Outlier Poster Reference

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A handy reference guide to Outlier’s

Semantic Components Poster

So you’ve got your hands on Outlier’s Semantic Components Poster! You see all this info on there and you’re wondering what it all means. Well, wonder no more: here’s a simple guide to all the content so you know exactly what you’re looking at!

You can also download this post as a PDF. For more info on functional components, check out this blog post and this video series!


1     Stroke order. ROC standard for traditional, PRC standard for simplified.

2     Frame number. T for traditional, S for simplified. For easy cross-referencing.

3     Main entry. The semantic component itself.

4     Full form (if red) or abbreviated component form (if grey). Not all entries have or need this.

5     Pronunciation in Hànyǔ Pīnyīn. Traditional poster also has Zhùyīn Fúhào (Bopomofo).

6     Explanation of the component’s form.

7     Meaning when used as a component.

8     Meaning when used as a word or in a word.

9     Important notes about the component. Not all entries have or need this.

10   Simple, one-word (usually!) meaning for the component.

11    Chinese name or description of the component*, so you know what to call it in Chinese.

12    Example characters using it as a semantic (meaning or form) component.

13    Variants of the component, if they exist.

14    The component’s form in the “other” system (the traditional form on the simplified poster

and vice-versa) if it exists.

* These names may or may not be official. We chose the ones that are most easily understood by native speakers. Note that the names/descriptions may or may not be indicative of a component’s actual meaning.