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THE NEW WAY TO READ CHINESE

by S H AOLA N aj!i\_ with illustrations by NOMA BAR

...,

••

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HARPER DESIGN An Imprint ol Harper CollinsPublisheni

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For Mulan

caJI)

and MuAn (·~)

On the cover: The character for 'fire', *-.. (Illustration by Noma Bar; art direction by Crispin Jameson; © Chineasy Ltd)

CHINEASY: THE NEW WAY TO READ CHINESE Copyright © 2014 Chineasy Ltd.

The story on pages 159-179 is based on Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (1936)

Chineasy"" is a trademark of Chineasy Ltd, London

Published by arrangement with Thames & Hudson Ltd. London.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address Harper Design, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.

HarperCollins books may be purchased for educational, business. or sales promotional use. For information please e-mail the Special Markets Department at SPsales@harpercollins.com.

First published in North America in 2014 by Harper Design An Imprint ofHarperColtinsPublishers 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 Tel: (212) 207-7000, Fax: (212) 207-7654 harperdesign@harpercollins.com www.harpercollins.com

Distributed in North America by HarperCollinsPublishers 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 Fax: (212) 207-7654

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013951753

ISBN 9780062358028 CKF8)

Author and Concept: ShaoLan Hsueh Bi*Ji!. Graphic Design: Brave New World Publishing Ltd Art Director: Crispin Jameson Principal Illustrator: Noma Bar

Digital conversion by booqlab


CONTENTS

1: INTRODUCTION The Calligrapher's Daughter How to Use the Book

2: THE BASICS Building Blocks, Compounds, Phrases Advanced Sentences

STORY Peter and the Wolf

3: REFERENCE Building Block Plates Index of Characters and Phrases Acknowledgments


8


The Calligrapher's Daughter I was born in Taipei, Taiwan, the daughter of a

Call me optimistic, but I see the melding of these

calligrapher and a ceramic artist, so I grew up

two cultures, East and West, as being instr:ument.al

immersed in art and with a deep appreciation of

in creating a more culturally literate world . I also

the beauty of the Chinese language. Speaking and writing Chinese is an integral part of who I am and

think that the East and West must understand each other in order for global economic growth to

how I see the world. But it was only when I had

be sustainable. There is, however, a giant roadblock

children of my own that I properly understood

preventing the East and West from communicating

what a difficult language Chinese is to learn.

effectively and connecting on a deep, cultural level: the Great Wall of Chinese.

Being of Taiwanese descent while raising my children in the UK has made me acutely aware of

The Chinese language has long been considered

the differences, but also the similarities, between

the most difficult major language to learn, largely

Eastern and Western cultures. The ultimate goal

on account of the vast number and complexity

of Chineasy is to help bridge the cultural gap by

of the characters. When I began to teach my

demystifying the Chinese language, which acts as

British-born children Chinese, I realized just how

a barrier to so many people- my children included!

challenging its characters are for a native English speaker. It was like torture for my children! So

Chineasy is hugely personal to me. I have done

I spent many years looking for a fun and easy

many different things in my life. I consider myself

way to teach them how to read Chinese.

to be part geek, part entrepreneur, part dreamer, and this project is a culmination of all these

After years of searching, I didn't think that any

elements. My experience in technology ventures

of the methods out there were engaging enough.

and my background as an entrepreneur with an

So I did what any entrepreneur would do: I created

artistic upbringing have given me the building

my own method to learn how to read Chinese

blocks to make Chineasy possible, but it is my

characters - Chineasy. And you know what? It works.

childhood and my children that have inspired me to make Chineasy a reality. I am proud to share

Chineasy's goal is to allow people to learn to read

Chineasy with all who want to learn and appreciate

Chinese easily by recognizing characters through

the beauty of the Chinese language.

simple illustrations. The magical power of the Chineasy method is that, by learning one small set of building blocks (see p. 10), students can build

Why Chineasy?

many new characters and phrases. Master a few

China is home to ancient traditions, breathtaking

sets of building blocks, and your learning can be

artwork and what is currently one of the world's

accelerated to a whole new level.

strongest economies. It comes as no surprise to me that recent years have seen a cultural trend

With very little effort, students can quickly learn

of Eastern migration by both young people and

to read several hundred Chinese characters and

business-minded individuals. Everyone is starting

phrases, and gain a deeper understanding of the

to pay more attention to China, Taiwan, Japan,

historical and cultural references of the vocabulary.

South Korea and other Asian countries as they

Even though there are tens of thousands of

become increasingly popular tourist destinations

Chinese characters, only a few hundred are actually

and increasingly important as cultural , financial

necessary to comprehend basic Chinese literature,

and industrial hubs .

and to begin to delve into Chinese culture and art.

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. THE CALLIGRAPHER'S DAUGHTER

9


How to Use the Book .. .. ·...

:•····························-~····························· :• : • •

A quick overview

. :

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Each character in this book is introduced in its Chinese form, followed by its English translation and then its pinyin (the approximate sound of the character; see p. 13). Each building block and

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you some fun historical and cultural facts as you

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through a series of between roughly 180 and 215 radicals. These radicals are then used to form

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burning hot (compound)

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The Chinese language is traditionally taught

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Chineasy methodology

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and simplified forms (see opposite) and its pinyin.

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fire (building block)

unillu.strated phrases (e.g. see 'heart' on p. 87)

Chineasy, and provides you with its traditional

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are learning the language. Also included are

that lists every character and phrase taught in

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At the end of the book there is a handy index

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below) has a short introduction that teaches

that will help to expand your vocabulary.

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compound character (these terms are explained

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OIOJOOOOIIOOOO

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a

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00

· ·····••••o• ••••••• .......................................

burning hot

burning hot

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·~···················· ··· ········· ·· ································~··················· ··· ····································

blazing (phrase)

the characters of the Chinese language. Chineasy has broken down this c:;o llection of characters into their most basic and recurring forms, allowing students to learn fewer and simpler radicals that we have ter:med 'building blocks'. One building block (e.g. the character

:k

for 'fire',

see p. 28), or a specific compound form of the building block (e.g."" 'fire', see p. 28), cah be combined with one or more other characters to make a compound character (e.g. ~'burning hot', see p. 29). Two or more independent characters can be placed next to one another to make phrases (e.g. ~~'blazing', seep. 30). In compounds, a whole new character is created; in phrases, the placement of characters next to one another gives a new meaning to the collection of characters. This principle of building blocks is what makes Chineasy so easy!

o •• a o

10

oo o o u oo o oo o O'! o o o o o o o • o oo-oo

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o ,.,._... o • o oo o o -o ••o • oo o oo ooo o oo o •o oo o o oo u

HOW TO USE THE BOOK

oo •'- ooo o -o o o o.o oo o o o o ooo o-oo oo o o oo o o -oo o.o• oo oo oo ooo ••• ooooo o ...... ooo • o oo oo.o o o oo-o o •• o o oo oo-o oo o oo o o o o-o• o t oo 0'! o o o oo o o •• o ••• 0'!0 o-o o o "" o o oo oo ooooo o o o o t o • o •• o

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Traditional or simplified?

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Chineasy teaches mainly traditional Chinese, which is the written language of Taiwan and Hong Kong. Simplified Chinese was adopted in mainland China in 1949, after the end of the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Both traditional and simplified forms still share a great humber of characters. Chineasy

. . .• .•• • •········· .•••• ..• ..•• ..•••• ..• ..•••.

simplified form is used instead of the traditional

traditional and simplified forms of the character are the same.

The evolution of Chinese As in the case of all languages, Chinese has continuously evolved throughout the course of its existence. Political change, geographic expansion and philosophy have all influenced the stylistic

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no distinction between forms is noted, the

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specifies in the character captions when the form (e.g. 'to follow' ahd 'crowd' on p. 17). Where

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'sun' in seal script

form of Chinese characters. Throughout the book, you will see references to oracle-bone If!~ Jt

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.

(c. 1400 scE), bronze script ~Jt (c. 1000 scE), seal script

J{C (c. 220 scE) and clerical

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periods in the evolution of Chinese writing from

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which the modern Chinese language is derived.

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~-(c. 200 scE) characters. These terms refer to

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The most ancient Chinese characters were developed as logograms, and therefore do not usually indicate how they should be pronounced (see p. 13). However,

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script

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as the Chinese language became more sophisticated,

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two or more building blocks were used to form new characters; in this case, one of those building blocks was chosen as the basis for the new character's 4

pronunciation. For example, account/bill ~ (zhang ) on p. 85 comprises the building block for 'shell' (associated with wealth - see p. 130), indicating the meaning of the compound character, and the character for 'length' (chang2 ) , which influences the pronunciation. (See also 'at' on p. 115.)

OO OOO OOOO OOO OO OOO O

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OOO OOOOOO .. OOOOO OOOO·OO O OOOOOO O•OO•ooo OOOOOO OOOO•O OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO•OOO .. OOOOO ~ OOOOOO OOOO•o•o I OOOOOOOO O •OO O"OOO • • • OO 000 OO . . . . . 0000 00.0-4 0 00 OfOOOOOO.O.o-OO . .. . . . . . . . . 1 0 • • • 00 OO -OOO O

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· -O OOOO .. OO +-O -O OOOO O o o • •·OOOO<t-O • • • • OOOO···· . .. . . . . . . . . . . ._. . . . . . ... . .. . . . . . . . ..

HOW TO USE THE BOOK

11


W riting 101

,............................... ····-·......................... .... : :•. : .. ::: : .. . .. . .... ..· . :: ··..·•. .,.· : .· : .. . .. : .· . •.. -· . ~

Every child who studies Chinese has to go through this exercise when they learn how to write. Each character has to be drawn neatly inside a square. You can see that a single tree fits into a square the same size as the squares used for 'two trees' and 'three trees'. You should see a slight alteration of the shape

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the trees are shorter in order to fit into the square.

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tree

from the original 'tree': in order to fit two trees side by side in the square, you must make thinner trees. When three trees are stacked together, all

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an alternate form that appears only when used

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compound 'group'

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=

='"'

under the main caption for the building block.

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two trees

1.*. Other examples of this

"fi:. ~ on p. 26 and 'fire' j( on p. 28. Such compound forms are indicated by a note

••

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alternate character form can be seen in 'dog'

,

Even though there are several different spoken Chinese dialects, such as Mandarin or Cantonese, they all share the same written characters; it is

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person compound form

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three trees = forest

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= wood

i .................. See p. 35 for more information about writing Chinese.

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In Chinese, certain building-block characters have

On the right, you can see an example of this in the 'person' A = 1 compound form in the

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as part of a compound. These characters are traditionally known as 'pianpang' 1i5!?

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person

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group

only the pronunciation of these characters that wi ll differ from one dialect to another- often completely. The 'pinyin' pronunciation guide used in this book corresponds to Mandarin only, which is the most widely used Chinese dialect and counts over 960 million native speakers (out of a total of over 1.2 billion Chinese speakers) - see 'Speaking 101' opposite for more information about pronunciation .

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • ._• • • • • • 0 0 . · - · 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-00 • • • • • • · · ·-· • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • •

12

HOW TO USE THE BOOK


.: ............................................................ . . .·· : •• . .. ..••. .:• . . . . . . ··.·.. : .. · .: . ... .: . . . . . ··... :: .·..· .: .: •.. .• .. • . . : ·... : ...-· :

Spacing 101

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building block or a compound, fits within one square. When you see two people squeezed together in a single square, you know it's a character - for example, the simplified character 'to follow'

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characters. Chinese characters rarely appear alone; it is often only in the context of a phrase that the

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construct many new 'words' by combining existing

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phrases is a giant but easy step towards improving

The beauty of the Chineasy method is that you can

:

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meaning of a character becomes clear. Learning

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squares, then you know it's a phrase - for example,

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to fo llow

A phrase, on the other hand, is spaced across or more characters spread across two or more

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two or more squares. That means, if you see two

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How can you tell if you are reading a character (*)or a phrase (~fi))? A character, whether it's a

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'everyone'

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; '

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-····················· ·····-···············.... ············.• person

·······································~························································································

your Chinese study.

everyone

Speaking 101 To teach Mandarin Chinese to non-native speakers, most teachers use pinyin, the only standard phonetic system for transcribing the sound of Chinese characters in the romanized alphabet. Chinese is a tonal language, so the pinyin system uses a series of either numerals or glyphs to represent tone. For instance, the pinyin for 'person' 2

can be written as either ren or ren. Chineasy uses the numerical pinyin system. After every English translation, you will see a word in brackets followed by a number; this acts as a guide to the pronunciation of the character. See, for example, p. 16

A

person (ren

2

).

Tone 1 = high level tone Tone 2 = high rising tone Tone 3 =falling rising tone Tone 4 = falling tone No number = neutral tone •••• •

• • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • 0 • . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . .

~··· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-. . . ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . ~-··· . . .. . . . . . . . . ... . . . . ... . . . . . . ~ . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~- . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . ~· • • 0 •

•• 0 .

. .....

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . ... . . . . . . . . ... , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

HOW TO USE TH E BOOK

13


THE BASICS Building Blocks, Compounds, Phrases Advanced Sentences


A

person (ren 2)

Hello. people! Our first building block is 'person'. This building block traditionally depleted a human in profile. Today it looks like the profile of a man walking . .. .

1

............ --··

-

.............

.. .,

,

.,

....

person ( ren 2 )

This character is the form of 'person' that is used as a component in certain compounds (see explanation on p. 12). It is known as ¥A.~. which translates as 'single person side-radical'. See 'group' on p. 29 for an example of th1s character.

....... . ...............................................................-..-.............._........ -.....•..............................................•............................................................................................................ 16

PERSON BU;LD I NG B L OCK


to follow

man

big

M to follow

(cong 2 )

f:A crowd

(zhong 4 )

This character comprises

'Two's company, three's

This character depicts a

'Man' is the compound

two building blocks for 'p erson'. One man leads, the other follows close behind .

a crowd.' Three building blocks for 'person' make a crowd. This is the simplified

man stretching his arms wide. Imagine that he is saying, 'It WC!S this big.'

for 'big' with an extra

This is the simplified form; the traditional form of this

form; the traditional form of this character is ~.

character is ~ .

....... ... .. ... . ...... ...

·-···~·······

............. _........................................................................... '····to········ ................................... '!'" ...................... ' .....

line across the top of the character, like wide shoulders. This line represents the pins in a man 's topknot hairstyle.

04 · · -· · · . . . . . . . . ~· · . . . . . . . . . . ._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ._. . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . ..

PERSO N COMPOUNDS

17


*.A.

adult (da4 ren 2 ) Height doesn't always indicate maturity, but. in simple terms, an adult is just a big person. big + person = adult

l\.f:A

public (da 4 zhong 4 ) The public is made up of a large group of people.

'.•.••..•....•......... .....•••.. ..••••..••..••••••••.•••.•••••..•••.......•....................•....•..........•...••............. ••

big

person

•• •

crowd

l

person

.• .•

'

adult

big + crowd = public

f:AA.

people (zhong 4 ren 2 ) A crowd is made up of many different people. This phrase also means 'everybody'. crowd + person = people

~A madam 1

(fu ren

2

)

l

big

~--·········•*••••········· · ···•··•·••·•••···•••••···•••·••·•••••·· · ···················~··········· ..••...•••.....••.....••.•.:

public

In ancient Ch ina. a woman became her husband's property after marriage; she became her husband's person. man + person =madam

..• crowd ....................... ···.

• ••••••

...... ···········--···----·--···--.......................................... -

people

man person .:•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• .:•

madam

...........................•..•.•..... ···· ········································~···································································································· ..·······~······································································

18

PERSON PHRASES


*. too much (tai

4

)

This compound comprises 'big' and a stroke under the character, suggesting something even bigger. It also means 'extremely' or 'excessively'. 4

*.*. Mrs (t ai tai

4

)

This is a strange phrase. To have double too much means 'Mrs' or 'wife'. Do you t hink th is phrase

t oo much

is accurate? too much +too much = Mrs

*.*.. too big (tai 4 d a 4 ) A straightforward phrase: if something is too big, there is too much of it. too much + big = too big

.

too much

too much

• • 0

•• •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ._. . . . . . . . . . . .._• • • • • • • • • ._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . ..

. . . ..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . <00000 •

..........

.

.••

*..~ doctor

0

. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

Mrs

(d ai4 fu) This phrase has two meanings. When pronounced 'da~ + fu', with a neutral and soft tone, it means 'doctor'. 4

When pronounced 'da + fu1', it means 'senior official' . Both are rather archaic . big + man = doctor

• 0

:• • t • ' . . . . . . . .

big

too much 0 • • . . . • • • . . . • • • .... • . . . . • • • • . . . . . . . • ........ . . . . . . . . . . . • • • . . . •

• • • • • • • • •

• •••

•• • ••• ••• ••

...

,.

'

. ......................

0

• •• ~ 0

too big

:• •

big

man

! 0

..•••..•....•.....•...•............•...........•...•.....••......••.....••.•.•••..•••••••••••••.••.••••••.••••..•.•..........•.•

~

doctor

....................................................................... ......... .................................................................................................................. ....... ................................................. ...................... ._

._

~

PERSON PHRASES

19


AA

everyone (ren 2 ren 2 ) person + person = everyone

~A heaven (tian ren 2) sky + person = [literally] sky person = heaven or 1

person

I.•..•.•.............. ................

