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nipponman

Ancient Chinese characters

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nipponman

Does anyone know anywhere (besides zhongwen.com) where I can find more ancient forms for the traditional characters?

Any help would be apprieciated.

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kentsuarez

Do you want printed sources or online only?

What are your specific interests? Do you just want an introduction to a few hundred basic characters? Or a resource where you can find absolutely any character? Just examples of each form, oracle bone to modern? Or a fuller, representative range? Do you want sources in English only? Books which explain etymology?

The more specific your request, the better we can help you.

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nipponman

You're right, I should have been more specific :D

Do you want printed sources or online only?

Eh, let's see, Definitely online only.

Do you just want an introduction to a few hundred basic characters? Or a resource where you can find absolutely any character?

Since I know 3000 of the necessary characters to write chinese it would definitely be the latter.

Just examples of each form, oracle bone to modern? Or a fuller, representative range?

Hmm, it is kind of hard to explain this one, so I'll just give you an example. The character 你, now just about everybody knows that even though this is a traditional character, it has a more traditional variant (嬭 -女)+ 亻

but you can't find this character in standard fonts, or like 照 has an older form of 曌 (or a just a variant of, not really sure) I hope that helps.

nipponman

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kentsuarez

Quote: Since I know 3000 of the necessary characters to write chinese it would definitely be the latter.

The Computing Center of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, has produced a stunning piece of freeware which allows you to find the small seal, bronze, oracle bone, Warring States Chu, and variant forms of many characters. Still under construction, it contains 59,220 kai, 11,100 seal, 3,459 bronze, 177 OB, 372 Chu, and 12,681 variant forms. It is therefore of greatest value, obviously, for finding the variant forms. The OB and Warring States portions are still in their infancy, I believe.

A second feature, extremely useful, is that you can find a graph based on its components, if you don’t know its pronunciation. You can also find a variety of graphically similar but unrelated characters, using the same lookup function.

A third is that the software creates the graphs onscreen through combining the symbols in various patterns, eg x next to x, or y atop y, etc. You can embed these in a Word document, but the result cannot be manipulated, as it is saved as an image.

The downside is that the manual is in Chinese, and you will probably not be able to use this software, which is not the most user friendly in the world, without reading the manual. I provide the download site here. http://www.sinica.edu.tw/~cdp/

I had trouble downloading it myself, until a Taiwanese tekkie helped me. Then I had trouble using it, until a Taiwanese assistant showed me how. So, no promises.

Quote:

The character 你, now just about everybody knows that even though this is a traditional character, it has a more traditional variant (嬭 -女)+ 亻

but you can't find this character in standard fonts, or like 照 has an older form of 曌 (or a just a variant of, not really sure) I hope that helps.

So you're interested in older and variant structures, regardless of time period? Well, first, you sometimes *can* find those variants or older synonyms in standard fonts if you know their pronunciation, which is not always the same as the modern character. For example, 嬭 is nai3, and 汝 is ru3. Some of the many variants of 照 type as follows: zhao1 昭; zhao4 炤曌瞾燳. Other variants found in the above database which I cannot type are: 昍8字, the center symbol meaning you put the 昍atop the 字 [later note: sorry, the symbols weren't preserved in the encoding here so I've replaced them with intuitive substitutes); 日8眼; 8明, meaning 明 atop 明; 炅∞召, meaning 炅 to the left of 召 ; 明8古8心, i.e., ming2 atop gu3 atop xin1; 字; and 定. If you put them into a Word doc, then save the doc as an image using the special add-0n available with the above download, it will convert them into the properly formatted characters.

Even without using that Word add-on, you can use my symbols above as a very convenient way of conveying untypable graphs to others online. FYI,  means the first graph inside the second; so 行童 means 衝.

[i did test pasting the symbols from the AcSin software into Word, then from Word to the "post" window, and all seemed fine, but returning to it now, it's all screwed up, sorry. Regardless, the software is still great for finding the variants.]

Hope this helps.

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nipponman

Hey thanks! I think this will be a good thing for me to study.

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Learner

Perhaps you could share with us here the tips you got from the "Taiwanese tekkie" and the "Taiwanese assistant"?

Thanks!

Learner

_______________________

Kent Suarez wrote:

I had trouble downloading it myself, until a Taiwanese tekkie helped me. Then I had trouble using it, until a Taiwanese assistant showed me how.

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kentsuarez

I run it on W2000; I think I tried to install it on xp pro at home and failed.

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Learner

Thanks! I guess I won't even try to install it then, since I too have XP Pro at home. I do have Win2000 at work, but I don't have administrator privileges there.

Learner

_________________________

Kent Suarez wrote:

I run it on W2000; I think I tried to install it on xp pro at home and failed.

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