Needlessly complicated Chinese words
I was just talking to a friend about needlessly complicated Chinese words. Check this word out
Three dragons. It means "the impression of a flying form that looks like a dragon"
It means "to snuffle".
The ultimate needlessly complicated Chinese word, I think, is biáng. I can't even find the chinese character for it, only an image
I dare anybody to try to write these words
changyeAugust 02, 2010, 06:16 AM
That's a nice post. Actually there are tons of "needlessly complicated Chinese characters" in Chinese dictionaries, especially in ancient dictionaries such as 康熙字典，字汇，and 龙龛手鉴. I hear most of such characters are only seen in dictionaries, but not in other historical records and literatures in existence.
Unlike today, people could relatively freely create new Chinese characters in ancient times, and some of them were luckily added to dictionaries, which were edited based on "the more characters, the better" policy.
Here is a Japan-made Chinese character that has the largest stroke count "84" (perhaps largest in the world?), which is made of three 雲 and three 龍. This extraordinarily-rare character is used for a family name in Japan, although I've never met a person who has the name, and of course you can't find it in ordinary dictionaries. It's sort of Japanese "biang", hehe.
You can find the characters that is made of four 龍, which has stroke count "64", in 康熙字典. There is also “興 × ４” listed in the dictionary. Actually it's not so difficult to write Taito because it's merely a combination of three 雲 and three 龍, which is very easy to remember how to write, if you know how to write 雲 and 龍. On the other hand, "biang" is really a difficult Chinese character.
From the wikipedia article, it looks as if taito and 龘 dá have the same meaning. It also indicates that it "may have" been used as a Japanese surname, which to me indicates it has fallen into disuse in this respect. Then again, I wouldn't fully trust a wikipedia article about Japanese that is written in English. If it did fall into disuse, I wonder if it was because they just got sick of writing it out. It would be pretty frustrating writing that name out on every form that one would come across, hehe.
Although the character is (half-jokingly.. ?) listed in some surname dictionaries published in Japan, the article in Wiki (Japan) also says that there is no reliable source about the character. It's possible that the existence of the character is something like "urban legend", hehe.
simonpetterssonAugust 02, 2010, 03:05 PM
I created a really cool character with 200 strokes*. It's pronounced "fù" and means "Look at this complicated character I made up!" Then I wrote a dictionary that included the character, so now it's legit!
Okay, I didn't, but I could have! The point is that a character being in a dictionary doesn't really mean anything, nor does a character being old. If it's not actually used, then there's no real difference between it and the one I made up.
In other words: "What Changye said". Yeah, I didn't really add much to the discussion, did I?
* It's really easy to write! It's just 200 horizontal lines.
Today, I invented a Chinese word that means the fear of needlessly complicated Chinese words. It's consisted of three biáng's together, and it's pronounced bióng.
Anyway, you're totally right, and that's the whole point of this thread. The only reason we ever mention these words is because they're amusing.
xiaophilAugust 02, 2010, 03:29 PM
One day I went to work and asked about 20 Chinese people if they have heard of biang noodles, and of course I mentioned that it was famous mostly because of its corresponding character. None of them knew what I was talking about. In fact, they thought I was pronouncing it wrong because of course biang is not an official sound in putonghua. So what I'm getting at is that I think perhaps it isn't a well-known character in China. Am I right to think this?
I'm wondering if the character for biang is official? It is my understanding that in the Canton region there are still some characters used that are purely local.
changyeAugust 03, 2010, 01:33 AM
John created some beautiful Chinese characters for Christmas a few years ago.They are just worth seeing. Unfortunately, they are not yet added to 《新华字典》 as of today.