Searching for lost dog – and other Chinese keywords

The following is an actual poster for a lost dog seen in Taiwan. While we obviously hope that the dog eventually found it’s way home, in the meantime we can use this as an excuse to learn some new Chinese vocabulary. You wouldn’t think that a lost dog poster would contain any useful words, but there are a few keywords here that we can make use of in a lot of other situations too.

Lost Dog


Rather than focus on every single word (as we sometimes do), here we’ll just focus on the words that can be used in many other situations, or that are essential to understand the main meaning of the poster. Plus the sentences below are so short that it’s easy to see the meaning of the Chinese without the use of a long vocabulary list.


Pinyin: xún zhǎo
English: to search for; this is the 尋(寻) from 搜尋(搜寻 sōu xún)which means to search, see our post about Human Flesh Search 人肉搜索


Pinyin: quǎn
English: dog; if anyone has any insight into when to use 犬 or 狗(gǒu) which both mean dog, then please post a comment below.


Pinyin: xuán shǎng
English: to offer a reward or bounty; in the poster 兩萬 is specified, which is $20,000 New Taiwan Dollars, or around £415 ($670US)


Pinyin: yí shī
English: to lose; 失 is a useful word to learn here and is seen in menay words such as 失落 (shī luò)and 失去(shī qù) which all mean ‘to lose’


Pinyin: pǐn zhǒng
English: breed; you’re probably more used to seeing 品 use to describe a product, as in 產品(产品 chǎn pǐn)


Pinyin: tè zhēng
English: characteristics


Pinyin: lüè
English: slightly; in the usage below this word means slightly, but is probably more common used to mean strategy as in 策略(cè lüè) or 戰略(战略 zhàn lüè)


Pinyin: shàn xīn
English: kindness; kind; good hearted


xún zhǎo ài quǎn
Searching for beloved dog

xuán shǎng liǎng wàn
$20,000 reward

遺失時間:2011/02/07 下午4.50
遗失时间:2011/02/07 下午4.50
yí shī shí jiān: 2011/02/07 下午4.50
Time lost: 2011/02/07 4.30pm

yí shī dì diǎn: lín dé jiē 37 hào 7-11 mén kǒu
Location lost: 37 LinDe Street at the 7-11 entrance

pǐn zhǒng: bái sè mǎ ěr jì sī
Breed: White Maltese terrier

xìng míng: qián qián
Name: Qian Qian

tè zhēng: dà yǎn jīng, bái máo sè lüè mǐ huáng, yuē 2KG
Characteristics: big eyes, white fur, slightly beige

rú yǒu shàn xīn rén shì shí huò, fán qǐng lián luò
If a kind person finds (the dog), please contact

Check back regularly for more posts as we search out actual usage of key vocabulary to help you better learn Chinese!

4 responses to “Searching for lost dog – and other Chinese keywords

  1. I always felt like 「犬」 was more formal, like the kind of thing you’d seen on signs and whatnot. I’ve hardly ever heard it in speaking! That’s just my two cents, though.

  2. Great post! Loving the site, btw.
    I think Greg’s right. Now, 犬 is used almost exclusively in compound words for breeds of dogs and types of dogs (导盲犬, etc), whereas 狗 is the colloquial term.
    I did find thisthough, which seems to indicate that, at least at one point, 狗 referred to young dogs and 犬 to full-grown dogs.

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