······•·

person

i

...................................................................................I

everyone

a person with universal 1nsight

~* extremely big (tian 1 da 4 ) What could be a bigger space than the heavens? sky + big = [literally] big as the sky = extremely b1g

~~every day (tian 1 tian 1) As we have already seen :•

sky

person

:•

\,, ............................................................................................................................:

heaven

!

sky

big

i

sky/day

I•

'······-·············. .··············............. -+••·······-··········..···"···-- -··-···-··-··--··-·' extremely big

l•

sky/day

·••·•··•••··•·•··•·•·••·•·· ····· ...... ·· ······· .................................................................................

every day

opposite, the character for 'sky' also means 'day'. day + day = every day


Depending on the size of the building block, this character means either 'mouth' (if it is small) or 'to surround' (if it is large). •• · •••••• •· Oo ·• •t ·

••~o·

.. •••••·• •l · >fttu - uoo•· •••••· ••••" •••• · •••

Q to surround (wei 2) Can you tell the difference between these two characters? It is nearly impossible, but the d ifference is usually made evident by the meaning of the compound . It's useful to remember that 'to surround' never appears alone, so if you see a standalone Q, it is the character for 'mouth' .

......... ..... ......... ····· . ........ . ·············......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... -

22

MOUTH BU ILDING BLOCK


QQ

shout

shout

quality

to cause

to return

(xu an 1)

~ quality (pin

3

IBl

)

to return (hu?)

A mouth emits sound.

Imagine that each mouth

This character is a

This character is a

Two mouths emit even more sound! This is a rare character, so use it to show

is an opinion. The quality of something is judged by what people say about it.

combination of 'mouth' and 'big'. It also means 'because of' and 'reason'.

combination of a small 'mouth' and 'to surround'. Imagine that it depicts

off to your Chinese friends!

This character also means 'item', 'product' or 'grade'.

I like to remember it by thinking that a big mouth causes problems (although,

a swirling whirlpool, continuously turning back on itself.

in this case, r::l means 'to surround') .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. MOUTH COMPOUNDS

23


AD

population ( ren 2 kou 3 ) When w e start counting how many mouths we need to feed, we are talking about population. person + mouth = population

A~ morality (ren

2

••

: mouth ..........................person I• •· · ...... ............. ... ' ·••·· ................................................................

p in 3 )

I

...

Remember, it is always

populat ion

wise to judge the quality of a person on the basis of their mora lity. person + quality

= morality

§l A Hui people ( hui 2 ren 2 ) 'Hu i' is used to refer to Chinese speakers of Muslim ancestry. They are one of the fifty-six recognized ethnic groups

! person ·..................... ... ... ........... · ··· ·· ··· ·

in China. to return + person = [literally] returned people = Hui people

........... .•• ..

quality

i

person

:•

··········- ··············· .. . .................:

m orality

A.fl

m ermaid (ren 2 yu 2 ) In ancient China, this phrase referred to the giant sa lamander. Today it means 'mermaid'. person + fish = [l iterally] fish person = mermaid

i•

to return

••••••••••••••••

..

..

-

Hui peop le

l

person

•........................

-

·····-·

fish

m ermaid

···-········-··/

i•

··-·······-···-··

................ ... .... ... ...... ....................................... ..........._........................................................................................................................................................................... -

24

PERSON PI IRASES


~fish (yu 2) Traditionally a fish shape in oracle-bone and seal inscriptions, this character originally referred to 'an aquatic vertebrate', but has since been extended to mean ' fish'. Its simplified form is

i!.

· · ····· ················ ····· ········ ······· ····· ·· ··· ··· ······ ··· ······· ··········· ···· ··· ········ · ······ ··· · · ···· ·········· ······· ····· ·· ·· · ···· · ·········· ··········· ·····~· ··· ··· ··4 ······· ········· ·········· ·· ···· ······ ···················· · ············· ....... .

FISH BUILDING BLOCK

25


lC dog (quan 3 ) The regular form of this

*

character is 'big' with an additional dot on the upper right side. The earliest form in oracle-bone inscriptions was a drawing of a dog, with the extra stroke representing its tail. ...... . · ·· ·· ···~····

...•....•................................

~ dog (quan 3 ) This character is the form of 'dog' that is used as a component in certain compounds. See 'to stroll' on p. 113 for an example .

....... ..............................................

26

~.-~..._..

DOG BU IL D ING BLOCK

.................... ......................................................................................................................................................... ..................... ~


to bark

to cry

utensil

This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'dog'. When a dog opens its mouth to emit a sound, it is barking.

~to cry ( ku )

big .:•··························-······-···-···-····················· ..... ...... to bark loudly ,

to bark -· •· -· ••·- ·

'

:• . .. .,, ......................

This character is a combination of 'dog' and two 'mouth' building blocks. As the crying sound of a human sounds similar to the whine of a dog, this character means 'to cry'.

a utensil (qi

4

)

This character is a combination of 'dog' and four 'mouth' building blocks. It can also mean 'instrument'.

i big to cry l ....................... ..........··················· ...................... ·········'.... .. .... ···················· ''

'

.

..,,

to cry out

:ko}t to

bark loudly

(da 4 fei 4 ) big + to bark = [literally] big bark = to bark loudly

:k~ to cry out (da 4 ku 1) This phrase can also mean 'to burst into tears'. big + to cry = [literally] big cry = to cry out

.•• big utensil ....................... .... ... · ·• -· .. ··············-···· ····achievement/generosity '

.. . -- ...........•...... • •

-

*a achievement/

generosity (da4 q i4 )

This phrase can also mean 'great talent'. big + utensil = [literally] big utensi I

= achievement ············· · ·· · ······ · ·········· · ······ · ··· · · · ··· ·· ··· ·· ······ · ····· ·· ································· · ·············· · ···· ···· ··········· · ···· · · · ·· · ·· · · · · · ········ ··· ···~· · ·· ·· ······· · ····· · ···· · ······················· · ········· · ·····················

DOG COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

..•.. .. ..•. ..

27


J<

fire (huo 3 )

The building block for 'fire' represents a central flame with a smaller spark on either side. It reminds me of a campfire. I like to remember this character by thinking about a person waving their arms, saying, 'Help! I'm on fire!' ·······················•·············••·····•············•·•·

·"" fire ( hu o

3

)

This character is the form of 'fire' that is used as a component in certain compounds. When you see a compound with this character, it is normally related to fire or something hot. See 'lamb' on p. 41 for an example of this character.

...................

28

...... .... ...................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................................... .

FIRE BUILDING BLOCK

~


burning hot

flames

* burning hot (yan 2) "!K

#f.:k flames (yan 4 )

This compound comprises

The building block for

In ancient China, fires

two 'fire' building blocks

'fire' represents one flame. Multiply that by three and you have a roaring fire.

were used mainly for cooking and for warmth. When people gathered

This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'fire'. It means 'to eat' or ' mouthful'. Chinese

around the fire, they were considered to be part of the group.

food, especially food from Sichuan Province, can be very spicy, like a fire in

stacked on top of each other. They are burning twice as hot as before. This character also means 'inflammation'.

your mouth as you eat.

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. FIRE COMPOUNDS

29


*:R."!R.. IJ.L

blazing (yan 2 yan 2 ) A blazing fire burns with incredible heat. You see this character used to describe weather, e.g. 'blazing summer' ~~

;t: S.

I

burning hot +

burning hot = blazing

~~ flames of fire ( yan 4 yan 4 ) This phrase might seem redundant, but there are different types of flame, such as flames of passion.

!

·....

~-····

burning hot

burning hot

1

flames

::

.......................................·············.....................................................................: blazing

flames + flames = flames of fire

*.{X folks (da 4 huo3 ) In ancient China, to light the fire meant that it was time to cook. People who would gather around the fire to eat together were 'partners', 'mates' or 'companions'. big + group = folks

::

flames

• • • • 0 • • • • 0 . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ···• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 . .. . . . . . . . . . • • • • ·• . . . . . .... 0 • • • ._ . ......... 0 • • • • 0 • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • 0 • • • • 0 •• ••

flames of fire

... :•

big •·······················•· •...•....

group ,

.•••

......••.•................ ................ ...................••..••••.•••••••••••••••.••••••..•

folks

, · • • • • • • • • • • • • • • · , 0000000000000 . ,

30

000000000000 ooo•oo •••••oooooooooooo•••••~•••••••4ooooooo••••oooo4ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooootoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo••••••o••••••~4ooooooooo•••••••••••••••••••••••~•••••••••••••••••••••oooooooooooooooooo

FIRE PHRASES


A lesson in burning anger!

**angry (huo3 da4)

Fire (X) is one of the five elements in traditional Chinese medicine. Each person is born with a unique composition of all

When a person burns with rage, we can assume that

five elements; it is this unique blend of elements that forms the basis of your personality and constitution. The 'qi' (vital force)

they are angry. This is quite an informal term. fire + big =angry

of the five elements waxes and wanes in daily and seasonal cycles. The theory behind Chinese medicine is that a person becomes sick owing to an imbalance of these elements. Practitioners of traditional medicine believe that when there is an imbalance of the fire element, it results in a person suffering from anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. So the

* * big fire (da4 huo3) A very simple phrase. big + fire = big fire

element of fire is associated with a person's temper. Theoretically, when a person's fire accumulates, so does the person's temper. They become angry!

.l

•••••••••••• 0 •• • •

fire

big

::

• • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . 04- 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · - · . . . . . . . 0 • • 0 • • . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

angry

:•

big

fire

:

••••••••••••••••••••••••• •• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

big fire

...................................................................... ... ..... .......................................................................................................................................................................................... .._

._

._

FIRE PHRASES

31


The building block for 'tree' represents a tree trunk with hanging branches. When this character is used as an adjective, it refers to a wooden texture. When it is used to describe a person. it means 'clumsy', 'dumb' or 'numb' .

.. . . .. . . . .. . . .... ... ................................................................._............................................................................................................................................................................ .

32

-

, ,,

-

TREE BUILDING BLOCK


woods

forest

foundation

to come

Two trees together mC~ke a wood, which is greater than a single tree. This character is also a common surname, pronounced 'Lin'. It's C!Ctually my mother's

~ forest (sen 1)

~ foundation (ben 3 )

Three trees make a forest,

The foundation of a house is the first step in its construction, and traditionally foundations

which is greater than a tree or a wood. When used as an adjective, this character means 'dense', just like a thick cluster of trees.

surname.

were made of wood. This chC~racter also means 'origin'.

This character is a combination of 'tree' and two 'person' building blocks. In ancient China, 'to come' was represented by a character based on wheat, which had been brought to China from Europe. The simplified form is*·

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

......... ' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. TREE COMPOUNDS

33


'**

originally (ben3 lai2) origin + to come = originally

.21-' A one's self

(ben3 ren2)

Remember: a person's origin often influences their sense of self. origin + person = [literally] person's origin = one's self

*A

messenger (lai2 ren2)

!

foundation/origin

to come

l

~--·~······················~·········~·······~................................................................................ .

originally Before the age of electricity, all messages had to be sent by person. This is quite an oldfashioned or poetical phrase. to come + person = messenger

•• •• •

person

foundation/origin

••• • ••

.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . 0 0 . 0 • • • • • • • 0 • • . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • 0 . 0 • • 0 . 0 • • • • 0 • • • • 0 • • _, • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • 0 • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • •

one's self

:• .. , 0000000000000000 ..

to come

person

l•

,,. 00000ooooooooo.-.oo-..~ooo.-,.ooo.-.oo•Y""Otoo.-•t•••·••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••ooooooooooooooooooooooooo•••••"

messenger

...............................• ··················································4···············~··························································································~~································~·······································

34

TREE PHRASES


apricot

idiot

not yet

end

~ apricot (xing 4 ) This character is a combination of 'tree' and 'mouth'. I would wait under a tree with my mouth

This character is another

In ancient inscriptions,

It looks as if the topmost

combination of <tree' and 'mouth'. Noth ing is more idiotic that the thought

t his character depicted a realistic tree, with leaves and foliage indicating an

branches of this tree have plateaued, Indicating that it has ended its growth. Make

open to catch an apricot.

of a talking tree! The

ever-growing, living tree.

The character also means 'almond'.

character also means 'du ll'.

The character also means 'future'.

• •• 0. ~ · ••••

36

u

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . . . . . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

TREE COMPOUN D S

u

• • 0'4

• • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • •

sure that the upper line is longer than the lower one!

''! . . . . . .. . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

. . . .._• • • • • , . . . . . . . .


* * future (w ei4 lai2) not yet + to come = future

@] * to come back (hui2 lai2) to return + to come = [literally] to return from •

1................................................................................................... not yet to come i ...... ,................ t••·······

future

where you have come = to come back

*@] round trip (lai2 hui2) to come +to return = [literally] to return to where you have come = round trip

~-*' medical

industry ( xing4 lin2)

:.•

to return to come : ........................... ................ ........................................................ ..............····················. •

._

.._

to come back

.. '

to come

0 ••••••• 0 0 •••• 0 ........... 0

Today it is easy t o forget that all m edicine was once derived from nature, and made from products from the forest. such as fruits, herbs and leaves. apricot +woods = source of medicine = medical industry

..• ................ ..-...................•

to return

"* • .-•••.• .-......... .-.-.-.-.......................................' ·••• •

..

0 0 •

...

'

round trip

apricot woods .l•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• .i ••••••••• ••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

medical industry

........................................................... ................ ......................................................................,.............................................................................. ..................... ............... -·········· ._

._

TREEPHRASES

37


This character is a combination of 'person' and 'tree'. I like to remember it by imagining a person resting against a tree.

This character is a combination of 'person' and 'foundation'. A person's foundation is their body. This is th e simplified form; the traditional form is

rest

body

person

body

ft.

A -1:* human body

(ren2 t i3)

person + body = human body

*-1* in general

(da4 ti3)

This phrase can be used to mean ' in general', 'more or less' or 'basically'. big + body = in general

.••• •

.....0 .............................0

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • 0 . 0 . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 · -· • • • • • • 0 " . . . . . . . . . . . . -4 • .._• . • • • .._• • • • • 0 • • - - · · 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 0 . . . . . . . . .

.

•• ••

human body

1 •

big body ·············•········· ....... ···-··· ........................................................................................ .1•

in general

·················· ·······································································································································································~······--··························~············································

38

TREE COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES


II\\ beautiful

fresh

/1\\ bleating of sheep

lamb

~ beautifu l (mei 3)

~ b leating of sheep (miel)

This character is a

This character is a

combination of 'sheep' and 'big'. In ancient China, sheep were considered

combination of 'fish' on the left and 'sheep' on the right. Original ly it referred

This character is E1 combination of 'sheep' and 'fire'. It represents a lamb over a f ire, which in certain

auspicious. This compound

to a f ish breed, but today

parts of China would

is also an abbreviation for the USA (see p. 79) .

has been extended to mean 'f resh'.

have been how lamb was prepared.

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'sheep', and refers to the sound emitted from a sheep's mouth - 'baa'.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SHEEP COMPOU NDS

41


to get out

to cry out in anger

immortal

two mountains

~ to get ou t (chu 1) In the past, the Emperor sent people in exile beyond the mountains. As a result, this character used to mean 'exit'. Today it means 'to get out'.

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

nm to cry out in anger

(duol)

This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'mountain', and can also mean 'noise of rage'.

~··························-·············

iili

immort al ( xian 1)

This character is E1 combination of 'person' and 'mountain'. Remember

two mountains (shenl) 111111

This compound can either

that a man who lives as long as a mountain w ill appear immortal to

be a surname or r-efer to two mountains. It's another rare cha~acter that you can use to show off to your

other men.

Chinese friends .

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. MOUNTA IN COMPOUNDS

43


tB Q

exit (chul kou3) A mouth that tells you where to get out is an exit. to get out + mouth

tB

=exit

*

to come out (chul lai2) This is such an easy phrase. to get out + to come = to come out

tB ~ to publish

(chul pin3)

!

·....

~-····

to get out

mouth

1

to come

::

....................................... ·············.....................................................................: exit

How do you get a product out to the people? You publish it. of course! to get out + product = to publish

::

to get out

• • • • 0 • • • • 0 . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ·· ·• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 . .. . . . . . . . . . • • • • ·• . . . . . .... 0 • • • ._ . ......... 0 • • • • 0 • • • • 0 ...... . . . . 0 • • • • 0 • • • • 0 • • • •

to come out

:•

to get out quality/product :• •...•.... ······•·· ................. ......•......... ...................••..••••.•••••••••••.. •••.••• ,....•

•...........•......... ··•·

,

to publish

................................ ·•·•·•··••·•··•••••

44

······························4···············~··························································································~~································~·······································

MOUNTAIN PHRASES


X l.U

volcano 1 (huo 3 shan ) fire + mountain

volcano

X l.U [:::]

crater 3 1 (huo shan kou 3 ) volcano + mouth = [literally] the mouth of the volcano = crater

i*X l.U

·~····

:•

volcano (xiu 1 huo3 shan 1)

..• ...................................................................................................................... ··········· volcano fire

mountain

fire

mountain

dormant

rest + volcano = [ literal ly] at rest volcano volcano

mouth

= dormant

;•

• • • • 0 • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • " • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • 0 • • • • 0 • • • • • • • 0 • • 0 • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _._._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 0 0 ....... 0 .. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • 0 • • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ._._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

crater

.• •

•. . . •................................. ............................................................................ ···········-······... ·················· ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

rest

fire

moutain

dormant volcano

........................................................... ................ ......................................................................,............................................................................. ..................... ......................... ._

._

MOUNTAIN PHRASES

45


"J(. woman (nu3) This character traditionally depicted an outline of a woman kneeling on the floor, showing her obedience to a man. I am very frustrated by the origin of this character! When used as an adjective, it means 'female' .

