Characters you can't find in the dictionary

Sometimes you come across Chinese characters that you can’t find in your dictionary. Maybe you are looking under the wrong radical, or miscounting the number of strokes. Maybe you have had a long day and your vision has gone blurry…or maybe the damned thing really isn’t in the dictionary at all.

Well, here goes…I have one here. A heart radical (dot, vertical line, dot) on the left and then ke4

I’m not very experienced at looking up charcters online, but when I can’t find something in my little student dictionaries, I usually go to and do a search/radicals/all dictionaries. Here’s what I got for that word (ke4).

Thats the unicode database. None of the other links worked for me.

Not much help, in that it doesn’t tell you the meaning, but maybe it’s a starting point for you.


i just asked my taiwanese girlfriend and she said “tell the internet person there is no such word.”

Hee, hee. Tell your girlfriend to switch to canjie input, type PJHR and see what comes up. I might try it myself now.

The unicode number for this character is 6118 and the pinyin is qia4. However, the character is not one of the 7,331 characters listed in my edition of the Far East Chinese-English Dictionary. I tried looking it up on a few different internet sites and got no results.

According to the Unicode link I posted above it’s ke4, not qia4, which, you have to admit, makes mroe sense.

Juba, how did you type it if you don’t know it? Or did you paste it?


My old Chinese dictionary doesn’t show it but shows 愙 ke4 which your character could be an alternate form of? strange as this dictionary has over 12,000 characters inc. all kinds of alternates. according to the dictionary 愙 itself is an alternate form of

It is a character with multiple variants, and can also be written as

Ahhh, that’s it.

My favorite dictionary for obscure stuff is the “Daikanwa Jiten” (

I checked the character in my two new dictionaries: ¥j º~ »y


Download the new XP IME, it works with 98 and 2000 at microsoft site. It came with the grafitti stuff, you can write the character with your mouse. No hassles, I can find most radicals in there.
see screenshot:


Yes, I pasted it out of a Word document.

This morning, my colleague managed to type the character using Cangjie and then got a display showing is pronounced qia4, and indeed when I type qia4 using Microsoft’s phonetic input set on Roman (i.e. Hanyu) pinyin I get

That’s very odd, Juba … I also checked with my classical Chinese professor, and he said the character can also be pronounced “ge-2”, didn’t say anything about “qia-4” … and his definition was

Try the internet dictionary of Ministry of Education at
If you already know the zhuyin of any character, you can just type zhuyin, and then select from a list among words with the same pronunciation,
If you don’t know the zhuyin, and the word looks weird, then try ’