Monday, June 19, 2017

Amazing Chinese Characters (158) Say - 言

The shell bone script of character Say is

which is very similar to character Tongue - 舌

both have Mouth at the bottom, and Y. The Tongue has some saliva droplets, but the Say has short lines for saliva. The difference is the top, Tongue has a dot for saliva, but the Say has a horizontal line, which is a pointer to indicate that Say is the sound made by tongue.

It is most similar to the tongue of the snake, which was the most impressive to ancient Chinese.

The small seal script of character Say is

in comparison with the small seal script for Tongue,

the middle horizontal line in Tongue became a upward curve, and there is extra short horizontal line one the top.

The clerical script of character Say is

the vertical line in the middle disappeared, but still some similar to older scripts.

The current standard printing script of character Say is

Its Pinyin is Yan2.

I want to point out that the character is widely used as a radical in forming new characters, indicating that the character is related to Saying, Expressing, Speaking, etc. 

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