Friday, November 8, 2019

Amazing Chinese Characters (251) Again - 再

The shell bone script for character Again is

which are a fish traps made from bamboo which are still used nowadays.

Inside of the trap is similar to a fish hook

Fish could get in easily but difficult to get out. It is used most in rice field to catch loach whose body is very slippery, hard to hold. Also in the rice field, the water is very shallow (1 or 2 inches), it is impossible to use fish hook. The fish trap is the best tool to catch the loach.

Why is the bamboo fish trap meaning Again? Because it could be used again and again.

Well there are many other tools which could be used again and again, why is trap for Again? I think the reason should be trap was more difficult to make than other tools, and could be used for longer time.

The big seal script for the character is
It looks like fish trap.

The small seal script for the character is

Similar to its big seal script.

The clerical script for the character is
Similar to the old scripts.

Its Pinyin is Zai4.

In my hometown, Zhejiang, Hunan, China, people still use this fish traps to catch the loach. The name of the trap is called "Zhuan3 Zai3",  Zhuan may be Zuan (钻) because people there don't distinguish Zhuan and Zuan, 钻 means Drill or squeeze in. Zai3 is close to Zai4. So "Zhuan3 Zai3" could be 钻再“ - Drill in trap, which is the best describing of the bamboo devices .

再 means Again, so Chinese see "Good bye" is 再见 - pronounced "Zai4 Jian4", meaning See You Again, or Meet You Again. In which 见 means "Meet" (see Post 201).


再见 is the most used word in Chinese, another one is 你好。If you learn Chinese, you will be taught 再见 right after you learnt 你好。

In Post 102, I talked another character Again - 又, what is the difference between the two.

又 means that something happened again already:“又见面了” - We met again (We had met, we met again). 再 means that something would happen again in the future:"再见“ - See you again sometime in the future (possibly).

Both mean Again but not exchangeable.

(Other related blogs
Creative Chinese Calligraphy -
Chinese Calligraphy History -

No comments:

Post a Comment