Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondLi Hui: OK, now let's move on to Chinese characters.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsTiān. The character "Tiān" originally means "the top of one's head". It is used to refer to the sky or heaven that is above one's head. Now, it also means "day", such as in "zuótiān, jīntiān, míngtiān".

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds"Yuè" as the character "rì". This character is also derived from a picture of the moon. It means "the moon". If you combine "rì" and "yuè" together, it becomes a new character "míng". Both the sun and the moon give off light. So "míng" literally means "bright" or "light". We have learned some pictographs, like "rén", ideographic compounds, like "nǐ" and "hǎo", and picto-phonetic compounds, like "jiào". Now we will learn some ideographs, like "shàng", "xià".

Skip to 1 minute and 24 secondsCan you guess the meaning of the two characters, "shàng"and "xià"? "Shàng" means "above". And "xià" means "below". Shàng The upper stroke creates the meaning, above. The horizontal line represents the horizon. "Xià" is the opposite of "shàng". Like "shàngwǔ, xiàwǔ".

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsAnd "hǎi " means "sea". Can you guess the meaning of "Shàng hǎi"?

Chinese characters

  • 天(tiān, sky;day):This character originally means the top of one’s head. It is used to refer to the sky or heaven that is above one’s head. Now, it also means “day”.
  • 月(yuè, moon):This character is derived from a picture of the moon.
  • 上(shàng, above):Originally, this character was composed of a short line and a longer horizontal line. The horizontal line of this character represents the horizon. The short line is above the horizontal line, which means something is above the horizon.
  • 下(xià, below):The opposite meaning of 上(shàng, above).

After learning this video, you can write these characters as their order in the worksheet to help you better understand what you have learned.

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Introduction to Chinese: Conversation

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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