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roddy

Cool Chinese Characters

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roddy

What's your favourite Chinese Character? I found a great one today, but the damned computer won't let me enter Chinese at the moment. Anyway, it's fen (divide) between two shou's (hand), pronounced bai (5th tone, for all I know) and means 'to break something off between finger and thumb' - like bread or chocolate. I like that.

Roddy

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wix

I love the character for dragon, although only the traditional form. The simplifed form lacks the same aesthetic appeal.

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skylee

That is bai1, the character is 掰. I think this is the verb used in the Chinese bible in the story about Jesus breaking the two loaves and five fish to feed his disciples.

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confucius

If you like Chinese character etymology, or if you just have a vivid imagination, then the word "if" ("ru") should appeal to you. What IF you could get your mouth close to a woman? Well, that's what "ru" looks like; the woman radical (the radical for woman, not a radical woman) with an open mouth just to the right. :D "Ru" pronounced with the third tone means "breast" or "milk" and if we analyze the etymology for this character we observe what appears to be a child (remember that a woman with child comprises "hao" which means "good") with the mother's hand on its head gently holding the baby close to her breast. You knew that already, didn't you? :oops: Yes, some of us are a bit embarassed at this point but let's try to proceed, shall we?

Don't stare at it for a long time but notice, with a quick glance perhaps, the radical which makes up the right part of "ru"...yes, the breast part.

Have you seen this component in any other Chinese characters? :wink:

There's a great film by the legendary Japanese director Kurosawa called "Ran" which in Chinese is pronounced "Luan" The character for "luan" indeed has the exact same breast portion on the right. Well the part on the left may have slipped your mind or you just didn't notice because you were...ahem...distracted. The Chinese government decided to simplify this character by putting something else next to the breast. Now if, and I emphasize IF, IF only we knew what they were thinking when they chose the character for "tongue" ("she") and put it next to the radical which clearly appears to be a breast. :?: To this day I remain curious as to why a tongue next to a breast means "disorder" and IF any of our erudite Chinese comrades wishes to enlighten us with their own theory then I'm confident the ensuing discussion in this forum could very well end up in "chaos" :P

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wix

A lot of foreigners in China think this character is pretty cool: 啤 :lol:

Another character I really like and which I think communicates its meaning very beautifully is 岩 . A mountain above a stone seems to represent the idea of a cliff or crag very well. This is also one case where the simplified form actually contains more meaning than the traditional form (巖) which is a mountain above the phonetic for yan (and is also very troublesome to write).

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Guest jennychen
Another character I really like and which I think communicates its meaning very beautifully is 岩 . A mountain above a stone seems to represent the idea of a cliff or crag very well. This is also one case where the simplified form actually contains more meaning than the traditional form (巖) which is a mountain above the phonetic for yan (and is also very troublesome to write).

巖 is not the traditional form of 岩

巖 and 岩 are two different characters and both are traditional forms.

I do not know what their simplified forms are. I am a 台灣人.

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wix

According to the Oxford University Press Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary 岩 is the simplified form of 巖 and the character means 1. rock 2. cliff; crag. However, the Far East Chinese English Dictionary has two separate entries for 岩 and 巖. It says the former means 1. a large rock 2. a mountain while the latter means 1. a rock; a crag 2. a cave.

I think perhaps in simplified characters the two different characters were combined given that they had such similar meanings and the same pronunciation.

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skylee

The same happens to the words 岳 and 嶽. Both words mean huge mountain and are pronounced yue4. They are exchangeable and the simplier one is more popular.

It looks like Chinese characters are being re-introduced in Korean. Once I was travelling in the Seoraksan area. And the road sign for Korean read "雪嶽山", and for Chinese it read "雪岳山". Funny.

By the way, those words related to rain "雨" are intersting, such as 雪, 雲, 霧, 霞, 雷, 電.

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Guest AmrDiab

The character for "cry" - 哭 looks remarkably like a face that is doing it. Must be coincidental.

Of course, none of us wrote the complex form of jian (illicit sex) as that was just too obvious - three women together, one on top of two others. My computer won't do complex so I can't write it except in this form:

女女

which may need some lining up.

The simplified version of that character? A woman next to "gan" which colloquially means "f*ck".

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skylee

姦 and 奸 actually have different meanings in traditional characters. Alas.

By the way, the words which are made up of three identical characters are interesting, e.g. -

姦 (three "woman")

森 (three "wood")

品 (three "mouth")

鑫 (three "gold")

淼 (three "water")

磊 (three "stone")

轟 (three "car")

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confucius

You forgot the character with 3 suns, "jing" which means crystal. I still think "luan" is far more interesting than any other characters that have been mentioned since August 18.

Leave it to the Egyptian to post pornographic hieroglyphics.

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skylee

甭 (beng2) literally means 不用 (no use).

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confucius

There's an old character pronounced first tone "nao" which means "bad" and features "bu" on top of "hao"

*

I sometimes say "beng xie" to native Chinese in reply to "xie xie" and they almost always ask me to repeat as if hearing it for the first time.

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roddy

I most commonly hear 'beng' in phrases like 'beng guan ta' - don't worry about him / there's no need to worry about him.

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skylee

Thanks Confucius - I never knew how the word 孬 was pronounced. As the word is so self-explanatory, I never bothered to look it up in a dictionary (and when I did look it up last night, I couldn't find it. Chinese dictionaries are very difficult to use).

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skylee

乒乓 (乒乒乓乓) (pingpong)

忐忑 (tan3 te4) - feeling unsettling; the heart going up and down

魑魅魍魎 (chi1 mei4 wang3 liang3) - lots of ghosts

嘍囉 (lou2 luo2) - this is what I call myself at office

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smithsgj

凸 tu and 凹ao mean exactly what they look like: sticking out, and the opposite. In Taiwan the two together are used on sex shop signs.

傘 looks rather like an umbrella. The simplified version even more so.

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Guest Andrew

mo evil demon has always ben my favourite to write, as you can make it look quite menacing with the pen or brush. A ghost hiding in the trees. All the rain characters look pretty good too. The traditional form of dian electricity is a beauty, but rain and electricity should never mix.

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niubi

i always thought was an interesting character. a very cool character (if it existed) would be very similar, but with this combo: 女男女.

哈哈

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Quest
mo evil demon has always ben my favourite to write, as you can make it look quite menacing with the pen or brush. A ghost hiding in the trees. All the rain characters look pretty good too. The traditional form of dian 電 [/size']electricity is a beauty, but rain and electricity should never mix.

電 meant lightning when the word was invented.

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