Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chinese words are made up of characters

Chinese words are made up of characters. These characters have evolved from ancient pictographs.

field This character means field. Can you see the plots of the farmer's field?
MountainThis one stands for mountain. It is easy to see the mountain peaks.

Woman The character for woman is harder to see. The rectangle represents a baby bundled in a mother's lap.

Heart Can you guess this one? This picture represents the heart. Each stroke shows the outline of a chamber of the heart.

pot barpot barpot bar

wpe5.gif (916 bytes) When you combine two or more characters, you create a new 'meaning'.

To Think If you take the character for field and draw it on top of the character for heart, you create the a new character that means to think. Farming was very important in China, and to know what to plant required a lot of thought and planning.

VolcanoThe first symbol means fire. The second means mountain. Add them together and what do you get? Volcano!

PeaceYou recognize the character for woman. The woman is under a roof. These characters together mean peace. The Chinese people thought one woman in a house, not two, represented peace.

disaster (5960 bytes)

pot You can also change meanings by drawing more than one of the same character.

Fire Flame
Fire Flame, Blaze

Tree Woods Forest

Tree Woods Forest, Jungle

Combine two characters to make a new word. Roof Roof Mountain Mountain Child Child
Fire Fire Disaster Disaster Volcano


Woman Woman Peace Peace

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Good Good

Combine two characters to make a new word. Field Field Small Small
Heart Heart To Think To Think Careful Careful
Large Large


Size Size

Write Direction

pot Numbers

China's number system is based on tens. By placing a number after the number ten, hundred, or thousand, you add. For instance, take the character for sevenSeven and put it after the character for tenTen like this TenSeven and it means 10 + 7, or 17. By placing a number before the ten, hundred, or thousand, you multiply. SevenTen means 7 x 10, or 70.

One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten
One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten

The characters for hundred is Hundred , and for thousand is Thousand.

#4689 (11558 bytes)

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