. ................ ............... ·•·•·•··••·•··•••••

46

······························4···············~··························································································~~································~·······································

WOMAN BUILDING BLOCK


Why two women together means 'argument' Sadly, it seems that when women are together, they quarrel.

1& argument

~r1~~2~ally,

two women were believed to be unable to be in the same room without arguing.

The character showing two women together represents 'argument'. This meaning is a product of Chinese history. In the old days, it was inevitable that women in Chinese households ended up arguing. For hundreds of years, Chinese married couples lived together with their parents-in-law and the rest of their extended family. It was not unusual for four generations to live under the same roof. And sometimes mothers-in-law took revenge on their daughters-in-law for 'stealing' their sons. It was also common practice for wealthy Chinese men to have several wives (for example, my greatgrandfather, who was a landlord in Taiwan, had three). To make sure that their own sons would inherit the lion's share of their husband's wealth, mistresses and wives sometimes ganged up on the newest concubines that their husbands brought home. No wonder that domestic conflict was often the norm!

~adultery

1 (jian )

Any man with three women is cheating on someone.

By now you may have noticed that, in Chinese, a character rarely appears by itself. You often need to add another character in order to clarify the meaning in different contexts. Many phrases are constructed by repeating a character. On the next page, you will learn that !I* means 'younger sister'. In rea l life, you will more frequently see 9*9* (where !I* is repeated) to express 'younger sister'. This is very common practice in the Chinese language; see the example on p. 156. The meaning of the phrase is made absolutely clear by repeating the character. Other examples you will see in this book are A.A. ('everyone', p. 21),

~~('every day', p. 21), 8 8 ('in vain', p. 63), ~~ ('mama'; see 'mother', p. 77) and 00 ('grandfather'; see 'public', p. 141). As in the case of many English words, a character may have different meanings depending on whether it is used as a noun, a verb or an adjective. For example, "9:.. is 'woman', but when talking about 'a woman', you will more frequently see the phrase

"9:.. A (p. 49), where "9:.. is the adjective 'female' and A is the noun 'person'. Another example is 'forest'. The character~ on its own means 'forest' (p. 33), but when we talk about 'a forest', we often use the phrase~** (p. 156), where~ is the adjective 'forest-like' used to describe the noun ** 'woods'. A final example is 'tomorrow'. The character B~ can mean 'bright', 'brightness' or 'tomorrow' (p. 57). But you more frequently see the phrase B~ S used to refer to 'tomorrow' (p. 59), where B~ is used as an adjective to describe the noun

•• 0 •

S

'day' .

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .._• • • ._• • • • • ._• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • · · • .• • • • • ·· · • . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

WOMAN COMPOUNDS

47


to obey

younger sister

daught er

greed

~[] to obey ( r u2)

9* younger sister

This character is a

( m ei 4 )

combination of 'woman' and 'mouth!. A woman in ancient China didn't speak her own opinions, she obeyed . This compound also means 'is like' (see

This character is a combination of 'woman' and 'not yet', so the literal translation is 'not yet a woman'. It is used to refer to a younger sister.

p. 65) and 'if' (see 'to forgive', p. 87) .

• • • 0 . ~· • • • •

48

u

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . . . . . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

WOMAN COMPOUNDS

~ daught er (nanl) This character is a combination of 'woman' and 'to surround'. Young g irls were traditionally kept in their fami ly homes, surrounded by their family, to protect their modesty

This character is a combination of 'woods' and 'woman'. It also means 'a great number ' or 'a lot'. 'A lot of woman' means

'greed' - that's so negative!

for their eventua l marriage.

u

• • 0'4

• • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • •

''! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

. . . .._• • • • • , . . . . . . . .


1ili ti:. fairy (xianl 5~~ the mythical immortals, fairies are most associated with women. immortal + woman = fairy

tz:..A. woman (nu 3 ren 2) A female person is a woman. woman/female + person = woman

*11* eldest 1

immortal

woman

1

younger sister ( da4 mei 4 )

·........................................................~············ ..··························· ···············~·········~··~···· fairy

Family hierarchy was extremely important in ancient China. Authority was based on age and sex. Men ruled the family hierarchy in age order, continuing with the women from eldest to youngest. The second youngest sister in the family wou ld therefore be one above the lowest-ranking member of the fami ly. big + younger sister = [literally] big younger sist er = eldest younger sister

woman/female person ·i....................................... ............................................................. ..................................:j .._

woman

••

big

............................................................................. ····%

younger sister

..••• -····-····· ··············· ....................

eldest younger sister

...................................................................... .......... ...................... ......................................,............................................ ............................................................................... .._

._

~

~

WOMAN PHRASES

49


In oracle-bone and seal inscriptions, this character dep icted a bird. The modern character represents a bird with four talons and a hanging tail feather. The simpl ified form of this character is ~ .

..

..........................................................................................~········ ··················· ················•·•····•····•····•·················································································•·········•····•···········

50

BIRD BU ILDING BLOCK


~ feather (yu 3) I think it IS obvious that this character looks a lot like a feather!

...·····...........................................................................·····...... .....•............................................ ..... ..... ........ ............................... .. .. .. .. .

...

.. .

.. .

.

...

.

..................

'

................. ... .

FEATHER BUILDING BLOCK

'

51


B

sun (ri4)

In oracle-bone and seal inscriptions, the character for 'sun' was a circle with a dot in the middle. It has since evolved to look very similar to a Western window. This character also means 'day'.

········ ................................................................... 52

SUN BUILDING BLOCK

~···········~········

..···································•·•····•····•····•·················································································•·········•····•···········


sunnse

sparkles

east

to check

~ sparkles

.§. sunrise rrl.an4)

iFl1s is an easy compoun

d

to remember, as it depicts the sun rising above the line of the horizon.

fj.j~g~~ form of 'sparkles'

*

This character is a

The original meaning of

was written as three circles, two on the bottom and one on top, and meant 'brilliant'

combination of 'tree' and 'sun'. The sun rises in the East, and a man would

this character was 'raft'. To check and explore what lies beyond the

or 'glittering'.

have first gl impsed the sun through the trees.

horizon, you need a raft of some sort.

The simplifi-e d form is

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~ to check (cha2)

east (e:Jongl)

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SUN COMPOUNDS

53


S ~ Japan (ri4 ben3) Japan is known as the 'land of the rising sun' in English. Japan lies to the east of China, which is where the sun rises. sun +origin = [literally] origin of the sun = Japan

EJ~A.

Japanese person (ri4 ben3 ren 2) ..• ..'• sun foundation/origin .•.......................................................................... ......................................................

Japan+ person = Japanese person

-

Japan

EJ~~ A

Japanese woman (ri 4 ben 3 nu 3 ren 2) Japan + woman = Japanese woman

l

sun

foundation/origin

•o 0 0 0 0 0 o o 0 0 0 t o 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 o 0 0 ,.. o 0 0 o o 0 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 0 0 o o o o o • o o o o o o o o o.-o o o o o o o o o.-_o.o ._._. o o ..._. o o ._._. o o o o o o o o .._. o o o o o o o o o 0 o o o 0 o 0 0 0 0 o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 o t

person 0 0

o

t 0 t 0

o0 ooI

t 0

o o o o o o o o o o o o o 0 ._. o o o 0 0 o o o o.-o o -..o.o.o. 0 o • 0 o ._._.. 0 0 -.o 0 0 0 '"-* • 0 0 0

;

°•

Japanese person

•• ..•• foundation/origin person • sun woman . ·.............................. ................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................• ,

Japanese woman

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••'"-•••--•••••••••••••••-"••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••·• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . ,,,,,, ,.. ,,,,,, .• ,,,.,,,,,,,,o>oooo•••••

SUN PHRASES

55


.F.l

moon (yue4 )

The building block for moon originally derived from a pictogram of the crescent moon. It has now evolved to be a visual counterpart to 'sun'. This character also means 'month'.

·······-······················· ~

= .F.l

..

...............

. . . .,

flesh (rou 4 )

The build1ng block for 'flesh' (or 'meat') ~ looks almost identical in its compound form to 'moon'. Can you tell the difference between the two characters? It is nearly impossible. but the difference is usually made evident by the meaning of the compound . If you see ~ or ~ as part of a character on a restaurant menu. it is likely to refer to some part of an animal although not necessarily a part that you would like to eat.

....... ...................................................

56

~

.................................................................................................................................................... ..................... ...............................

MOON BUI LDING BLOCK

~


.ruJ

friend

bright

gall bladder

skin

friend (peng2)

In oracle-bone Inscriptions, this character depicted two bunches of shells, which were used at the time as a form of currency.

a~ bright ( m in g2) When the sun and moon shine together, it creates a character meqning 'bright' or 'brightness'. This character also means 'tomorrow'; see the explanation on p. 47.

0§. gall

bladder

(dan3) This character is a combination of 'flesh' and 'sunrise'. This is the simplified form; the traditional form is Jlli. Both forms can also

This character is a combination of 'flesh' and 'man'. A mqn 's flesh is his skin. This is the simplified form; the traditional form is

Jl.

mean 'courage' .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. MOON COMPOUNDS

57


~ tB to find out (cha2 chul) to check + to get out = [literally] to check out = to find out

~BJ3 to ascertain (cha2 ming2) to check + bright = [literally] to clarify what you check = to ascertain

*B

in the comrng .

i•

(j1~§Ji~ffii{g~l6ck

to check

to get out

i•

.............................. ·····························•··•·················································•······•········

to find out

for

'sun' can also double as the character for 'day'. to come + day coming days

= in the

.:•

to check

bright

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 • .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., • 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 . . . . . 0 • • 0 • • • 0 . 0 • • • • • • 0 · -· . . . . . . . . .

·~· . . . . . . . . . . . . . ·

:. •

• • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • 0 00 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

to ascertain

to come sun/day 1 .i························•••·· ........ ····· ....................................................................................

in the coming days

·-············ ······ -···· ................ -·············...................................................................................................................................................... ..... ................................................................ '

58

SUN/MOOON PHRASES

._

._


BJ:}

S

tomorrow (m ing 2 ri4 ) Remember, after a day and a night comes tomorrow. bright + day = tomorrow

*S *F.l

today (ben 3

.4 )

8n~in + day= today

this month (ben3 yu e 4 ) Just as the 'sun' bu ilding

•• • ••

bright

: ••

sun/day

• • • • • • 0 • • • . . . . . . . . . 0 • • 0 . 0 . · ·-· • • • • • 0 . · -• • ' ' " ' ' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' • • • • • • • • •

• 0 •• ' ••••••••• '0.

···~-

0 0 . . . ..

tomorrow

block can also mean 'day', so the 'moon' building block can also mean 'month'. origin + month = this month

:•

foundation/origin

sun/day

•' • • • · o•••••• ··••••• • •••••••o-. o oooooo·• ..-ooo•ca.oaa.oc&ooooloooooo o oooooooO-Ooooo o ooooooooooooooot •· Oo +·-·•••• -•ooooooooo

:• •

••oooooooooooOa-•o'

today

foundation/origin moon/month : I·............................. : ........................................................ ·- .. .. .................. ··············

this month

······································································--······················································································································-·············- ················· -····-· · •· ...... ······························ SUN/MOON PHRASES 59


.r. work (gongl) In oracle-bone Inscriptions. this character was depicted as a tool shape, and 1ts original meaning was 'holding a tool' or 'carpenter's square'. Today it has been extended to mean 'work', 'labour' or 'skill'. Compounds that use this character Include:

a: left (zuol)

~ right (you4)

21 wizard (wul)


I A 1worker 2

(gong ren

)

work + person = [ literally] working person = w o rker or labourer

AI

artificial ( ren 2 gong 1)

• ::

person + work = [l iterally) person's work = man-made = artificial

work

person

l . ················-········-········-·····..·······..···-················ --· ...................................................

worker

1z. I

female worker (nu 3 g ong 1) woman + work = [literally] woman's work or needlework = female worker

• ••

•• •

*o 0 0 0

person *0

work

0 0 o• 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o• 0 0 0 0 0 Oo-0 0 o· • o ·o ..._. • • 0 0 . 0 0 • •. • ._.. 0 oo o . 0 0 o o o 0 Oo o o 0 o o 0 o o o o 0 0 o 0 o o ,. 0 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 o 0* ,. 0>

o0 0

l

................................••

.

artificial

• •

i•

woman

..................... •·········· ............................ .............

work

.'

: ••

... .... . .. .. ··- .·······················. '

female worker

················ · ······································································································· · ····· · · · ···········································~··············································

..... ·······..•.........•.....••....... ..... . ..

WORK PHRASES

61


white + white = in vain/ for no purpose

8 A2 Caucasian 2

( bai ren

)

An alternative but derogatory word for Caucasian is 'gweilo', which means 'ghost person'. white + person = [literally] white man = Caucasian white

I • ••................... ················ ·-···-···-····-· ···.............. ·· · ••• > ' - .•••••••. .

. 1n vam .

white

..

--··

:

........................• l

8 ~daytime 2 1

(bai tian

)

The character for 'sky' can also mean 'heaven' or 'day'. In this instance, it means 'day'. white + day = daytime

B 2 to learn/practise

(xi

)

This character is a combination of 'feather' and 'white'. It generally refers to learning to fly. Its simp lified form is ••

person ......................... ..................................................... .................. ······... . .... ...•..

I•

white

,

,

:s:.J.

:•• '

·

I o o0 U

o o I 04 o o I o.e 0 °

Caucasian

white sky/day :: .i...... ........................ ·················-·· -····· ··· .. ..... .... ... ···· ••• ··· .. · ·· -·. ·· -· .. .................. -

daytime

..........................•...........•........... .......................................................•..............•.•....•......•....•................................................................................................•..•...•..•...... ·•··· .....

WHITE CO MPOUNDS AND PHRASES

63


mtiger (hu3) The buildmg block for 't iger' also means 'brave' or 'fierce' . ...

.. . .. .

'.

-·---·. -··--····-···············-·······

Dht to scare (hu3) Th1s character IS a combination of 'mouth' and 'tiger'. Imagine how scared you would be to hear a tiger roar in the middle of the night .

. . .... . . .•.••....... ........

64

··································-·········--··-··-··-···-···-··-···-···························..·············..·················..........................................................................................

TIGER BUILDI NG BLOCK


Tiger idioms

1 •

sheep

to enter

tiger

mouth

!•

•••..•••.••..••••.••.••..••••••..•••••.••••..•..•••..•.•..•••••..•..•••..•....•••..•••..•••..•....•••••..•..••...•...•...••.••..•..•••..•••..•..•.•••..•••..•..••••.••.• ,...•••..•...••.....••..•....•..•••..•.•.••••....•..•.•..•..•••••..•••..•....•..•••. t··········

a lamb in a tiger's den

~ Am IJ is a famous Chinese idiom that means 'a lamb in a tiger's den'. The phrase is a warning against entering a dangerous environment and becoming a victim as a result. You will notice that the second character, A 'to enter' (ru 4 ) , looks similar, to A 'person', but its meaning is totally different. The slight difference is in the length of the strokes. The right stroke of 'to enter' is longer than that of 'person'.

•• l •

to obey

tiger

mouth

..••

··························~···················~·········~································~················································~··~·································--····~···········

as dangerous as a tiger's den

In this phrase, ~0 'to obey' means 'is like', while .J.1f, IJ means 'tiger's den'. The phrase means 'as dangerous as a tiger's den'. If you see this phrase, keep your wits about you . An extension of this phrase, ~~~~O m IJ 'the crossroad is like the tiger's den', is also seen at road crossings to remind people to be careful when crossing the road .

• •

•• •

• .... •• •

• • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • •• • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . '

•••••••

f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .· ·-· · .......... .-. . . . . . . . . . . ._, ........................... .

TIGER ID IOMS

65


r~ door (men

2

)

The building block for 'door' looks very similar to a pair of saloon doors from the Wild West. Saloon doors may be a much more recent invention, but the resemblance is uncanny! The simplified form is fl .

•·

........ -.- .... ........

66

'

'

... -······················· -........ .................................................................................................................................................................................................... .

DOOR BUILDING BLOCK


to dodge

to ask

space/room

leisure

~ to dodge (shan3 ) Imagine a person running through a pair of saloon doors. trying to dodge arrest. This character also means 'flash'. The simplified form is j:AJ.

This character is a combination of 'door' and 'mouth'. To ask a question is the door to knowledge. The simplified form is jE] .

~, space/room ( jian 1)

IJ.J,

This character is a combination of 'door' and 'sun'. In seal script this character was identical to ' leisure', so it was changed to prevent confusion. The simplified

Before electricity, all work stopped when darkness fell and the moon rose. This character also means 'idle', 'peaceful' or 'ca lm'. Alternative forms are 1¥]

1m

form is

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

IBl .

and

leisure (xian 2 )

1*1·

......... ' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. DOOR COMPOUNDS

67


*r~

front gate (da 4 men 2 ) big + door = [literally] big door = front gate

P~

D

doorway (men 2 kou 3 ) door + mouth = [literally] door's mouth = doorway

l\.P~D mam 0

entrance (da 4 men 2 kou 3 ) big

I

• ••.....••.....•....•................

big + doorway = [literally] big doorway mam entrance

.••••

door

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

front gate

0

.•••

door

.••

mouth

.....................................................0 ....................0 •

· -·

• • • • • • 0 " ..............

