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Characters that you don't know how to write


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skylee

This is inspired by another post "Characters are objectively harder, even for Chinese". But I don't agree with the statement.

Any way, I suppose there are words that you commonly hear or even say but don't know how to write. I have an example here. I often hear the word "huen" (Cantonese pronunciation) said in shoe shops, meaning the width of a shoe or to enlarge the shoe. I never knew that such a character existed until one day I bought a pair of shoes which needed widening and the sales girl wrote on my receipt this character -

It is xuan4 in Putonghua, and means shoe last or to last a shoe. I guess I didn't know the character simply because it had not been taught at school and I am not in the shoe business. :wink:

Any more such words to share?

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kentsuarez

Some people know this one verbally and some don't, but very few can write it: 饕餮 tao1tie4, the stylized "animal mask" on Chinese bronzes, esp. late Shang1 to Zhou1, which was later associated with gluttony. You'll hear it in museum tours and see it in archaistic art.

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handbus

there are many words in chinese which are not often used. Most of them are be used in some acient articles.

I can give you some examples:

"耄耋" mao4 die2 means the age about 90

"旮旯" ga2 la4 means the corner in the room

"黑魆魆" hei1 xu4 xu4 means very dark

"鎏金" liu2 jin1 means a method of decorating with gold. In the Qing Dynasty, the crafter use an alloy of aurum and hydrargyrum to paint the roof of a palace. After the hydrargyrum is vaporized by the sun-light, the roof will get in gold color.

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nnt: The true literate (not litterate, English can be tricky) warriors should have already remembered every single Chinese character in the Kangxi Dictionary! :lol:

I'm just kidding. Anyway, today when I wanted to set my browser to display the Yi script, I found an interesting character in my browser. (I'm using Trad Chinese version of Windows XP.)

(cuàn)

(if you want to see it in your IE, go to menu: Tools -> Options -> Font, it's at the end of the language list.)

info: http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/cgi-bin/canton-new.pl?query=%C6y

It's the old name for Yi (彝) people. And their scripts are beautiful.

Download the font here (free):

http://www.sil.org

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skylee
"旮旯"

(ga1 la2) ("哥囉" in Cantonese)

Strange characters. One dictionary says it is fangyan, meaning 角落; another says it is possibly a corruption from 角落. The Cantonese pronunciation of 角落 is "gok lok", close enough to "ga1 la2" IMHO.

(BTW, people who speak French sometimes spell literature as litterature.)

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sunyata

you can get more interesting fonts from www.mojikyo.org

it includes about 110,000 characters total, including Chinese characters, Oracle bone inscriptions, Siddham (Sanskrit) characters, Japanese kana, Tangut [Western Xia (Xixia) Kingdom] Script, Chu Nom, Shui Script...

maybe pazu will like this ;)

079999.gif

009999.gif

066147.gif

575742.gif

063814.gif

097137.gif

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pazu...you can also download the fonts here:

http://www.mojikyo.org/html/download/ttf/dlttf.html

then download the software for viewing the fonts:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/scbs/mojikyo/CMAP/MOCM400.EXE

Read installation instructions here:

http://www.mojikyo.org/html/download/cmap/jack/Mojikyo_EN.html#begin

Then you can view all the Chu Nom characters as well as everything else..

FYI, Chu Nom starts with number 060604 and ends with 063804

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Sunyata: what does that third character mean, the one with the dragons?

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oh gosh, I have no idea...but I think it may be a poem written in one character...maybe "a flying dragon, floating in the clouds" ? :conf:mrgreen:

WangYa-1081166276.jpg

none of the characters (I think) I posted are used in China / HK / Taiwan - they are either archaic, or scripts of other kingdoms in ancient china....

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Guest dodo
"旮旯"

(ga1 la2) ("哥囉" in Cantonese)

Strange characters. One dictionary says it is fangyan, meaning 角落; another says it is possibly a corruption from 角落. The Cantonese pronunciation of 角落 is "gok lok", close enough to "ga1 la2" IMHO.

that's really interesting. in shanghainese, it's gou lou (or something similar). it sounds more simliar to 旮旯 than 角落

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skylee

I remember several years ago, an artist printed a book filled with characters he/she created. They looked like regular characters but on closer examination you wouldn't know any one. People who like strange characters might like to check that out. Or they could take a look at 西夏 script. They look really strange.

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