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What’s the difference between 円 and 月 as character components?

円 and 月 are both graphical corruptions. The original form of the character did not have those components. 靑/青 was originally comprised of 屮 (sprouting plant) and 井, which gave the sound. The bronze ...
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11 votes
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Is there any sun 日 in 昌?

時期字體 字形 參考資料 商甲 甲185合集19924 戰國・燕古幣 108古幣文編 戰國・晉璽印 959古璽彙編 秦簡 日甲119睡虎地秦簡 篆 日部說文解字 楷 「昌」 (early morning call, e.g. to the day's labour) is comprised of semantic 「日」 (sun) on top of semantic 「...
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9 votes
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Meaning of early written versions of 地 and etymology?

「地」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*[l]ˤej-s/, ground) is comprised of semantic 「土」 (picture of a lump of dirt) and phonetic 「也」 (/*lAjʔ/). This structure is found relatively late, derived from a graphical ...
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7 votes

What does 尔 really mean?

There are many resources which "decompose characters", but most of them do not give any insight as to how Chinese characters actually work in relation to the language, and looking at these ...
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Origin of double phonetic component 静

Indeed, 「靜」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*zleŋʔ/, calm/quiet) is a phonetic loan character, and both its components 「青」 (/*sʰleːŋ/) and 「爭」 (/*ʔsreːŋ/) are phonetic components. Unfortunately, the inscription ...
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What does rain 雨 have to do with mold 霉 and bad luck?

《說文・黑部》 黴,中久雨青黑。从黑,微省聲。 「黴」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*mrɯl/), blackening from being afflicted by prolonged rain. From semantic 「黑」 (black) and reduced phonetic 「微」 (/*mɯl/). The character 「霉」 (mould, ...
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6 votes

Meaning of early written versions of 地 and etymology?

The first two (and the "Shizhoupian script" one) are 墬 in the 隶定 (transcription in modern type of characters component by component) , and this character (墬) was now considered as ancient ...
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If 冬 in itself means winter, why add 天?

In short, for disambiguation, at least oral disambiguation. Most of the words in Old Chinese are monosyllabic words. However, when it comes to oral speech, it is too ambiguous to use. As time went by,...
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What is the meaning of 刚 in 变形金刚?

「剛」originally meant unyielding/stubborn/strong. 金剛 is a traditional phrase which is also used to translate a Buddhist word from Sanskrit (वज्र, vajra). Vajra (PIE root: *weǵ-, English descendants: ...
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Why was the rice component added to 气 to form 氣?

The original character for the meaning gas, atmosphere is 「气」, while using 「氣」 for this meaning is strictly a phonetic loan. 「氣」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*qʰ(r)ə[t]-s/) originally meant gifting food to ...
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Explanation of character decomposition for 缺

「缺」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*Nə-[k]ʷʰˤet/, to damage/break vessels [pots, dishes, urns, etc.] > flawed, deficient, lacking) is comprised of semantic 「缶」 (clay jar) and phonetic 「夬」 (/*[k]ʷˤret-s/). ...
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Does this character 𡗗 have a meaning?

A first reminder: Chinese characters represent Chinese morphemes; In addition to meaning, Chinese morphemes overwhelmingly have one-syllable sounds as a core part of their property; As character ...
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4 votes
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How do I know whether to write the written character or printed character?

This question is a tautology - of course you would write the written character and not the printed character! The written characters and printed characters nowadays are both typeface/font variations ...
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What's the relationship between 暖, 爱 and 愛?

If you look carefully the components are different: 爰 vs. 爱 爱 has a 冖 where 爰 is just a 一. The Outlier dictionary gives us the origins of 暖: COMPONENTS 日 In 暖, 日 “the sun; light; ...
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What's the relationship between 暖, 爱 and 愛?

