Monday, July 23, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (205) Millet - 粟

The shell bone script of character Millet is





Its big seal script is



Its small seal script is


All above are similar to its counterparts of character Chestnut (see Post 204). 

For example, the small seal script for character Chestnut 


the top of Millet is same as the top of counterpart of Chestnut, the bottom in Chestnut is Wood


which means that the chestnuts grow on tree.

The bottom in Millet is Rice


which means that the Millet grow on plant similar to Rich plant.

The clerical script for character Millet is

The song typeface for the character is


very similar to its clerical script.

The difference between 粟(Millet) and 栗 (Chestnut) is very small in the bottom, the 米(Rice) for 粟(Millet), and 木 (Wood) for 栗 (Chestnut).

The pinyin for 粟(Millet) is Su4.


Amazing Chinese Characters (204) Chestnut - 栗

The shell bone script of character Chestnut is

 or



the top are three chestnuts, the bottom is the chestnut tree.



It is similar to character Fruit (see Post 31)


The big seal script of the character is



The small seal script of the character is


which has only one chestnut on the tree.

The clerical script of the character is


The curves became straight lines.

The song typeface for the character is


very similar to its clerical script.

Its pinyin is Li4.

People normally say 栗子, in which 子 just a particle.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (203) Straight - 直

The shell bone script for character Straight is


the bottom

is character Eye.

The straight vertical line on the top of Eye means that watching forward to see if it is a straight line just as a carpenter checks if the wood side is straight.


which is a eye watching straight forward.

Its bronze script is


The bent line on the left is believed by some experts to be a comparison with the straight line: the straight line is different from the left bent line.The right bottom is an eye, the right top is a straight line, there is a dot in the middle, which some experts think is written mistakenly. But I think that is an indicator for the straight line. The indicator is like a pointer, the dot is the point people is pointing to. In this case, the dot means "Look, here is the straight line".

Its small seal script is

The left is the bent line, similar to the one in the bronze script. The dot on the right top becomes a line, and the right bottom is character Eye of small seal script.

The clerical script is
The left bent line disappeared, but the right bottom has one more line. Experts believe that the horizontal line on the bottom is from the bent line on the left in bronze script, and small seal script.

Its song typeface is


very similar to the clerical script

Its pinyin is Zhi2.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (202) Leaf - 叶(葉)

The shell bone script of character Leaf is

Which is a tree with leaves on the top of the branches.

I have to point out the fact: it is listed as Leaf in 《象形字典》- Dictionary of Pictography, but Fruit in 《在线汉语字典》- Online Dictionary of Chinese. So it is disputable on if the character is Leaf or Fruit. 

The bronze script of the character is

There are three ones above, all have 木 - Wood on the bottom, the top leaves are different.

The big seal script of the character is

The top has three dots on the branches, which are indicators to emphasize what the character means: the leaves on the branches, not anything else.

The small seal script of the character is

The top leaves are more than old scripts, total 4 leaves. Also the leaves are formed by straight horizontal or vertical lines.

The clerical script of the character is

The top two leaves become a Grass Head radical, the middle one becomes 世, means Life here. 

The song typeface for traditional character is

Same as clerical script.

The song typeface for simplified character is


It is totally no any similarity to the old scripts. I googled the web, found that the 叶 is actually a different character from 葉, it means Cooperate/Help/Assist. Its pronunciation was close each other in ancient time, and in Shanghai and surrounding area now. So the experts who were in charge of simplification of Chinese merged 葉 into 叶. So in  traditional Chinese 叶 and 葉 are both used in different meanings, in simplified Chinese 叶 is Leaf, the meaning of Cooperate/Help/Assist disappeared.

The simplification is one of the worst, making more confusion.

葉 or 叶 as Leaf,  Pinyin is Ye4.

叶 as Cooperate/Help/Assist, Pinyin is Xie2.