~-- . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

• 0 ......... 0 0 0 •

•• 0. 0 •

0 ... 0 •••••

doorway

..• •

big

door

•••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ............

mouth

•• ••

...... ·- ········· ..•.••.••••.•.••.••...••••...........................................•..•........... .

main entrance

................................. ·················- ·······························~··· · ··························· ·· ···· · ·············································· · ······· ··· ······~ ····~·~· ·······~······························································

68

DOOR PHRASES


Are,

world (ren 2 jian 1) person + space = [literally] the space for people = world

fMl A

idler (xian 2 ren 2 ) leisu re + person

id ler

~A to sneak out (shan 3 ren 2 ) .I••

person

space

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 •••••. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . .• • • 0 •••••• 0 •• 0 •••• •••••••••••• 0 0 •••• 0 •• ••••••••••••••••••••••••

to dodge + person [ literally] person dodgi ng to sneak out

world

j

leisure

person

j

................................. ~........ - ............................................................. ......................................J

idler

: to d odge person ....................................................... . ............................................ -··························· ••

I

to sneak out

............................................................. ..................................................................................,............................................................................... ····································· .......... .._

DOOR PHRASES

69


foam

fountain

'7.X .fl.J<

plain

~ fountain (quan2 )

WI'd e

expanse of water (miao 3 )

This character is .a combination of 'water' and 'end'. Just remember that foam is the last form of water as it crashes on to the shore.

This character is a combination of 'white' and 'water:'. It also means 'spring'. Remember that fresh spring water ofteh comes from melting snow, which is white.

This character is a combination of 'water' and 'burning hot'. It also means 'light', 'bland', 'modest', 'essential' or 'tasteless'.

)I river (jiang1)

'-1-r 3 )x you ( ru)

5* to bathe (mu4 )

~

water + work

water + woman

water + t ree

This character comprises three 'water' building blocks. It is logical that multiple waters would be used to describe a large amount of water.

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

2

to drip ( li n ) water + woods

......... ' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. WATER COMPOUNDS

71


71< ~ crystal (shui 3 jing 1) In this phrase, the 'water' building block alludes to the clear nature of water. water + sparkles = crystal

D 7J< saliva (kou 3 shui 3 ) mouth + water = saliva

:•

water

sparkles

i• •

·······································································································~························

c rystal

)iii7J< fresh water (dan 4 shui 3 ) This is also the name of a town in the north of Taipei County, Taiwan. plain + water = fresh water

~.F.J quiet month for business (dan4 yue 4 ) A typical )~fi.l in China is July, which is Ghost Month in the Chinese ca lendar. In Asia, Ghost Month is an annua l month of ancestor worship, w ith some simi larities to the Western Halloween. light + month = [litera lly] light month = slack month = quiet month for business

:.•

mouth

water

:• . •·····•·•········· ...........................••...................................•....•.........••...•........................•

saliva

..•••

plain

••••••••••••••••••••

.:•

0

•••••••••

-

....

plain/light

.. .................... .-.................................-...................................• fresh water water

'

-

-

moon/month

;. •

0 o o oOO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 000 o 0 0 00 0 ,_ oo ., 0 o 0 o 0 o 0 o ,. 0 oo o 0 , oo o 0 . o o o 0 0 oo o 0 o oo o IOooo 0 Oooo o oooa-0 o oooo o oo ..._.ooo 0 I_. I 6 6 Ill~ 0 I I I I 601 I I <Ia 6110 I I I 0 I I 6101°

quiet month for business

······························•··•··••···••••••••••

72

WATER PHRASES

······························~··············

..

··························································································~································~·······································


W-J 7_k scenery (shan1 shui 3)

:I

mountain

water

····· · ········· · ··· · · ·· · ·· ·· ····· · ·· ·~ ···· ·· ·· · · ·· · ···· · ···· · ········ · ·· · ······ · ··············

::

The majority of scenery comprises spectacular mountains and vast rivers, for example, Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Huangshan in China or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, to name a few! mountain + water = scenery

...• .....•.........•...•.....•..•.

scenery

7..kP~ dam (shui 3 men 2 )

•• •• •

water

door

. . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 .._ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .._• • • • • • • • 0 • • • • 0 • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • 0 . 0 • • • • • • 0 • • 0 • • • ,_, . 0 .

.•• .•

This phrase was used to describe the Watergate scandal ofthe1970s. It is a literal translation of the English name given to the scandal that resulted in President Nixon's resignation. water + door = [literally] water gate = dam

., • 0 • • . • 0 0 0 • • 0 • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • •

dam

D 5* spit

(kou 3 mo4 ) mouth + foam = [literally] mouth foam = spit

' ' .. ' 0

o o0 o t

5}t7_k spring water (quan 2 shui3 ) spring+ water= spring water

mouth 0

o. o 10 0 .. t

0 0 00 0 1 0 00 0 0

o00

0

.-o 0 o·o 00 o..-. 0

foam 0

o,.-.-.-o o-....-. oo-. 0 .-o 0 . o 0

0

o-. o 0

o• o 0

,_

00 1 0

•o o 0 o 0

000 0

....

..• .... ''"' .................

spit

.••

•• • • • 101 • •

fountain/spring ......0...

•. . ...... ·····.............................•

water

0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 ._• ._• • • • • ._._._,_..... 0 • • 0 . . • • • • • •

• • ••••• ' • • • • • 0 0 • ••• 0 0 '

spring water

............................................................................. . .......................................................................,..................................................... ................................................···············.......... . .._

WATER PHRASES

73


~ cow (niu 2) The original meaning of th1s character was 'ox', but since the clerical change in writing styles it has meant 'cow'. If you see 'cow' in a character, it tends to relate to stubbornness. '-.-.-

4=

...... -- ..... ······•····••••·••••••·••·•····•··········

cow (niu2)

This character is the form of 'cow' that is used as a component In certain compounds.

0' ' ' 0 ' ' ' ' ' It ' ' ' ' ' ' ' 0 ' ' ' ' ' ' ' • ' • ' I t t • I I I f • I I U • I I I f • I I I I • l i l t 0 I I . . • 0 . . . 0 . . .

74

COW BUILDING BLOCK

oo -

0 I -

to I I I 0•4 0 - · I I t OO_ I _ I t l l ll t tl l t l l tl t l l tl t t t tl o l l l t t l t l t lt t I t t I I I I I I 1 • 110 o l i l t I l l I t t l t t o o I tO o o o 1 o o o I t O o o t oo o 01 oo o o 10 t oo to 0 0 o 0 Olo 0 0 01 o 1 1 0 0 0 1111 o 11 I t o 11 I l l 111 1 t i lt I t 111 1 111110 t t l o o


tf

7.}< buffalo (shui 3 niu 2) The water buffalo with a large crescent horn is a major domestic animal used in southern China for paddy cultivation. water + cow = [literally] water cow = buffalo

~ tf longhorn beetle (tian 1 niu 2 ) The longhorn beetle is black with small white spots resembling the stars in a night sky. sky + cow = [ literally] sky cow= longhorn beetle

• • i•

water

cow

l

•..•.•.•...............•...•........••.........••...•••........ ···•·········•· ..................... ·••· ....••••.••....•....•..•••

buffalo

• • •• I •

sky

...·-···-···········--·"'-···· ........ .....'"'......................... ..... .. .. .. ._

.... longhorn beetle -

cow

•• ••

.. . .....................•

................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................................... -··········•· ............................... ._

COW PHRASES

75


~~ horse (ma3) This building block traditionally looked like a horse on its side. Today you can see only the horse's torso. tail and legs. The simplified form is

:Q;.

0 • • • • • • • • • •e

76

• • • • • • • • • • • • · • o o • • • • • 1000 ••ooo 0 ••oo 0 ·• • • • o • • • • • • • • • o - ........ o o oo -oooo o ooo 0 0 0 0 . . . .000000--000-0000eo•ooeoeooOOOOoOoOeooooooooooeooooeooooeo•o oeoooo OooooOo o o oeoo o o Oo o o o o o o o 0040 o o 0 00 o 0 OoOO oo o 0 o 00 o 0 o 0 o ••o I 0 Olo 0 0 0 Oo 0 0 o eo 0 0 o Oo oO 0 •ooO o IO 0 U

HORSE BUILDING BLOCK

IO aoo • • • • . . . . . . . o


question indicator

to blame

to charge in

mother

Dl question indicator (ma 2 ) This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'horse'. It is used at the end of a sentence to indicate that a 'yes' or 'no' answer should follow. The

to blame ( ma4) This character is a combination of 'shout' and 'horse'. It means 'blame', 'abuse', 'curse' or 'scold' when used as a verb. The simplified form is~.

fll1

to charge in (chuang 3 ) Pictog raphica II y, this character represents a horse charging through a door. The simplified form is I~.

9n~ mother (mal) This character is a combination of 'woman' and 'horse'. 9191 means 'mama'. The simplified form is '9E.J.

simplified form is n~ .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. HORSE COMPOUNDS

77


.3S. jade (yu

4

)

Throughout Asian history, jade has been more prized than silver and gold both monetarily and spiritually. The building block for 'jade' comprises a bottom stroke representmg earth, a top stroke representing heaven, and a middle stroke representing heaven's essence on earth. lh simplified Chinese, 'jade' and 'kihg' are both classified as radicals. In some characters, the 'jade' .3i building b lock does not take the extra dot, and so appears as 'king' ::E. See 'whole' opposite for an example.

â&#x20AC;˘Âˇ .......... -

78

...... .....................................................- ..-.....................-.............................................................................................................................................................. JADE BUILDI NG BLOCK


king

countr y

master

whole

.± king (wang ) 2

~whole (quan2)

Traditionally more prized than si lver and gold, jade was worn by kings and nobles throughout Asian history, and represented the virtues of beauty, grace and purity.

This character is .a combination of 'jade' and 'to surround'. China is the country of jade, so it is logical that the country is al luded to as the 'land of jade'. This is the simplified form; the traditional form

This character originally meant 'wick' or 'torch' but today means 'master', 'owner' or 'host'.

This character is a combination of 'to enter'

A

and 'king' (in this instance, actually 'jade'). It represents belongings under a roof. It also means 'full' or 'treasure'.

is~ .

J;:.. J: queen (nu woman+ king

3

wang

2 )

~ J: king (guo2 wang 2 ) country + king

J:~

kingdom (wang 2 g uo 2 ) king + country

····················~···············~································································································~···········~····

~~

USA (mei 3 guo2 ) beautiful + country

.. •t·······················~·~·················································································

JADE COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

79


JII

river (chuan 1)

The oracle-bone inscnption of this character represented a river running between two shores. Today the character comprises three vertical lines. indtcating a flowing river. It can also be used to refer to the province of Sichuan, known for its four rivers.

................ ... ·••·. '. ·····

- ····· ~ ~·· · ·"··················

1N state (zhoul) Add three dots next to the three lines of 'river' to form the character for 'state'.

··-·-·· .. ···-···-.. ·-··-····-···-··"-·--······--···-··--·-·-·-··-··········-··-····0,' ................................... ········ ................................................ ·l.o.·-·-............_....................... .............. 80 RIVER BUILDING BLOCK -.~


-J$1- boat (zhoul) This charact er depict s the shape of an ancient Chinese w ooden vessel, which looks si milar t o a punt on a river.

· · ····················· ····· ············································································· ····· ···· ·········· ·············· ··································~·········~···························· ···· ······ ·································· ······ · ·

