22 votes
Accepted

What's this new Chinese character which looks like 座?

Technically it isn't a new Chinese character but a Japanese character. Eileen Chow posted about this on Twitter saying: Winner of 2020’s new kanji contest in Japan: the character 座 (seat), ...
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21 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

江 is mostly used in the South; 河 is mostly used in the North. There are exceptions, such as 黑龙江, 浏阳河. Scale. 江 is exclusively for mighty rivers; 河 can be used for both large and small rivers. All ...
  • 1,810
19 votes

Why is 刻 used to mean ''a quarter of an hour''?

刻 means ''to carve'' but my dictionary also says it means ''to set a time limit''. well, you need a better dictionary 😼 in 國語辭典, the first explanation of the entry “刻”, as noun is: 古代計時的名稱,...
  • 13.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Confusion about the ice radical 冫

Brief Answer Q1. The Wiktionary list of characters with the 冫 radical contains the following two characters: 冬, 冭. Where in these characters is the 冫? Are the two lines at the bottom supposed to be ...
  • 6,013
17 votes
Accepted

Is there any connection between the choice of characters for 九 and 丸?

「九」 and 「丸」 are not related. As @user3306356 points out, 「丸」 is probably related to 「夗」. 商朝甲骨文菁2.1合集6057西周金文作冊夨令簋集成4300戰國・晉金文東周左𠂤壺集成9640小篆九部說文解字今楷書  「九」 depicts an arm showing the hand, a bent wrist,...
  • 21.2k
17 votes
Accepted

What is an “exoactive” Chinese character?

These terms were devised in the late 20th century analysis of Classical Japanese, originally, for the difference between -(さ)す (glossed as externally instigated) and -(ら)る (glossed as internally ...
  • 5,668
16 votes
Accepted

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

TL;DR Long Answer From the oracle script to the seal script, character 龍 evolved from simple to complex. The seal script was already very similar to 龍. However later, variants (there were too many!)...
  • 6,013
15 votes
Accepted

勇 character on soldiers' uniforms in movies

This is more of a history question. 勇 is short for 乡勇, which roughly means "militia". They are temporary soldiers recruited from the local population in times of need, and are usually disbanded soon ...
  • 8,447
15 votes

How do new Chinese characters get added to the language?

From the point of view of computing, rather than linguistics, character sets are standardized and revised by committee. In the PRC, the GB2312 character set standard has evolved into GBK: With the ...
14 votes
Accepted

Stroke order database

There are some recent open source efforts that have opened this up a bit. One is hanzi writer, which was based on the data for 3195 strokes contained in ZDT but now uses the more complete character ...
  • 266
13 votes
Accepted

Why 纹 is the wrong character to write for tattoo?

They are purists. In the words of Steven Pinker: ...also known as sticklers, pedants, peevers, snobs, snoots, nitpickers, traditionalists, language police, usage nannies, grammar Nazis, and the ...
  • 4,502
13 votes
Accepted

How come 東/东 has a second meaning 'owner/master' or 'host'?

東: 主人。由於古時主位在東,客位在西,所以稱主人為「   東」。如:「房東」、「店東」。 Translation: In ancient times, the host was seated to the east and the guest to the west, so the host was called "East". reference: http://dict.variants....
  • 2,122
13 votes
Accepted

Are 乒 and 乓 used in classical chinese?

The earliest texts with 乒乓 I can find is vernacular novels of Ming dynasty. 《西遊記》 Journey to the West as an example: 如此二三日,又聽得後宰門乒乓乒乓,磚瓦亂響。——Chapter 10 他掄槍舞劍,一擁前來,照行者劈頭亂砍,乒乒乓乓,砍有七八十下。——Chapter 14 ...
12 votes

Is there an alphabetic system in the Chinese language?

The official way to write Chinese uses Chinese characters, which is not an alphabetical system. There have been various phonetic systems developed to either write or transcribe Chinese. Some of these ...
  • 21.2k
11 votes
Accepted

Can one learn to comprehend Chinese texts while being unable to read aloud?

Well, this is what Japanese speakers do when they look at a Chinese text – they have some understanding of it since they recognize the characters. One fundamental problem, though, is that in modern ...
  • 1,736
11 votes

Why do some Chinese characters have multiple simplified variants?

Traditional to Simplified is many-to-one, right?? It is almost the case that each Traditional character maps to exactly one Simplified character (possibly itself). This is certainly the mental model ...
11 votes
Accepted

What character is 刄 + 丶?

Yes, it is indeed a variant of 两. You can see it listed here in the Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants 《異體字字典》: http://dict2.variants.moe.edu.tw/variants/rbt/word_attribute.rbt?educode=A00284 ...
  • 3,996
11 votes
Accepted

List of all traditional Chinese characters

Download CJSYS-20110919.zip. Find /CJSYS-20110919/cjsys/yong/mb/cj5-13053.txt Copy the [DATA] section (from line 9 to 14136) into a spreadsheet. Remove whatever you don't need. Sort. Remove duplicates....
  • 5,846
11 votes
Accepted

How do I get the enumeration comma (、) in Google input tools?

I think you can try the backslash "\".
  • 1,599
11 votes
Accepted

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

「子」originally meant child. By extension, through the following sequence, it was further used: To emphasise the smallness of an object. As a diminutive suffix, conveying a sense of intimacy/endearment....
  • 21.2k
11 votes
Accepted

Does this building on chinese painting exist for real ? May the text which come along be of any help?

the building exists, it’s called “turtle tower”, in hanoi, vietnam: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoàn_Kiếm_Lake
  • 13.5k
11 votes

Is it viable to write Chinese in emoji?

Some people are already doing this for fun. Replacing (some of) the Chinese characters in a sentence with emojis. Sometimes it is used to curse, with a somewhat softened tone. Sometimes it is used to ...
  • 3,793
10 votes

Are Chinese characters taught in school in Vietnam?

No. At school we only learn the meanings of basic Sino-Vietnamese syllables, not the Chinese logograms. For example we learned that tử means a child or die, but most people don't know that those are ...
10 votes

Weird Chinese Characters

They are Bopomofos (注音符号): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo According to Wikipedia, Zhuyin fuhao, Zhuyin or Bopomofo is a system of phonetic notation for the transcription of spoken Chinese, ...
  • 341
10 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between 夜(yè) and 晚 (wǎn)?

Originally, 晚 could be written as 莫 (in ancient form): 艹(草, grass)+ 日 (sun), referring to when the sun is below the grass -- sunset. In modern Chinese, we can understand or memorize it in this way: ...

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