Monday, August 8, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (521) Pretty - 娟

 The big seal script of character Pretty is


The left is character Woman (Post 20), the right one is character Silkworm (Post 518). The character means that the little girl is pretty as a silkworm.

The small seal script of character Pretty is

The left is Woman, the right is Silkworm.

The clerical script of character Pretty is
Similar to older scripts, the left is Woman, the right is Silkworm.

The pinyin of the character is Juan1, same as 绢,涓. This is the difficulty to learn oral Chinese, you have too many characters pronounced exactly the same. However, learn Chinese from pictography, you will never be confused because each character is unique. 


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (520) Trickle - 涓

 The big seal script of character Trickle is

The left is Water (Post 13), the right is Silkworm. A tiny stream is like a small Silkworm (Post 518), tiny and weak. 

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script, the left is Water, the right is silkworm. 

The clerical script of the character is


The left is Radical Water, the right is Silkworm.

The song typeface of the character is


The Pinyin of character 涓 is Juan1. Same as 绢. 


Amazing Chinese Characters (519) Silk Cloth - 绢

 The big sell script of character Silk Cloth (one type of silk cloth) is

The left is the half part of character Silk (Post 36). The right one is character Silkworm - 肙 (Post 518). The character means that the silk cloth made from silk produced by silkworm.

Now we are sure, the character 肙 is silkworm. 

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script, the left is silk, the right is silkworm.

The clerical script of the character is 
The left is Radical Silk, the right is silkworm.

The song typeface of simplified character is
The left Radical Silk changed a little bit.

The Pinyin of character 绢 is Juan1.




Friday, August 5, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (518) Silkworm - 肙

 The earliest script of character Silkworm is small seal script,

Are there earlier scripts exist? Yes,  but they are not found yet. The above character means Silkworm, which is my explanation, not from the dictionary. The Xinhua Chinese Dictionary explains that the character means little insect, which is close to my explanation. You will see why I think that it is silkworm, not just general insect in next post.


The top is character Mouth (Post 16), and bottom part is character Meat or Body (Post 252). Mouth + Body = Silkworm? How? Good question. 

The above is small seal script, about 1500 years later than shell bone script, 1000 years later than bronze and big seal scripts. The small seal script normally dramatically changed the original shell bone, or bronze, or big seal forms. Let's see an example, the evolution of character High - 高 (Post 124).

The shell bone script of character High 

The big seal script

The small seal script

We can see that the top of shell bone, and big seal scripts are connected with the bottom, a drawing of a high tower. However in small seal script, there is 口 in the middle, no connection with top and bottom, lost the pictography.

Let us come back the character Silkworm, we could reasonably deduce that the top 口 was connected to the bottom 月 in shell bone, and big seal script, a drawing of silkworm. However the two parts is disconnected in small seal script above. The situation is similar to the evolution of character 高. 

The song typeface of character Silkworm is


The Pinyin of the character is Yuan1.

The character is only exist in traditional character, abandoned in simplified character. However it is widely exist in compound simplified characters with the same meaning, you see it often, but don't know where it is from, and what meaning it is.







Monday, July 25, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (517) Virtual - 虚(虗)

 The big seal script of character Virtual is

The top is Head of Tiger (Post 492)


The bottom is character Hillock (Post 368)
What does the character mean? There are disputes. Some people believe that the hillock area with tigers are place where few or no people live because it is dangerous, this place is a discarded area, or no man's land. Some others think that the tiger in hillock is not real, but virtual, people's imagination. Some think that people who see a tiger in hillock feel nervous, scared, and too weak to walk.

Anyway, the character has all of the meanings above: discarded area, virtual and not real things or images, and weak.

The small seal script of the character is

The top is Head of Tiger, the bottom is the character Hillock.

The clerical script of the character is

The top is the Head of Tiger, the bottom is the Hillock.

The standard script of the character is

The bottom is 业, which is simplified Chinese character Industry. Here is definitely not Industry, but Hillock. We can see the similarity between the standard script above and the older scripts. 

The traditional song typeface of character Virtual is 虗, the top 虍 is the Head of Tiger, the bottom 丘 is the Hillock, but not really like (see the explanation why in Post 368)

The simplified song typeface of character Virtual is 虚, the top is the same as traditional song typeface, the bottom is 业, which means Hillock.