BOAT BUILDING BLOCK

81


ll!tii·~~ ~-~r.wk ~~ ~il

~~ £Sfld(~

~~~~

§Ytl '~ --~'" ~ &-i~~


~~ttl

~ ljfflitijlJfl

tNt~~~ ~ dDMfcBftf~

A

T tw~b~

-~~~It

'UJi~l+j~

-.~ra?Dtft~(ifm.

~ ftii~~~'tM~

~ ·~~~~ Jt•-~


This character was based on the curled body of a poisonous snake; you can almost see the hood of a cobra tn the character. It also means 'worm'. If you see this building block in a compound character, it tends to refer to some sort of insect, reptile or shellfish - for example, 'snake' ~ . 'frog' ~ and 'clam' ~· Its traditional form is §I (see p. 127).

········ .............. . ....... -·· ..... . ..... .. -···- ····································································································································-········································································· 84 BUG BUILDING BLOCK -

'

.'

... .. ..


ft tall/length 2 (chang

)

The original form of this character depicted a person with very long hair, indicating 'being long' or the idea of length. The simplified form is

~ account/bill (zhang 4 ) This character comprises the building b lock for 'shell' (see p. 130), indicating the meaning, and 'length', indicating the pronunciation (see p. 11). Shells are associated with wealth, hence the meaning of the character. The simplified form is

IE·

........................................................... ................ .......................................................................,..............................................................················ ..................... ............... -·········· ._

._

TALL/LENGTH BUILDING BLOCK

85


.

'L' heart (x1n :\

1 )

This character originally depicted a heart, but it has since evolved to its present form. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••

1' heart/vertical core (xinl) This character is the form of 'heart' that is used as a component in certain compounds. It is known as

R'~'~. the 'vertical core'. See 'fear' opposite for an example of this character.

. ................ ............... ·•·•·•··••·•··•••••

86

······························4···············~··························································································~~································~·······································

HEART BUILDING BLOCK


must

bored

to forgive

fear

~must (bi 4 ) This character is a combination of 'heart' and a line () ). The original form of the compound comprised /\ and ~. indicating 'using wood as a marker'.

r+-o :\.

3t 'l} contented ( an

1

1

xin )

peaceful + heart (see p. 93 for 'peaceful')

This character comprises 'heart' inside 'door' . Imagine that it syrtlbolizes a heart that wishes to leave because it is bored. The simplified form Is~~.

J' Li' be careful ( xiao

1

1

small + heart (see p. 132 for 'small')

3

1 xtn )

~ to forgive (shu 4 )

18 fear (pa

This character is a combination of 'if' (see 'to obey'. p. 48) and 'heart'. You must often ask yourself if your heart can forgive a wrong. It's a slightly scary image, however.

This character is a combination of 'heart' and 'wh ite'. When someone is scared or frightened, it is often said that they have gone white.

4)

~ 'L' whole-heartedly (q uan2 xinlJ) whole+ heart

········· · ··········~· · ·············~································································································~···········~····

.. •t··················· · ···~·~·········· · ······································································

HEART CO MPOUNDS AND PHRASES

87


to divide

to row

/1\\ to illuminate

talkative

~IJ to row (hu a

2 )

5.1"

to divide

1 ( fen )

This character is a combination of 'weapon' (see p. 124) and 'knife'. As well as 'to row' (a boat), it can mean 'to pull' or 'to stroke'.

This character shows 'knife' under the number eight, and represents a knife cutting something in two.

5J' 'G' to d istract

•o. BIR

(fen 1 xin1) to divide + heart

q]J

talkative

~ to illuminate

1 (dao )

This cha racter is a combination of 'mouth' and 'knife', indicating chatter or noise.

/_

~

2

1

This character is a combination of 'knife', 'sun', 'mouth' and 'fire'. It means 'illuminate' or 'light up' when used as a verb, or 'bright' when used as an adjective.

.3

7J :n clearly (fen1 ming 2)

7J J molecule (fen z1 )

to d ivide + bright

to divide + son (see p. 96 for 'son')

···································· · ···········································~·····················~·····~······························································

(zhao 4 )

..········..··················································••·······•••····••·••··•••··•• KNIFE COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

89


power

to add

to construct

to d rive

1JD This character originally meant 'p lough'. Ploughs requ ire powerfu l animals to pull them. The meaning has been extended to refer to the power to pu ll the plough.

to add

1 (jia )

This character is a combination of 'power' and 'mouth'. It also means 'increase'. This is also an abbreviation of Calif ornia, USA (see below).

~ to construct (jia

4 )

This character is a combination of 'to add' and 'tree'. It means 'construct', 'build up! or 'stand' when used as a verb, and 'shed frame' when used as a noun.

~ to drive (jia

4 )

Th is character is a combination of 'to add' and 'horse'. It also means 'to ride'. The simplified form is ~.

1.10 1~1

California (jia1 zhou 1) Ca lifornia + state • • • 0 . ~· • • • •

90

u

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . . . . . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

u

•• 0'4

KNIFE COMPOU NDS AND PHRASES

• • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • •

''! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

. . . .._• • • • • , . . . . . . . .


,..,.., roof (mian2) The building block for 'roof' is hardly ever seen independently of another character. It is mostly used as a component of many characters relating to habitation and architecture .

......................... ···············-··---·········---·················-·······························································--························································································

... ..... .. ........ ····· ........, 92 ROOF BUILDING BLOCK


peaceful

disaster

•• . pnson

!J..!..

disaster

(zai1)

This character is a combination of 'roof' and 'fire'. I think anyone with a burning roof would consider it a disaster! This is the simplified form; the

m,,

traditional form is a combination of 'river' and 'fire'.

.1]<j;z

flood (shui

3

1 zai )

water + disaster

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

home

3:( peaceful (an)

~ prison (liao 2 )

This is a more positive compound featuring the building block for 'woman'. Remember that, traditionally, a peaceful home was one run by a woman.

Cows and buffalo were used as beasts of burden. The orig ina l meaning of this compound was 'pen ', but it has since been extended to mean 'prison' when used as a noun.

In ancient China, pigs were raised indoors to keep them safe. Pigs in the house then became associated with a bountiful home. This cha~acter also means 'family'.

' 1' m f.1re d .isaster AX

~~ natural disaster

7\ ~

( huo 3 za i1) fire + disaster

(tian 1 zajl) sky + disaster

~

~··························-·············

1

everybody (da4 jial) big + home

......... ' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. ROOF COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

93


mrain

(yu3)

This character depicts water falling from the sky. The top horizontal line( - ) represents the sky, while the figure represents the space outside a city. As a whole. the character alludes to 'water scattered outside the city' .

n

....•.....................•.............•....................

*m

rain shower (da <~ YU 3) 1 •

big

ram

l•

················-········-······--································<···· --···············- ••···· ...,.......................... rain shower

big + rain = [litera ll y] big rain = rain shower

m71< rainwater (yU3 ShU13) rain + water = rainwater

m~ rainforest (yu3 lim) rain + woods = rainforest

••

•• •

ram

water

:• ••

.............................................................. ....................... ........................... ............................ ~

rainwater

rain woods :: .·i.................................................. . . .............. ............. ·····•···· •·· .... . ........................ -

rainforest

················································································································································································~···································· •....•....•.....•.

··•·····•···•····•·•·· ··•···· ······

RAIN PHRASES

95


good

character

plum

twins

* This character is a combination of 'woman' and 'son'. In ancient China, the foremost requirement of a good woman was to bear a son in order to continue her husband's line. The chqracter Cqn also mean 'such'.

T "tl..

3

offspring (zi nu

3

)

son/chi ld + woman

character (zi

4

*

)

plum (li

H

3 )

twins (zi1)

This compound is a combination of 'roof' and 'son'. When boys are born under a roof, it means a growth of population, which perpetuates civilization and literature. So this means 'character' (or 'wo rd') in Chinese literature.

This character is a combination of 'tree' and 'son' . Plums were considered a symbol of endurance in ancient China, as their flowers bloomed in winter. This is also a very common surname, translated as Li or Lee. •

This character comprises two 'son' building blocks. Twins were considered a sign of either good luck or bad luck, depending on the region.

I :::Z.. .I. T

ST

-p:f1f) good intention

pnnce

(

wang

kihg + son

2

.3) Zl

day ( ri

4

sun;/day + son

zi)

(hao3 xin1) good + heart

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SON COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

97


§

eye (mu 4 )

Traditionally, in oraclebone inscriptions. this character was eye-shaped. but its form was treated as straight lines in seal scnpt .

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

98

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .· · - - · · · - · · · - · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · • • • • • • • · - · · · • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

EYE BUILDING BLOCK


oneself

odour

' '

mutual

tear

*~ Th is character once meant 'nose', but it now means 'oneself', because people usually point to their face (specifically their nose) when they t alk about themselves.

This charact er is a com bination of 'oneself' and 'dog'. It originally meant 'to smell', because a dog's nose is particularly sensitive. It has since evolved to mean 'odour'.

mutua l

1 (xiang )

This character is a combination of 'tree' and 'eye'. Its composition alludes to the idea of taking a close look or observing. It has now been extended to mean ' mutual' or 'i mage' .

t ear (lei

4 )

The traditional form of

5Jl

this charact er, is a combinat ion of 'water' and 'perverse'. This simplified form is a combination of 'water' and 'eye'.

• 0 • • 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 0 • • • 0 0 • • • 0 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • •.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 0 • • , • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . 0 • • • • 0 • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00 • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . .._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • 0

EYE COMPOUNDS

99


-=¥- hand (shou

3

)

In oracle-bone inscriptions, the form of this character was an abstract depiction of five fingers w ith the lower part of the arm• ......................." ....................................

1

hand (shou3)

This character Is the form of 'hand' that Is used as a component In certai n compounds. It is known as

• • •• the ·utttng hand'. See 'to assist' opl)oslte for an exampte of this character.

...................

100

..._ . ;

• •••••••••

· · ···········-·-··-··

HAND BUILDING BLOCK

·-··

$"

••••

5

......

• .......... ,.................... .......

..........

• ........ .

..

'R 1 - · · T

I-IIIlS

ITihQ . . . .

-IIIIUI

I I l l . . IIA'T

Ill


~ to assist (fu

2

to assist

to dress up

to pat

to plagiarize

)

ffi

to dress up (ban

4

fY

)

to plagiarize (chaol)

This character's composition symbolizes a man being supported by a helping hand. It can also mean 'to support', 'to help', 'to protect' and ' to hold on'.

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'to divide'. The building block on the left indicates the meaning, while the compound on the right indicates pronunciation .

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'white'. 'Hand' indicates the meaning; 'white' indicates pronunciation .

:J:1c~ handrail

A~ manpower

~:f. to clap hands

'J"fY cheat

(fu2 shou3) to ass ist + hand

( ren2 shou3)

(pail shou3)

(xiao3 cfldol)

persoh + hand

to pat + hand

small + to p lag iarize (see p . 132 for 'small ')

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'little' (see p . 133). It means 'to plag iarize ~ or 'to copy' .

sheet

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. HAND COMPOUNDS A ND PHRASES

101


tJ\

to steal (pa

2

to steal

to fasten

to tie together

to seek

)

This character is a combination of 'hand' and the number eight. It originally meant 'to dig out', 'to crawl' or 'to crouch', but has been extended to mean 'to steal'. Imagine a thief crouching by you and digging out your wallet.

• • • 0 . ~· • • • •

102

u

tD

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'mouth'. It has many different meanings, including the verbs 'rein', 'knock', 'strike', 'tap', 'button', 'buckle', 'deduct', 'detain', 'smash'. When used as a noun, it means 'button' .

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . . . . . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

HAND COMPOUNDS

to fasten (kou 4 )

u

•• 0'4

mJ

to tie together (kun3) This character is a combination of 'hand'

m.

and 'enclosure' To remember it, imagine a captive's hands tied together.

• • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • •

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'weapon' (seep. 124), and indicates a hand taking up arms, perhaps to search for an escaped prisoner.

''! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

. . . .._• • • • • , . . . . . . . .


rAAJ net (wang 3 ) This is the simplified form of 'net'. The traditional form ~ d1d not come into being until the clerical change. The traditional form 1s a combmation of 'silk' 7R v.. on the left. indicatmg the materials, and 'net/to deceive' ~ on the right, representing the pronunciation and the meaning .

...

· ··· ·· · ~ · · ~· ··· ·· ···· · ······················ · ·············

c::c net (wang 3 ) This character is the form of 'net' that is used as a component in some compounds. Sometimes, owing to a person's handwriting, this character can look very similar to the number four ll9. See 'to buy' on p. 131 for an example of this character.

·······················································-·--···················································......~.-...l ....,......... ······················································ .... ' .. ·-·· . ··································•··········· ........ .

NET BUILDING BLOCK

105


many

dream

name

years

This character comprises two 'dusk' building blocks, suggesting the accumulation of time. Accumulation implies 'many'.

This character is a combination of 'woods' and 'dusk'. It is the simplified form; the traditional form ~ is a combination of

lt•'

'unclear' person' and 'dusk', and means 'unclear illusion'.

~j> how much

This character is a combination of 'dusk' and 'mouth '. It alludes to parents calling their children's names as evening fell. The compound also means 'famous'.

This character is a combination of 'mountain' and 'dusk'. It is the simplified form; the traditional form is ~· The most common usage of~ is to count a person's age; for example, - pj, means 'one year old'.

(duo1 shao 3 ) many + t oo little ( see p. l:P3 for 'little')

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. DUSK COMPOUN DS AN D PHRASES

107


-1=1 In oracle-bone and bronze inscriptions, the fo rm of this character was very similar to the character ~ · which means 'tongue'. The only difference was a short horizontal stroke added to the top o f the character, indicating that the tongue was in use. This character also means 'speech' or 'to speak' .

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

i.

t o t alk (yan 2)

This character is the form of 'to talk' that is used as a component in certain simplified Chinese compounds.

..................................................... ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ~

108

TO TALK BUILDING BLOCK


letter/trust

to calculate

detailed

language

1~ letter/trust (xin 4 )

~t to calculate

This character, which is a combination of 'person' and 'to talk', originally referred to 'people's speech', but has been extended to mean 'letter' or 'trust'. Do you trust everything people tell you?

This character is a combination of 'to talk' and the number ten, and means 'to calculate' or 'to count'. If you can count to ten, then you can calculate basic maths. The simplified

~ 1"" self-confidence

*~1g to believe

(zi4 xin 4 ) oneself + trust

(xiang1 xin4 ) mutual +trust

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

form is

i.f.

~··························-·············

(ji

4

)

~¥ detailed (xiang 2 ) This character is a combination of 'to talk' and 'sheep'. It means 'observe carefully' when used as a verb, 'detailed' or' 'tiny! as an adjective, or 'deta ils' or 'particulars' as a noun. The simplified form is

The character is a combination of 'to talk' and 'myself' ~ · which is a combination of the number five and 'mouth'. It means 'language' or 'words'. The simplified form is

B *~ Japanese language ( ri 4 ben3 yu 3 )

~~ official language (guo 2 yu 3 )

Japan + language

country + language

iff·

'1!·

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. TO TALK COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

109


a

self (ji 3 )

The rope shape of th1s character refers to 'self'. ..

'

.

-

'

..

'

.'

··-···············--·

oneself + self

·······················································-·--··································································································································· ........ . ....... ... ·····································-········ SELF BUI LDING BLOCK lll '


L'

walking (chuo

4

)

You won't see this building block appearing by itself. If you recognize this as a component of a character, you will know that the compound has something to do with 'wa lking' .

........... .. .. . .. .... . .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ·····.....······ ............................................ ··········............................. ······················............................................................................................................... .

112

.

WALKING BUILDING BLOCK


'e

to stroll

to reach

'

'

to compel

this

mto stroll This is the simplified form of the character, and is a combination of 'walking' and 'big', indicating reaching a destination after a long walk. The traditional form is.

m:.

(guang 4 )

This character is a combination of 'wa lking'

H.

which is a and 'crazy' combination of 'dog' and 'king'. Some would think that strolling around with no destination in mind is a crazy waste of time. The simplified form is.

'6

4

J.E. to compel (po )

This is the simplified form of the character, and is a combination of 'walking' and 'white'. It .also means 'to approach' or 'to force', and 'urgent' when used as an adjeetive. Its traditional

The traditional form of this character is a combination of 'wal king' and 'to talk'.

form is.

this (zhe4 )

'~

The simplified form ~ is a combination of 'walking) .and 'literature'

Jt.

e

i§..

~.

JtsA.

expert

H~ mad dog

(da2 ren 2 )

(g uang 4 q uan3 )

to reach + person

crazy + dog

········· · ··········~· · ·············~································································································~···········~····

.. •t··················· · ···~·~·········· · ······································································

WALKING CO MPOUNDS AND PHRASES

113


You can imagine the bottom stroke is the horizon, and the cross towards the top is either a plant or some man-made structure. To differentiate this character from 'soldier'

±

(see p. 116). just remember that the horizon must be longer than the

±

cross. is also Earth. one of the five basic elements. When someone uses 'soil' as an adJective, especially in modern writing, it implies something Uhsophisticated .

..•.•..•.•.. ,.................•...........................................•....•....•....•.•..•....•.•..•.........•..•.....•...•...•.•......•.

114

SOIL BUILDING BLOCK

·······················~······················································

..•....•....••.••.•..•..........


to sit

fine

~ to sit ( zuo4 ) This character is a combination of 'talent'

.:1 (cai

2

and 'soil'. 'Talent' indicates the pronunciation ; 'soil' indicates the meaning (see p. 11). Originally this character meant 'to exist', but it has been extended to mean 'at', 'in' or 'on'. )

This character is a combination of 'flesh' and 'soil'. The stomach is where the fruits of the soil are stored. This character has an alternative pinyin: du3.

This character shows two people sit ting on the soil.

This character is a combination of 'person' and what resE:!mbles two ·~oil ' building blocks. It also means 'good' or 'nice'.

~ tE unrestrained

:;k~±T pregnant

~1£ to sit at

1i.A

(zi 4 zai 4 )

(da4 d u4 zi)

(zuo 4 zai4 )

(jia1 ren 2 )

oneself + at

big + belly + son/child

to sit + at

fine + person

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

beautiful lady

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SOIL COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

115


±

soldier (shi 4 )

Tl1is character has many meanings, including 'soldier' and 'scholar'. It is a combination of the numbers one - and ten

+.

indicating a man who can do all things well from beginning to end . . . . . '..

-····~····~············.

... . -

.................

± determination ,c,, (zhi'~)

This character is a combination of 'soldier' and 'heart'. When a soldier or scholar sets his heart to something, he is determined - determined to win, to teach. to succeed.

..•••......•.•.. •.•..... .......................................-·--·--·--·--·-·--·-··--··-···-·······················.............................................................................................................&-••••-········ ....... 116

SOLDIER BUILDING BLOCK


± scholar

(sh1 4 )

In ancient China. it was not unusual for military leaders to be scholars too. since Confucius taught that leaders should be both wise and decisive. This is reflected in the character's dual use. ·· ···· ···· ·· ·· ·············· · ··· · ···· · ·······~···············

This character is a combination of 'scholar' and 'mouth'. Scholars were highly respected in ancient China : they were members of the highest social hierarchy. When a scholar opened his mouth. his views were considered aUSPICIOUS .

....................................................._.._........ -··............- ···-·-····-···-··················-···-......................................................................................................................······-······ SCHOLAR BU ILDING BLOCK

117


--

mthunder

--

thunder

from/due

helmet

to explain

(l ei 2)

This character is a combination of 'rain' and 'field '. In oraclebone inscriptions, this character depicted thunder (represented by a circle and dots) and lightning .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

S3

from/due (you2)

This is the character for 'field' with an extended upwards vertical stroke in the middle, indicating the road used to enter the farmland.

~··························-·············

lfl

helmet (j ia3)

Originally, this character depicted a cracked seed in a bud, and meant 'skin'. On account of its similar pronunciation to 'armour', it now also means 'helmet'.

$ to explain (shenl) In oracle-bone inscriptions, this character looked like lightning in the rain, and meant 'lightning'.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. FIELD COMPOUNDS

119


' '

oil

rich

male

~

)EB oi I (you 2 ) This chqracter is a combination of 'water' and 'field ~, and alludes to the liquid made from minerals under the fields, oil.

• •• 0. ~ · ••••

120

u

This character is a combination of 'roof, the number one, 'mouth' and 'field', and alludes to a wealthy fC1mily living in a comfortable home full of possessions .

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . . . . . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

FIELD COMPOUNDS

u

• • 0'4

mile ( lj3)

.J15 male (nan 2 )

This character is a combination of 'field' and 'soil', and means 'village'. Over time its meaning has been extended to refer to the stretch of ground that a village occupies.

• • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · • • • •

This character is a combination of 'field' and 'power'. In ancient times men worked the fields. The character now refers to the masculinity associated with manual labour.

''! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

. . . .._• • • • • , . . . . . . . .


)EB83 oil field (you 2 tian 2)

'

oil + f ield = oil field

'

)Ebr~ gas pedal/

accelerator (you 2 men 2 ) oil + door = [ literally] oil door = gas pedal

:I

oil

field

l

•..•...................•..•......•...................•...•.....•..•••...•••.•.•.••••••..•....•.... .•..•....•....•...•.....•..•.: '

oil field

1JO)EB to refuel (jia 1 you 2 ) This phrase also means 'go on!' when used to cheer someone to vi ctory. to add + oil = [literally] to add oil = to refuel

' '

~~~ girl from

a rich family (fu 4 jia 1 nu 3 )

.:.

oil

door

..:

o u o o o o o o o o u o o o o o o o .._, o o o "-' o o 0 o o o 0-0 o o o o o .._, o o o .._, o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o ,._, o o o o o o o o o o o o o o U o o o o o o o o o o ,_, o o o • ., 0 o o o ., o o o o I o o o o o 0 o o o 0 o o o o I o o •

t

rich + home + w oman = girl from a rich family

gas pedal/accelerator

' ' .. ' 0

u

to add 0

o0

0

o o o• 0

0 01 0 0 0 00 0

o-. t

0 0

..• .

oil

o·o 0 .-o 0 o·o .-o oooo-.-o 0 , ,_-.-.-.-o-.-.-.-. o-. 0 .-o-.-. o-. 0 o-. o 0

0" to o

t 0

o

oo o o 0 0 to 0

00 0

o .

o o0 o 0

.

00 0

o oo 0 0 o o t

t t

o o 0 o" 0

0

o0

00

°

to refuel

' !