The right part of 暖(nuǎn) is 爰(yuán) and it's not 爱 or the traditional form 愛. In ancient Chinese, 爰 is a kind of pronoun, like "where/which". And it also has other meanings, one is "to change". But ...
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4 votes

Chinese character decomposition

recent studies called them components (部件). there're 1300+ basic component: http://chardb.iis.sinica.edu.tw/system_intro.jsp
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4 votes

Chinese character decomposition

There are multiple ways to decompose Chinese characters: Decomposed into the different... Approximate English analogue Example historical character combinations etymology 有 ← 𠂇 + ⺼ components ...
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4 votes
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What does "GHTJK" stand for in this part of a Wiktionary: entry: "...composition ⿸丆卜(GHTJK) or ⿻丆"

They're one-letter abbreviations for different standards, because some characters appear differently in different standards. From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Template:Han_char#Notes: G = the PRC ...
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How do I understand Ni (you) character correctly?

Outlier FORM 你 consists of 尔 (a shorthand form of 爾 “you”), and 亻 (person), indicating the original meaning “you.” 尔 also gives the sound. [Reference, p. 1253] COMPONENTS 亻 In 你, 亻“...
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How can I get a list of all the characters containing the "flowing water" component that is in 益?

The top part of 「益」 is just a 「氺」 (水) rotated 90 degrees. 秦簡12.47睡虎地秦簡篆皿部說文解字東漢隸華山廟碑 楷  秦簡25.46睡虎地秦簡篆水部說文解字東漢隸郙閣頌 楷  This makes the top part of 「益」 just a variant of 「水」. Predictably, the character 「㳑」...
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When 马 is used as the left component (e.g. in 骑), does the 一 héng stroke change to ㇀ tí?

According to 《通用规范汉字表》("General Standard Chinese Character Table"), "左部件或左上部件末笔为横的,应该变形为提"(The end stroke of the left part or the upper left part is horizontal character stroke(横), ...
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Glyph origin of 款

Seeing as all the other answers are getting downvoted - I'll just leave this short reference here: Outlier FORM 款 kuǎn was originally composed of 柰 nài (now written 𰧭) and 欠 “person with their mouth ...
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Glyph origin of 邊/边

時期字體 字形 參考資料 商甲 後2.22.16合集28058 西周金 大盂鼎集成2837 西周金 散氏盤集成10176 戰國・秦石刻文 詛楚文 楷 「邊」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*pˤe[n]/, borders [e.g. of a political territory or geographical region]) was originally ...
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how hé is phonetic component for jiē?

How the pronunciation is related We need to view this in a diachronical way. It's enough in this case to go as back as Middle Chinese. The sound for the two characters in Middle Chinese are as follows:...
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3 votes

Chinese character decomposition

It is true, here is an example 泪 This character is composed of 氵 and 目,which represent water and eye respectively, and the character means tear! In more traditional writings, this would become ...
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Why is there an 'ear' component in the character for smell? 闻 聞

「聞」(Baxter-Sagart OC: /*mu[n]/) is comprised of semantic「耳」(ear) and phonetic「門」(/*mˤə[r]/), indicating the meaning to hear. For example,「新聞」means news (literally meaning new information passed on by ...
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3 votes

What resources can I use for learning character decomposition?

you may try the 拆字字典: http://www.kaifangcidian.com/han/chaizi eg: 【彎】 wan1 〖絲 言 弓 彎〗〖糹 言 糹 弓 彎〗 http://www.kaifangcidian.com/han/chaizi/彎 have fun :)
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What is the relation between 寨 (zhài, "stockade, stronghold, fort") and 塞 (sài, "place of strategic importance; pass; fortress")?

There doesn't seem to be much relation between「寨」and「塞」, although it takes some evidence to demonstrate why this is the case. Firstly, the reason why many dictionaries say that「寨」is「塞」plus「木」is ...
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3 votes
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校 - How did "leg-brace" come to mean "school"?

Outlier xiào ○ school Here the ○ icon is an indicator of a phonetic loan. So, basically it is just a: character that is "borrowed" to write another homophonous or near-homophonous ...
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What does rain 雨 have to do with mold 霉 and bad luck?

You need to do some linear thinking to understand the extended meaning of a word 下雨天时 --> 空气潮湿 --> 东西发霉 When it rains --> the air turn humid --> things get moldy Edit: According to this ...
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