I was given a pair of gold cufflinks by my grandfather who was in Shanghai 100 years ago. Each shows a Chinese (I believe) character and I would like to know what these mean. However I have searched with possible English words (left/right, prosperity/health, sun/moon, man/woman, east/west etc) and not seen anything similar in either simplified or traditional (I guess the latter more likely since each is quite 'busy' - many brush strokes). I have tried via OCR (baidu.com and others) with no meaningful results (mostly none at all) even when rotated.

I know I am not allowed to ask for a translation here but am I allowed to ask for help to obtain a translation for myself (short of asking someone who knows Chinese) and/or how to determine which way is up, or whether simplified or traditional, or a version of each character that can be read without OCR – that is, almost anything that might help to avoid having to look through ~5,000 characters for a couple that look similar to what I have?

Presumably, if allowed, the above might be three or four separate Qs on the main site.

Another possibility would be to ask in chat, is translation off topic there too?


Translation requests are on topic as long as you have demonstrated “homework”, i.e.: pre-question effort.

You mention that you’ve tried:

  • searching possible English words

  • OCR

This is already more than enough “evidence” that you’re not just treating the site as a bulk translation resource.

You can simply ask one question with pictures of the cufflinks mentioning what you have already tried and why it didn’t work.

  • 2
    @pnuts Yeah we just don’t want people asking “what does xxxx mean?” w/o trying anything themselves. – Mou某 Jan 28 '18 at 16:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .