Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (448) Flat - 扁

 The big seal script of character Flat is

The top

 is character 户 - Household (Post 271), 

the bottom 


is character 册 - Book (Post 62), a connected multiple writing bamboo slips, which is very thin and flat.

The character original means door plaque, which is a board with brush writing hanging on the door. In ancient time, it was bamboo book.


As time past, it represents Flat more often, people created another character 

just for Door Plaque to replace its original meaning.

The small script of the character Flat is

similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character Flat is

similar to old scripts.

The song typeface of the character is
Very similar to clerical script.

The pinyin of the character is Bian3. 



Saturday, October 9, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (447) Death - 亡

 The shell bone script of character Death is


a person


holding a shield to defend enemy's attack, which may cause death, may not.

The bronze script of the character is


The person is on the left, the shield on the right, similar to the shell bone script except flipped 180 degree. 

The big seal script of the character is


Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script except the bottom horizontal-down turn, which is typical small seal script stroke, making the stroke more smooth and complex.

The clerical script of the character is
You may see a little similarity to the big seal script, but it is changed so big, not easy to see, and not feel good for this kind change. Anyway it lost the pictography of original form.

The song typeface of the character is
Very similar to clerical script.

The character originally means "Defending and escaping", not "death". But right now, the main meaning is "Death" especially used alone, but the meaning of "Escape" is still exist especially when used with other character to form a two characters word.



Thursday, September 30, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (446) Collect - 罗

 The shell bone script of character Collect is


The top on both scripts are net, the bottom is a bird. Ancient people used net to catch bird.

The bronze script of character Collect is

The top is net, the bottom is character Maintain (Post 92): a silk (left) rope ties a bird (right). The character means that people use rope and net to catch bird.

The big seal script of the character is

The top is character Net (Post 18), the bottom is character Maintain.

The small seal script of the character is


The top with the two long vertical side stokes is character Net, the rest inside is character Maintain. 

The clerical script of the character is 
The top is like character Four (四), but is a wrongly written of character Net (网), because it is similar to 四, people just tried to write quickly but made mistake.

The song typeface for traditional character is
Almost same as cleric script.

The song typeface for simplified character is
The top is 四,wrongly written for 网(Net) as I mentioned above, the bottom is character 夕 - Evening (Post 52). It may be in the evening to catch the birds by using net, which is reasonable because the birds can see in the evening, so easier to catch them. The simplification is based on a different view of this task, not simply reducing some strokes.

罗 is a popular family name too.

The pinyin of the character is Luo2.




Monday, September 20, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (445) Investigate - 究

 The big seal script of character Investigate is

The top 
is character of character Cave (Post 44)

the inside/bottom 

is character Nine (Post 443), means "a person kneeling down, and his head and arms stretching forward, searching something." Here is searching in a cave which is dark and small, people need to search inside carefully, like investigation.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script, the cave is deeper. 

The clerical script of the character is
The top Cave is shallow, the bottom Nine is changed but still some similarity to small seal script.

The song typeface of the character is
Same as clerical script.

究  means Investigate, Research, Study carefully, which is often used with 研(Grind, Post 444) to form a combination of words - 研究, which means Research, Study, most in academic, and scientific area. 研 means doing some fine work with patience, 究 means exploring new area and to find something new. Our research needs both the patience to keep doing good work and the courage to explore new area.

The Pinyin of the character is Jiu4.




Monday, September 6, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (444) Grind - 研

 The big seal script of character Grind is


The left is character Stone, the right 干干 means a mold, here is stone mortar. The character means using stone mortar to grind something. Chinese has used stone mortar to grind Chinese medicine for thousands years. 

This kind

or

This kind

The small seal script of the character is
Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is
The left  石 is character Stone, the right two 干s become 开, which is character Open. It should be a miswritten because there is no meaning of Open in this character.

The song typeface of the character is
Same as clerical script.

The Pinyin of the character is Yan2.




Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (443) Nine - 九

 The shell bone script of character Nine


There are many explanations. 

