Sunday, March 28, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (354) Cold - 寒

 The  shell bone script of character Cold is

The big 门 is a house, the bottom 二 is ice. In the house, the four 十 are dry grass, the middle

is a person, and a foot in the bottom,

We see a drawing: a person is in a house with some dry grass as blanket, there is ice outside, indicating cold weather. Because foot is sensitive to cold, so it is there to show the cold feeling.

The big seal script of the character is



Similar to shell bone script.

The small seal script of the character is


The house is smaller, the grass on the top are smaller than the two on the bottom sides. The middle curve is the person, and the two 人 in the bottom middle are ice. 

The clerical script of the character is

What we can tell are that the top cover is the house, the bottom two dots are ice. The middle is a mixture of grass with the person, we can't tell which is which. I don't know where it is from.

The song typeface of the character is

Its Pinyin is Han2.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (353) Descend - 降

 The shell bone script of character Descend is

The left is a cliff or steep hillside, the right is two feet facing down, or up-down character Step

The character means that a person is walking down the hill.

The bronze script of the character is


Similar to the shell bone script.

The big seal script of the character is


Similar to the older scripts.

The small seal script of the character is


The left is similar to old scripts, the right top foot has one very long stroke which is a typical small seal script stroke which is corresponding to the left long vertical stroke, making the whole character symmetric at the price of losing the pictography.

The clerical script of the character is

The left Er Radical is the steep hillside, the right top is not similar to older scripts anymore. 

The song typeface of the character is


Its Pinyin is Jiang4.

The character has another meaning: Surrender, which is pronounced Xiang2.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (352) Living - 生

 The shell bone script of character Living is


The top is grass seedling and the bottom 一 is earth or soil. The grass seed sprouts from the soil, which is living. It is a pictographic character.

The bronze script of the character is


Similar to the shell bone script: grass and earth. There is a big dot in the stem of grass, which is an indicator emphasizing the seedling as the living thing, not the earth. It is an indicative character. 

The small seal script of the character is


Similar to bronze script except the indicator dot becomes a horizontal line. It is still an indicative character.

The clerical script of the character is

Similar to the small seal script except the top U shape stroke becomes two strokes, one short left -falling stroke and one horizontal stroke. It is an indicative character even though it is difficult to see which is indicator if you don't know its bronze script.

The song typeface of the character is 


Same as the clerical script.

Its pinyin is Sheng1.






Friday, March 19, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (351) Talent - 才

The shell bone script of character Talent is


A pillar of the house. If a person has talent, he has ability of leadership to support a community same as a pillar could support the house.

The bronze script of the character is


similar to shell bone script.

The big seal script of the character is


similar to the older scripts.

The small seal script of the character is


The lower flat line (not exactly horizontal) replaced the Y shape beams, I don't know the reason. 

The clerical script of the character is

The left falling stroke is just in the one side, which is unbalanced support. Why? I think the reason is because if it had balanced support, it would be 

Which is character Wood. So it has to be different from 木,ancient Chinese chose to get only one side falling stroke.

The song typeface of the character is

Similar to clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Cai2.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (350) Flourish - 兴

 The shell bone script of character Flourish is

There are two drawings. 
The top one: the middle is a brick model, two hands on each side, a person is making brick with prepared mud.


The worker smashed the mud into wooden mold.


then cut the extra mud with a tight wire, which is the top of the character.

Carefully take the mold off, leave the fresh brick on the ground for days let it air dry, then take it to build a house, or move it into brick kiln to fire bricks for better bricks.


Which is the bottom of the character.

Many people are preparing to build up big buildings, or bridges or palace, etc. which means that people have enough food, and extra money to do large scale construction,  a Flourish time.

The bronze script of the character is

Similar to shell bone script, but some lines are connected instead of separated, which makes confusion. But if you compare it with the shell bone script, you can find the similarity.

The small seal script of the character is

We can see the hands. If we see carefully, we can see that the lower rammer - 口 is close to the upper rammer which has longer ropes covering the lower rammer. too close to see two rammers.  

The clerical script of the character is


The top part is similar to that of small seal script, the bottom long dots are two simplified hands.

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

The song typeface of simplified character is
The top becomes 3 long dots, each represent one part of the top, reducing the strokes dramatically. At the same time, the pictography of character is destroyed. 

Its Pinyin is Xing1.

The character could combine with 高 - High, to form a word 高兴 - Happy. The pronunciation of 高兴 is Gao1-Xing4.

So there are two pronunciations: Xing1, Xing4. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (349) Vinegar - 醋

 The big seal script of Vinegar is

The left is Jar or Jug (Post 104), the right is Old Days (Post 326). When ancient Chinese put rice in a jar to make liquor, occasionally they kept it for too long, they found that they didn't get the liquor as they wanted, but something else. They found that this kind liquor is good taste for food. The 昔 - Old Days on the right means very long time.

