Monday, May 21, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (200) Sell - 賣

The bronze script for character Sell is


the top


has an Eye (the bottom) and Grow or Create (the top), the overall means Introspection.

The bottom of the full character

 is Shell (currency, or money).

Sell is people who think about the right price for him to sell certain item.

The big seal script for Sell is


The top


means "out". here is "give out". The character will be discussed in another post.

The middle one

 is Net.

The bottom one is Shell.

Here the Shell means that giving a price for money.

The small seal script is

same as its big seal script, the top is "out", the middle is Net, the bottom is Shell.

The clerical script is


which is more like its bronze script. The top and middle combination means "think about" or "figure out", the bottom is Shell.

The current traditional character (song typeface) is


same as clerical script.

The current simplified character (song typeface) is


total changed without any similarity to old scripts, and lost all pictography and ideogram.

Its pinyin is Mai4.

Amazing Chinese Characters (199) Buy - 買

The shell bone script for character Buy is


The middle top is Shell, which was used as currency or money in ancient China. The bottom and sides is a net. If a person takes a net of money, he must go to buy something.

The bronze script for Buy is


The net on the top, and the shell in the bottom in this character.

The big seal script for Buy is

The net on the top, and shell in the bottom, similar to the bronze script but more symmetrical.

The small seal script is


very similar to big seal script.

The clerical script for Buy is

The net on top became to a horizontal 目(Eye), which may be miswritten from 网 (Net).

 The current traditional character (song typeface) for Buy is


almost same as its clerical script.

The current simplified character (song typeface) for the character is


which is completely changed, no any similarity to the old scripts, and meaningless. You have to memorize it.

Its pinyin is Mai3.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (198) Mulberry - 桑

The shell bone script for character Mulberry is


which is like a mulberry tree.

The small seal script is


The top are mulberry leaves. The bottom is the tree trunk.

The clerical script is


similar to its small seal script, but the curve lines became to straight strokes.

The song typeface is


very similar to its clerical script.

Its pinyin is Sang1.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (197) Light - 光

The shell bone script for character Light is

The topis Fire. The bottom is a person. A Fire on a person means Light. We may think that the person is holding a torch.

It is very similar to

which is character Ghost who has a big head.

The small seal script for character Light is


It is same, the top is character Fire. The bottom is a person. The pictography has been lost.

The clerical script for character Light is

 

which is similar to its small seal script.

Its Pinyin is Guang1.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (196) Sunset - 暮

We have learnt character Evening in Post (52), now let us learn character Sunset. Basically, they are exchangiable in most cases, I will discuss this in the post.

The shell bone script for character Sunset is



the middle one is Sun, surrounded by 4 Grass. It means that the Sun is low down to the level of the Grass on earth, which is Sunset.

The character is similar to character Vast (Post 189)


The surrounding are 4 grass, but in side is a Dog which is running a great field.

Its small seal script is


similar to its shell bone script.

Its clerical script is
which changed a lot. Two Sun's right now. The reason is that the character was used for "Don't" too.  As more confusion occurred, people added another Sun into the character to be the character "Sunset". If only one Sun, it is "Don't" as the following.


The Song typeface is 


similar to the clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Mu4.  


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (195) Rich - 富

The shell bone script for character Rich is


a house with a big liquor jar. It means that a person who has a house, and liquor to drink, is rich. Because in ancient time, most people lived in small caves, you must be very rich to build a house. Also people at that time didn't have enough food to eat, only people who were very rich had extra food to make rice wine or other food liquor.

The bronze script for this character is
 a house and a rice or other food wine jar, but different shape.

The big seal script for this character is
a house and a rice or other food wine jar in different shape.

The small seal script for this character is

similar to the above scripts, but the jar.changed to three separated parts.

The clerical script
similar to small seal script.

The current song typeface is

similar to its clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Fu4.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (194) Shell - 貝

The shell bone script for character Shell is


which is a drawing from the real open shell, seeing from the front.




Its big seal script is


It looks like a shell from different direction.

Its small seal script is


which is similar to the big seal script, but lost some pictography.

Its clerical script is


similar to the small seal script.

The Song typeface for its traditional character is


which is very similar to the clerical script.

The Song typeface for its simplified character is 


The pictography is completely lost for reducing three strokes, which is not a smart change.

Because the shell was used as currency in ancient time, all characters containing a 貝 mean something related to "wealth", "money", "fortune" , or "rich", which will be discussed in later posts.

Its pinyin is Bei4.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (193) Drink - 饮

The shell bone script for character Drink is

the left part is a wine pot, and right part is tongue.

The bronze script for the character is


the left part is the wine pot, and the right is a person who holds the pot and try to drink the wine with his tongue.

The small seal script for the character is

which is similar to the bronze script on the left part, the right part is same as a person who is drinking.

The clerical script for the character is


which is changed a lot, not much similarity to the old scripts. The left part actually means Eat, not Wine Pot. Right part means Owe, not a person who is drinking. The reason why it changed to this form is unknown.

The current standard song typeface of traditional character is


very similar to the clerical script.

The song typeface of simplified character is


Its pinyin is Yin3.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (192) For - 为

The shell bone script for character For is

the left part is a hand, the right part is a vertical elephant, which means that a person guides an elephant to work for people.

The small seal script for the character is


which is a little bit complicated, the top is the hand, the long nose from top right, cross to left and go down along left, the bottom five vertical lines are elephant's legs and tail.

The clerical script for this character is


which is similar to the small script.

But there is another one


the nose here is more straight forward.

It is a very interesting ideogram character.

The current standard printing song script for traditional character is


which is similar to the clerical script above except only one dot for a hand.

The current standard printing song script for simplified character is


which has lost the pictography, and difficult to see any sign of had and elephant. You have to memorize it even it has less strokes.

Its pinyin is Wei4.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Amazing Chinese Characters (191) Village - 乡

The shell bone script for character Village is

two men sit on each side of a food utensils to have dinner.

Why does it mean "Village"? There is no explanation. 

I think that there were no cities, and towns in ancient time. People lived together to form villages surrounded by rural countryside where few people. People could only go to village to meet people and eat with friends in restaurants. 

The small seal script for the character is


the middle one is the utensils, but the two sides are not people but the place where people live, such as village, or township. We may think that there is a food utensils, and people sit on each side,  but there are many people, not just two. So the village is big village, or big township.

The clerical script for the character is


which lost the similarity. The right part means Ear, and the left part is unknown. One dictionary explains the change was caused by mistakenly writing.

The current standard song script for simplified character is


The current standard song script for traditional character is


Its Pinyin is Xiang1.