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What's the name for a stroke of a chinese character?

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I know it's pronounced "huà", but is the character for this "划" or "画"? In my pocket dictionary, in the radical index, the headers are, for example, "十二画". When I asked my Chinese friends, there was massive disagreement.

Perhaps they are interchangeable. I recently bought a new, massive dictionary, and one entry it has for "划" is "see '画'". Can anybody help clarify this for me?

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in the radical index, the headers are, for example, "十二画"
This is correct.

In the past, Chinese use '毛笔' (what's the English name for this? brush pen? hair pen? I don't know.) to write and paint. but '划' has a 'knife' in it, which I think suggests 'scratch' in the sense of 'Stroke'.

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We are actually talking about three words in traditional Chinese. They are 劃 (hua2, hua4), 畫 (hua4), and 划 (hua2).

The simplified version of 劃 is 划.

The simplified version of 畫 is 画.

劃 and 畫 share the meaning of "stroke" as in "strokes of a character". (But both words have other meanings.)

Thus both 划 and 画 are ok for the meaning of "stroke" as in "strokes of a character".

划 also means the action of rowing.

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