.••

--rich

•• . . .•······················· ·· ·········~··············································· .••••.•••••.•••• ·•••••••••·•··· ·•··· ...•. ·······································••••o••················••o•••·····

home

woman

girl from a rich family

0

o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o 0 0 o o o o 0 o o o o o o o o 0 o o o o o o 0 o 0-00 o o o o o o • • o 0 0 o t-o• o o" 0 I 0 o 0 0 0 o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o I o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 0-0 o o o o 0 oo 0 0 0 o • 0 0 o 0-0-0 0 0 o o 0-0 o o 0 0 0 0 o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o 0 0 0 0 o 0 0 I o o o • 0 0 0 0 • 0 0 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 I ''' 0 0 • • •• • 0 0 0 oO o o o o - • I 0 o o o o o o o

FIELD PHRASES

121


This character originally looked like a bow, but has since evolved into its current form, which looks sim ilar to a bow m issing its string . ••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

This character is a combination of two 'bow' and two 'ice' (see p. 146) building blocks, and means 'weak' or 'brittle'.

.•..••••••••.•.•••..•..•...........................................................................••••.....••.•.•...•••..•••..•••...................•.......

122

BOW BUILDING BLOCK

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••


W wine

vessel (you 3 )

This character originally took the shape of a Jar. and meant 'w ine'. It has since evolved to mean 'wine vessel'. This building block ts also used in characters relating to the fermentation of wine or food .

.... . .... -

.... ............................................. .

This character is a combination of 'water' and 'wine vessel'. If you prefer white wine at a restaurant, be sure to ask for

8 )lf .

.................................•....•.............·-----···-....____._...·-···-·...........................................-·..-·..-·· .-·..-·.. -··.-··..................................................................................·····-··.... WINE VESSEL BUILDING BLOCK

123


This character depicts a type of weapon similar to a dagger-axe. with a horizontal blade at its head and a long handle. .. . . . . . . . - .............. .....••...•....•.... .•..............•

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'weapon', and means 'me' or 'I'. It's one of the most useful compounds of 'weapon' .

. . . . . .. . . . - ...................

124

'

.......

························-··········-····-··-··-·····--··-····-··········································-·················...........................................................................................

WEAPON BUILDING BLOCK


Three cows together means 'to flee' or 'to run fast'. Imagine a herd of cows fleeing a predator. The simplified form of this character is ~-

~ whirlwind (biao 1) Three dogs together means 'whirlwind'. Imagine a pack of dogs running around your legs.

•• •• Three deers together means 'rough', 'coarse' or 'big'.

o .,, ··OO•. oooo o ·- o" o• •-oo o, . , ooo

126

. . . . oo .. .

.., ooo ., , •ooo • tooo oooto o oooooo oooooooooooooo0-ooooo I oo••oooooooooot oooo ooo ooo oo oooooooooooooooooooo o oo o oo oooto ot o too o ooo u

TRIPLE ANIMAL COMPOUNDS

otooooooo ooooo o oooo oo-o-oo oo..,ooo ,.._., oo ooooooo-oo ooooo ooooo oo oooo oooo Ott to 0 OOtoo oooo 01 ot ooootoooot •••• 0 • .... 0 0


j¥ rank odour (shan 1) Three sheep or goats together indicates 'rank odour of sheep or goats'. A group of farm animals is never going to smell good.

.

a horses runnrng (biao1) Three horses together means 'horses running'.

This is the traditional form of 'worms' or 'bugs', comprising three 'bug' building blocks. It is the more commonly used form of 'bug' .$. in traditional Chinese. This character also means 'i nsects'.

········································································································································································································· ·- ··············· .. -·································-·········

TRIPLE ANIMAL COMPOUNDS

127


grass

bud

tea

bitter

This character is a combination of 'grass' and 'early' !f!. and means 'grass' or ' herbs'.

This character is a combination of 'grass' qnd 'field', and refers to the buds that sprout in f ields.

This character is a combination of 'grass', a component that resembles 'person' and 'tree', and can be translated as 'tea tree'. The original

This character is a combination of 'grass' and 'o ld' ii. An old plant is not going to taste very good! This character also means 'illness'.

form of this character, ~' meant 'bitter herb' .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. GRASS COMPOUN DS

129


â&#x20AC;˘money Tta:Sfriiplifiiill form Is Jl


'

---

to buy

to sell

poor

to congratulate

~ to congratulate This character is a combination of 'net' and 'shell'. It alluded to using a net to collect shells, which you could use to buy things. The simplified form is~.

This character is a combination of 'scholar', 'net' qnd 'shell'. Originally it was a combination of 'to get out' and 'to buy', alluding to getting rid of purchases by selling them.

This character is a combination of 'to divide' and 'shell'. As shells were once currency, dividing them would make you poorer. The simplified

( he4 ) This character is a combination of 'to add! and 'shell'. Congratulations in China .are often given in the form of money.

form is~.

The simplified form is~ .

~ liD

~* buyer

The simplified form is ~.

=ll"i!. ~

~::E customer

commerce (mai 3 mai4 )

(ma i3 zhu 3 )

to buy + to sell

to buy + master

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

to buy back (mai 3 hui 2 ) to buy + to retu rn

(ma i3 jia1) to buy + home

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SHELL COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

131


While the character

*

'big' depicts a man stretching his arms out wide, indicating his large size. 'small' originally depicted a man kneeling with his arms by his side to appear small.

0 •

o 0 o 0 0 0 0 o • 0 o • o • • , • o • , • • o • 0 o • o • • o I o 00 ot o o oot o 00 o o o • o o • o o • • • o • oo oo o o o oo o oo oo • ·• I oo o o o 00 .._.., 00 0 0 ooooo I U

132

SHELL BUILDING BLOCK

00 0

.....................................................................................................


/ \

sharp

little

/ \ I

grandchild

This character originally meant 'little', 'minus', 'few' or 'less', but has been extended to also mean 'young'. It has an alternative pinyin: shao 4 .

This character is a combination of 'small' and 'big', and means 'sharp', 'pointed' or 'acute'. Imagine a triangle that is big or wide at its base then tapers to a small, sharp point.

This character is a combination of 'small' and 'soil'. This is the simplified form; the traditional form is

villain (xiao 3 ren 2) small + person

*'J'

j1}~

;J'A

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

4

size (da xiao big + small

~··························-·············

3 )

flj, a combination of 'deer' and 'soil'. It alludes to the dust kicked up when a herd of deer run.

This character indicates E1 little child. This is the simplified form; the traditional form is ~. a combination of 'child' and 'system' ~, indicating the continuation of children.

j1}.:;r grandson

granddaughter ( su nt nu3 )

(su n1 zl)

grandchild + woman

grandchild + son

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SHELL COMPOUNDSANDPHRASES

133


cat

duck

+.+ small

i :

cat

I I

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••• ••••••• •••

::

mountain

lynx

;J'ua ft and 'bud'.

Its simplified

form is Mit which Is a combination of 'dog' and 'bud'.

i

......................................................................................................................:

kitten

This character is a combination of 'raccoon'

cat

This character is a combination of 'helmet' and 'bird'. A male mallard looks like it is wearing a green helmet. The $implified form of this charqcter is '~·

kitten (xiao3 mao1)

A very simple phrase; a small cat is a kitten. sma ll + cat= kitten

wm lynx (shan 1 mao 1) A lynx is a speeies of wildcat recognizable by its tufted ears. Lynx are normally found in highaltitude forests. mountain + cat= lynx

~.±. Elvis Presley

(mao1 w ang2 ) cat + king ••• 0. ~ · ••••

134

u

·~ 0 • • • 0'! • • • • • • • • • • ._• • ~··- . ... . . . . . ~ • • • • · -· . . . . . . . . . . ~·· • • • • • • • • • • • •

u

• • ,,. ••• · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · -· · . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .· -· · • • • • ''! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ' " ' · -· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

ADDITIONAL ANIMA L COMPOUNDS AND PH RASES

. . . .._. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


~ to wrap up (bao 1) This building block means 'to wrap up'. Its most common form is

'22 .

• • • • • • • • • • ' • • • • • • • • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • - · • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

136

TO WRAP UP BUILDING BLOCK


sentence

of

well distributed

even

5J

a~ of (de) In oracle-bone inscriptions, this character was a

4 and 'mouth'. Unlike i!Jr

combination of 'rope'

(below), which usually refers to a specific sentence, this character tends to be used when counting (e.g. 'there are 10 sentences'). sentence (ju 4 zi) sentence + son

1:i.JT-

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

This character is a combination of 'white' and 'to wrap up'. It means 'of' and is one of the most frequently used Chinese characters.

yes (hao3 de) good + of

frr89

~··························-·············

well distributed

(yu n 2 ) This character can also mean 'to divide'. The combination of 'to wrap up' and the number two alludes to treating two things equally.

This character is a combination of 'soi l' and 'well distributed/to divide'. It alludes to an even division of land.

i5.J>.J to distribute evenly (jun 1 yun2 ) even + well distributed

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. TO WRAP UP COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

137


Jl how many (ji 3 ) This is the simplified form of 'how many'; the traditional form is •· a combination of 'few' ~ and 'defence' fl. and originally meant 'fine' or 'slight'. This character has a number of alternative pinyins and meanings: as noun = bench (ji 1) as adverb =almost (ji 1) as verb = reach/attain (ji 1) as pronoun = several (ji 3 )

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••

This character is a combination of 'tree' and 'how many'. Its traditional form is W.

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

138

HOW MANY BUILDING BLOCK


J'L ordinary (fan

2

ordinary

quantity of flowers

male phoenix

female phoenix

)

In oracle-bone and bronze scripts, this character repr-esented building apparatus. It originally meant 'mould for making Qbjects', and then evolved to mean 'ordinarY.'.

Jl~

(ji 3

several days t ian 1)

how many + sky/day

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

5R

quantity of flowers (duo 3 )

Jil. male phoenix (feng 4 )

~

female phoenix ( huang 2 )

This character is a combination of 'how many' and 'tree'. It refers to a unit, such as a dozen flowers. Jl~it? means 'how many flowers?' (ji3 duo3 hua).

This character is a combination of 'how many' and 'bird'. In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the king of birds and symbolizes good fortune. The simplified form is ~

Jl~?

~r Jl several

+Jl a

(hao 3 ji 3 )

(sh i2 jl1)

good + how many/severa l

ten + how many/almost

how many days? (ji 3 tian 1) how many + sky/day ~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'how many', 'white' and 'king ', and refers to the female phoenix of Chinese mythology.

dozen or so

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. HOW MANY COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

139


This character has looked rather abstract throughout its thousand years of evolution, so I think this illustration expresses its meaning well. The character has an alternative pinyin: mou 3.

.............................................................................. 4000000001tt•••••···················································~························4·······················.. ·········•••···•···•·•·••·••••·••·•·•····••·•·········•······ .. •·•

140

PRIVATE BUILDING BLOCK


public

to go

. pme

platform

i:l' platform

0 public (gong 1) This character is a combination of the number eight and 'private'. It also means 'grandfather' when written i}i}, or 'male' when referring to animals.

This character is a combination of 'private' and 'soil'. It al ludes to a person leaving a place to go somewhere.

This character is a combination of 'tree' and 'public'. A different character with the same pronunciation ~ can mean 'to relax' and 'loose'.

(tai 2 )

This character is a combination of 'private' and 'mouth'. Norma lly an orator is the sole person to stand on a platform and deliver their speech . The other traditional form of this character' is

0~

police (China) (gong1 an1) pub Iic + peaceful

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~ ~ police (Taiwan)

(jing3 cha 2 ) police + to observe ~··························-·············

B.

0 .±. princess (gong 1 zhu 3 ) public + master

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. PRIVATE COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

141


~

to reveal (shi4)

This character originally meant 'stone table for sacrificial offenngs'. In ancient times, sacrificial ceremonies were intended to demonstrate devotion to the gods. Therefore. the character 7F means 'to reveal' or 'to show' .

.

................... .............. ......... ..... ............ f to reveal (shi 4 ) ~

This character Is the form of 'to reveal' that is used as a component in certain compounds. See 'auspicious' opposite for an example of this character.

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

142

TO REVEAL BUILDING BLOCK


. .

a u spiCIOUS

society

god

blessing

~ auspicious

(xiang 2 ) This character is a combination of 'to reveal' and 'sheep', and also means 'omen', 'good luck' and 'happiness' . People once sacrifrced sheep for luck.

t± society

(she

4

)

This character is a combination of 'to reveal' and 'soil', and originally referred to a place of worship. It has since evolved to mean 'society' or 'company'.