The small seal script of the character is


Same as big seal script, the left is Jar or Jug, the right one is Old Days.

The clerical script of the character is


The left is Jar or Jug, the right is Old Days.

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

Its Pinyin is Cu4.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (348) Disaster - 灾

 The shell bone script of character Disaster is




The far left is fire in a house, the second from the left is fire on the bottom and the top a triangle with a vertical line in the middle are house beam and column. The house is on fire. The right two are water (flood) surround the beam and column (the second from right), or passes by the beam and column, which means that the flood washing away the houses.

Ancient Chinese considered the disaster caused either by fire or by flood. 

The big seal script of the character is
The top is 川(River) with a horizontal line in the middle, which I think is the dam. The water is over the dam. The bottom is character Fire.  The character put fire and flood together to express the disaster.

The small seal script of the character is


Very similar to the big seal script.

There is another small seal script,


It is totally different from the older script. The cover 门 alike is house, inside is Fire, which is disaster caused by Fire.
 

Normally, the there should be one form of small seal script. I found two from different sources, I don't know why, and I couldn't decide which one is official form created by Mr. Li Si. But obviously, the original one including fire and flood is better than the latter one with only fire included.

The clerical script of the character is

which is only fire in a house.

The song typeface for traditional character is


The top is River (flood), the bottom is Fire, which is same idea as the shell bone and big seal script.

The song typeface for simplified character is

Similar to the clerical script, only disaster caused by fire, which is not complete because the flood is as bad as fire, and many times worse than fire.

Its Pinyin is Zai1.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (347) Aware - 觉(覺)

 The big seal script of character Aware is

The top 2 X are counting sticks, two hands on each side, a person is teaching how to counting. The middle door-alike is the person's legs. The bottom is a big eye with two legs (simplified body). The little guy on the bottom is learning the counting, and finally understands, so opens his eye big: I got it.

The small seal script of the character is


The top is similar to big seal script. The middle 目 is character Eye with a body of two legs.

The clerical script of the character is 


Similar to the small seal script.

The song typeface of traditional character is

Same as clerical script.

The song typeface of simplified character is

It lost all pictography of the character.

The original meaning and still the major meaning os the character is Aware, which is not directly from the vision but some thinking involved. When it means Aware, it is pronounced Jue1.

However it has another meaning: Sleep, when it is pronounced Jiao4. Most of time, it is used with 睡(the character for Sleep as a verb) to form a combination of word: 睡觉, in which 觉 is noun. 

It is a little bit odd that the character means Aware and Sleep, two opposite meanings. I have not figured out why. 


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (346) Monarch - 君

 The shell bone script of character Monarch is


The top is a hand holding a scepter, character Administer - 尹 (Post 344). The bottom is Mouth. A person holding a scepter (has power) speak out to give orders, who is a monarch, such as King, Emperor, etc.

The bronze script of the character is


The top is Administer - 君,the bottom is Mouth.

The big seal script of the character is

Same as bronze script, the top is Administer, the bottom is Mouth.

The clerical script of the character is


The top is 尹 - Administer, the bottom is 口 - Mouth. 

The song typeface of the character is


Its Pinyin is Jun1.

君 was used as Monarch originally, but gradually, it has been used for decent gentlemen too. Normally, it follows a person's family name, e.g. 王君, a gentleman whose family name is 王 (He is not King, or any monarch). 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (345) Contend - 争

 The shell bone script of character Contend is

The X is a hand, the bottom is another hand, the two hands from different people who grab the middle U type stuff. 

The bronze script of the character is


The top is a hand, the bottom is another hand, the middle 


is plow, also character Power. Two people contend for power. 

The small seal script of the character is


The top is hand, the bottom is character Administer - 尹,a hand with a scepter. The hand on the top wants to take away the scepter.

The clerical script of the character is


The top is a hand, the bottom is character Administer - 尹.

Its Pinyin is Zheng1.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (344) Administer - 尹

 The shell bone script of character Administer is


The right is a hand holding a scepter on the left, which means he has the power to administer or rule.

The bronze script of the character is


The vertical stroke is the scepter and the rest is the hand with part of arm.

The small seal script of the character is


Similar to bronze script.

The clerical script of the character is


The scepter is bent to left, and the arm is too short to see.

Its song typeface is


Its Pinyin is Yin3.

尹 was used as Administer in very early time, but has not used as this meaning for two thousands plus years. Right now we can only see the meaning when 尹 is a part of character. But it is a popular family name now.