Friday, September 30, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (535) Old Man - 翁

 The big seal script of character Old Man is

The top

is character Public or Male (Post 534), here it means Male.

The bottom 

is character Feather (Post 89).

A man with feather decoration was Chief or Leader of village who normally is senior with experience.


The small seal script of the character is
Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is 
Similar to older scripts.

The pinyin of the character is Weng1.

翁 is normally respected old man with a good reputation. The character is formal, and used most in writing Chinese. In oral Chinese, people say "老人" much more, 老人 is normal old man. 



Amazing Chinese Characters (534) Public or Male - 公

 The bronze script of character Public or Male is


The top is character Eight - 八, which also means Separate - 分 (Post 156). Here is Separate. The bottom circle is something such as foods, tools, or animals shared by community, group, village, etc.  The character means that the public shares property among the society members. 

The big seal script of the character is 

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is
The top is same as the older scripts, the bottom could be character 厶, which means Private. The meaning of the character may be the process of dividing the public property to individuals. The hook alike may be a hook on the hook of lever scale, which means Fair - one of the meaning of the character.

The clerical script of the character is
The top is 八, character Eight; the bottom is 厶, character Private.

The Pinyin of the character is Gong1.

The original meaning of the character is Public. As time passed, it has more meanings: Male is the most important. Why does it mean Male too? I think that the person who is in charge of dividing foods or property among people must be a most respected, senior member in the community, who was a man in patriarchal society which is the time when the shell bone script was created.

There is a character 翁 - Old Man. Let's see its clerical script


The top is 公 - the character we discuss in this post, the bottom is character 羽 - Feather (Post 89).  A person who wears feathers.


A Chief or Leader of the village, or community, who must be a man. I will discuss the character in next Post. 

公 also means Fair, Justice, Open.



Sunday, September 11, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (533) Worry - 忧(憂)

The bronze script of character Worry is

A person who is worried, raises his hands, seems to say:"What can I do?". 

The big seal script of the character is

The two L alike on the left are two arms up, the middle 日 alike is the face, the up arrow is unclear. The bottom 7 alike is two legs. The two arms up is an action of the person in worrying mode. 

The small seal script of the character is

The top is the face, the inside of middle is Heart (Post 24), the (   ) is a side view of body , the bottom is foot. It indicates that Worry is from heart, showing on the face. 

Let's see small seal script of character Love (Post 131)

The top is hand, the bottom is foot, they look very similar. The middle unsymmetrical curves is a side view of a body, the right curve is much longer, which is the body + legs. The corresponding part of character Worry symmetrical curves means that the person squats down, which indicates that he is too worried to be stand up. 

The clerical script of the character is
The top is the face, the middle two short vertical lines connected each other with a horizontal line is the body. Right below is the character Heart - 心. The bottom is a foot. 

The traditional song typeface of the character is

Same as the clerical script.

The simplified song typeface of the character is

which is another character existed long time ago. The right one means: special, extreme, hate, etc, no worry. Both are pronounced You1, which may be the reason why 忧 is chosen to be the simplified form of 憂. 

There is another character Worry - 虑 (Post 496). What is the difference between the two?

忧(憂)is pure Worry, or deep Worry. 虑 is less worry but some pressure, also 虑 means "Think seriously", "Long time thinking" for some important thing. The combination of the two 忧虑 is used very often, means Worry. 


 



Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (532) Thing - 事

 The bronze script of character Thing is 

Same as character Official - 吏 (Post 540). In ancient time, this character means official too. Official is the person who do the daily work, the things. So the two characters are from the same origin.

The big seal script of the character is 
Same as the character Official.

The small seal script of the character is 

Compare it with the small seal script of character Official

The difference is that the middle vertical line of character Thing run though from top to the bottom, that line in  character Official - 吏 stops in the top of the hand, middle of the character, indicating to do all things.

The clerical script of the character is 

similar to its small seal script.

The pinyin of the character is Shi4.

事 is lower level official, but may be higher than 吏. Besides, 事 is most used for Things now, not the person who execute the Things.








Amazing Chinese Characters (531) Official - 吏

 The bronze script of the character is


The top is character Middle - 中, plus a short curve which may be a decoration on the head, or a hat, or a typical hair style. The character is similar to character History - 史 (Post 418), the difference is that there is no top curve in character History. 

Let's recall the character History (shell bone script)

Top is character Middle -  中, without the curve.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to bronze script. 

The small script of the character is
Similar to big seal script.

Compare it to character History (small seal)
Similar to each other, the difference is that one has the top horizontal line, another doesn't.

The clerical script of the character is
The top is similar to small seal script, the bottom for the hand is changed to no similarity at all to the older scripts, the only reason for doing so is to make the writing easier on the cost of losing the pictography of the character.

The Pinyin of the character is Li4.

The character Official - 吏 is an official in lower level than that of 史 (History). Many times 吏 was the lowest official in government. The character is not used for officials anymore.









Monday, September 5, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (530) Structure - 构(構)

The big seal script of the character Structure is


The left is character Wood - 木 (Post 10), the right is character Connect (Post 524). The structure is formed by connecting wood, bamboo, or other materials.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is

The left is the Wood Radical, the right is character Connect.

The traditional song typeface of the character is


Same as the clerical script.

The simplified song typeface of the character is
The right part is character Hook or Sentence. Here should be Hook which is closer to the meaning of the Structure than Sentence, this is why 勾 was chosen to substitute the 冓, which means Connect, close to Hook? The experts thought so at least.

The Pinyin of the character is Gou4.



Sunday, September 4, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (529) Copulate - 媾

 The big seal script of character Copulate is 

The left is character Woman (Post 20), the right is character Connect (Post 524). It means Copulate in written expression, not used in oral Chinese often. In ancient time, the war between countries sometimes was ended by sending a young lady, normally a goddaughter of King to marry the King of enemy to make peace, which is called 媾和 (和 means Peace). The word is still used in traditional Chinese to describe the negotiation for peace between to countries in war. 

The small seal script of the character is

The left is Woman, the right is Connect, similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is

The left is Woman Radical, the right is character Connect. 

The pinyin of the character is Got4.

The traditional song typeface of character Ditch (Post 527) is 溝, its simplified song typeface is 沟. However, the 媾 has no simplified song typeface. The reason is unclear. Some other characters have the same situation, e.g. 篝 (Post 525, Bamboo Fish Trap) has no simplified song typeface.  The inconsistent simplification causes confusions. 

 


Amazing Chinese Characters (528) Speak - 讲(講)

 The big seal script of character Speak is 


The left is character Tongue (Post 158), the right is character Connect (Post 524). Speak something to make connection between the content of the information with audience. The character is used often for formal speech, such as speaking of lecturer (讲课), or seminar speaker (讲座), even though sometimes used in informal situations. 

The small seal script of the character is

The left is character Tongue, the right is character Connect.

The clerical script of the character is

The left is character Say - 言 (Post 158), the right is character Connect. Say is better than Tongue to express the meaning of Speak.

The traditional song typeface is

Almost same as clerical script.

The simplified song typeface is

The left is simplified Say Radical, the right is character Well - 井 (Post 59). There is nothing between the character 冓 and character 井, which is not only no similarity in the shape, but no relationship with the meaning of well. The only consequence is the pictography of the character destroyed.

The Pinyin of the character is Jiang3.