Applying Chinese word sketch engine to distinguish commonly confused words

Yang WU, Shan WANG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Recently, as the popularizing of Chinese language learning on a worldwide scale and the rapid expansion of Confucius Institutes, teaching Chinese as an international language (TCIL) develops rapidly all over the world. As a result, teaching commonly confused words from the perspective of non-native Chinese learners has become a necessary concern. Traditional commonly confused words discrimination stands much more on authoritative Chinese dictionaries for senses definition or meanings of a word. However, some scholars in and out of China now promote a new technology for collocation extraction in Chinese which is based on corpora. The latest concept of commonly confused words discrimination is using Chinese Word Sketch (CWS), a powerful tool for extracting meaning grammatical relations and presenting non-native Chinese learners an in-depth analysis of synonyms phrase. This method can not only embrace learners’ better understanding about the discrimination between synonym words or commonly confused words, but also built up their capability of choosing a suitable word in different Chinese contexts. This study takes a pair of commonly confused words 接收 jiēshōu ‘receive’ and 接受 jiēshòu ‘accept’ which non-native Chinese learners would always confuse as an example, and based on Chinese Gigaword Corpus, as well as using CWS, to explore the discrimination between 接收 jiēshōu ‘receive’ and 接受 jiēshòu ‘accept’, showing how to adopt CWS to distinguish commonly confused words and apply the results in error analysis and vocabulary learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


new technology


Wu, Y., & Wang, S. (2016, May). Applying Chinese word sketch engine to distinguish commonly confused words. Paper presented at The 17th Chinese Lexical Semantics Workshop (CLSW2016), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


  • Chinese word sketch
  • Commonly confused words
  • Teaching Chinese as an international language