The 5 Steps to Look Up a Word by Hanzi in a Paper Dictionary

2024-01-11 Chinese
To Look Up a Word by Hanzi i
  1. Identify the character's radical: Typically, paper Chinese dictionaries are organized by radicals. The first step for looking up a Chinese character in a paper dictionary is to identify its radical. It could be part of the character or the whole character itself. Radicals often provide clues, in most cases, about the meaning or pronunciation of the character.
  2. Count the strokes of the radical: Once you've identified the radical, you need to count the number of strokes that make it up. Strokes are the individual lines that compose the radical. Most Chinese dictionaries have a radical index organized by the number of strokes. Search this index for the radical that matches the number of strokes you've counted.
  3. Identify and count the strokes of the remainder of the character: Now, look at the rest of the character, which could be another radical, another character, or part of the character, and count its strokes.
  4. Find the character in the appropriate section: After identifying and counting the strokes of both the radical and the rest of the character, look in the dictionary for the section corresponding to that radical and the number of strokes. Search within this section for the complete character.
  5. Locate the definition: Once you've located the character, you can read its definition and learn its pronunciation.

Remember, looking up words in a paper dictionary can be time-consuming. That's why we recommend using the dictionary in our Chinesimple App, which offers faster and simpler searches.