Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chinese Characters That Look Like People

Over the last several weeks of studying, I've noticed more and more Chinese characters that resemble human beings. Maybe my mind is just going a bit nuts learning all of these insane characters, but I do think there is something to this.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

- shang3 - This is the best example of what I'm talking about and the reason I decided to make this post. You can see the hair on top, the head under the hair, and then arms and legs on the bottom. I learned this character as the second character in the word "to appreciate."

- yuan2 - This character means "person" when added to words. The head, arms, and legs are all there on this one.

- tang2 - This character seems to mean "place" based on the words I know it from. Again, hair, head, arms, and legs.

- chang2 - This character means "often."

- jue2 - There's no head on this one. Ironically, the Chinese meaning is "to think."

- fu4 - I know this character as part of "to bully." The head on this one is a bit screwed up, but the arms and legs are there.

- gui4 - This character means "expensive." This one is a stretch, but I can see a person in there somewhere.

- ren2 - This is the character for "person." It makes sense that it would visually represent a person. This is fairly abstract, but you can see the two legs.

- nv3 - The character for "woman." No head and rather curvacious. Hmmmm.

- nan2 - The character for "man."

My knowledge of Chinese is still quite superficial. The assumptions and connections I've just made on here with these characters may very well be wrong or off-the-mark. I'm just just calling out some characters as I see them.

If anyone reading this has any insight into the above characters, I'd love to hear some knowledge from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

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