Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
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Depending on how 'in touch' with the language (in terms of understanding grammatical constructions and context clues) you may be considered fairly fluent with 80% or so character recognition Think about your vocabulary in English. If you pick up a book with many words you don't know, you may still be able to comprehend it based on the context of the words ...


28

This is an interesting topic; it touches one of the core idea of the Chinese language. The Chinese language and all its dialects have not been designed by one inventor at one specific day. Instead, they were created and evolved at different regions through thousands of years at least. Evidences (see below) showed that some of the Chinese characters from ...


27

Both of them refer to the same thing, "dog". “狗” is used much more in oral speaking, and “犬” is a formal word that you would see in books. For the words expressed in a classic(formal) way, you won't see "狗" but "犬". An idiom: 一人得道,鸡犬升天 When a man becomes an Immortal(God), even his pets like chickens and dogs go to the heaven. An analogy that when ...


25

I found the same situation, living in China for quite some time, and unlike some other people who have answered, I understand exactly what you're asking. It was quite annoying to try to learn new words when the native speaker just tells you the meaning of 3 characters together and doesn't know or can't explain each character's meaning. I think the answer is ...


21

You can use a SRS (Spaced Repetition System) software, I personally use Anki to create a deck of study cards and I review them on my mobile phone. I also recommend Memrise. 2014 update: I still use Anki, but combined with Google Images Search and Forvo: When I make new flashcards, I'll add the writing (hanzi & pinyin), its pronunciation (from Forvo) ...


21

金-shaped 金字塔 Pyramid (Because the shape of a pyramid looks like 金) 田-shaped 田字格 grids with the arrangement like 田 工-shaped 工字梁 I-beam 工字柱 I-column 米-shaped 米字旗 the national flag of UK 之-shaped 之江 another name of Qiantang River, because its course looks like the shape of 之 井-shaped 井形格床 two-way grillage 井号 hash sign 人-shaped 人字队 in V formation (...


21

Let the "foot" meaning of 足 be A, the "plenty, enough" meaning be B. Will discuss about this topic in the following two sections. Different Root First, 現代漢語規範詞典 第二版 ("Modern Chinese Standard Dictionary" 2nd Edition) suggests that meaning A and meaning B come from different origin, though they share the same character currently. Figure 1. Meanings of 足 in ...


19

Huang's answer is great, some addition information here. 犬 usually can be used to say categories of dogs. 警(jǐng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs serve in police forces 导(dǎo)盲(máng)犬(quǎn) -- dogs to assist people with eyesight problems. 狗 usually can be used to refer a specific dog or dogs. 我(wǒ)们(men)家(jiā)的(de)小(xiǎo)黑(hēi)狗(gǒu)。 The little black dog of ...


19

Etymology of 一, 二, and 三 Explanation of 一/二/三 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs) “一”是特殊指事字,抽象符号“一”既代表最为简单的起源,也代表最为丰富的浑沌整体。造字本义:最小原始单位,最小的正整数。古人认为“道立于一,一生二,二生三,三生万物”。就是说,混沌太初的存在整体是“一”;然后由太初混沌的“一”,分出天地“二”极;天地二极之间,又生出人这第“三”部分;天地人三者,衍化出宇宙万物。一 ,代替混沌太初的整体;二,上面的一横代表“天”,下面的一横代表“地”;三,上下两横代表“天地”,中间的一横代表“人”。 一 is a special self-explanatory character. The ...


19

The 月字旁 was originally '肉' & not '月' - 肉 has the meaning of 肉体 meaning 'flesh' or having to do with the 'human body' so it's often seen with body parts. Wikipedia: 肉字旁:臺灣標準中,凡肉字旁的字,都寫作「提肉旁」即,使其不會與「月字旁」相混。《字形表》中,肉字旁只在字的左旁時才寫作「提肉旁」,在字的右旁時採用首筆豎的方式與「月字旁」區分(「月字旁」在右方時,首筆為撇)。但在下方時,則「肉」與「月」首筆都作豎,兩者會相混。


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It's your name and you can arbitrarily pick characters to be your name. We Chinese generally select characters with positive meanings (of course, I think characters with negative meanings would not be the choice for most people) and avoid possible bad meanings from the words with the same or similar pronunciation with the name. For example, it's common to ...


18

This research seems to be relevant. Your question seems to be closely related to rapid reading techniques. Looking on those techniques, you may notice that many of them don't apply to Chinese, simply because logographic writing systems naturally allow rapid reading with no extra training. There is even an idiom, 一目十行 -- "reading ten lines at the same time"; ...


