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Chinese Text Project

Word clouds

Word clouds are visual representations of relative word frequency in texts.

The word clouds on this site take into account both frequency of a word in a particular text, and also the frequency of that word in all texts. This means that a relatively uncommon word that appears 20 times in a text might appear larger than a very common word appearing say 30 times. As a result the word clouds on this site highlight unusually frequent words in a text, rather than simply frequent words as such.

In the Analects for example, the word "君子" occurs very frequently in the text - and much more frequently than in classical Chinese texts generally - so it appears in a large font:

On the other hand, in the Xiaojing, "敬" appears around 23 times, and "事" around 29 times. However "敬" appears larger than "事" in the word clound, because overall in Chinese texts on the site "敬" is a less common character than "事", so 20 instances of "敬" in a text is actually more significant than than 30 instances of "事":

To display the word cloud for a particular text, click on the icon shown on its contents page under "Media".

The word clouds on this site were inspired by Wordle, where anyone can create their own word clouds online, and created using WordCram.

Please credit any use of these images to Donald Sturgeon, and include a link to this page or to if you reproduce or modify them.