t$U shrine

~~~ serene

(shen 2 she 4 ) god + society

(an 1 xiang 2 ) peacefu l + auspicious

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'to reveal' and 'to explain'. God is omnipotent and omniscient. He revea ls secrets.

This character is a combination of 'to reveal' the number one, 'mouth' qnd 'field', and also means 'good fortune' or 'blessing'. It is commonly written on red paper during Chinese New Year.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. TO REVEAL COMPOUNDS AN D PHRASES

143


sweat

flat

year

This character is a combination of 'water' and 'shield/dry', and alludes to a person being dry because they have sweated out all their water.

This character is a combination of 'shield' and the number eight. It also means 'gentle', 'equal' or 'level'.

This character refers to the time required for the earth to orbit the sun once, based on the Chinese calendar. For example, the phrase-~ means 'one

year'. The character can also mean 'new year' or 'annual'. SJL~ safe

:$'~&\ happiness

(ping 2 an1) flat/gentle + peaceful

(xing 4 fu 2 ) fate + blessing

......................... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'shield'

T,

±

'soil' and 'to be' ". Ironically, this character originally meant 'torture'. Today it means 'fate' or 'good fortune'.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. SHEILD COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES

145


) ice (bingl) This character rarely appears by itself. Instead, it is used as part of a compound. It is commonly called

JWa*. 'two dots of water'.

······································~···········

146

..

······························································································~························~··································································· ···················

ICE BUILDING BLOCK

..···


0

ICe

frozen

winter

to gallop

;,~ to gallop (feng 2 ) This character is a combination of the building blocks 'ice' and 'water'. indicating frozen water.

JJ.I<l.!< means 'iced water'.

This character is a combination of 'ice' and 'east'. The coast of China lies to the east, and in winter ieebergs would have come from the east. The simplified form is

)*.

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'slow' jz ('slow' looks similar to the charaeter for 'dusk', but has an extended stroke) and 'ice'. It translates literally as 'slow ice', which alludes to ice building up slowly over winter.

This character is a combination of 'ice' and 'horse', and means 'to gallop'. This character is also a surname. The simplified form is ~.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. ICE COMPOUNDS

147


7:.

to owe (qian 4 )

The earliest form of this character in oracle-bone inscriptions deptcted a person kneeling with a wide-open mouth. It is believed that this represented a person in the act of yawning, because the meaning of the character was 'to yawn'.

Since the clerical change, the wide-open mouth is no longer discernible in this character. However, characters with !R.. as a component are often related to opening the mouth and exhaling. When one yawns, it means one is tired and short of energy. Therefore, an extended meaning of !R.. is 'to lack', which is commonly used in modern Chmese.

........ .. .. . ...TO .. .. ... . . . ..··- ·······························-·······-··-····-·······-········-································································································································································· OWE BUILDING BLOCK

148


to blow

to cook

sequence

Europe

This character is a combination of 'mouth' and 'to owe'. In this case. 'to owe' means 'to yawn'.

This character is a combination of 'fire' and 'to owe'. In this case. 'to owe' means 'to blow', and refers to blowing the embers to cook your food.

This character is a combination of 'ice' and 'to owe'. It is used to refer to the number of times that something happens. For example. the phrase means 'twice'.

=lj:.:

This character is a combination of 'area' ~and ' to owe'. This

character's pronunciation sounds similar to the English pronunciation of 'Europe'. The simplified form is~ .

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

~··························-·············

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. TO OWE COMPOUNDS

149


to compare

t o transf orm

f inger

f lower

tt to compare (bi ) 3

This character comprises two 'dagger' building bloeks, and symbolizes two people wa lking in unison, shou lder to shou lder. It now means 'to compare'.

......... ....... ...... ... ·-····· ..................................,.

n

{lj

t o transf orm (hua 4 ) This character is a combination of 'person' and 'dagger'. It is often seen in words relating to chemistry, especial ly when referring to elements and substances. It also means 'to melt' or 'to convert'.

~··························-·············

This character is a combination of 'hand' and 'purpose' ~ , which is a combination of 'dagger' and 'sun'. Fingers are what make your hands useful. The character also means 'point' when used as a verb.

fl ower

1 (hua )

The character is a combination of 'grass' and 'to transform '. Flowers might look a b it li ke transformed grass.

.........' ............................................................................ ' .....................................-......................... ···-··· ................................. DAGGER COMPOUNDS

151


Advanced Sentences

.••

.••

························ · ····· · ··~···· · ····· · ···· · ···················································~·······································~········· · ······· · ···································

Such a beautif ul princess

"Pf~ B'5J 0

.3:. (pages 97, 41, 137, 141)

t

:•

:•

················································· · ····························································· ·····~··············~····················································· · ··········

Such a long sentence

~r-& 8'51 1:!1 T- (pages 97, ss, 137)

.•••

• • • •.• • • • 0 0 0 •

0 . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . ... . 0 . . . . . . . 0 • • 0 • • ._• • • 0 0

.4.

.

0 0 • '"""" 0 . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • 0 0 • • • • • • • • • 0 .._._._. 0 . . . . . . 0 0 • • • • 0 . 0 0 0 0 • • 0 • • • • • • 0 •

0 • • • • •.._• • 0 • 0 . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . ... . 0 . . . . . . 0 ._. . . . 0 . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . 0 •

••

0- A- 0 0 0- 0 0 • 0 • 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 • • 0 0 0 • • 0 0 • 0 0 0 0 . . .

Sweat stinks

"Pf ~ ~ )f

(pages 97, 99, 137, 145)

.••

..

.•

··················································································································~··························~···········•••ooooooottt•••······················••o•

The instruction from God

fEI3 B'5J t~ ~ (pages 143, 137, 151, 142)

o oo o o u o o o o-oo oo o oo o "'! o o o o oo o o o oooo ooo o o o 0-0 oo o o o oo o o o oo o 0 oo o o o oo-o o o o o •• ooo o •ooo oo •• 0-00 ooo o o o oo o o o o o oo o oo oo o o •o o oo o o-oo oo o.oo·o 0-0• ooo o oo-oo o o oo ooo •••• oO..o o o o •• o oo •• oo oo--o oo o oo oo o •• o o o o o ooo oo oo o o o.o o oo o •<t• oo o o o~ o.o o oo o o oo o..o o o o oo o '! o o o o o-o-ooo o oo o o' o o o o o o o •• 00-0 o •o oo o o 0-0 o.oo o o o o o

152

ADVANCED SENTENCES


.•••

.•••

·····•···•···••···•·················•····••···•···•····••···•····•·

Blessed woman from Shandong Province

~fi 811 U.J *~A

·•····•·····················••····•·····•

(pages 145,143,137, s4)

I .•

. ••

••

·········~·············~···························································································~· · ···········································································

Everybody be careful

"ft:..

* J\ {,\ 1

(pages 93,

87)

L..-.----·---------·--·--·_.._..._.-·--·----·-·-.t-·---·---· ------..-·--·-·-·-·J Beautiful teenage girl

~j) "!;{ (pages 41, 133, 46)

~

·" '' ..• ...........•...,....•.....•.•..•....•....•.•.......•....•.........•....•.........•............................••...............•.

1.

The fish is so fresh

~,-p:ffl (pages 25, 97, 41)

.

....... ....... . . . .0 •

• • • 0 • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • •• • • • • • • 0 • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 .

f ................ +1"• ••••••••••••••••

•••• ~·· •••••• ~· . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . .- •••••••••• ._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ADVANCED SENTENCES

153


..• • •

•• ••• •

•• •

• 0 ••••••••••••••••••

Ice-cold lad y

J7.J< UJ ~A

(pages 147, 42, 41, 16)

I ..• ..• .•....................................................................................................................................................•

The lamb is going home I

J\ $@]

*

(p ages 13 2, 40, 23,

93)

..• .•. .·····•••'"-""···............................................................................ ··- .. ········· ...........................--. ..........................•• '

Everyone is safe

A A 3fZ- ~ (pages 21, 14 5)

'' '' '' '' '' ,' ,, ,' ',,,,, ' '_,' ' ' ' ' ' .

..• •

..• •........................•....................................•.....•..••••••••••••••••••••..•......•........................•.................

It rains too much

j§ij 7.}< fr.. ~

(pages 95. 19,

107)

0 • ooooooooOOoooo• oOOOOOOOOOOOOO• •000000000000000000

154

oOOOOOOOOOOOOO•o••••oo••oooooo4oO••ooooooooooo4ooooooooooooooOoo•ooooOOOOOOOOOIOIIO•oo000000000000000000000.0000000oOeOOOOOOOOeo•oe••oooo~4oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo~oooooooOOOOOOOOI0000.000000I00000000000

ADVANCED SENTENCES


.•••

.:•

•·~· · ·············· · ········· · · · ·············

The younger sister is going to Japan

· ····· · ········t· ·· · · · ··~·

P*:P* ~ f3 7-1-' (pages 48, 141, 55)

• .••.

.• •

. . . . ._. 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . 0 . . . . . 0 • • 0 ' . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . 0 ....... 0 • • 0 0 • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . ... . . . . . 0 . 0 0 . . . . . 0 0 . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . ... . 0 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . ··~ 0 0- . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 0 • 0 • 0 . . . . . . . . . ._.._• • 0 • • • 0 0 0 • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 • • • • 0-0 . . . . . . . . ....._• .. _ . 0 • • 0 0 0 0 • 0-0 . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 ........ 0 • • .._....._. . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • •..._. 0 0

How much does this flower cost?

~1t

tb 9/?

(pages 113, 139, 1s1, 131, 101, 133)

• .•

.••

•...........................~ · ···........................................................................................................................................................ .................................................................... ~~··································•

Grandfather returned from the forest

i}i}f~~~* §1

*

(traditional Chinese) ;

00M~*f\@H~

(simplified Chinese)

(pages 141, 17, 33, 37)

1i

••

.•.•

..•• .

········~······· ·······~· · ·········· · ··············~··························~·····~·· .. ···········~~············· ···················~· ·····················································•J••••••·································,······························· ··

Madam Lin is returning in May

**~A Ji .F.J §1 :i;:

(pages 33, 18, 82, 56, 23, 141)

•••• • oo~oooo~oooooo o ooooooo~oooooooo•••oooooooooooooooooooo o o~ooooo~oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo o oooo o ooooooooooooo•o ooooooooooooooooooooooo o ooooooooooo o oooooooooooooooooooooo o oo~oooooo o oooooooooooooo~oooooooooooooo•••••••••••••oooo • • o

156

ADVANCED SENTENCES

•ooooooooooooooooooo o a o oooo•


.••

.. .••

•• ........•...•.....•••.• ,...........•....•..••...••.........•

· · ~··· ······ ···· · ··············

Mama is pregnant

~~ ~~ J\ ~± T

(pages 77, 115)

••

••

............................... . ...............................................................................................................: The brat is clapping his hands

l

~

J\ T tB =f.

1

(pages 132, 96, 101)

• fE

'"' .••••

i•

• • 0 • • 0 • • • • • • ..._• • • •.._. . . 0 . 0 .._. 0 •

. . . . . 0 .......... 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 • • • • 0 . ... . . . . . . 0 0 . . . . 0 . . . . . . ... . 0 0 . ... . 0 • • • • • • . . . . . . . . . . 0 4 • • • 0 • • . . . . . . . ... . 0 . . . . . . . . 0 0-0 • • • • •. . _ . 0 • • • • • • • • 0 • • • 0 0 • • • • 0 • • • 0 • • • • 0 ._._. . . . . .._._• • 0 • • • • 0 . 0 · -·

._. . . . 0 · - ·

. . . . . . ..._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 •

• • • 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . · ·-·

. . . . . . 0 0 · ·-·

• • • • • • • • • • 0 ....... 0 • •

The mermaid princess burst into tears

fa I \ ' -+- 0.1;1 /\.. '"' './4 .:E /\. 7<:: l

I

\

I

I

(pages 24, 141, 27)

n-

. ..••• .l '•••••,.••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••-••••U••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••u••••••••••••••oo,ooo•••••••••••••••••••,.••••••••••oo•••••••••U••••••••••"

The rich girl stinks

'i'~~ *~

(pages 121, 19, 99)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , ••••••• f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ADVANCED SENTENCES

157


••• ••

. ,

The Story of Peter and the Wolf


'wolf'

IJil


Once upon a time, on the edge of a forest clearing, there lived a boy named Peter. Early one morning, Peter left his home to go for a walk in the dark forest, leaving the gate to his house open.

••• ••

162

••• ••


While t he duck was swimming, a bird flew down beside it and mocked, ' What kind of bird are you, if you can't fly?' To which the duck indignantly replied , ' What kind of bird are you, if you can't swim?'

,,,

A nearby du c k, noti c ing that the gate w as open, d ecid ed t o go for a qu ick swim in Peter's ya rd .

164

165


While the duck and the bird were arguing, a sly cat crept slowly towards them. The cat thought to itself, 'I wi II catch that Iittle bird while it's arguing with the duck!' But, before the cat could pounce, Peter warned the bird, who flew to safety.

â&#x20AC;˘

,,,, 167


Hearing Peter's call , his grandfather, who hadn 't realized that Peter had left the safety of the house, scolded him: 'Suppose a wolf came out of the forest!' he chided . straight towards them.

169


Hearing Peter's ca ll, his grandfather, who hadn't realized that Peter had left the safety of the house, scolded him : 'Suppose a wolf came out of t he forest!' he c hided.

Peter scoffed, 'Boys like me are not afraid of wolves!' But at that very moment, unbeknown to them, a big, hungry grey wolf w as stalking through the forest straight towards them .

169


II

â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘

--

When Peter had returned to the safety of his home, the hungry wolf slunk out of the forest. In a flash, the bird flew up into the tallest tree, but the duck, who could not fly, was no match for the speed of the wolf. With one huge gulp, the wolf caught the duck and swallowed it whole!


Seeing that his friends were in trouble, Peter fetched a rope and climbed into a nearby tree. As the bird distracted the animal, Peter lowered a noose and caught the wolf by its ta i I.


While the wolf struggled, the noose became tighter and tighter until, at last, the wolf could struggle no more. A nearby hunter, who had been trying to track the wolf, spied Peter in the tree and offered to shoot the wolf, but Peter had another idea.

l

â&#x20AC;˘


With the wolf safely tied up, Peter led the hunter to a zoo in a nearby village, where the wolf stayed for the rest of its days.

176


=

three

1 (san )

One plus two is three.


REFERENCE Building Block Plates Index of Characters and Phrases


Building Block Plates

~

"''

A

~

person (ren

2

3

/\. dog (quan )

)

16

26

40

~ feather (yu 3 )

182

22

51

BUI LDING BLOCK PLATES

Ill mountain (shan1)

42

j{_

woman (m/)

~ moon (yue

4 )

32

t'r bamboo (zhu

46

~~

bird (niao

56

I

work (gong )

3

2 )

39

50

)

1

60


a white ( bai2)

62

mtiger ( h u3)

64

r~ door (men2)

.tt=- cow ( n iu 2)

74

,~ horse ( ma3)

76

.3S. jade (y u 4 )

fit boat (zho ul)

81

-one (yi 1)

82-83

.$.bug (chong 2)

l}<

66

78

84

water (sh ui3)

70

JII river (chuanl)

80

~tall/length (chan g2) 85

86

n knife (dao l)

88

~pig (sh i3)

........., roof (mian2)

92

91

BUILDING BLOCK PLATES

183


'' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' ,,,,,,,,, ''''''''' '' '' '' ' ' '' '' '' '' '' '' ' '- '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' '' §

94

103

F

household ( hu

4

)

eye ( m u')

104

98

100

105

106

'• • =

i:i

2

to talk (yan )

108

114

184

BUI LDING BLOCK PLATES

lll

110

± soldier ( sh i

4

)

116

± scholar (sh i 117

4

)

'

L

4

walking (c huo ) 112

83 field ( t ian

2 )

118


122

gj

wine vessel (you

128

'l to wrap up

3

)

123

~

1

-Xi weapon (g e )

124

132

130

JL how many Ci)

1 x(bao )

136

140

j l ghost ( g u i3 )

-

135

4

iJ' to reveal (sh i

)

142

138

144

125

146

!R. to owe ( q ian

4

150

)

148

BUILDING BLOCK PLATES

185


Index of Characters and Phrases Chineasy teaches mainly traditional Chinese (see p. 11). Where the traditional and simplified forms of a character are different, the traditional form is given first, followed by the simplified form. Where no distinction between forms is noted, the traditional and simplified forms of the character are the same.

~ID!K

account/bill (zhang

*~

4 )

achievement/generosity 4

(da qi

:bD

to add

:*:A. Ji

2

adult (da ren ) 1 (jian )

adultery

** ~

3

4

angry (huo da ) apricot (xing

tk

4 ) 2·

argument (nuan )

AI

artificial (ren

~a~

2

1 gong )

to ascertain (cha ming

2

to ask (wen ) to assist (fu

at (zai

t~

2 )

4 )

auspicious (xiang

'rT

2

A

2

bank account (zhang hu ) to bark (fei

4

4

to bark loudly (da fei

4 )

4

be carefu I (x iao beautiful (mei

1iA.

3

1 xin )

beautiful lady (jia ren 1

Jtt

* ** ~~~

belly (du )

CICI

,~

big (da

)

4 )

4

bird (n iao bitter (ku

3

3

3

blazing (yan yan

47

~

burning hot (yan

2

blessing (fu to blow

2 )

1 (chui )

) 1 (mie )

3

38

) I

87

I

122 2

57

)

2 )

129 3

2

2

84, 127 2

29

)

67

buyer (mai jia )

101

~tltt

to calculate (ji

115

:bDtN

California (jia zhou

m~~~

cat (mao)

SA

Caucasian (bai ren

~

to cause (yin

~

character (zi

104

27

115 109

to buy (mai

3

131

) 3

to buy back (mai hui 3

2 )

131

1

131

4

109

)

1

1 )

90

1

134 2

1111/1~

2

63

)

1 )

23

4

97

)

to charge in (chuang

,J,r.P

3

77

)

3

1

101

cheat sheet (xiao chao )

~

2

53

to check (cha )

ta-¥

1

to clap hands (pai shou

:JJ' a,ij

1

*I* ~*~~* l:lj *I l:lj

75

)

'Jti!R:. 'Jt ~I!*:.~ ~ 1#.1'!*:. 1#.

*

cleqrly (fen ming to come (lai

2

3 )

101 89

)

2

33

)

to come back (hu/ lai 1

'ltRI!R:.~

to come out (chu lai

tt

commerce (mai mai

3

2

2

37

)

44

)

131

4

3

)

1313.

to compare (bi

)

151

-~~

to compel (po )

113

M

to congratu late (he)

41

3C'G' iX

to construct (jia

143

Ill~

77

bleating of sheep

INDEX

AI$.

129

)

2

ox

36

bug (chong)

50

)

to blame (ma )

1&

71<4

31

)

4

~

31

buffalo (shui niu

17

)

big fire (da huo

1:11:1

m

115

4

*1t$ :X.JJ.l..

186

2

4

.E:r

47

bud (miao

41

)

to believe (xiang xin

*I

a~

87

3

1

*t:J1s

18

bright (ming

71

to bathe (mu )

~

i:S

27

)

:;1\:lljt

'J''G'

90

bow (gong)

39

bamboo (zhu )

lljt

)if\

~~~~~

bored (men)

143

)

2

~FID!KF

Hl'f*

58

)

4

~

27

body (ti

61

2

rc~ll)j]

:J$T

)

4

81

85

4

1 ( j ia )

l

boat (zhou)

30

4

4

1

1

to cook (chui ) country (guo )

90

)

contented (an xin

2

149

4

131

1 )

87 149 79


43

1

XJ.llr:l 1111-J:A

crowd (zhang )

~

to cry (ku)

*~

3

crater (huo shan kou ) 4

1

4

1

to cry out (da ku ) to cry out in anger

71<~

crystal (s hui j ing )

~3::/~3::

customer (mai zhu

7J<r,t7J<n fKI f:f-T

3

3

dam (shu/ men

2

)

)

1

daughter (nan) 4

day (ri zi)

ft

deer (lu )

2

1 )

2

determination (zhi

4

43 72

~~~

Europe (ou)

131

~

even (jun

150

~*

every day (tian tian )

73

*~

everybody (da

48

A.A.

everY,one (ren ren )

~r:l ).jJls.J....

exit (chu kou

93 110

)

to distract (fen

1

1 xi n )

89

137

to distribute evenly

to divide (fen

89

4

19

!).';! I IA.l

7C r,;n

to dodge (shan )

1*XJ.ll

3

tD ~

t8

2 )

4

end (mo ) 4

to enter (ru )

65

1

149

1 )

137 1

1

1

21

1 jia )

4

2

93

2

21

3

44

)

2

2

expert (da ren ) to explain (shen

113

1 )

119 1

extremely big (tian da

4

21

)

4

eye (mu)

98 1

fairy (xian nu

3 )

49

4

102

to fasten (kou ) fate (xing

dog (quan) 2

door (men ) 2

3

4

145

)

4

fear (pa )

87

~~~

:t?J

dream (meng )

5f*

to dress up (ban )

iU~

to drip (lin

路~~~路~ 9

to drive (jia duck (ya)

~~~

dusk (xi

4

) 4

)

1

1 )

2

dust (chen ) 1

east (dong) 4

to eat (dan )

2

1

m

fine (jia )

*:k JJJ.I X 7k.

finger' (zhi

2

,.

115

3

fire (huo

3

151

)

28

) 1 )

93

25

139

fish (yu

107

five (wu

101

flames (yan )

)

3

82

) 4

29 4

71

SfL

flames of fire (yan yan

90

~~~

flat (ping

134

~

to flee (ben )

106

71< JJJ.I 71< 7k.

flesh (rou )

133

:(t

flood (shui zai )

53

mrt

flower (hua)

29

58

1

2

61

118

)

3

4

2

1

fire disaster (huo zai 2

139

)

3

66

1

2

female worker (nu gong )

{i

45

a dozen or so (shi ji )

female phoenix (huang

26

dormant volcano

+mt+JL

51

to find out (cha chu)

68

3

EE

feather (yu )

~~

doorway (men kou )

(xiu huo shan )

~I

134

36

field (tian

67

3

1

{ili~

~

1 )

doctor (dai fu)

r, r:~ ;n r:~

~*

1

Elvis Presley (mao wang

3

. 1 2) ( JUn yun

**-

)

*A

116

)

4

27

1 (zai )

dish (min

4

(da mei

$

49

eldest younger sister

~It~rti:

109

)

83

27

125

detailed (xiang

3

*P*

63

4

disaster

45

97

daytime (bai tian

lill

3

)

8~ ~li楼

1 (duo )

1

3

dagger (bi

I\

17

Dlij

~

74

2

30

126

4

56

3

1

1

1 )

)

145

) 1

to fly (fei

4

93 151 103

INDEX

187


4

2*

foam (mo)

*1*

folks (da huo )

4

3

2

~/M.

to follow (cong )

~

forest (sen )

.

1

~

to forgive (shu

*

foundation (ben

jft_

fountain (quan

gg

four (si

f!¥.1~¥:

fresh (xi an

2

) 3

)

)

4 ) 1 )

~7}<.

fresh water (dan shui

Jill

friend (peng

fE

from/due (you )

4

2

3

)

) 2

*-P~/J\:fl

'*/)* **/** mill~. ~~~~~

~

home (jia

17

~~~

horse (ma )

4

2

front gate (da men ) 4

4

future (wei lai

2

76

33

m;JL

how many (ji

71

m~?IJLJZ? how many days? (ji3 tian 1)

139

82

:fbj>

how much (duo shao )

107

41

@]A_

Hui people (hui ren

72

A.RIA..f*

human body (ren ti

57

*A.**

I am furious

37

) 3

gall bladder (dan )

57

to gallop (feng )

147

gas pedal/accelerator

121

2

43

to get out (chu) ghost (gui

4

3

1

3

~

(fu jia nu

135

)

fl1i

to go (qu )

121

)

1

127

horses running (biao ) 4

3

104 138

)

1

3

2

2

2

3

3

)

24

)

38 35

2

3

4

(ben ren huo da )

141

2

god (shen )

143

3

97

P:J'L'

good Chao)

~/1/J\

good intention (hao xi n

~~/~J\~

grandch ild (sun )

~=fi~J\=f

granddaughter (sun nu )

-t+

grandson (sun zi)

1.!

grass (cao )

~

grass (cao)

1*

greed (lan )

group (huo )

~-¥

hand (shou )

~~

handrail (fu shou

'L'

happiness (xing fu

~A.

heart (xin

3

1 )

1

1

1

3

2

3 3

2

3

4

1 ) 1

heaven (tian ren

*·•·• f'01 .- n

'*~ ~jA./I*JA.

1m 1ili 'J'.5a *-R!J\:1:*

2

)

3

97

2

)

146

1

147

ice (bing ) 1

idiot (dai )

36 2

idler (xian ren

2

69

)

to illum inate (zhao

3

imp (xiao g ui

3

43 135

)

~

in vain (bai bai

B*

3

38

) 2

in the coming days (lai ri 2

2

1

it (ta ) 4

4

3

B*itt B*A.

Japanese language

55

)

109

n.4 b·en3 yu 3)

Japanese person

133

( .4

55

n b en 3 ren 2)

Japanese woman .4

3

3

55

2

128

1113:/~ 3:

(n ben nu ren )

129

3:

king (guo wang

48

3:~/3:~

king (wang

29

IJ\11/IJ\~~

kingdom (wang guo

100

]]

kitten (xiao mao )

~

knife (dao )

145

$.fi3i Rl=l 1=1

lamb (gao)

86

~131

language (yu )

21

58

78

)

B*~/

'"'

)

150

jade (yu

(

4

63

)

Japan (ri ben

B*~A.

89

)

1

*J3/* f3 as

4

immortal (xian )

133

101

)

1

ice (bing )

in general (da"' ti

133

3

•• " " ••• .-,. ,. -~ " " " ,... ~ ••, ...-... ,.., ., ,., ,. .,, ,. • o• •• , ,.,..,

I

3i

4

INDEX

3

household (hu )

147

frozen (dong )

girl from a rich family

P:1-

93

87

68

1

*~~~

1 )

•P IF

(you men)

:±1

119

)

\

2

188

30

119

2

5~P~ I5~fl

~

helmet (jia

33 4

3

71

2

2

2

79

)

79

) 2

3

1

2

)

79 134

1

88

1

41 3

to learn/practise (xi

109 2

)

63

•• • ,. , .,. " " " f' 01 .., -. r • • .-.• •,. , ., ~- " " " • • • • ooo • •• • • •,. • .,. ,. , ., ,...,. ,., -. • • • • • •,. n ~-- " ' " ,..,.,. .--o o ,. ,-,. , • • ,., ,..,,, " " " -~ • • • • " " 0 0 1 .-. .. ..-oo " oo o ••• ..._, ,.-,., • • • ,.., , ..-. ,. ...,., " " " • " " " "" .-,.., " " " " " " • • • l'oo •• • •O "' • ·•·• • • • o n • • • " """ " " " " ' " .., -. r oo • •• • Oo• ..-. • ••" h 1 f'O • o


3

tr.

left (zuo )

~,/~/1*1

leisure (xian

1~

letter/trust (xin I ittle (shao

3

2

) 4 )

)

1

longhorn beetle (tian niu lucky (ji

2

2

)

)

I.DU\/1-D~l

lynx (shan mao )

8/fJL

machine (ji )

H~

mad dog (guang quan )

1

1

1

4

3

4

~

odour (chou )

99

67

B'5J

of (de)

137

109

~~IOOi.if

official language (guo yu

133

T-"9:.

offspring (zi nu

75

)fij

oil (you

117

)fij 83

oil field (you tian

134

-

one (yi )

60

2

3

2

3

120

) 2

2

82 3

2

138

one's self (ben ren )

113

on·eself (zi

99

)

*~,Q/

main entrance

68

originally (ben lai

~

2

3

2

~

~

A.-¥ ~

:3:: ~

~**

A.i!!A.~

*A.I*A. ~

4

139

)

T

17

man (fu) 2

3

manpower (ren shou )

101

1

107

11'1any (duo) 3

79

master (zhu ) 3 ) 4

medical industry (xing lin 2

mermaid (ren yu

2

)

2

messenger (lai ren

mile (li

3

2

1

3

)

)

4

moon (yue) 2

morality ( ren pin

3

1

1 )

3

~'

*H

4

must (bi

4

~*

4

71

120

platform (tai

89

plum (li

56

police (China) (gong an

3

)

141

)

97 1

-~

1 )

3

141

ttl~

police (Taiwan) (jing cha

it.?I~F

poor (pin

A.l=l

poor household (pin hu

}J

population (reh kou power (li

2

2

36

CJ

)

141 131

2

4

2

)

llll

48

2

)

tB&!

)

101

plain (dan

83 4

141 1

0

)

2

1 )

105

net (wang)

)

91

private (d)

1 )

2

)

:*:JJJ.I:*:i:J:.

3

to obey (ru )

3

93

~~~

3

1

34

99

1

not yet (wei

1

Province (shan dong ren

.b.

natural disaster (tian zai

~[]

54

prison (liao

~JJJ.I~'!k.

*

person frol1'1 Shandong

107

name (ming

nine (jiu

16

)

~

myself (zi ji

3

2

111

~a

18

person (ren )

)

1 )

2

to plagiarize (chao )

87

11'1utual (xiang

11

4

people (zhong ren )

:*:11±-T .I:T0:3:: $

)

93

24

19

)

2

'f!fi A.!A A. A. 1-D*-AI 1-D*A.

1

peaceful (an)

37

22

4

4

~

101

pine (song

42

mouth (kou)

148

)

pig (shi

77

mountain (shan

34

)

124

24

)

mother (11'1a )

Mrs (tai tai

)

2

to pat (pai )

I:X

)

molecule (fen zi

2

139

)

1

120

male phoenix (feng

me/1 (wo

4

to owe (qian

male (nan)

2

3

(da men kou)

34

4

ordinary (fan

4

121

)

1

18

:*:fll=l

109 97

madam (fu ren )

2

)

)

~A.

1

3

3

)

4

)

104 24 90

) 4

4

pregnant (da du zi)

115

. ( pnnce wang 2 z1.3).

97

1

princess (gong zhu 2

)

141 93

)

140

4

public (da zhong public (gong

4

1 )

141 1

3

)

18

)

to publish (chu pin quality (pin

3

3 )

44

23

INDEX

189


3

~

quantity of flowers (duo

~I

queen (nu wang )

D,~/0~

question indicator (ma

5JJ.i~

quiet month for business

3

2

)

139 79

2 )

4

4

(dan yue )

~

rain (yu

*~

rain shower (da yu

~**

rainforest (yu lin

) 4

3

~7]<

3

3 )

2 )

3

rainwater (yu shui

3 )

1

rank odour (shan)

/Jls

:IJD )fil

2

to reach (da ) to refuel (jia

1*

rest

@]

1

71' ==-

rich (fu

:l\:J51:l\:F ~

JII

2

4

.........

4

rich household (da hu

4 )

4

QQ

shout (xuan )

95

fltlt±

shrine (shen she

127

~

113

~a

71 92

1

rough (cu)

126 2

2

~IJ

round trip (lai hui

SJL~

to row Chua)

07]<

safe (ping an

Dffl

saliva (kou shui

Ill 7]<

to scare (hu )

±

scenery (shan shu i

t1t

scholar (shi

a

to seek (zhao )

El1~

self (j i

-~~

self-confidence (zi xin

1:!1 Jq]=f

to sell (mai

sentence (ju

IX

sentence (ju zi)

89

2

1 )

145

3

3

72

)

3

64 1

3

73

)

4

117

) 3

3 ) 4

4 ) 4 ) 4

serene (an xiang

PT m1tff 1l

seven (qi )

sequence (ci

4 )

1

1

3

several (han ji

INDEX

*·•·• f'01 .- n

3 )

2 )

4 )

Jlfffjc ~

IJ'\ ~A.!~ A.

± ± =f ra~/IEl E3

4

130

) 1 )

144

1

2

tO sit (ZUO

4

115

) 4

to sit at (zuo zai six (liu

143

)

4

4

115

)

4

82

)

stze d a 4 xtao 3) 0

(

133

0

1

57

skin (fu) sky (tian

1 )

small (xiao

20 3

132

) 3

society (she soil (tu

143

)

3

114

)

soldier (shi son (zi

69

4

4

116

)

3

96

) 1

space/room (jian )

67

1

sparkles (jing ) 3

53

4

~7]<

spit (kou mo

1N

spring water (quan shui

tJ\ 3R/

state (zhou )

*s

to stroll (guang )

73

) 2

I

2

to steal (pa )

73

113

4

39

)

4

lll

0

sunrise (dan

109

)f

to surround (wei

131

=-

~

sweat (han )

1.37

ll)J

to talk (yan )

137

ftliE:

talkative (dao )

149

~

tall/length (chang )

143

Jru5§

tea (cha )

83

+

tear (lei

52

) 4

53

) 2

22

)

4

145

2

108 1

89 2

2

ten (shi

)

102 4

stupid (beh

3

80

13.

1.39

2

to sneak out (shan ren )

aa

05*

23

sun (ri

102

~~ 1::;

190

37

)

2

•• " " ••• .-,. ,. -~ " " " ,... ~ ••, ...-... ,.., ., ,., ,. .,,,. • o• •• , ,.,..,

104

80

1 )

40

)

95

60

)

2

*IT

120

)

roof (mian'2)

*@]/*@]

sheep (yang

133

shield (gan

142

)

4

river (j i ang

~

l\.IJ'\

54

1

95

23

)

river ( chuan ~)

)I

~

sharp (jian )

/'\

139

1

shell (bei

38

right (you

1

1 )

(shan dong)

~!.!n

c:t

l3ia

*I Ill *

94

121

1 (xiu )

to reveal (shi

Ill

Shandong Province

...J-

2 you )

to return (hui

m~Jll~

77 72

3

several days (j i tian

4

85 129

)

99

)

83

2

•• • ,. , .,. " " " f'01 .., -. r •• .-.• •,. ,., ~- " "" • •• • ooo • •• • • •,. • .,. ,. , ., ,...,. ,., -. • • • • • •,. n ~-- " ' " ,..,.,. .--oo ,. ,-,. , • • ,.,,..,, , " " " -~ ••• • " " 0 0 1 .-. .. ..-o o " oo o ••• ..._, ,.-,., • • • ,.., , ..-. ,. ...,., """ • " " " " " .-,.., """ " " " • • • l'o o •• • •O "' • ·•·• • • • on ••• " """ " " " " ' " .., -. roo • •• • Oo • ..-. • ••" h1 f'O • o


this (zhe4)

113

*.F.l -

this month (ben3 yue4)

59

~ I

three (sanl)

82

I

e!§

thunder (lei2)

119

to tie together (kun3)

m

*s

woods (lin2)

33

work (gongl)

60

worker (gongl ren2)

61

.A.rs~/ .A.Il3J

world (ren2 jianl)

69

102

~

to wrap up (baol)

136

tiger (hu3)

64

year (nian2)

145

today (ben3 ri4)

59

IJ.!~

years (sui4)

107

tomorrow (ming2 ri4)

59

:tlfa'g

yes (hao3 de)

137

too big (tai4 da4)

19

Yk

you (ru3)

71

too much (tai4)

19

~

younger sister (mei4)

48

to transform (hua4)

151

tree (mu4)

32

twins (zil)

97

two (er4)

82

!lull

two mountains (shenl)

43

to argue (chao3 jia3)

164-65

~1±

~~

unrestrained (zi4 zai4)

115

J.ttl~

bird (niao3)

160

USA (mei3 guo2)

79

tD

button (kou4)

163

utensil (qi4)

27

frai~Ni

cat (maol)

161

villain (xiao3 ren2)

133

qtct

chirp (zil zil )

167

volcano (huo3 shanl)

45

,, , ,~

duck (yal)

160

walking (chuo4)

112

~

the end (zhongl)

179

water (shui3)

70

m~

grandfather (zu3 fu4)

160

weak (ruo4)

122

,~/."9.1

horse (ma3)

177

weapon (gel)

124

B.A.!~ A.

hunter (lie4 ren2)

161

~

wel l distributed (yun2)

137

a+!ft!Jl

miaow (miao3 miao3)

166

8 lit

whirlwind (biaol)

126

nJll nJll

quqck (gua3 gua3)

167

white (bai2)

62

T-

son/boy (zi3)

160

whole (quan2)

79

~

weapon (gel)

174

Whole-heartedly (quan2 xinl)

87

~R

wolf (lang2)

161

wide expqnse of Wqter

71

/~

I=El

ml B~

S

** * 1t * H~~~/~@!

s IJ\A X Ill ' L

7.}< ~ ~ ~

'G'/it.'G' ~ )g3

(miao3)

~

wine (jiu3)

123

~

wine vessel (you3)

123

& "9:.

winter (dongl)

147

wizard (wul)

60

P:..A. lll*P:..A./ lll*"tl:..A.

woman (nu3)

46

woman (nu3 ren2)

49

woman from Shandong

54

.A.

Peter and the Wolf

Province (shanl dongl nu3 ren2)

INDEX

191


Acknowledgments The entire Chineasy project started out of a desire to teach my own children, MuLan (~.ll) and MuAn (~~)to read and appreciate the Chinese language and culture and

a personal curiosity to see if I could tackle the enormous task of deciphering the Chinese language of my childhood. Thanks to Bruno Giussani and Chris Ande.rson I was given the opportunity to share my private project on the global TED stage with a much larger audience than I ever intended, and I wish to thank Gary Sheinwald, Daria Pescador and Robert Leslie for their endless encouragement, constructive criticism and support during the four-month preparation leading up to my T ED talk. To execute the project I enlisted the help of Crispin Jameson and his Brave New World team, who have done a beautiful job. Throughout this process I also had the great pleasure of working with Noma Bar, whose fascinating illustrations have made my Chinese characters come to life. Isabella Schoepfer's assistance as project manager has been vital. I also want to thank Dimple Nathwani who has be.en looking after me for the past six years! I very quickly realized that Chineasy was taking on a life of its own, and as more people have come on board the project has grown even bigger. The endless discussions with Crispin and Noma, designers Darren Perry and Carissa Chan and my research assistant, Vanessa Lu ( 81~1Ji!). about each illustration and every single design detail have become my daily routine and I still bring my 'homework' back to MuLan and MuAn for their 'approval '. It sometimes feels like standing in front of a pair of critical judges! I would also like to thank Judith Greenbury, who is the reason why I first chose to write a Chineasy book. She is turning 90 years old in February 2014 and I want to make sure that I wish her a happy birthday here. Throughout the whole project a number of people have continued to help and support me: Myron Scholes, Susan Bird, Lulu Wang, Bi ll Gross, Chase Jarvis, Tim Ferriss, Stefan Sagmeister, Phi lip Rowley and the Woo family- to all of you, thank you. And last but not least, Lucas Dietrich of Thames & Hudson gave me the opportunity to serve those who are willing to go on this incredible journey with me. I left home at the age of 14, and have run around the world to try to understand myself, and my place in the world, ever since. I have looked for meaning and answers while walking barefoot through the Colombian Amazon, while sleeping in the Botswana desert listening to lions and hyenas, and while pushing myself to the limits of my endurance in some of the harshest, and coldest, climates in the world. After all the searching and fuss I finally realized that the answer to my question could be found where I started- home. I hope my calligrapher mothe.r Lin FangZi C~*~T-) and ceramic artist father Hsueh RuiFang ( liflliij]5=) can finally stop worrying about me, their rebellious daughter, now that I have found my place, and as I raise my own rebellious children.


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Chineasy