Last updated: January 19, 2017 at 4:31 am
There are several advantages of being able to search Chinese characters by drawing them. Sometimes you come across a character that you have never seen before, and have no idea how it is pronounced. Being able to draw the character and search it by drawing makes character searching time saving and efficient. Even if you know the radicals of the character in question, searching in a Chinese dictionary by its radicals can often be very time consuming. In addition, sometimes handwritten forms of Chinese characters differ from their normal fonts in print, so being able to draw the handwritten form and search for it can help you distinguish between the forms.
Search Chinese Characters By Drawing Them
Google Translate’s default tool for drawing Chinese Characters through your browser and then translating them is quite excellent. You can learn how to use that tool with this link.
To search for Chinese characters here by drawing them, simply click on the paintbrush icon to the right of where it says “Search by Handwriting Recognition”. From there, simply use your mouse to draw the character. A list of characters will show up in which you simply click on one of them, and it will re-direct you to the Yellowbridge dictionary.
Line’s Chinese to English dictionary and English to Chinese dictionary respectively. You search Chinese Characters on these dictionaries by drawing them by clicking on the paintbrush button on the right side of the search bar.
This site allows you to search both Traditional and Simplified characters. Once you choose your character by clicking on its icon, its information will show up in the info box. From there, you can just copy and paste the character wherever you need it. (Note in order to use this tool, you must have Java installed. If you are using Windows or Mac, you can download Java here. If you are using Linux, you can install the icedtea-plugin package or use the previous link I just gave.)
This is a fantastic site for drawing Japanese Kanji, and searching for them. Note: This character search will only search for commonly used Japanese Kanji. Even though Japanese Kanji are Chinese characters, not all Chinese characters are used in Japanese. So for example, if you search for 你, which is extremely common in modern Chinese, it will not show up if you try to draw it because it is not a common use character in Japanese, and not one of the 2500 characters defined by the Japanese government. Once you choose a character from the list after drawing the it, the site will re-direct to edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/wwwjdic Dr. Breen’s website. For example, if you drew 好 and then chose it, it would redirect you to edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/wwwjdic?1MMJ好
Chinese Character Stroke Animation Sites
Being able to see the stroke animation of a character is very useful. It can help you remember the character, and to develop good habits early. Generally, it is good to learn a character’s stroke order properly the first time because it can be hard to break bad habits. Sometimes, even though you may know most of the stroke order rules in Chinese, there can be exceptions, and a character’s stroke order man be non-intuitive. So, being able to see its animation is very good. In addition, character animation is very useful for educational purposes.
This is a very useful site for getting Chinese stroke animations in HTML format. So, you do not need any plug-ins installed. Simply search for a character that you want, and you will get re-directed to a page that shows you the character’s animation infinitely. Note: This site only supports Simplified Characters, and will give an error if you search for a Traditional character that differs from its Simplified form. I think it is incredibly useful, if you plan on searching animations a lot, to create a keyword for this.In Firefox, once in lost-theory.org/ocrat/chargif/, to create a keyword, right click in the search bar and click “add a keyword for this search”. Firefox will add you what you want your keyword to be. You can type in any string of characters. I chose lt as my keyword. Then it will be bookmarked where you want it, and then in the future, you can just type in your search bar with the keyword and then the character following it. For example, in my search bar, I can just type我, and it automatically directs me to lost-theory.org/ocrat/chargif/search.py?string=我 . And then from there, you could click on the character 我 and it would redirect you to the animation for 我 here. Another example, I can just type 你, and it directs me to lost-theory.org/ocrat/chargif/search.py?string=你. This saves you an incredible amount of time from having to reload the page every time, and then search manually. So, the Firefox search bar is not only for typing in website URLs. It is also for using keywords.
First you need to search for this character in the dictionary search bar. After you are on the information of your character, simply click on the Stroke Order tab above the character. It will then animate the character. This site does not infinitely animate the character. So, you have to click animate every time you want to see the character’s stroke animation. This site supports animations of both Traditional and Simplified characters. In addition, once you are on the animation page, you can change the speed at which the character is animated. Note: You must have Java installed in order to be able to see the animations for this site.
Arch Chinese is quite a good site to see animations. It has animations both Traditional and Simplified Characters. In order to see your character’s animation, simply paste the character into the search bar. After searching for the character, your character will automatically animate and the pronunciation of the character will be spoken.