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19

There are some historical reasons, in short: 一: one bar. May mean the whole, the universe. Reference. 二: two bars. May mean the positive and negative. The upper may refer to the heaven, the lower the earth. Reference. 三: three bars. The upper may refer to the heaven, the lower the earth, and the middle the human. Reference. 四: First |||| (four bars), then ...


17

Among the handwriting styles 章草, 今草 and 狂草, 今草 is the most frequently used. However, compared with 今草, 行书 is even more popular. That's because: 章草 is the rapid writing of 隶书. Currently, Chinese teachers don't teach 隶书 in primary schools for its old style. Only calligraphy amateurs and experts would learn 隶书 so as 章草. 今草 is based on 楷书 -- 楷书 is formally ...


13

Etymology of 一, 二, and 三 Explanation of 一/二/三 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs) “一”是特殊指事字,抽象符号“一”既代表最为简单的起源,也代表最为丰富的浑沌整体。造字本义:最小原始单位,最小的正整数。古人认为“道立于一,一生二,二生三,三生万物”。就是说,混沌太初的存在整体是“一”;然后由太初混沌的“一”,分出天地“二”极;天地二极之间,又生出人这第“三”部分;天地人三者,衍化出宇宙万物。一 ,代替混沌太初的整体;二,上面的一横代表“天”,下面的一横代表“地”;三,上下两横代表“天地”,中间的一横代表“人”。 一 is a special self-explanatory character. The ...


11

Let the "foot" meaning of 足 be A, the "plenty, enough" meaning be B. Will discuss about this topic in the following two sections. Different Root First, 現代漢語規範詞典 第二版 ("Modern Chinese Standard Dictionary" 2nd Edition) suggests that meaning A and meaning B come from different origin, though they share the same character currently. Figure 1. Meanings of 足 in ...


10

Actually, "好包了" does not mean "I'm full". You may see "...打好包了..." in the Google hits. It refers to "have made something into a package. If your friend say "这顿饭我包了". That means your friend will get the bill, and you don't pay the bill. You will see "7天包退" on some goods's package, that means "7 days to cancel purchase for non-faulty goods". And ...


7

Wikitionary has an etymology for this character 四 which says: The original shell and bone character was 一 written four times, 亖 (compare 二 and 三). The bronzeware style of the character featured a repositioning of those four lines inside 口; this later evolved into the combination used today of 口 mouth and 八 divide which meant a dispersal of ...


7

Etymology of 五 Explanation of 五 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs) “五”也是特殊指事字,“五”的甲骨文字形用一个叉号寓意天、地万物的交汇,以表示大于“四”的正整数。有的甲骨文在字形(万物交汇)基础上加(天地之间),造字本义:金、木、水、火、土等宇宙的构成要素,代表天地间万物构成元素的极限数,大于四,小于六。在造字时期的远古时代,一,二,三,四,五,六,七,八,九,十,都曾是极限数。 五 is also a special self-explanatory character. Its oracle glyph uses a cross to imply "meeting of everything between ...


7

The 坊 in 金马碧鸡坊 refers to 牌坊. There is a 金马牌坊 and a 碧鸡牌坊 as mentioned in the Wikipedia article. In the olden days, an arch known as 牌坊 is used to mark the entrance to a city subdivision. From Wikipedia: The largest division within a city in ancient China was a fang (坊), equivalent to current day precinct. Each fang was enclosed by walls or fences, ...


7

They are not really called beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom. When Chinese come up with phonetic names of foreign things, they try to find a character that come close enough in sound while having a good meaning. Luckily 英 and 美 happen to correspond well with "Eng-" and "-me-" while having suitable meaning. Just like France 法兰西 (法国) has meaning of 法 Law. ...


6

Question: 古文中哪个字有自由不受约束的意思啊? (Gǔwén zhōng nǎge zì yǒu zìyóu bu shòu yuēshù de yìsi a) - Which word in Ancient Chinese means Free and/or Unfettered? Source: Bai Du It appears there aren't single words, in modern and ancient Chinese, that have a denotative meaning of "Freedom". There are however, connotative words that can mean "free" or "to set free" in ...


