Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

20

I think it would be easier to learn Chinese after learning Japanese and vice versa, because too many Chinese characters are used in Japanese. I would like to talk about this from three points. Pronunciations Usually, in Japanese, one character has 2 types of pronunciations, "音読 おんどく ondoku or 音読み おんよみ onyomi" and "訓読 くんどく kundoku or 訓読み くんよみ kunyomi". The ...


20

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 ...


16

德 is phonetic transcription of Deutsche. Similarly 法 in 法国 is phonetic transcription of France, not "the country of law".


14

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 ...


12

Your question is a bit hard to answer because you can't say a word doesn't exist just because it's a combination of several related characters. This is how most words are made in Chinese. It would be like saying that you can't speak of psychology in a general term in English because you have to describe what it is every time (psychology = psyche + logia ...


12

的 in its function as a particle is attested in the 四大名著 Four Great Classical Novels, which are written in a vernacular Mandarin-type language, dating from the Ming dynasty. The particle use of 的 is also attested from the Yuan dynasty, when it seems it was adopted for the grammatical particle of the emerging new literary language. Its earliest attestation is ...


11

Apart from the Kanji/Hanzi, that they (partly) have in common, concerning the written part, there is nothing that can really help you with the other language: Chinese is pretty much SVO, Japanese is SOV; Chinese has tones, Japanese has no tones. When speaking, sentences do have a certain "tone", but not phonemic, i.e. it doesn't totally change the meaning; ...


11

Brief Answer The construction of 惊 follows the essence of the phono-semantic compound character. In folk culture, people who are not well-educated often invent characters in this way. Some of these characters became popular and then were included in the officially admitted simplified forms, and the others were eliminated. For example (admitted formal ...


10

In the (very) old days, there was a system called 反切 (in English) where two characters were used, one for initial, one for the rhyme (vowel[s] + final), followed by 切 to indicate it was a phonetic notation. For instance, 東 could be represented as 德紅切. Edit #2 I thought I should insert an example from the canon of Chinese dictionaries, 康熙字典. Here's page 1 ...


9

From Wikipedia (bolding added): The Chinese name is probably a phonetic approximation of the German proper adjective. The Vietnamese name is based on the Chinese name. The Japanese name is a phonetic approximation of the Dutch proper adjective. Noticeably, the characters with which the Chinese name is written have a flattering connotation while ...


9

I could think of some reasons why the stroke order is important. In modern times, especially in the digital times, there should be a standard of the stroke order, so that when people input characters with "stroke order" method, it's useful to program the input method consistently. We have some general rules of the stroke order, such as "from up to down, ...


8

From Wikipedia, before Hanyu Pinyin was introduced, the PRC Chinese learnt Bopomofo or 注音符號 [Zhùyīn fúhào]. It comprises of 37 characters (注音) and four tone marks (符號). 注音 consists of consonants, rhymes and medial (e.g. ㄅ,ㄆ,ㄇ,ㄈ) 符號 is similar to the four tones in Pinyin except there is no marking for the first tone (ˊ,ˇ,ˋ) An example: 大 (ㄉㄚˋ, dà) where ㄉ ...


8

I don't think it's a good idea to analogize Chinese from English, as 景洛弘 said. Actually, there is a word which can mean "sibling". It's 同胞(tóng bāo).同胞 could mean: people born of the same parents. people from the same race or nation(here, the mothercountry is used as an analogy of "parents") But in general, we don't use this word with the 1st meaning, ...


8

There's no difference in meaning. They are not actually all that distinct: both words came from 哪, a generic interrogative character used for indicating a question. Given an appropriate context (e.g. 在哪), the character expresses the meaning of "where". Both 哪儿 and 哪里 builds upon that. The suffix 儿 is generally meaningless, and reflects the northern ...


8

The Phonology of Standard Chinese by San Duanmu (端木三) has an entire chapter devoted to this topic (The Word Length Problem): In this section I review six previous approaches to the disyllabic phenomenon in Chinese. For convenience, I call them (a) the homophone-avoidance approach, (b) the speech-tempo approach, (c) the grammatical approach, (d) the ...


