Similar question here:

Can FAQ include instructions on character identification?

It seems most of our character identification questions are either:

  • 福[福] (right way up or upside down)


  • 寿[壽]


Only two characters but I have no idea what they signify

What does this symbol mean on my ring?


Should we just put together a small list of commonly used characters to avoid more of these questions in the future?

  • 2
    Agreed. Not only the common characters, but also the techniques for character identification.
    – user4072
    Jan 30, 2018 at 13:11
  • 1
    Agreed. Sections like "commonly queried characters", "commonly used tools to identify characters", "character variant databases", "manual identification techniques" would do wonders.
    – dROOOze
    Feb 1, 2018 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


There are multiple ways we could set up the identification page; either someone with extensive knowledge about scripts writes up a general guideline for the different types of scripts, or we slowly build up a repository of identifiable character components based on already existing questions in Chinese SE. Ideally we'd have both.

A page with searchable components allows people to quickly CTRL+F their way to appropriate images, then the questioner can build what they've interpreted as the component themselves, and if they still have trouble identifying the character they can show their attempt in a question.

My idea to start this process is to re-open closed questions on character identification and provide an answer detailing why the images are read as they are. I'm voting to reopen this question, where I'll post an answer which hopefully helps the identification process, and we can make our way slowly through the rest of the questions?

We could also have a section listing all the script identification answers made so far, so that users can get a feel of what the identification process looks like, further contributing to a guide to identify characters.

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