Questions tagged [radicals]

Questions about radicals of Chinese characters. Radicals are dictionary headers. For questions about character components, use the tag [character-components] instead.

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Different first stroke forms of 月 (yuè)

There seem to be two different forms of the first stroke in 月 (yuè). When the character stands alone by itself ("moon"), then the stroke seems to bend to the left after going straight down, ...
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Database of Chinese words mapped to Radical / Component parts?

Is there a database that breaks down each Chinese word into radical or component parts, sort of like this blog post does? One of the first words you will learn in Chinese is 你好 nǐhǎo meaning “hello”. ...
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Example of Mandarin characters that can not be expressed through other characters, Kangxi radicals or CJK strokes?

I had question about the expression of one character into the radicals and I found the answer myself Does 习 contain the alterantive hook (Kangxi 6) radical and is more information available about this ...
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Does 习 contain the alterantive hook (Kangxi 6) radical and is more information available about this alternative form?

I am translating character 习 using https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/charsearch.php and it gives 冫 as the only radical for this character although my impression is that it contains the alternative ...
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Why doesn't the word (诶 ) have 口 like other interjection, such as 哦 or 啊?

If I am not mistaken, words like "哦“ or ”啊” are interjections (语气动词、感叹词). However, I am wondering as to why it has the 言 radical, in place of the 口 radical? Usually I see 言 in place of words that ...
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3 answers
285 views

What is the Mandarin PinYin pronunciation for the Bushou that cannot be typed?

I am attaching images of 部首 (Associated BuShou) from the widely used 新华字典 (XinHuaZiDian) that have no current Unicode encoding, therefore cannot be typed using your typical software on your typical ...
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1 answer
123 views

Why is the 部首 of 詈 "言" instead of "四"?

Both "言" and "四" are radicals (部首). For "詈", the radical is 言, not 四. Why? In general, when there is more than one part which can be a radical, which one will be the ...
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Identify this radical or character

Thank you in advance or your help. I am working on a small word puzzle in which the puzzle's creator uses some Mandarin characters. There is one that I have not been able to identify. It might be a ...
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3 answers
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Radical 163 Vs 170

What are the differences between these two radicals? What is etymology? Both represent same character or different? ⻖yì mound, abundant R170 ⻏ fú city R163
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What is the hidden meaning of "mi mi", the Chinese word for secret?

The English word is "secret" The Chinese word is "秘密" I found 禾 means grain, 必 means must. The second character has 宀 (mián) roof,必 (bì) must and 山 (shān) mountain. How does it all ...
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For a student studying Chinese as a second language, is there any practical difference between the radicals 匚 and 匸?

At the LTL Mandarin office in Beijing, there is a poster of the Chinese radicals, in which we find the 匚 and 匸 radicals: Until seeing this poster, I didn't realize these were different. This leads ...
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Is the official radical for 巨 “工” or “匚”?

In this question, we can clearly see the origin of 巨 is 矩, which is originally formed from 工 + 大 (corrupted into 矢). However, nowadays 巨 has lost the left hand side of 工, and so naturally the radical ...
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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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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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3 answers
434 views

Is 纟 obtained by simplification of 糸 ?

Neither纟 nor 糸 are used as words in modern Chinese, i know the word for silk is 丝( trad 絲). Many radicals in the list of 214 kangxi radicals have both traditional and simplified character, but that ...
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1 answer
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Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊, radicals 34 and 35 and 攵, Kangxi 66?

The excellent Olle Linge asked the similar question "Is there a difference between 夂 and 夊?" about seven years ago. The learned answers at that time missed the fact that 攵 appears more commonly in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Are radicals like first letters or letters in general?

In english words consist of letters. Of course we look up words in dictionary based on the first letter. What about the chinese? We look it by radicals. Are radicals just the first letter or can we ...
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What does 亅 mean?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E4%BA%85 doesn't say anything. It's just a vertical hook. I see it in words like 小 Xiǎo However, the wiktionary entry doesn't tell any meaning. Does all radical ...
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Is there a list of simplified Chinese radicals?

Is there a list of simplified Chinese radicals? The radical 159 车 consists of 7 strokes, in fact it is its traditional version 車 which includes 7 strokes ...
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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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2 votes
2 answers
227 views

How did 鳥 end up a Kangxi radical but not 烏?

烏, wū, crow, 10 strokes, 灬 radical 鳥, niǎo, bird, 11 strokes, 鳥 radical All the way since at least seal script, 鳥 seems like just 烏 with an additional stroke. They both describe birds in one way or ...
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为什么 “也” 发音为 "ye" 但是 “他”发音为"ta"???

Oh great. I have to ask in English to get it past StackExchange filters. Characters with radicals typically have pronunciations close to the bare character. For example: "韦“ (wei) versus "伟“ (wei) or "...
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1 vote
2 answers
272 views

How to display the "left hand" radical as Unicode text?

I want to display the two parts of the 右 character in a document. The first part, 口, is easy. The problem lies in the second part, which some sources call "left hand" radical. This video calls it a ...
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The number of "components" (potentially) to define a Chinese character typeface

This post goes into some hypotheticals on how long it might take to design a Chinese font compared to a Latin font. It shows an image of potentially some "radicals" which could be used as the base ...
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2 votes
2 answers
420 views

Can one radical contain another radical?

For example, in https://ceritabahasa.co/2015/01/07/tabel-radikal-bushou-hanzi/ character 犬 quǎn means dog seems to contain character 大 which means big. It seems to me that quan is just da with ...
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11 votes
1 answer
401 views

Radicals in 等 - Why 士 instead of 土?

Why does this page list the radicals for 等 as 竹, 士, and 寸 when the word appears to use 土?
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4 votes
2 answers
418 views

What is the true pinyin pronunciation for this radical?

I'm trying to learn a new method for learning and understanding chinese characters. So, I decided to start with memorizing every chinese radical. I'm use two different source but both wrote two ...
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5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Chinese character decomposition

I found that many (most?) Chinese characters look like they're composed of more primitive ones, like: 做 = 亻十口夂 你 = 亻尔 吃 = 卩乙 and so on. I this a real phenomenon or just my European imagination? If it ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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隹 colloquial name

To start, let's note that the colloquial names of the radicals different from those of the dictionary differ. For example if I asked a native Chinese person what is 彳, they would certainly respond 双人旁,...
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

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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1 vote
2 answers
147 views

To what degree is 戈 used in common Mandarin?

I understand that the phonetic part of 我 (wo3) is pronounced 戈 (ge1). It seems also that it means (or used to mean) "Dagger"/"Sword", however the only references I can find to this character says that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
633 views

What is the difference between 嫐 and 嬲?

According to mdbg.net, both characters have a meaning of "to tease": 嬲 to tease / to disturb 嫐 to tease / to play around with Are both of them primarily used as synonyms for "tease"? Or are they ...
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1 answer
132 views

Why is 伴 used for buddy?

Is it true that 伴 comes from the word, 半(half) and thus can be interpreted as (significant other person)?
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2 answers
143 views

Meaning of 纸 in radicals

I was asked this in my Chinese class and have to write a mini paragraph on it: 解释一下“纸”这个字部首是什么?最早纸是什么意思? I know that the first part of 纸 means 丝绸, but what does the second part of the character ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Can I always write the 艹 (grass radical) with three lines only?

The 艹 (grass radical) is present in for example 歡 and 貓 and 喵 In some fonts it's rendered as two separate crosses 十十, in some as one horizontal line with two vertical lines crossing it. Can I always ...
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2 votes
2 answers
643 views

Why does 写 not have a dot on top?

Many hanzi have a roof on top, including a dot. From the HSK2 list, we have: 客 家 字 完 室 安 它 The commonly used hanzi 写 is unlike these because it does not have a dot on top. Chinese-tools.com ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a reason the 月 radical occurs many times in body part names? [duplicate]

It's possible I'm reading too much into this, but there seems to be a lot of body parts which contain the 月 radical: 腿 (tuǐ) = leg 脚 (jiǎo) = foot 腰 (yāo) = waist (also 腰部 (yāobù)) 脸 (liǎn) = ...
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0 votes
5 answers
701 views

What are the radicals that make up 地?

What are the radicals that make up the character "地"? Just from looking at it, it looks like "土" and "也" but "也" is a word not a radical. MDBG also has this break down, and in turn breaks "也" down ...
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2 votes
2 answers
128 views

Radical choice for 安全

A simple question, why does the lower half of 安全 (safe), have the female character: 女 ? Is it implying that safety pertains only to females being secure? Or is there no such implication? I'd like to ...
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3 votes
3 answers
460 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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3 votes
2 answers
285 views

Same radical/character with different pronunciation

I'm currently learning the 214 radicals and also the words for HSK1. I have noticed a few times that some characters in the radical list have a different pronunciation to the characters in the HSK1 ...
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  • 185
1 vote
2 answers
135 views

Radical repetition in MTR station names

Why do several mtr stations' chinese names (traditional chinese) contain characters with repeated radicals? These characters do not really form an english word but individually have a meaning, so I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Significance of 門 in traditional chinese

I have seen 門 used as a 'radical' for many traditional chinese characters in Hong Kong. Is there a historical reason? I thought 門 means gate but what does gate have anything to do with 'happy', 開心 ?
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3 votes
2 answers
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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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2 votes
2 answers
361 views

How many stroke does Chinese Traditional Word "蕭" have?

I have referred to China Mainland Online Dictionary and Online Stroke Order Dictionary of Ministry of Education of Republic of China Both are giving different numbers of stroke for this word. ...
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6 votes
3 answers
391 views

Are there characters in which the radicals are the same but the position changes the meaning?

Are there any characters in Chinese that have the same radicals in their formation, but the position of those radicals result in different meanings. e.g. A character made up of two radicals, AB, and ...
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4 votes
4 answers
254 views

How do I look up a graph in 說文通訓定聲?

I'd like to look up 䟠 in 說文通訓定聲. My library has at least two versions of this (multi volume) book. A (poorly) scanned version of it lives here: http://ctext.org/library.pl?if=gb&res=1866 (it's ...
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1 answer
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Why do cat (猫) and dog (狗) share the same 犭 radical?

I have noticed that a cat and dog share the same radical, which is 犭dog (quǎn). So, if we break the words down: 猫 cat (māo) = 犭dog (quǎn) + 艹 cǎo (grass) + 田 tián (field) 狗 dog (gǒu) = 犭dog (quǎn) +...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Chinese names for different types of radicals?

According to the Wikipedia article Radical (Chinese characters), the Chinese name for radical is 部首 (bùshǒu; literally "section header"). The term appears to originate from the 2nd-century dictionary ...
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1 vote
2 answers
520 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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