Тишинуша Гамимеря (spamsink) wrote in linguaphiles,
Тишинуша Гамимеря

What is the ideographic analog of spelling?

I have been curious about it for quite some time: how do people (if they do) explain how to write a hanzi/kanji character over the phone, be it a rare proper name or a relatively common word with a complex character, e.g. parrot , stork , or crocodile ? (I've picked them by stroke count, maybe they are not the most complex ones to explain.)
If a technique exists, what level of literacy (knowing just the radicals, the "newspaper" subset, or better) is required in order to understand the instructions and to produce them?

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