Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Amazing Chinese Character (116) Dog - 犬

The shell bone for original Chinese character Dog is


a dog in vertical position. Let's put it horizontally


which is more like a dog.

As I mentioned in character Pig, ancient Chinese wrote the characters on bamboo slips, it is easier to draw the animal in vertical on bamboo slips because they are very narrow.

Its small seal script is


which is changed so big that people can't relate it to its shell bone script. The bottom part is dramatically simplified.

Its clerical script is

which is also changed very big, not much similarity to either shell bone script or small seal script.

I should point out that there is another character for Dog, which is very popular too. Let's see its small seal script


the left radical,


is very similar to the Dog character, which is an indictive part for animal. If a character has this "Dog radical", it is an animal. The right part is the pronunciation of the character. This kind characters are called phonogram. One radical shows what the character related, another decides the pronunciation.

This one actually, the pronounciation of the character is not same as it right part pronunciation. It happens because the pronunciations of many characters has changed from their original ones.

The current standard printing script for Dog is


Its Pinyin is "Quan3".

Another one is
 

Its Pinyin is "Gou3".

They two are totally different in writing and pronunciation, but both mean Dog.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Amazing Chinese characters (115) Abreast - 并

The shell bone script for character Abreast is


two people stand one by one.

Its bronze script is


the two people stand side by side.

In comparison with character Compete

very similar.

Its small seal script is


or


the first one is one by one, the second is side by side.

Its clerical script is


which put two people in one body.

In comparison with Compete


which still keep two bodies separated, better form.

Its Pinyin is "Bing4".

Amazing Chinese characters (114) Compete - 竞

The shell bone script for character Compete is


two people stand side by side, they are competing.

Its small seal script is


still two people stand side by side, but more decorations on cloth.

Its clerical script is


similar to the old scripts above.

Its current standard printing script for traditional character is


same as the clerical script.

Its current standard printing script for simplified script is 


only one person, which is not meeting the meaning of Competing, so it is not a good simplified character. 

Its Pinyin is "Jing4".


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Amazing Chinese characters (113) Delighted - 爽

The shell bone script for character Delighted is



a person standing there, someone is tickling him. The result is that he will be smiling, delighted and pleased. The ancient Chinese used this diagram to show what Delighted means.

Its small seal script is



very similar to the shell bone script except all lines are same width.

Its clerical script is


similar to the small seal script.
Its current standard printing script is


Its Pinyin is "Shuang3".

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Amazing Chinese characters (112) Family - 家

The shell bone script for character Family is


a pig in a house.

The bronze script is more clear,


Ancient Chinese were nomadic people, only after they could raise animals at home, they settled down . The most domestic animal was pig, and still is.  So the character shows what their life and philosophy.

The small seal script is


which is changed a lot, especially the pig inside, but still pictographic.

The clerical script is


The current standard printing script is


Its pinyin is "Jia1".

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Amazing Chinese characters (111) Pig - 豕

The shell bone script for character Pig is


which is a picture of pig in vertical direction. Let us see how it looks when we turn it 90 degree.


Now we can see a pig which head on the left, tail on the right, and legs.

Why it was written in a vertical direction? My rational is that people wrote or carved this character horizontally on shell or bone in the early time, people wrote it vertically on bamboo in later time because the bamboo slip is very narrow, difficult to write the character vertically.

Many other animal characters are written vertically on the same reason.

Its small seal script is


Again it is a vertical pig. Let's turn it 90 degree.


It is more like a pig.

Its clerical script is


A vertical pig again.

The current standard printing script is


Its Pinyin is "Shi".