Three Attributes, Three Functions

So, how do Chinese characters actually work? It’s fairly simple, believe it or not. Most characters are made up of components, and those components can play different roles within the character. Our dictionary breaks each character into its components and tells you exactly what each component’s function is. Most components are related to the character’s meaning or sound (or

Read More

Homographs and multiple “readings” in Chinese and Japanese

Answer quickly: How many vowels are there in English? If you said five, you’ve misunderstood something about writing. First there was speech, and then there was writing. While speech developed hundreds of thousands of years ago, the first writing appeared only 5000–6000 years ago. In literate societies, including the Anglosphere and the Sinosphere, writing has

Read More