1, an arm with a hand of person 

2, a brooked cave or hole

3, a kind of snake or dragon.

No matter what, most people agree that it explores an unknown area by reach as far as possible.

The bronze script of the character is 


Which may the an arm, a snake or dragon, a hole, same as the shell bone script. 

To me which is like a person kneeling down, and his head and arms stretching forward, searching something.

The big seal script of the character

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is
The left fork end is changed open asymmetric.

The clerical script of the character is


Similar to small seal script.

How could this character mean Nine later on?

Famous Chinese I Ching put 9 as the biggest number, reaching 9 is touching the end of something. Chinese believe that 9 is the highest position in nature. The end of a cave or hole is the most an explorer could reach, or the dragon is the powerful creature in the world, so the represent the biggest number 9.

I prefer to "A dragon with a fork alike head" as the original meaning of the character, which may be not right. 

The song typeface of the character is

Same as clerical script.

The Pinyin of 九 is Jiu3.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (442) Delicious or Fresh - 鲜

  The bronze script of character Delicious is


The top is character Sheep or Goat (Post 6), the bottom is character Fish (Post 2). Ancient people didn't have enough food in most of time, when they had chance to cook lamb and fish together, the cooked soup or meat is so delicious that they created the character by putting the two character together to express the unforgettable taste. This is a typical ideogram character: use the two or more pictographic characters which are drawings of the physical objects to express non - physical meaning like adjective term.

There is another bronze script of the character is

The left is the character Fish, the right is character Sheep or Goat. The structure becomes left - right from top - bottom of bronze script.

The big seal script of the character is

The top is character Sheep or Goat, and bottom is character Fish. I cut off the bottom, and enlarge it below.


which is one of character Fish because there are many different forms of each character before small seal script which unified Chinese: one character is only one form.

The small seal script of the character is


which is similar to the second bronze script.

The clerical script of the character is

Similar to small seal script.

The song typeface of traditional character is

Same as the clerical script. The left is traditional character 魚, the right one is same (羊 has only one form shared by both simplified and traditional characters, most of characters are in this situation)

The song typeface of simplified script is

The left character Fish 鱼, the right 羊 is same. This is a type of simplified characters: one part is simplified but another or other part(s) is a form(s) shared by both simplified or traditional characters.

The pinyin of the character is Xian1.

鲜 means Fresh too. 


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (441) Orifice - 孔

 The bronze script of character Orifice is

A hair on the top head of a Child (Post 21).

or

The hair is on upper right.

Dictionary of Pictography explains that there is a bunch of hair as a sign of adulthood. But there are other explanations, the one agreed by many people is that the baby's fontanelle which is like a small hole, which makes sense to me. The upper right curve is an indicator for the fontanelle.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to the second bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

The left is character Child, the right one is the curve separated from the head of child right now.

The clerical script of the character is
The left is character Child, the right one is the curve.

The song typeface of the character is
Same as clerical script.

The pinyin of the character is Kong3.

Some points I want to emphasize for character 孔

1, 孔 is small, and opening ends hole, which could be in/on every where.
2, 孔 is a popular surname. Confucius - 孔子,his family name is 孔.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (440) Abandon - 弃 (棄)

 The shell bone script of character Abandon is

The top is upside down character Child, the bottom are two hands. In ancient time, because there were not enough foods, sometimes, people just abandoned the new born babies. 

Another shell bone script 

The top is a baby, the middle is a bamboo basket, the bottom are two hands. People put the baby in the basket to abandon.

The bronze script of the character is

The top middle is a upside down baby two hands on bottom sides, the rest is the bamboo basket.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is
Still some similarity to old scripts.

The clerical script of the character is

The top baby is not like baby anymore. the bottom two hands become two dots.

The song typeface of traditional character is

Similar to clerical script.

The song typeface of simplified character is
The top is same as that in traditional character, but the bottom is totally changed.

You may see often the clerical script like the one below
which is the simplified character.

The pinyin of the character is Qi4.