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  • Chinese Sites
  • Chinese People
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Strokes
  • Dictionaries
  • Typing
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  • Set screen Chinese Language Sites

    webpage article
    webpage article Chinese tutor online
    webpage article $250 Wenlin Software for English speakers Learning Mandarin Chinese
    webpage article People's Daily newspaper online (in English)
    webpage article Chinese University of Hong Kong
    webpage article UN Chinese language site

    Set screen The Chinese People

    The Chinese are the most populous people group in the world, about a quarter of the earth's population. ("Chinamen" is a derogatory term originating during American frontier days to perjoratively refer to all asians.)

    The PRC (People's Republic of China) has more people than any other single country (on less that one tenth of the world’s arable land in one time zone: UTC+ 8). Additionally, there are over a million "ethnic Chinese" within the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.

    "Chinese to become #1 web language by 2007." is a conjecture perpertrated as "fact" by ads promoting the Accenture international consultantcy firm. The quote came from Chris Wood's August 21, 2000 Maclean's Magazine article The Future: Will It Work? Amid Smart Robots and Wireless Wonders, Some See a Dark Side.
    This prediction is not far off., the Chinese search engine, is among the Top 20 web sites in the whole world, as reported by Alexa.

    Set screen Chinese Dialects

    Among the many dialects of Chinese, the three most widely spoken Chinese dialects are:

    • Cantonese (spoken by those in and from Hong Kong and surrounding Guangdong province in SouthEast China),
    • Taiwanese (also called Ming or Hokkien),
    • Mandarin (the official Guan-Yu language originating from Beijing),

    Articles from David Crystal's The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987)

    The 'correct' or 'standard' way to pronounce Mandarin is what is spoken by educated speakers in Beijing in the north of China.

    Set screen Chinese Locales

    The canonical list of locales in html shows:

    Locale Code Language Country Locale Name Note
    zh Chinese   Chinese
    zh_Hans Chinese (Simplified Han)   Chinese (Simplified Han)
    CN Chinese in the PRC
    SG Chinese in Singapore
    zh_Hant Chinese (Traditional Han)   Chinese (Traditional Han)
    HK Chinese in Hong Kong SAR China
    MO Chinese in Macao SAR China
    TW Chinese in Taiwan

    Set screen Chinese Names

    For example, the traditional Chinese glyph for the English word "horse" is 馬, which is my last name. My first/given name (Wilson) is transliterated from the words "courage" - 成 - and "faith/trust" - 信 (信).

    Unlike Western cultures, Chinese names are written leading with the family name, then the given name. The Chinese culture has so much reverence for family (filial) connection that many still bow three times every day to the picture of an ancestor.

    Set screen Writing Chinese

    The Chinese writing system is generally considered to be "logographic" (where one or two "characters" corresponds roughly to one "word" of meaning).

    The graphemes of written Chinese do not map onto individual phonemic units of the spoken language as much as in English. This is perhaps why the French have the expression "C'est du chinois", "It's Chinese", i.e., "It's incomprehensible", just as Shakespeare used the phrase "it's Greek to me".

    Instead, each logogram (sinogram) corresponds to one (typically monosyllabic) morpheme.

    Set screen Chinese Food

    James D. McCawley's 2004 The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters explains the Chinese characters on menus and the dishes.

    E. N. Anderson's 1990 The Food of China (Paperback) is the authoritative textbook.

    Francine Halvorsen's The Food and Cooking of China

    Set screen Speaking Chinese (Pronunciation)

    Several systems have been defined to assist in vocalising Chinese characters.

    The Chinese language contains about 400 syllables (excluding tones). By contrast, English has 12,000.

    Chinese has many homophones (words with the same sound expressing different meanings). For example, mouse over these 4 Tones:

    1-da "to hang over something"
    2-dá "to answer"
    3-da "to hit"
    4-dà "big"

    The Pinyin 拼音 system of pronuncing standard Mandarin was defined in the 1967 Dictionary of New China (as in PRC). It became ISO-7098:1991 since 1979.

    The switch to Pinyin from previous romanization schemes is what caused the English name for place names to change. For example, the Enligh name for the capital city of China switched from "Peking" under the Wade-Giles to "Beijing" under the Pinyin scheme.

    Caution! Although Hanyu Pinyin uses all 26 characters of the Roman alphabet (plus the seldom used ü umlat characters used as tone marks) Roman letters in Pinyin are not pronounced the way they are in English phonics. Pinyin is not a completely logical or consistent system.

    Pinyin was designed in 1956 to replace the Yale romanization and the Zhuyin Fuhao (注音) Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (MPS I), commonly referred to as Bopomofo because that's the sound of the first letters in the alphabet. It was created in 1913 and still used in Taiwan.

    Set screen Chinese Calligraphy

    There are different tie or master calligraphy works representing different styles. Chinese handwriting are usually in the more fluid Xing Shu style named after Shan Yin (Shao Xing) Lan Ting, the location where 40 poets gathered on March 3rd, 353 during the Jin dynasty. The preface to the collection of poems created there, called Lan Ting Xu, was written by the "calligrapher sage" Wang Xi Zhi (321-379). It's considered the zenith in Chinese calligraphic art. The Tang dynasty emporer Tang Tai Zong was so impressed with it that he had the original buried with him. But even though he sent copies to his ministers before his burial, no good copies are available today.

    Understanding Chinese Characters by Their Ancestral Forms by Gam Go and Ping-Gam Go describes the origins of 288 common Chinese characters and shows actual current usage with 72 color photographs taken in San Francisco's Chinatown.

    Most printed materials are in the more formal Kai Shu (meaning "standard" or "model") script formalized during the Han dynasty. It is less efficient to write but easier to read.

