Lesson 19 mountain 山, immortal being 仙, Buddha 佛

Lesson 19 mountain 山, immortal being 仙, Buddha 佛
We will introduce two Chinese radicals today, the Human radical 亻 which is normally added on the left side of a Chinese character. The second radical is Mountain 山, it’s developed from a hieroglyphic symbol for hill, mountain (with 3 peaks).

山 mountain pronunciation: Shān
Look at the animation of the strokes for Mountain symbol 山, the strokes are either horizontal or vertical bars, pretty easy to write, isn’t it?
Now the next symbol is 仙, the combination of the Human radical 亻 plus Mountain 山. What does that mean? The ancient Chinese people believed that some taoists lived in deep mountains practicing their “Chi氣, Qi气” in order to become immortal beings. That’s why this 仙 symbol is Human radical 亻 plus Mountain 山, and it turns a noun, with several meanings in Chinese, such as “god, deity, fairy, faerie, immortal being.”

仙 immortal being pronunciation: Xiān
By the way, it’s not hard to write this 仙 symbol. This symbol is also good for tatto…

Lesson 18 Wood 木, Seedling 禾, Peace 和平

Lesson 18 Wood 木, Seedling 禾, Peace 和平
I think we should learn more elementary Chinese symbols in order to create more new words. Here is the basic one, the Wood symbol 木, and two variations: Seedling 禾 and Peace 和.

木 wood pronunciation: Mù

Please look at the animation of the strokes for Wood symbol 木, it could be decomposed as the Cross symbol 十 and the Human symbol 人.

The next symbol is one extra stroke added on the top of the Wood symbol 木, that becomes Seedling symbol 禾, as shown in the animation.

禾 seedling pronunciation: Hé
Note: the Wood symbol 木 and Seedling symbol 禾 are both hieroglyphic symbols, here are their ancient writing styles, just use your imagination to figure out what the meanings could be inspired as Wood and Seedling…
The next symbol 和 is an important one, it can be “peace, harmony” as a noun, or “peaceful, harmonious” as an adjective. We will create some 2-character words later with this Peace symbol 和.
Let’s look at the animation of the writing strokes, it’s the c…

Lesson 17 Knife 刀, Blade 刃, Endure 忍

Lesson 17 Knife 刀, Blade 刃, Endure 忍
We are going to learn the Knife symbol 刀, and two other related symbols, Blade 刃 and Endure 忍.
You may see the Endure symbol 忍 all the time on the wall of a karate dojo, as a calligraphy art.

Let’s start the writing of the Knife symbol 刀:

刀 knife pronunciation: Dāo
The first stroke is an angle (almost 90 degree) with a little hook at the end. Then the second stroke is just a curved 丿 stroke.
This Knife 刀 is kind of hieroglyphic symbol as a knife shape with the blade facing left.

Now here is the second symbol, the blade symbol 刃, it’s the Knife symbol 刀 plus a short stroke on the blade side, to symbolize the blade part of a knife.

刃 blade pronunciation: Rèn

The third symbol is the main symbol we must learn today, the Endure symbol 忍, it’s a Blade symbol 刃 added on a Heart symbol 心. This Endure symbol 忍 is a symbolic Chinese word, placing a Blade 刃 on the Heart 心, that’s called Endurance.

忍 endure pronunciation: Rěn
The pronunciation is “Rěn”, which is a …

Lesson 16 up 上 down 下

Lesson 16up 上 down 下
We will learn two new characters, the UP symbol 上, and the DOWN symbol 下, both are easy in handwriting strokes.
We will also recall the other two directional  symbols which we have learned in Lesson 10, the LEFT symbol 左, and the RIGHT symbol 右, the handwriting strokes are a little bit complicated, please check Lesson 10 for details.

up, upper, above pronunciation: Shàng
note: as shown in the animation, three strokes in this UP symbol 上 are all straight lines.

down, below, under pronunciation: Xià
note: the writing strokes of this DOWN symbol下 is similar to the UP symbol 上, only in opposite direction, with a tilted stroke.

Here is the review of the LEFT symbol 左 which we have learned in Lesson 10.

左 left side pronunciation: Zuǒ
Please check Lesson 10 for the detail of this LEFT symbol 左.

Here is the review of the RIGHT symbol 右 which we have learned in Lesson 10.

右 right side pronunciation: Yòu
Please check Lesson 10 for the detail of this RIGHT symbol 右.

Well, so we ha…

Lesson 15 Chinese symbol for heart 心

Lesson 15Chinese symbol for heart 心
We will learn the heart symbol 心 in this lesson. It’s a hieroglyph form in ancient Chinese, but not like the modern type, though the structure is still very similar to a heart organ.

The writing strokes for this heart symbol 心 are not complicated. As shown in the animation below, three short strokes with a hook-like stroke, you just need to practice yourself and that’s all.

心 heart pronunciation: Xīn

Here is a 2-character Chinese word: 小心 careful, caution, watch out. It’s the combination of the character 小(small) and 心(heart):
小心careful, caution, watch out
小心(careful) = 小(small) + 心(heart)
Remember how to write the symbol 小(small)? We have just learned in last lesson (Lesson 14), here is the animation to recall your memory:

小 small, little pronunciation: Xiǎo

Well, the 2-character Chinese word 小心(careful)is very useful, it can be used as a sign, or as a phrase, to say “Watch out!” to warn somebody not to do something. The pronunciation is xiǎo xīn.
I’ve j…

Lesson 14 Small symbol 小

Lesson 14Small symbol 小
This lesson is an easy character 小, it’s “small, little” in Chinese.We are going to review some related characters which we have learned before also.

小 small, little pronunciation: Xiǎo
The writing strokes are not complicated, as shown in the animation, draw a vertical bar (red) from top to bottom in the middle position, with a little hook at the end of the vertical stroke. The second part (blue) contains two short strokes on left and right sides of the vertical bar to balance the whole thing.

Let’s review the opposite word of this 小(small) symbol, the symbol 大(big) we have learned in Lesson 06:

大 big, large pronunciation: Dà
Still remember how to write it? As shown in the animation, draw a horizontal bar first, then write the 人(human) symbol to carry the horizontal bar and balance the whole thing.

Now we have the size Small 小, and size Large 大, how about the size Middle 中, which we have also learned in Lesson 05.

中 center, middle pronunciation: Zhōng
The writing str…

Lesson 13 Woman symbol 女

Lesson 13Woman symbol 女
Here is a very important character 女, the Woman symbol. It’s also the element of many Chinese words. Please watch the strokes in the animation carefully, you will learn how to write this beautiful character.

女 woman, female pronunciation: Nǚ
The first stroke is an angle shape ㄑ as the pink angle in the animation, and it’s a little bit less than 90 degree. The second stroke is a downward curve 丿 which we have learned before. The third stroke is a horizontal bar. 

What do you think?  Is this Chinese character 女 looks like a woman?

In case to make sure that you familiar with the handwriting of this woman symbol 女, here is another animation I just create for your practice. This is a graceful pen writing style and you can do it yourself also.

Now, let’s create some Chinese words!
The first 2-character word is 女人, woman.
The symbol 女 here is an adjective, Female, with the noun 人 (human), that is,
女人(woman) =女 (female) + 人 (human)
(Please check the human symbol 人 in Less…