8

Have a look at http://zh.wiktionary.org/zh-hant/%E5%9C%8B%E5%AE%B6, which explains lots of traditional meanings of 国家. The basic meaning is related to 古代諸侯的封地稱國,大夫的封地稱家. In the classical age of China, there were vassal states and the land of a vassal was called 国. There were also officials titled 大夫 who were given land as well, and a 大夫's land is called 家. ...


7

I can only provide a partial answer: Many of the characters used in the names of non-Han ethnic groups were originally derogatory. After the founding of the PRC, the government conceptualized New China as a 多民族国家, and they changed many of the characters that were perceived as derogatory. I don't know if this process started under the 国民党, as you suggest, ...


7

I found PART of the Japanese language easier to learn after studying Chinese. Japanese has two basic strains, an "indigenous" strain, which its own hiragana and katagana script, and the "Chinese" based strain, in which the Japanese adopted the Chinese Hanzi as "Kanji" for many words, as well as a pronunciation similar to the Chinese for those words. ...


7

The stroke order is important, yes. The main reason that explains why the stroke order is so important is that the it helps to write the character correctly, with better speed and in an easier way. Pick a character, and try to write it with the official stroke order, and then with another one: you'll find out that in the second case it will be sometimes ...


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 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. ...


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

I'll answer based on the article provided by @Stan. From what I can tell, it is a transcription from a 1999 article that appeared in 《语文建设》, the raw data of which came from 汉语成语考释词典 by 刘洁修, 1989. Period | Number | Percent ---------------------------------+--------+-------- 春秋以前 Before Spring and Autumn | 88 | 1.21 春秋 Spring ...


7

How was it pronounced in older times (i.e. Middle Chinese)? I haven't found a record of 瞓 in classical Chinese, but since 瞓 and 训 are both read as fan in Cantonese, I'll take 训 instead. It is read qhuns in reconstructed Old Chinese that is before the 1st century B.C. In Middle Chinese it is pronounced as hyonh. How did the pronunciations ...


6

The single most important reason for stroke order being adhered to is probably the handwriting problem: Imagine, if you will, someone writing an english text in cursive, consistently crossing the t's and dotting the i's before writing the stems; and making it part of the flow of the line. Now imagine that same scenario, only with each character having ...


6

After discussing it with my friends, the best result I can come up with now is The characters beside the stamp characters are the corresponding ones that may be the candidates. Seal script samples are also given. Unfortunately, I cannot find a 100% convincing answer, because they can hardly form a meaningful phrase. Character 1: 聞 or 查. Either is ...


6

This is 协和语, it used to help Japanese officials and soldiers to communicate with Chinese in Manchukuo and the Second Sino-Japanese War(中国抗日战争). “协和语”中的“干活”、“新交”,这是两个动词,“干活”是汉语“工作”的意思,在协和语中汉语干活就变成许多意的动词了。 "干活", "新交", which are the two verbs, "干活" is the Chinese "work" means, so in 协和语 "干活" becomes a verb of many meanings. see ...


5

There were no punctuation marks such as comma in ancient Chinese writings. It's stated in "Punctuations in Chinese Language" and in this forum's thread, "Punctuation Marks in Ancient Written Chinese", where there are two links to some ancient writings. As it's said there, having no punctuation at all, ancient scholars knew the meaning thanks to some ...


5

Based on the web search, It was first appeared in "<三国志·蜀书·庞统传> with annotations by 裴松之", it first appeared as "天下智谋之士所见略同耳". and then it was used as 英雄所见略同 in some later books. 英雄(Heroes, Great Leaders...) instead of 智谋之士( aka 谋士, counsellors to emperors). Literally, It can be interpreted as: Heroes ( to kings/emperors) share same points of views and ...


5

As I'm a Chinese that knows a little Japanese. I can say both of them are not. If you studying them together, you will be confused because they seem similar but are actually different.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible