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Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know – from Outlier Linguistics

Unlocking Chinese Characters with Functional Components – Outlier Linguistics Explains

This is a guest post from the folks over at Outlier Linguistics. If you aren’t following them yet then definitely check out their work. They are working on a Chinese dictionary that explains why certain Chinese characters are the way they are and how they developed to reach their current state. By understanding more of the how and why of the characters they become much easier to remember. 
This article makes a lot of reference to phono-semantic characters. I’ve written about these here and here. The basic idea is that each character is made up of a bunch of different “components”. These components can take on a meaning or a sound function – sometimes the component tells us what the character means and sometimes how we pronounce it. It’s a very powerful concept and the key to unlocking Chinese characters.
I think the work they are doing is very exciting and am happy to be supporting them in spreading the word. If you also think this looks like a great project please share! 
Kyle
Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know - from Outlier Linguistics

Hello from the Outlier Linguistics Team!

Lately, we’ve been working on more effective ways to present information and to explain our system for analyzing characters. Here are explanations for each type of functional component, which are more visual. They use color (and the lack thereof) and space in an attempt to make the explanation clearer. We’d love to hear from anyone that has any suggestions on how to improve this. Let us know what you think and don’t be afraid to let us have it!

Keep in mind, these are not examples of entries in our dictionary, they’re simply a visual way of explaining how functional components work. You’ll be able to use a demo version of the dictionary very soon!

Note from Kyle@Sensible Chinese: Outlier are still looking for feedback. Feel free to leave ideas in the comments below as they’ll be checking here but for the most direct route tweet them at @outlierLinguist or leave comments on the Outlier Linguist blog entry.

Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know - from Outlier Linguistics

Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know - from Outlier Linguistics

Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know - from Outlier Linguistics

Chinese characters: Functional Components you must know - from Outlier Linguistics

Note from Kyle@Sensible Chinese: Outlier are still looking for feedback. Feel free to leave ideas in the comments below as they’ll be checking here but for the most direct route tweet them at @outlierLinguist or leave comments on the Outlier Linguist blog entry.

  • Martin Hodge

    非常好