Tips for Looking up a Word in a Paper Dictionary by Strokes

2024-01-29 Chinese
  • Ensure you have a paper Chinese dictionary with a stroke-based search section. Familiarize yourself with the basic strokes of the Chinese writing system. Each Chinese character is composed of a series of strokes written in a specific order. Knowing the fundamental strokes will help you to search for a word in the dictionary more efficiently.
  • Locate the stroke-based search section in the dictionary. This section is typically found at the beginning or the end of the book and it contains a list of Chinese strokes, numbered and systematically organized.
  • Identify the number of strokes that make up the character you want to look up. For example, if you want to look up the character "好" [hǎo], which has six strokes, find the section corresponding to 6-stroke-characters.
  • Within the stroke section, look for the initial stroke of the character. Strokes are categorized according to their shape and direction. Find the initial stroke and then search for the remaining strokes following the writing order.
  • Scroll through the list of characters with the same number of strokes that match the specific strokes you are looking for. It may be a large list, so take your time to find the desired character.
  • Once you have located the character, check its pronunciation in Pinyin and its meaning in order to understand its definition and usage.

Remember that searching for words by strokes in a paper dictionary can be tedious. Our recommendation is to use the Chinesimple app dictionary, which offers faster and easier searching.