# Why is this character (淵) 8 strokes (excluding the radical)?

Not counting the water radical, the rest is 8-strokes because the dictionary says it is. However, I naturally write this as 9-strokes and am wondering where I’m going wrong with this. I figure it must be one of the 90-degree angles that’s on the four corners of this character.

The top right and bottom left 90-degree angles I write using 1 stroke each.
The top left and bottom right 90-degree angles I write using 2 strokes each.

So where’s my erroneous extra stroke coming from? The top left or bottom right?

The bottom right 90-degree angle is definitely a “2-stroke” (first down, then left to right).
So, I guess the top left must be a “1-stroke” (down and left in one go…)

My dictionary (the ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary) has a character look-up table based on the traditional Kangxi system. It says that component has 9 strokes.

What dictionary are you looking in?

It should be 9 strokes.

I ran into a similar problem yesterday looking up 滑 based on the on-screen version here; the dictionary had the 骨 gu3 part inverted horizontally to , which drops a stroke! :taz:

Personally I write the bottom right-hand part with a single stroke (from right to left, then down), which would give 8 strokes in total. Could that be described as a cheat though? Not sure.

KT.

You guys made me dig out all the dictionaries that I have from the basement. I don’t have a Kangxi dictionary but I do have the following and their take on the stroke count:

So only 1 out of the 5 that I have lists that compound as 9 strokes, which makes me feel better because at least someone agrees with my way of writing it (including, of course, the good Emperor Kangxi).

The trivia of the day is how did this go from 9-strokes from Kangxi into 8-strokes in most modern dictionaries? Hmmm…

[quote=“Dragonbones”]It should be 9 strokes.

I ran into a similar problem yesterday looking up 滑 based on the on-screen version here; the dictionary had the 骨 gu3 part inverted horizontally to , which drops a stroke! :taz:[/quote]

is the simplified version of

. I’m not fond of simplified characters in general but simplifications like this really bother me. I mean, how much easier does this really make things? One stroke dammit! :fume:

[quote=“Chris”]My dictionary (the ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary) has a character look-up table based on the traditional Kangxi system. It says that component has 9 strokes.

What dictionary are you looking in?[/quote]

OK. This Kangxi thing was bothering me so I went and looked it up on the internet (www.KangXiZiDian.com). Take a look at a direct page out of the Kangxi dictionary itself with the link below:

http://www.kangxizidian.com/kangxi/0632.gif

It appears Emperor Kangxi also thinks it is 8-strokes and not 9!

So the two dictionaries that lists this at 9 strokes is ABCC and the dictionary that I was using in grade school.

Please ignore the trivia question above. The new trivia question is why do these two dictionaries list it as 9-strokes.

This is one of the few quirks I’ve found in the Hanyu Da Zidian. Its index lists , under 9 strokes, but when you go to that graph as a main entry, it lists the 骨 10-stroke version! :loco: That’s a traditional character edition, btw, and the graphs in the index are traditional too.

As for the right side of 淵, clearly to get one less stroke, the top left 90-deg. angle is being written as one stroke, then, in an exception to the general rule.

The right side, btw is etymonic (the original graph, to which was later added the redundant water semantic); it’s read ‘yuan1’, and is phonetic in 棩 蜵 裫 and 鼘 (all ‘yuan1’). Hanyu Da Zidian lists it in its stroke count index under 9 strokes.