Questions tagged [characters]

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

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3answers
285 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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Dictionary for Vietnamese to Chinese characters

I wanted to know if there are dictionaries (online or books) indicating the equivalent of Vietnamese syllables into Chinese characters. I do not search for Vietnamese to Chinese translations, but ...
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1answer
153 views

What is the difference between 濱 and 瀕?

Another pair of homonyms with similar/identical meaning. A dictionary check gives me this: 濱 (1) 水邊。如:「河濱」、「海濱」、「她喜歡在湖濱散步。」 (2) 靠近。如:「濱臨」、「濱海公路」。 瀕 (1) 水邊。如:「河瀕」、「江瀕」。 (2) 臨近、迫近。如:「瀕臨」、「瀕危」。 This ...
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229 views

Why do the Taiwanese have such strange characters for names?

It seems like every time I look up a CJK ext. B character it invariably says: 台湾人名用字。 For example I just looked up the character: 𢵓 zisea notes: 拼音peng2。台湾人名用字。 A few days ago I was ...
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1answer
210 views

When was 华/華 first used as a reference to China?

E.g. as in 中华 or 华语, and other similar words.
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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 ...
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1answer
267 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 ...
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482 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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Can a character be simplified or traditional depending on the context it is used in?

Are there any characters that are considered simplified in some contexts (where there would be a corresponding traditional character), and traditional in other contexts?
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2answers
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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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441 views

What is the meaning of 子 in words like 菓子(과자), 帽子(모자), or 獅子(사자)?

I'm learning Sino-Korean vocabulary at the moment and have noticed that many words seem to end in a '子' that doesn't seem to add much semantically to the other character in the word. What should I ...
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756 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 ...
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5answers
940 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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1k views

Learn the characters at the same time as the language?

Should I learn Mandarin basics first through pinyin and worry about the characters later, or should I learn them together? Pros and cons?
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455 views

What is the top part of 姜 and why does it differ?

If you look at the character 姜, it seems like the top part is ⺷ and the bottom is 女, however some sources, Chinese-Characters, HanziJS and Wikimedia Commons show the phonetic radical as 羊. I'm the ...
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404 views

Is there a difference between 復習 and 複習?

Both words have the same pronunciation, and cdict and some other dictionaries list them as variants of each other. I note that when I try to type it on Google Pinyin Chinese IME, 複習 comes up and 復習 ...
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“Four-part” composition of characters

I would like to compile a list of characters where you can draw two lines in a + shape, running through the center of the character to cleanly separate it into four "components." Some leeway must be ...
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What are the relative literacy rates in for simplified and traditional characters?

I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to use traditional or simplified characters for an iPhone game I'm making. If something is written in traditional, how many people will be able to read ...
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4answers
333 views

Saying 'doubled' in Chinese 一倍 vs 两倍

I stumbled upon these 2 sentences: 这个城市人口比十年前增加了一倍 这个城市人口比十年前增加了两倍 The city’s population has doubled from a decade ago I though 倍 always multiplies the number standing in front of it, it seems ...
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How to display CJK Extension F?

The CJK F block is displayed on the wikipedia page CJK Unified Ideographs Extension F: I've tried updating Babel Han but they themselves say: Total Coverage Characters / Percentage CJK Unified ...
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4answers
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Why do some Chinese characters for animals not use the radical 犭?

why some Chinese words don't use the rule of prefix?
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292 views

或: how did “region” become “either”?

The character 或 is used today for the meanings "or", "either", "maybe", and "perhaps". Historically, it had the meaning of "region", and it is this meaning that characters like 國 and 域 derive from. ...
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763 views

Why do some Chinese characters have multiple simplified variants?

According to Unihan database some Chinese characters have multiple simplified variants. For example the Chinese character 鍾 have 2 simplified variants: 钟 and 锺 How it could happen? What is the ...
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244 views

For which senses of simplified 制 would I use the traditional form 製?

Simplified characters do not always mirror their traditional counterparts one to one. Sometimes you have a simplified character where some of its senses have one traditional form and some have another ...
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2answers
284 views

Is there a list of characters specifically used for western proper nouns?

When learning country/place names or reading about non-Chinese people in the media I see the same characters used for similar phonemes (see these celebrities). What rule or list do the writers follow ...
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6answers
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How do I type in a Chinese character that I don't know how to pronounce?

