Chinese Language Learning – Webcomic: Chinese 字 (PART 2) | [OC]


大家好! This is the 2nd comic in [Panda Cub Stories](https://www.pandacubstories.com)’ Chinese Character series. I’m planning on making one more (delving into character components and common radicals) later on this week!

https://preview.redd.it/ql18io9xz9551.png?width=1440&format=png&auto=webp&s=cd04b3ba629b3a9b04b082d32228796f19035184

https://preview.redd.it/pvnf1nfzz9551.png?width=1440&format=png&auto=webp&s=a379bc4e68877e028909bf9ba9f4e9323c9c57bb

In our previous comic, we learned that the first Chinese characters were simple drawings that represented meaning*.

Later on, these simple images were then combined to create even more characters. Take “女(nǚ)” and “子(zi)” for example: “女” and “子” are separate characters that mean “female” and “child” respectively. Once combined, they become the character “好”, which means “good”.

In this comic, we add 🎶sound🎶 into the equation! Phonosemantic (literally sound+meaning) Characters, or 象形字(Xiàngxíng zì), make up the majority of frequently used Chinese Characters. Building upon what came before, Phonosemantic characters take a meaning clue from one character and a sound clue from a second to create brand new character. This was a revelation to 18-year old me, fresh on my #relearnthemothertongue / Chinese literacy journey.

Suddenly, the prospect of learning 3000** unique characters wasn’t as impossible as it had previously seemed — not if a majority of those characters actually used common “building blocks”!*** ! We’ll cover these “building blocks” (aka Character Components) in our next comic!

Follow us to join our Chinese Literacy Journey!

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NOTES:

* These are called “simple pictographs” and “simple ideographs”

** Most sources put “fluency” around 3000 (of the most commonly used) Characters, which account for about 99% of all the characters used in modern Chinese. Source: Mandarin Companion.

*** I’m borrowing the “building block” term from Yoyo Chinese and Chineasy

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G L O S S A R Y BELOW:

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女(Nǚ) Woman/Female

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马(馬)(mǎ) horse

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木(mù) wood/tree

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林(lín) woods/forest

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你好(nǐ hǎo) hello

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形声字(形聲字)(xíngshēng zì) Phonosemantic Characters

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妈(媽)(mā) Mom

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口(kǒu) Mouth

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吗(嗎)(Ma) Question particle, put at end of any sentence to make it into a yes/no question

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骂(罵)(mà) To scold/criticize



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