You have to follow the exactly designated radicals' strokes as well as the designated strokes of other parts of the words defined in Chinese dictionary -- I think the Kangxi dictionary -- the information there came from older dictionaries. For example, the radical for the character 華 (hua2 or China) is 屾, so its strokes are 6 and NOT 4. A lot of times, people who don't know this field or Chinese too well would really get it wrong in these cases!!! Also, 華's other strokes are defined to be 8 strokes, so the total strokes to write the character 華 is really 6+8 = 14 no matter how you write it. If I write the word 華, I will come up with 11 strokes and Not the real 14 strokes defined in the Chinese dictionaries. Why use Kangxi dictionary? I read about it in one of the Chinese Fortune Telling books. Kangxi dictionary happened to be the last really official Chinese dictionary, so the later Fortune Tellers all use that as the standard. The latest dictionaries published in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong should all base their radicals and strokes on the Kangxi dictionary. However, they are all not as carefully edited as the Kangxi dictionary -- I think the scholars became very careful in their editing and collection works if their mistakes were going to cause their heads and/or their family members' heads or freedom as in the Imperial time of Kangxi Emperor. The modern scholars have/had no such pressure over their heads!
In addition, the numbers also represent Yin and Yang and 5 elements, etc. It has a lot of details, but I haven't read these stuff for about 30 years, so I forgot most of them. I think the even numbers are Yin, and the odd numbers are Yang. I am not quite sure about the 5 elements and which number(s) is (are) associated with which element? I assume or sort of remember it was associated with the 10 天干 (tian1 gan1). Btw, 0=even number=Yin. Please see: http://en.wikipedia..../Celestial_stem
Please also see: http://en.wikipedia....ber_definitions
. However, it does not show the 5 elements associations with the numbers.
From the websites provided by tealeaf, it looks like the way you write the characters would also impact your name. For example, I write 華's other strokes in about 7 strokes and NOT the defined 8 strokes. Therefore, my calculation for 華 should be 6 + 7 = 13 and not the defined 14 strokes.
Edited by fireball, 07 March 2008 - 03:18 PM.