I often want to be able to type a character that I don't know how to pronounce. I've read online that most input systems let me type a "u" and then be able to type a radical in. This has had little ...
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2answers
148 views

How to pronounce 调 in 同调代数?

Certainly 同调代数 means the mathematical subject of homological algebra. But different sources disagree as to whether the first two characters in that sense of the term are pronounced tóngtiáo or ...
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1answer
442 views

Stroke order for 印

I've seen two different stroke orders for this character: and Which one is more "correct" or widely used? It seems to me that the fourth stroke in the latter picture is incorrect, and that it ...
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1answer
88 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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1answer
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Why are the lists of Kangxi radicals different everywhere?

I'm trying to find an "official" list of Kangxi radicals that I can rely on and currently, I use two different Chinese apps to look for characters. Today I have realized that the lists for Kangxi ...
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204 views

Character classification by type

Can anyone point me to an online resource that lists characters by classification? I.e., I'm looking for a list of characters that are generally considered pictographs / complex and simple ideographs /...
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1answer
795 views

Wubihua / Traditional Chinese / Open-source index

I have been looking for an open-source index of Chinese characters (Traditional) indexed by the Wubihua (五筆劃). I have found only partial lists (up to four digits), and only for Simplified. I know ...
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1answer
222 views

Character layout in calligraphy e.g. with respect to a quotation from Confucius

I recently attended a brief introductory workshop about calligraphy at a Confucius Institute. The instructor, who also teaches at the local university and is both a calligrapher and painter from China,...
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1answer
167 views

Is 邏輯 a phono-semantic matching of the English word logic?

Wiktionary has the following entry for the etymology of 邏輯: Phono-semantic matching of English logic. However, the Chinese Wikipedia entry states the following: 當代中文一般採取音譯方式,將其譯為邏輯。 Which ...
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300 views

丼: why is “well” also “bowl of food”?

丼 is an ancient variant of 井, which means "well" (as in the water kind). What's curious is that the former seems to also mean "bowl of food", at least in some dictionaries: 汉典: ...
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2answers
183 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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1answer
58 views

Why in the multiplication table, different characters such as 如,得,歸,中 are used?

It seems to me that the following rules apply: When the answer is a one-digit number, the character 如 is used. When the answer is 10, the character 得 is used. When the answer is a multiple of 10, ...
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3answers
446 views

Is there any evidence that 90% of characters are phono-semantic compounds?

I've heard this claim a lot, from Chinese teachers in real life, and on this Wikipedia page, where the claim "At present, more than 90% of Chinese characters are phono-semantic compounds" lacks a ...
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5answers
870 views

Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?

Unlike English, Chinese is not a spelling language, which means there is no hint from the characters themselves for pronunciation. Therefore, we can only work on the characters individually to figure ...
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6answers
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Why use combined characters that have the same meaning?

(rèn shí ) both characters means ( to know)and when combined it still have the same meaning. So why can't I use only one of them ?
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7answers
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Do 朋 and 友 differ in meaning?

I've learned 朋友 as a unit as a word for friend. When I look up the two characters I see that they both mean ... friend. It seems 友 is often used as a last part of words meaning something with friend, ...
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2answers
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Etymology of 奴隶 (Slave)

I vaguely remember hearing somebody make observations about the word 奴隶 (slave). I would like to verify the impressions of the person who was speaking as being factual or just his impressions. What is ...
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425 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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2answers
714 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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2answers
675 views

What would a non-binary tā (他/她) look like?

He and she in Mandarin looks like this: Male tā: 他 Female tā: 她 What would a non-binary tā look like? 也? 它 is for animals and inanimate objects, not exactly fitting. 祂 is for gods, not really ...
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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 ...
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2answers
851 views

Why is the character 漢 built in such a weird way?

漢 is the character meaning "China" or "Sino-". It supposedly ultimately derives from the name of the river Han. I understand why the water radical is present there, but I have no idea why the ...
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5answers
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What does “kwukyel” mean in regards to Chinese language characters?

My Pleco always tells me two little hashes on the top of 汉字 such as. 兑 are "kwukyel". Can anyone point me to a reference that explains this term as it relates to Chinese language? ps -- I ...
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1answer
532 views

For the character“冒”,is the top part “日” or “曰”?

For the character"冒",is the top part "日" or "曰"? In general, are both "日" and "曰" used as a radical at the top of some characters? How to distinguish them?
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537 views

What are the characters on this seal? (Characters identified: 李濟懋印)

What are the characters on this seal? Flipped image for easier reading:

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