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    Sites that allow you to search Chinese Characters (or 漢字) by drawing them.

    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.

  1. Nciku

  2. This very innovative dictionary allows you to search Hanzi or Chinese Characters by drawing them. To the right of the search bar, there are two big boxes. Simply draw in the first box using your mouse like a pen, and then on the right a series of characters will show up based upon how you drew the character, and the number of strokes that you drew. Simply choose from the list which one you want, and then it will show up in the search bar, and you can copy it to use however you like. This site allows you to search both Traditional and Simplified characters by drawing them.

  3. Yellowbridge

  4. To search for Chinese characters here by drawing them, simply click on the paintbrush 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.

  5. Chinese-Tools

  6. This site is very similar to nciku's setup in searching for Chinese characters by drawing them. This site also 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.

  7. http://kanji.sljfaq.org/draw.html

  8. This is a fantastic site for drawing Japanese Kanji, and searching for them. This site is similar to Nciku in how you search for characters. 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 http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C Dr. Breen's website.

    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.

  9. Nciku

  10. To use the character animation on this site, first search for your character using the dictionary search bar. Then, once you are on the information page of the character, simply click on the play button near the top, and a flash popup will come up, and will animate the character infinitely. Although this site supports searches by Traditional characters, it will only show animations of Simplified characters. Note: You must have Flash installed in order to see the stroke animation.

  11. Yellowbridge

  12. Like NCIKU, 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 animation.

  13. ArchChinese Animation

  14. To see your character's animation, simply paste the character into the search bar next to the binoculars icon, then click on the binoculars icon. After that the character will animate, and after the whole character's stroke animation has finished, the pronunciation of the character will then automatically be said. Note: You must have Flash installed in order to see the stroke animation.

  15. ArchChinese Character Animation Creator

  16. This is ArchChinese's Embeddable Character Animation Generator that is very useful for webmasters. According to the site, "Similar to YouTube videos, you can seamlessly integrate the animations into your school or personal web pages, free of charge and no ads!" An example of an embedded character is below of the character 是.

  17. ArchChinese Link Generator

  18. This is ArchChinese's Animated Chinese Character Link Generator. Basically, it is useful if you have a large series of characters that you want to see the animations for. It saves you the time of having to search for all of those characters individually.

  19. Lost-Theory

  20. 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.

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