6

Historically they were the same character. Later the meanings split, 製 is usually the verb meaning to make, and 制 the noun meaning the system, or more abstract things. Uniform should be 制服, because it means the clothing following certain rules/system. 製服 could be literally interpreted as clothing-making. Regarding the meaning of overpower, it must be 制服.


6

Children usually go to grade 1 at the age of 6 or 7 in China. According to "全日制义务教育语文课程标准", the character number that children should learn is: Grade 1 to Grade 2: can read 1600 characters, and write 800 characters; Grade 3 to Grade 4: can read 2500 characters, and write 2000 characters; Grade 5 to Grade 6: can read 3000 characters, and write 2500 ...


6

This list roughly groups the 5568 most common characters over the nine years of compulsory education in Taiwan. You didn't specify if you were looking for simplified or traditional, but since I only know of this one source and it's traditional, that's what I will recommend. It should be noted that this isn't an official list of what pupils should learn, but ...


5

To answer your question, we need to clearly understand how Traditional Chinese characters got simplified, which I bet 99.999999% of the whole Chinese population don't even know about. This is a very big topic that I am not able to discuss about it in detail. So I will give a much simplified explanation. Consider these 2 sets: Traditional Characters vs ...


5

說文解字 has both references for 氣 and 气. Put simply, 气 and 氣 comes from different origin and somehow merge together into one stream later. In detail: 米 is not added to 气 to get 氣 in Tang Dynasty. Long time ago, 氣 appears in the form of Bronze inscription, though different meaning as 气. 氣 is originally designed to mean the "air generated from digesting food". ...


5

Etymology of 四 Explanation of 四 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictograph) “四”是特殊指事字,甲骨文的字形,表示其为“二”的两倍。造字本义:两倍于二的正整数。金文承续甲骨文字形。将金文的横笔竖写,就成了;将与(二,表示4是2的倍数)合写,就成了。有的金文在的基础上再加“二”,强调“四”与“二” 的倍数关系。篆文省去金文中的“二”。 四 is a special self-explanatory character. Its oracle glyph represents it is the twice of 二. The original idea of character construction: twice of 二. ...


5

If not, why not? There is no exact one-word equivalent of the concept of "Freedom" in Ancient Chinese, just as there are no exact one-word equivalent of 仁, 理, 道, etc in Latin, Greek or any Western languages. That's not surprising: it is what makes our world an interesting world of differences. It doesn't mean Ancient Chinese did not have or need or ...


5

Children go to grade 1 at the age of 7 and when they graduated from the primary school (grade 6), they should know at least 2500 characters, and the target made by the China Ministry of Education is as follows: grade 1~2: learn 1600 characters grade 3~6: learn 900 characters about your 3rd question, I think it should be the time for Chinese lessons, ...


5

I have asked this question before to native speakers, and their answer was the same as my natural intuition did in cases where I have read unknown characters. The most probable case is that the character is read with a similar pronunciation as one of its radicals. For example, many native Chinese speakers may not know with certainty how to pronounce the ...


4

Chinese native speakers don't treat 田 由 甲 申 甴 电 as related radicals. It is true that those radicals look very similar to each other, but we don't go further than that. We don't have any terms for this phenomenon, because we don't think it is something that needs special attention/study. Here are more examples: 刀 vs 力, 土 vs 士, 己 vs 已 vs 巳, 冂 vs 几, etc. In ...


4

Most compound words in Chinese appeared later on in the history of the language. In ancient Chinese, just about every single character had it's own meaning. Later on when the language started becoming more modern, many words became compound words to simplify the language by making it easier to differentiate homonyms and to make the language sound more fluid ...


4

I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier and I'm even more surprised no one thought of this before me, well, I'm sure someone did just didn't find it on the internet. I was installing fonts and noticed some of the fonts that came with my operating system - OS X Mountain Lion - was cursive Chinese. So a thought occurred to me. Cut and paste the same ...


