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Making Chinese characters
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Author:  AnthonyAppleyard [ Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Making Chinese characters

Many Chinese characters are made by composing a "phonetic complement" with a Kangxi radical (2F00 etseq): e.g. 洋 ("ocean") is made of the water radical plus 羊 ("sheep"), as 羊 and 洋 are both pronounced "yang" in Mandarin Chinese: "sheep gives sound, water gives meaning". But how can a user combine a Kangxi radical with a character to make a new character which is not listed as such? Does it involve one of 2FF0 etseq? I have the big Unicode 5.0 book, but it does not explain how.

On my PC, Chinese characters display OK, but the Kangxi radicals (except 2f33 ⼳) display as rectangles. Where can I get a font add-on for the Kangxi radicals?

If this combining process is easy, I know that this is "water under the bridge", but I suspect that the Chinese character part of Unicode could have been made shorter by many hundred characters, by telling users to use the combining process to make radical + phonetic compound characters, e.g. in general text, plutonium (钚) does not need to be mentioned very often, and can its character be made in Unicode printing by combining the metal radical with 不 ("not")?: both are pronounced "bu", i.e. spell the word by using 2 or 3 Unicode codes, e.g."metal-radical 不 combine", instead of it occupying its own Unicode code: after all, typing the English word "plutonium" uses 9 Unicode codes.

Author:  vanisaac [ Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Making Chinese characters

Chinese characters are not encoded in such a way that you can combine them like this. A great deal of research is ongoing, finding all Chinese characters in modern and historic use, so pretty much any character you would find in any published material has already been encoded.

The Ideographic Description Characters at U+2FFx are not intended for on-the-fly composition of novel characters, and a sequence like ⿰⺡羊 is only a description of the CJK character 洋, with the ⿰ displaying as a simple graphic character, and the ⺡羊 taking up twice the width of 洋. The sequence ⿰⺡羊 and the character 洋 are not canonically or compatibly equivalent, and a search for 洋 will not come up with instances of ⿰⺡羊, nor vice-versa. Some utilities may decide to try to display ⿰⺡羊 as something similar to 洋, but this is neither a prescribed behavior, nor standard for document exchange.

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