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I can usually track down even the most 乱 of 乱码, even if I have to print out the Unihan database and pore over it with my magnifying glass. But this one defeats me. To add to my pain, it's in a non-copyable document behind a paywall, and Pleco's OCR bounces off it and has to go for a lie down in a darkened room. 


So. radical on the left is the same as in 猴 (犬). Then on the right it's 為. This is a traditional document. I've looked for a simplified version with 为, but no joy.


It's actually been removed in a later version of the document and only appears in the middle of stretches of ellipsis like ………… and I'm wondering if it's an artifact of that. Edit: Wait, no, it's been replaced with 兹 with mouth radical at some stage. Which itself had been stripped from a document I'm working from, presumably because it's too obscure for an earlier conversion process to handle, hence the stretches of ellipsis. Hmmm. 


Please show your working - I like to know how to find these things. 

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Pleco’s handwriting recognition found it but it’s pretty obscure—none of my dictionaries for Pleco have it. Note the right side is 爲, not 為 (though that could feasibly be down to font differences). Looks like a name for some animal. Pretty fearsome sounding thing that maybe eats people’s brains? 



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So... some font maker paired the wrong (is it wrong to use it like that?) variant when making his font. And then some random fluctuation in the ether caused it to end up in the document where it shouldn’t be?


in context, the only thing that could be there is some kind of onomatopoeia. 

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Excellent, thanks. I was scared I'd discovered a new one or something. 

9 hours ago, realmayo said:

Like your 嗞?

Yes. What I was trying to say, too quickly while my dinner was getting cold, was that there was no way that 㺔 is *meant* to be where I saw it. 

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A Baidu search came up with this interesting Kangxi Dictionary entry:    Edit: sorry, this was also linked on the link @889 posted above



康熙字典 㺔
又《广韵》呼艾切,音餀。兽名。出音谱。 [1]


Good one for a tattoo! 

(The search  itself produced 10 pages of results)

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Agree with Luxi! I’m not sure which source, specifically, Luxi used, but there’s an online conglomerate dictionary called 汉典,and it actually implements the 康熙字典 within it. It has the same definition as explained by Luxi.


In this kind of situation, what I usually do first is figure out how to get the character in digital form (assuming it’s coded for within the Unicode database). I do this by doing one of the following:


—write it by hand using iOS Chinese handwriting keyboard

—write it by hand using Sougou keyboard (mobile)

—write it by hand using Pleco

—use the “u” function in Sougou (which allows you to type “u’nv’you” in order to get 奴 (since 奴 is 女 and 又 put together))


After that, I search up the character in one of the following resources: Baidu, 汉典,汉语大词典(I have it installed on pleco),Wikipedia, 百度百科。


If, however, the character doesn’t have a corresponding Unihan code, then that’s where things get a bit trickier. One of these scenarios might be happening:


—it is a 二简字

—it is a 三简字(yes,there was once a 第三批简化字方案)

—it is a made-up character (these can be created using a certain kind of software)

—it’s a very rarely used character (for example, biang, as in biangbiangmian)


In any of these cases, searching up string queries that describe said character on Baidu would be the best way to investigate further.


One last note: regarding figuring out how that character fits within the original text, that’s ultimately down to context. It may be a typo, a 乱码, 火星文,or it may be a play on words!


If it’s 㺔 surrounded by elipses, that sounds like it could be 乱码。

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