4

There is a key difference between learning the language as a native speaker, and learning the language as a second language. Native speakers of all languages invariably learn speaking and listening skills first, and only start to learn reading and writing at school, after the age of about 3 or 4. Learning a language as a second language, reading and writing ...


4

Etymology of 六 Explanation of 六 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs) “六”是象形字,甲骨文像房屋的外形框架,有立墙、斜顶,表示房屋的空间维度:四壁加屋顶地板两面。有的甲骨文再突出了屋脊,像屋顶的烟囱。造字本义:庐,由四面墙,以及屋顶、地面两面构成的房屋。金文承续甲骨文字形。有的金文变形了墙壁形象。篆文则将金文的屋顶形象变形成费解的 。隶书继续变形屋顶形象。“六”作为单纯数字之后,后人再加“盧”(器皿中装着兽肉)另造“廬”代替,表示生活栖息的空间。 六 was a pictographic character. Its oracle glyph looked like the frame of a cottage . ...


4

There is no radical, but the left part of 那 can be 冄 rǎn (the same as 冉) U+5184 Seal Script That's because in the seal script, 那 is written as The left part is 冄, and the right part (radical) is 邑. So in 說文解字, it is described as 从邑,冄聲。 But it is better not to call 冄 a "radical", because modern dictionaries and ...


4

There is no standard text, but there is sometimes the need for something equivalent (i.e. a body of text to see how typesetting looks). Sometimes this is referred to as 乱数假文. Your exact question has been asked and answered in Chinese here: http://www.zhihu.com/question/19708165 , if you want to read more. You can also find a tool for generating such texts ...


4

Chih-Hao Tsai's Technology Page is an excellent resource (with the caveat that the corpuses it uses are Taiwanese). On this page you can find frequencies of the most common characters used in surnames and given names. Most common surnames (2012): 陳 林 黃 李 張 王 吳 劉 蔡 楊 許 鄭 謝 郭 洪 邱 曾 賴 廖 徐 周 葉 蘇 莊 呂 It's clear that this is from a Taiwanese source since 陳 is ...


4

When encountering unknown characters, native speakers often refer to dictionaries, which have pinyin of the unknown character. While it is hard to guess the exact pronunciation of unknown characters, there are a subset of Chinese characters, called phonogram(形声字), whose pronunciation is related to part of the character. For example, 蛛(spider) has the same ...


3

here some data i managed to compile. it's a bit of a mess, so pls bear with me: http://bbs.whnews.cn/simple/index.php?t133800.html 品字结构: 鑫森淼焱垚品晶瞐畾矗聶众劦叒尛姦磊孨森蟲譶赑馫雥飍飝毳骉犇羴贔龘皛轟麤靐厽垚壵惢歮皛羴骉驫鱻卉芔𠦄灥厵猋舙掱晿刕嚞雥䨺㐂𣡕𦥏𠾳𩉖𠁭𨷮𣁕𠨋䆐䖃 𡖃𥩌𡬜𡬀𠑰𥍙𣡗𥃣𦓈𦧅𠚛𦋹𠓗𪈼𦥏𡷈𢀎𩖏𡮏𤳅𣝯𣠆𡬚𡬐𤕇𥃣𣁾𢅈𡙒𡙎𠓉𠐰𡈲𠓾𠚛𠨕𨑂𡳻𦓈𣡕𪈼𠾳𡬚𠨕𩉖𣁕𦋹𢀎𣝯𠓉𨑂𠄕𡘙𦧅 灥𠫐厵叒𡦪𠚚 田字结构: ...


3

When I was first learning Chinese, we were using the New Practical Chinese Reader series of books. In them: Dialogues and vocabulary are presented with both characters and pinyin. You were only expected to memorize a subset of the characters used in a given chapter (e.g., in the first dialogue, you only had to learn how to write 你, 好, and 吗 or something ...



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