The Number of Chinese Characters

[ 2005-06-15 20:22:14 pm | Author: Admin ]
                                     The Number of Chinese Characters

Many people ask, how many characters (hanzi
漢字) build up the Chinese writing system. The most comprehensive dictionary ever made, the Hanyu da zidian 漢語大字典¸ from 1990, contains more than 50.000 characters. But "normal" character dictionaries contain about only 10.000 characters. Many of this huge number of characters are used solely for special terms in poems, novels, or sciences or in old literature, a great amount of characters are used for dialect words and are probably never written in books, and many old characters have died out. 
the character
is only used for the old fortress Chikanlou 赤崁樓 in Tainan/Taiwan 
the word
( and ) kou "nestling" is out of use 
the character
li "sea mile" has been replaced by the general term for "mile" 里 
the meaning of the words (inscribed on a Western Zhou ding tripod) is unknown, even how to pronounce them, compare the oracle bone and bronze vessel inscriptions 
The average modern Chinese people should know about 3000 characters, students even more. 


  Chinese silk embroidery painting art from Suzhou

[Last Modified By Admin, at 2006-01-05 09:01:25]

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