Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondLi Hui: Well, now let's move on to Chinese characters. "Xiǎng" It shares the same radical as "nín". That is "xīn", it meaning "heart". Because for Chinese, you think with your heart. Therefore, it provides a clue to its meaning, "to think". The top part reads "xiāng", which gives a clue to the pronunciation, but the tone is different. Next one is "chī". Its left part is a character, " kǒu", meaning "mouth". Which indicates that this action is related to a mouth. The right part is a character, "qǐ", giving a clue to the pronunciation of the character "chī". In fact, "chī " refers to speaking with a little stutter. Later the meaning became to eat. Next one is "hē".

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsIt shares the same radical as "chī", so it is related with the mouth. Its right part reads "hé". That gives the clue to its pronunciation, but the tone is different. Yào. As the picture shows, it originally refers to the waist of a woman. Later, the meaning changed. It means to want something. Do you want to know why? You can figure out by yourself. Next one is "shuǐ.". "Shuǐ" means "water". It is one of pictographs. It looks like a few drops of water splashing from the curbing current, doesn't it? The last one is "chá", meaning "tea". Its top part is like grass. When a character has this radical, it usually relates with plant. Duō. "Duō" is one of the ideographic compounds.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 secondsLet's have a look at this picture. Two pieces of meat are stacked together. Here, two represents many in Chinese. So "duō" means "many" or "much". Next one is " shǎo". Let's look at this picture. The four dots are sand. So "shao" means "small" in the past, but now it means "little". When we put "duōshao" together, it's a question word for number, which means "how many" or "how much".

Chinese characters

  • 想(xiǎng, would like to; to think):The top part of this character is 相(xiāng, each other), which gives a clue to the pronunciation, but the tone is different. The bottom part is 心(xīn, heart).
  • 吃(chī, eat): The left part of this character is 口(kǒu, mouth), meaning “mouth”. So this action is related to a mouth. The right part is a character 乞(qǐ, to beg), giving a clue to the pronunciation of the character 吃(chī, eat).
  • 喝(hē, drink):The left part of this character shares the same radical with 吃(chī, eat). The right part stands for its pronunciation.
  • 要(yào, want):This character originally refers to the waist of a woman. Later, the meaning changes. It means “to want something”.
  • 水(shuǐ, water):This character looks like a few drops of water splashing.
  • 茶(chá, tea):The top part of the character is like grass. When a character has this radical, it usually relates with plant.
  • 多(duō, many;much):This character shows that two pieces of meat are stacked together. “Two” represents many in Chinese. So 多(duō, many;much) means many or much.
  • 少(shǎo, few;less):This character means “small” in the past, but now it means little.

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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