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Ian_Lee

Most easily mistaken Chinese character

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Ian_Lee

Which one is the most easily mistaken Chinese character that you would easily put an extra stroke or write without the needed stroke?

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林彪

Definitely 未 (wei4) and 末 (mo4).

Can you tell the difference?

In wei4, the lower horizontal bar is larger. In mo4, the upper bar is longer.

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skylee

Well then it follows that and should also qualify (the former is taller and the latter is flatter).

And then of course 己, 已, 巳 and 戌, 戊, 戍 are all very confusing.

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Ian_Lee
戌, 戊, 戍

I am ashamad to admit that I am still not too sure on how to pronounce (even in Cantonese) the above words if they come out individually.

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skylee
戌, 戊, 戍

I am ashamad to admit that I am still not too sure on how to pronounce (even in Cantonese) the above words if they come out individually.

In Cantonese, we say 橫戌(恤), 點戍(恕), 戊(務)中空. In Putonghua, it would be 橫戌(xu1), 點戍(shu4), 戊(wu4)中空. And two of these three confusing characters appear in the term 戊戌政變 (aka 戊戌/百日維新).

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Guest Calvin_Sheng

actually, as a chinese, i cannot pronounce and understand all of the characters below:

己, 已, 巳 and 戌, 戊, 戍

i know only 己 and 已, every time i met 巳 and 戌, 戊, 戍, just ignore and continue. ^__^

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geek_frappa

覃 (qin2) <---- Surname

覃 (tan2) ...

no difference between characters, but two different pronounciations.

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skylee
覃 (qin2) <---- Surname

覃 (tan2) ...

no difference between characters' date=' but two different pronounciations.[/quote']

Well if these are also taken into account then it would be very complicated.

Take a most common word 樂. It is le4 when it means happy; yue4 when it means music (and both are surnames); and yao4 when it means enjoy (e.g. 敬業樂群; 仁者樂山, 智者樂水). In cantonese, the three pronunciations are lok9, ngok9, and ngau6 respectively. (I love my dear new dictionary 8) )

How about 刀 and 力; 兔 and 免? Are they not confusing enough?

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geek_frappa

those are good ones. :) how about these, too?

幸 (xing4)

辛 (xin1)

  • Like 3

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xoyopai

人 (ren2) - people

入 (ru4) - enter

Hope you have already known them. :)

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skylee

Yes, and these too -

(huai2) vs (zhun3)

(zhi4) vs (ye3)

(qian1) vs (gan1)

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Lu

'Heaven' (天 tian1) and 'dying young' (forgot the pronouniation so can't type it...).

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geek_frappa
'Heaven' (天 tian1) and 'dying young' (forgot the pronouniation so can't type it...).

天 (tian1) and 夭 (yao1) can be confused.

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skylee

Actually they look almost the same in the post above.

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xoyopai

(dao1) - knife

(ren4) - blade

(diao1) sly

-------------------------------------

(tong3) - bucket

(yong3) 兵马俑 (bing1 ma3 yong3) - terracotta warriors and horses

-------------------------------------

(gan4) - do, work

(yu2) - for, of

-------------------------------------

(jia3) - first

(you2) - because, due to

(tian2) - field

-------------------------------------

(zai4) - again

(ran3) one of surnames

冉冉 (ran2 ran2) - gradually

-------------------------------------

(jie2)

(jue2)

孑孓 the babies of mosquito

hehe, it's so confusing. :-P

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skylee

How about -

(ruo4) vs (ku3)

(gu3) vs (chi3)

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39degN

maybe 石(shi2) and 右(you4)?

力(li4) 刀(dao1)

大 and 太?

actually they are the same thing in ancient chinese

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39degN

oops, 故(gu4) and 敌(di2)

竞(jing4) and 竟(jing4)

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林彪

Also (xing4) and (nie4). These are listed in the Zhongwen Zipu as different characters, but apparently, there's no graphical difference between them. I think they're two different characters that over the years have evolved to look exactly the same, despite the fact that they have different etymologies.

There's also (cha2) and (nie2), (shi4) and (tu3), (niao3) and (wu1). There are a bazillion of them. Which is one of the reasons why Chinese is such a hard language to learn to read and write.

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skylee
Also (xing4) and 幸[/size'] (nie4).

I have reservation about the latter pronunciation. What is the source please?

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