    In Chinese, any tool for writing is called a bis. Specifically, the bi is the tool for doing Chinese calligraphy. meaning it's a tool used for writing and it's made from hair.

    Set screen Strokes

    The bushou system (literally "section-heading" but often mistranslated as "radical") — defined in Xu Shen's etymological dictionary Shuowen Jiezi from 2000 years ago. — which connects one part of each character with 214 characters:

    (can,jar) has 22 strokes.

    The basic strokes are:

      Heng — The basic horizontal stoke, starting from left and end at right.
      Shu — The basic vertical stoke, from top to down.
      Pie — The basic stoke, from right high position to left low position.
      Na — The basic stoke, from left high position to right low position.

    Bound forms never appear alone, but only appear as components of compound characters.

    Some radicals, such as the glyph for "silk", are always on the left of a character.

    Set screen Chinese Characters

    The PRC has defined 2,557 characters children must learn during their 6 years of elementary school, during which they gradually acquire knowledge of the detailed structure of the components and subcomponents of characters.

    Educators at Yale compiled their list of 1000 characters beginning students should first learn.

    Additionally, there is a list of 421 technical characters.

    Set screen Dictionaries

    The first Chinese dictionary, the San Chung, was compiled by Li Si on order by the emporor Qin.

    Lookup Unicode on tool Erik E. Peterson's English-Chinese Dictionary You can also quickly locate characters based on the geneaology (etymology of each character at tool Rick Harbaugh's dictionary tree at (from the two Chinese characters meaning "the Chinese Language") shows how every part of every character can be traced back to less than 200 root characters wen ("writing") of the new zipu system. Its character tree structure allows any Chinese character to be found given any component of its character or any character which shares the same component.

    Chinese-English Frequency Dictionary: A Study Guide to Mandarin Chinese's 500 Most Frequently Used Words (Paperback) by Yong Ho.

    ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary (Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2000)

    Set screen Translations

    tool Convert Chinese characters into web-friendly Unicode NCR (Numerical Character References)
    Google Translate Chinese to English
    Google Translate English to Simplified Chinese
    Google Translate English to Traditional Chinese

    Set screen Typing Chinese

    To quickly input East Asian CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) text into Microsoft Office XP applications, use the free floating language bar (at the upper-right corner by default). Microsoft's Global Input Method Editor (IMEs) can be used for download Office XP/2002+ or download Office 2000 or older versions regardless of the language version of Office XP or the operating system being used. It uses components in the Speech and Handwriting feature of Office XP (installer section Office Shared Features, Alternate User Input).

    Set screen Older DBCS/Big5 Font Technologies

    Chinese character encoding was first defined in 1984 as a DBCS (Double Byte Character Set) by the "Institute for Information Industry of Taiwan", a consortium of the five biggest computer manufacturers at that time. Thus, its name BIG5 Encoding,

    In 1995 the Hong Kong government defined a "Government Chinese Character Set" so that Big5 can be adopted by augmenting it for archaic and some colloquial Chinese characters used in the Cantonese (JukJi 俗字) used by Hong Kong residents. In 1999 the HKSCS-4818 (Hong Kong Special Supplementary Characters Set) were defined for Unicode.

    Set screen Chinese Unicode Fonts

    GB18030 is the registered Internet name for the official character set of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is formally called "Chinese National Standard GB 18030-2000: Information Technology — Chinese ideograms coded character set for information interchange -- Extension for the basic set". The "GB" abbreviates Guojia Biaozhun (English for Chinese 国家标准, which means "national standard"). The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) (the Chinese National Committee of the ISO and IEC) has mandated GB18030 (UTF-16) support for all computer operating systems sold in the PRC.

    Standard simplified Chinese has 6,000+ characters (Unicode code points) with four font faces:


    tool Microsoft's GB18030Tools Support Package (downloaded as GBEXTSUP.msi and installed in Windows 2000 & XP Program Files) provides the SimSun18030.ttc font to enable the display of GB 18030 characters, Its GBunicnv.exe end-user application converts between GB18030 plain text and HTML files to Unicode (according to the Authoritative mapping table). It includes all the characters in Unicode 2.1 plus new characters in Ext. A. The full Unicode 5.0 set:

    Unified CJK Ideographs 4E00-4EFF
    CJK Ideographs Ext. A 3400-34FF (4DBF)
    CJK Ideographs Ext. B 200000 - 2000FF

    As FontChecker notes, different font manufacturers use different numbers to designate a particular glyph.

    The manufacturer of the Hiragina Kaku font has the character horse at location 99AC (the Unicode standard), but they are calling that character: "g3333".
    The manufacturer of the Osaka font calls their horse character "a946e".
    The manufacturer of the Apple LiGothic font calls their horse character "ab0a8".


    GB18030 maintains compatibility with the 1980 GB2312 Simplified Chinese standard Unicode font. So websites targeted for people on the mainland (such as have the following at the top of every page:

      <meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html;charset=gb2312">

    Adobe offers several font packs with Adobe Readear 7.0 that is not installed in the "Resource\CIDFont" directory under the default "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0" or where Adobe Reader 7.0 was installed. showcases Asian characters displayed using different font faces you can download.

    Download and copy the "Ming Uni" (GB18030) font (with 35,788 glyphs), then extract the .ttf file into your C:\Windows\Fonts directory. It renders better than the 18,965 glyph "Adobe Ming Std" font, so don't be fooled by the "Std" in the name.

    If you use firefox, go to Tools -> Options, Advanced, and Choose a Language from the dropdown languages to Add. can be used for a quick check of Chinese font display.

    The more fonts and the larger the fonts loaded, the more memory and time it will take take to render all pages.

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