The Pinyin of the character is Xu1.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (516) Big Wave - 涛(濤)

 The big seal script of character Big Wave is

The left is character Water. The right part is character Longevity (Post 507)

I enlarged the image, in order to see it clearly, for detail explanation, please see Post 507. Here, I want to point out that the middle part: a big reversed S, and two As inside, they are similar to the big wave in shape. The meaning of the Longevity includes Long, Continuous, Up and Down, which are similar to the big wave too.

Ancient Chinese used the similarity of character Big Wave to character Longevity, and added a Water on left side, which means that I mean the water wave here. Smart.

The small seal script of the character is 


Similar to big seal script. I need to tell that the two right side in both scripts miss the right bottom fork-alike part, which means hand. It may be due to the hand part is not important in Longevity, even less important in Big Wave. Also the character Big Wave is crowded, eliminating the hand  could get a little bit more space. 

The clerical script of the character is
The left is Three drop water radical, the right top 士 is the old man's hair, the horizontal-vertical turn is the body of the old man from the comparison with the small seal script. The 工 is two Us, the long horizontal line is the reversed S. The bottom 口, and 寸 - Hand.

The simplified song typeface of the character is


the right part is simplified to 


which is simplified song typeface of character Longevity.

The Pinyin of character 涛 is Tao1.




 



Sunday, July 10, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (515) Fertile - 沃

 The big seal script of character Fertile is

The left is character Water, the right top is Grass Head Radical, which means grass, or plant like trees. The bottom is character Dancing (Post 424), here the meaning is lush, A land with plenty of water and lush vegetation is fertile.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is
The left is Three Water Drops Radical, a simplified Water, the right one is character Dancing. The character is lack of grass, the Grass head is disappeared, A land with plenty of water but no vegetation? It is very odd to cut off the grass head, the meaning is not same as the older characters. I guess that it is a mistake to drop off the grass head.

The pinyin of the character is Wo4.


Thursday, July 7, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (514) Sharp (blade) - 锋

 The big seal script of character Sharp (blade) is 

The left is character Gold, see Post 511, the right is character Sharp (needle), see Post 510. The Gold means metal, most likely bronze at that time, it is Metal + Sharp, which means the sharp of blade.

The small seal script of the character is 

The left is Gold, the middle + right is Meet (see Post 512). Here is a little bit confusing. It should be same as big seal script: Gold + Sharp, but Gold + Meet instead. I don't know why. It may be a mistake. Anyway, it means Sharp (blade).

The clerical script of the character is 
The left is Gold, the right is Sharp (needle), which is similar to big seal script.

The Pinyin of the character is Feng1.

We have seen that 夆,峰,锋 are pronounced Feng1, 逢 is pronounced Feng2. The first three are exactly the same, the last one is very close, just second tone, not first tone. The case tells us that one pronunciation could have many different characters, if count different tones, you may have tens characters pronounced same or very close. This is why learning Chinese from pronunciation is too difficult to get anywhere, but many many people were, and are struggle in the wrong approach.


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (513) Meet - 逢

 The big seal script of character Meet is

The left is called Walking Radical, meaning walking. The top is half of character Move (Post 96), the bottom one is Foot (Post 93), moving on foot. The right part is character Sharp (Post 510). People meet on the road, most likely narrow road, like road in mountain. 

There is another character Meet - 见 (Post 201). What is the difference? 见 is arranged meeting or expected meeting, the character Meet in this post is Meet unexpectedly, the sharp here may mean that surprise, unavoidable, sudden, etc. like a needle inserting, wakes you up. 

The small seal script of the character is

The left is Walking Radical, the right is character Sharp (like a needle).

The clerical script of the character is

The left and bottom together is the Walking Radical, the right one is character Sharp.

The Pinyin of the character is Feng1.


Amazing Chinese Characters (512) Peak - 峰

 The big seal script of character Peak is


Same as character Sharp, Post 510, which means they two original are same. Sharp wheat tip and sharp peak are similar.

The small seal script of the character is 

The top is character Mountain (Post 1), the bottom is character Sharp (Post 510), which means that it is a sharp peak of mountain.

The clerical script of the character is

The left is character Mountain, the right one is character Sharp. However the top is symmetrical, not like foot very much. The bottom one has not up needles, away from the original form.

The Pinyin of the character is Feng1.