Word of the day – 聽筒

聽筒 [听筒] (tīngtǒng) is Chinese for telephone receiver; headphone; earphone; earpiece and stethoscope. Its literal meaning is “hearing tube” – 聽 = to hear; to obey, and 筒 = tube; cylinder.

I found this word in an online Chinese dictionary I came across yesterday which looks very useful. You can search for Chinese words or characters using their characters or pinyin spelling, and the entries include traditional and simplified characters, pinyin, recordings of the pronunciation, related words, and English and French equivalents. There’s even the option of inputting characters by hand.

The dictionary seems to be part of the Chinese Tools site, which contains a translator, text-to-speech, name translators for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan and other scripts, and other useful tools.

7 thoughts on “Word of the day – 聽筒

  1. Interesting sounding word. I also like the word for telephone receiver in Japanese, one of the rare 3 Kanji-3 syllable words: 受話器 (じゅわき、juwaki), literally receive-talk-instrument.

  2. A nice dictionary, but I know a better one. Zhongwen.com. What I love in it best is that each character is a link you can click on and get the page for it.

  3. I like this chinese tools site http://www.chinese-tools.com/ which has a lot of characters and examples. It’s the first one I go to. It also has a writing pad so that you can enter a character with your mouse.

    Zhongwen.com is good for some characters and I like it to search for a character when I don’t know the radical on which it is based but the dictionary is limited.

    Thanks for the link to this dictionary, Simon. I will have to spend some time looking at it.

  4. Thanks for the links. The words for telephone receiver in the other 2 CJKV languages are 전화 수신기 [Jeonhwa susingi] (telephone-receiver/earphone) in Korean and ống nghe (tube/pipe-to hear/listen) in Vietnamese.

    It’s interesting how the word telephone is from a common origin in all 4: 電話 (dianhua), 전화 (jeonhwa), でんわ (denwa) and điện-thoại, yet the term for the receiver is all different.

  5. I’ll quickly plug http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php, which is what I use. As I have a graphics tablet, the handwriting input is really useful for characters I’m struggling with. It’s also got searching by radical & strokes, and a rough translation function that shows both an approximate translation and, underneath, dictionary entries for individual characters and words. Character entries have stroke order and audio files, and complex characters can be broken down for you. There’s also practice tools for characters and words, and practical tools for typing pinyin and characters. Oh, and it’s free.

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