Classes

Let me sum up these two 'big' and 'fire' phrases which mean quite different things by being in different orders: when big is in front it is used as an adjective to describe ‘fire - the fire is big. When the ‘fire’ is in front, the ‘fire’ refers to a person's temper - it means he or she is in a big temper: in other words, angry.


CONTINUE READING

This compound contains the building block characters 日 (sun) and 月 (moon). The sun and moon are both bright objects in the sky, so when they are combined like this, they mean “bright”! 明 is part of several phrases, including 明天 (ming2 tian1), which literally translates to “bright day”. I love this reminder of how important the sun and moon are to our lives as they come into view each day and night.


CONTINUE READING

Two suns side by side make up the character meaning 'bright'. Of course! 日 + 日 = 昍. Make sure that you write the sun on the right side a bit bigger. There is nothing wrong with writing them the same size but as the daughter of a calligrapher, I know that writing this way will create a more beautiful effect.


CONTINUE READING

This compound character features the building blocks 人 (person) and 門 (door). This compound character can translate to “to dodge”, “to duck”, “to avoid”, “to evade”, etc. It also means “to flash”. You can remember this compound by imagining an outlaw dodging arrest by bolting through the saloon doors! The simplified form of the character is 闪.


CONTINUE READING

This character features the building block 日 (sun), with a little extra stroke on top. You can think of the small stroke as a ray of sunlight. In this character, the color white is represented by the color of sunlight. You’ll encounter the character in many short phrases, such as 白天 (bai2 tian1), which translates literally to “white day” and means “daytime”.


CONTINUE READING

This compound includes the building block component 氵 (water), as well as two copies of another building block; 火 (fire). This component mixes fire and water; two energies that cancel each other out. Because of this, the compound translates to words like “plain”, “pale”, “tasteless”, “bland”, etc. 氵 (Water Radical) + 炎 (Burning Hot) = 淡 (Tasteless), (Weak), (Indifferent)


CONTINUE READING