cat bear
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1answer
372 views

Is the traditional character for 雪 the same as itself?

Is the traditional character for http://screenshoot.me/XeEw1S? Or are both and http://screenshoot.me/XeEw1S considered the same character (汉字) with simply different font styles?
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3answers
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How are the terms for “male/female” and “man/woman” divided exactly?

I know that daughter in Chinese is 女儿, and son is 儿子. A little side-question: Why isn't "son" 男儿? My main question is this one though: apart from son and daughter stated above, what are the ...
6
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1answer
151 views

Why is 景 written “wrong” on the Nestorian Stele?

I noticed that 景 is written on the Tang-era Nestorian Stele with the "boxes" switched, ie. the 口 is above and 日 is below. Would this be a standard way to write the character during that time, or is it ...
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1answer
492 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 ...
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3answers
273 views

What's the difference between 蝦 and 鰕?

I found there are two characters for "xia1" (ghra as in Middle Chinese), 蝦 and 鰕. Could someone explain what the difference is?
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Teaching Pinyin and Characters together vs Teaching Pinyin then Characters

I'm designing a curriculum to teach middle school students elementary Chinese. When I started learning, I began with Traditional Chinese characters and pinyin together on day one. I'm not so sure the ...
6
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1answer
264 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
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2answers
121 views

When to use 手 and when to use 家 for a type of musician or other specialist

Is it true that 家("jia")denotes perhaps greater competence or prestige, while 手(“手”) is a slightly less professional specialist? How can one know when to use one rather than the other? Examples: 乐手-...
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0answers
289 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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5answers
706 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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2answers
1k views

What is a one-character translation of the English word “Freedom”?

I've been trying to find a single-character translation of the word "freedom," but I can't seem to find one anywhere. The best translation I can find is, of course, 自由, which seems to be a fairly ...
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4answers
717 views

Why does 定 (dìng) disable the monsters' movement in the movie 捉妖记 (Monster Hunt)?

In the movie 捉妖记 (zhuōyāojì), called Monster Hunt in English (Wikipedia, IMDB, Baidu, iQIYI), the movie's character 霍小岚 (Huòxiǎolán) attaches the Chinese hanzi 定 (dìng) to the head of monsters, and ...