18

Among the handwriting styles 章草, 今草 and 狂草, 今草 is the most frequently used. However, compared with 今草, 行书 is even more popular. That's because: 章草 is the rapid writing of 隶书. Currently, Chinese teachers don't teach 隶书 in primary schools for its old style. Only calligraphy amateurs and experts would learn 隶书 so as 章草. 今草 is based on 楷书 -- 楷书 is formally ...


17

I generated a bunch of files for some flashcard software that uses spaced repetition to help you learn efficiently. It's still a lot of work to memorize the flash cards, but I don't know of anything easier. In total, I generated 32614 cards with 4166 characters and 18385 words. They are divided into separate files, each with about 100 cards in it. You can ...


17

A rule of thumb is to look for the radical that seems to be more prominent. For those characters, it's pretty easy: In 烋, notice how 灬 spans the entire character horizontally: it is the radical (火) Same thing applies to 想 : 心 is the radical. As a bonus, in 强 which you have in your name, 弓 is the radical: notice how it spans the entire character vertically ...


17

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 foreign rivers are named with 河. There is no fundamental differences between 河 and 江. 江 is used for rivers whose banks are steep cliffs; 河 is used for rivers with ...


15

Victor Mair has an essay answering your question directly: Danger + opportunity ≠ crisis, how a misunderstanding about Chinese characters has led many astray.


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豚 is pronounced tun2 in Mandarin and tyun4 in Cantonese. The only word I know which still uses it is 海豚 hai3tun2 "dolphin". The Japanese reading is ton (on), buta (kun), as I'm sure you know. 豚 was the original character (with the meat radical on the left hand side), while 猪 meant a wild pig (which is suggested by its radical). Japanese borrowings from ...


15

I know exactly the thing. There's a project on Wikimedia commons to document the substructure of characters in terms of other characters. I haven't spent much time with the data itself, so I can't tell you how complete it is, but it seems pretty good based on my experience with the Tatoeba character search tool that is based on the data. That tool allows you ...


15

Children usually go to grade 1 at the age of 6 or 7 in China. According to "全日制义务教育语文课程标准", the character number that children should learn is: Grade 1 to Grade 2: can read 1600 characters, and write 800 characters; Grade 3 to Grade 4: can read 2500 characters, and write 2000 characters; Grade 5 to Grade 6: can read 3000 characters, and write 2500 ...


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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!) 𢅛 and 尨 appeared: Dictionary 集韻 (1037 AD) 古作[...]𢅛(帝+尨). The ancient forms for 龍 are [...] 𢅛(帝+尨) [...]. Dictionary ...


14

There are plenty actually, mostly due to the merger of multiple traditional characters into one simplified character. For example, the simplified character 后 maps to both traditional 后 (meaning 'queen') and 後 (meaning 'after' or 'behind'). Many of these mergers are listed in this Wikipedia article.


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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 the ice radical? Answer: You're right. That's true. Q2. When I look at the entry for 永 in the Chinese dictionary app on my phone (Pleco), then it says that ...


14

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 after. Soldiers wearing 勇 on their uniforms was a Qing dynasty thing though; they stood in contrast to the elite Banner Armies and the professional Green ...


13

The online chinese dictionary MDBG provides radical information for every character in its database. For instance, if you search for the character 天 (tiān) and click on the first result, the "Rad/Str" column reads 大 + 1, i.e., the radical 大 plus one stroke. Zhongwen.com also gives information on character decomposition. The entry for 洋 reads "Water 水 with 羊 ...


13

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 Gotcha! Gang. According to this article, 纹身 is accepted by a newer version of 《现代汉语词典》 as an alternative form of 文身.


13

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.moe.edu.tw/yitia/fra/fra01875.htm Personally I have also heard it is because the Sun rises from the east, thus east is seen as the 'emic', or the 'theme'


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No it's not correct. "非常棒" are definitely three 字s. So the proper form should be 一个字。棒!👊 or 三个字。非常棒!👊 According to the context this kind of wording might be used on purpose for joking; you might not need to take them seriously.


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Generally, there are two types of characters: "compound characters 合体" and "single component characters 独体". And there are four character building methods: "pictogram 象形","ideogram 指事"、"indicatives 会意","phono-semantic 形声". "Single component characters 独体" are characters that derive from "pictograms 象形" or "ideograms 指事". e.g: pictogram: "人" means ...


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Modern Chinese dictionaries include several methods for the user to look up a character. Radicals: This is useful when you don't know how to pronounce a character; Pinyin in alphabet: This is useful when you don't know how to write a character while you know its sound; Number for strokes: Based on my own experience, this only shown some characters that are ...


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