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Recognizing a character out of its usual sequence is hard even for native speakers. I remember when I took a character test, for the longest time I couldn't come up with a pronunciation for 蛤 (to make matters worse, it was 2x2 inches big). Eventually I settled on gě, which is close to one of the dictionary pronunciations gé. When I reported back, imron reminded me it's há in 蛤蟆功 from Jin Yong's most famous book...

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You probably haven't met 蛤蜊 (clam, gélí in dictionary, gěli where I come from) my childhood delicacy. We ate 田鸡 (edible frog) too but never 蛤蟆 (toad). Obviously 蛤蟆 is the more common word containing this character but for some reason it never entered my mind while I stared at the out of proportion

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I may have encountered a different variety of 蛤蜊 from you, on my plate. Another variety of character I've encountered on my bookshelf is 蛤蚌.

 

On 1/27/2022 at 4:41 AM, Publius said:

while I stared at the out of proportion

I will very occasionally see an English word like "here" and think - that can't be spelled right. Particularly if the word is just standing on its own.

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On 1/27/2022 at 4:25 PM, realmayo said:

I will very occasionally see an English word like "here" and think - that can't be spelled right. Particularly if the word is just standing on its own.

 

Yeah. It could be misspelled "hare".

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Yeah, language learning is fun.

I was baffled by the Japanese names for hydrogen (水素) and oxygen (酸素) until I learned they were borrowed from German, Wasserstoff 'water stuff' and Sauerstoff 'sour stuff' respectively. :D

 

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