Friday, August 19, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (71) Ghost - 鬼

The shell bone script of character Ghost is


a kneeling down person with a big head, which is what ancient Chinese thought a ghost looks like. According to Dictionary of pictography, it is a Wizard who wears a big skull mask in sacrifice, which is like a ghost in people imagination.

Its bronze script is


The head is similar to shell bone script. The body is not kneeling down, but a back bent.

Its big seal script is

Similar to bronze script.

Its small seal script is


similar to the shell bone script, but not kneel down with a 厶 on the low right. The 厶 means soft, floating in the air, moving unpredictably, which are ghost's characteristics, ancient Chinese believed.


Its clerical script is


similar to small seal script, but strokes are more stretch out. It is less pictography.

Its song typeface is


Its Pinyin is "Gui3"

  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (70) Stand - 立

The shell bone script of character Stand is


like a person standing up on the ground.

Let’s compare it with character Big 


A person opens his arms, there is no horizontal line at the bottom, which is distinguish character Big from character Stand.


The bronze script of character Stand is


Similar to shell bone script

The big seal script of character Stand is


Still similar to old scripts.

The small seal script of character Stand is


similar to the shell bone script.

Its clerical script is


still similar, but just shorter and fatter.

The current standard printing script for traditional or simplified character is


almost same as the clerical script.

Its Pinyin is "Li4".

Friday, August 12, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (69) Flower - 花

The shell bone script of character Flower is


A tree with flowers.



The big seal script of character Flower is

like chrysanthemum.



Its small seal script is


similar to big seal script.
Its clerical script is


not similar to the older scripts, not like the flower anymore.

The current standard printing script is


Its Pinyin is "Hua1".

Amazing Chinese Characters (68) Dance - 舞

The shell bone script of character Dance is

like a person dancing.


Its bronze script is



The bottom are two feet, the 大 is the dancer opening arm and carrying some decoration in the chest.

Its small seal script is


Similar to bronze script.

Its clerical script is


still like dancer with strips on his/her up body.

The song typeface of the character is


same as the clerical script.

Its Pinyin is "Wu3".

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (67) Seedlings - 苗

The big seal script of character Seedlings is


the bottom is character "Field", and the top are sprout growing from the field. It is an ideogram and pictography character.



Its small seal script is


very similar to the big seal script.

Its clerical script is

similar to two older scripts, the bottom "Field" is rectangle, and the top seedlings become two vertical lines plus a big long horizontal line, which compromised the pictography of the character.

Its current standard printing script for traditional or simplified character is


same as the clerical script.

Its Pinyin is "Miao2".

Amazing Chinese Characters (66) Learn - 学(學)

The shell bone script of character Learn or Study is

The top are two hands, the XX are counting rods or sticks. The two hands hold the sticks, which means that a person is learning how to count.

The bronze script of character Learn is


The top part is from the shell bone script,  the middle part is two legs of an adult, the bottom part is a child. The character is a picture in which an adult is teaching a child or a child is learning from an adult how to count.

It is a pictographic and ideogram character.

the big seal script of the character is



Similar to bronze script.

Its small script is


very similar to the bronze script.

Its clerical script is


the top part is simliar to the older scripts but the bottom part changed from a round circle to a horizontal line, the upward bent curve for two arms to a horizontal line,  and the vertical line to a curve with a hook at the end.

The changed damaged the pictography at the bottom but it is still a good ideogram character.

The song typeface of traditional character is


same as the clerical script.

The song typeface of simplified character is


which changed the top part to three dots. Now the character has no any pictography feature. You can't get any meaningful information from the character. You may write a few strokes, but lost all meaningful pictography, and ideography feature.

Its Pinyin is "Xue2".

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (65) Ask - 问(問)

The shell bone script of character Ask is


which is formed by two pictography characters, one is character Door (Post 15)


another is character Mouth (Post 16)


this one is a little bit too big fot the door above (sorry, couldn't find a smaller one). But anyway, "a mouth in a door" is "Ask". Why? Ancient Chinese thought that a person approached to a door, and opened his mouth, he was asking something.

It is an ideogram character.

Its small seal script is


very similar to the shell bone script.

Its clerical script is


similar to older scripts.

The song typeface of traditional character is


same as the clerical script.

The song typeface of simplified character is


in which the "door" has changed, the pictography is compromised. 

Its Pinyin is "Wen4".

Amazing Chinese Characters (64) Dictionary - 典

The shell bone script of character "Dictionary" is


the top part is character Book (Post 62), the bottom part is two hands holding the book, which means that the book is big, heavy and authoritative.

It is an ideogram character.

The bronze script of the character is

The top is an open end Book, and the bottom is the simplified hands holding the book, or we could think that it is a table for holding the book.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to the bronze script.

Its small script is


the top part is same as shell bone script, but the bottom part becomes a table or shelf, which means the book is on the table or shelf.

Its clerical script is


similar to small seal script.



Its current standard printing script for traditional or simplified character is


same as the clerical script.

Its Pinyin is "Dian2".


Amazing Chinese Characters (63) Delete - 删(刪)

The big seal script of character "Delete" is


the left part is big seal script of character Book (Post 62)

the four vertical lines represent the bamboo slips, which were the writing materials in ancient time. People wrote on bamboo slips, then connected them by ropes. The circle line represents the rope. Because a bamboo slip is very small, only a few or a dozen character could be written on.  Hundreds or thousands or even tens thousands bamboo slips were needed to write a book.


the right part is big seal script for character Knife (Post 61)


because 2000 years ago, people wrote on bamboo or wooden slips, so book was formed by many slips connected by rope, which is the left part. There was no eraser at that time, if people wrote wrong, they used knife to scrape the surface for rewriting. So "a book + a knife" means "delete".

The person who is responsible for writing documents has brushes and a specific small knife for deleting the wrong characters on bamboo slip. They were officer carrying small knife and brush, not a big knife as a soldier. You can see a few among Qin Terracotta Warriors.


The character is formed by two other pictography characters to express a different meaning, which is an ideogram character.

Its small seal script is


very similar to the big seal script.

Its clerical script is


The right part "Knife", which is a short vertical line plus a vertical line with a hook at the bottom, the short vertical line is not touching the hook line, not like knife anymore.

The song typeface of traditional character is

The song typeface of simplified character is

The difference is very small, actually they have the same number of strokes, which means nothing is simplified. 

I need to point out that 删 could mean "Erase" too.

Its Pinyin is "Shan1".