Chinese

The Role of the “Opposite” Dog 犭 Character in Chinese Writing

by Jennifer Ball and Xu Chao Using a Hanzi substructure-search engine designed by Xu Chao and Jennifer Ball (***This is a work in progress…

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Are Jiahu Symbols Writing? Probably

In Chinese, a common type of sentence is four characters; this four-character sentence is known as a “chengyu” 成语. A chengyu is not dissimilar…

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Duh, I own it: Possession is Universal

的 de (no tone) = of (possessive), target, bull’s eye Portraying ownership was one of the first usages of writing. “This is mine” was…

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We all emerge from an egg stored in a secret place — 我们都来自隐秘在某处的一枚卵

excerpt: 我们都来自隐秘在某处的一枚卵

请注意以下中国汉字间的联系:

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The shape of “V” means “female” in three different cultures and times

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Chinese word for “heart” 心 comes from a penis

The website http://hanziyuan.net/ (originally ChineseEtymology.org) is phenomenal, and the amount of work put into it is impressive, but I think it’s pretty clear from…

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david-at-trb-1-cropped

“Covert Sexism in Mandarin Chinese” by David Moser

Sino-Platonic Papers Number 74 January, 1997 David Moser Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures University of Michigan     Introduction Western linguists have been…

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I can almost speak fluent Chinese

Prototype for a Substructure – Searchable Database of Hanzi

Let’s say… …you wanted to find all incidents of 卯 in every Chinese character, which right now you cannot. You would take a cursor…

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Chinese cat script superimposed over Ancient Egyptian cat script.

“Meow” is just another name for “cat”

Meow. We know this is the sound a cat makes. Five thousand years ago, so did the Ancient Egyptians. They just pronounced it “miw,”…

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Princesses celebrate with hidden word "princess"

Breasts, Vaginas, and Tools: Musings on the roots of our alphabet

If you want to describe something to someone, but neither of you speak the same language, drawing a picture is the simplest way to…

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Maggie Li’s Speech: When Socrates Meets Confucius

Maggie Li, whose real name is pronounced “Lee Chee” (Li Qi is the pinyin) is a friend and student of mine who came in…

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Eyes come in pairs in many written languages

Eyes come as a pair, even when you’re only talking about one

My Business Card in Chinese and English

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Some of my Soochow Nanotech 2013 students

Nanotech at Suda is the Best – Spring 2013

Chinese Nanotech Students sing

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Soochow Nanotech Students 2013

A video I made for my Soochow University Nanotech English Spring 2013 students:

My wonderful students  

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Chinese Quadruple Radicals

By Jennifer Ball and Maggie Li (李琪) Quadruple radicals are not common, but they do give a sense of what one character means four…

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Chinese Triple Radicals

If one radical means X, three radicals should mean 3X, so studying triple radicals, even if some are archaic, tells you a lot about…

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Seal-Ovum-“gp”-Shaped Analysis

卵 ovum – luan3 (leon2 leon5 lo5) 孵 hatch, sit on eggs –  fu1 (fu1) 㲉 eggshells – kai4 ke2 (dik1 hok3) 毈 fertile eggs;…

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Rice congee looks a lot like semen

Rice-Semen Analysis of Chinese Characters

Rice-semen metaphor analysis Compiled by Jennifer Ball © September 4, 2010 Black = rice (米 or 禾) component Blue = essence, youth 青component Green…

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Females in Chinese script

Females in Chinese Script by Jennifer Ball © February 16, 2011 Why is “Y” at the end of our alphabet? Because the shape of…

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Cantonese characters for penis and vagina

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Argument for a Structural Analysis of Chinese Characters

㧕 to feel or touch with hands; to hold, to lay the hand on, to cover jiu4 liu3 yu2 (lau5) 捫 lay hands on;…

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Biking in China: 在中国, 我骑自行车

Men and Girls 男和妞: Pictures From China

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4 = West = Wine

A Structural Analysis of Written Chinese The book Reading and writing Chinese: a guide to the Chinese writing system, the student’s 1,020 list, the…

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Worm in flower cave

CAVes and VAGinas are the same concept in Chinese

Mandarin II Berkeley Extension – Class 2 – Feb. 6, 2012 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Homework: Workbook, pages 52-53. Make a copy…

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Female body parts are at the root of written language

“Slave Girl” in Chinese and “female” in Sumerian are oddly alike

丫= “slave girl” in Chinese    = “woman” in Sumerian This similarity should make you think about the alphabet’s letter Y. It starts words…

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Graffiti in 798 Art District, Beijing

Mandarin II to you too

Putonghua Uncensored Class 1

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The bow and arrow provides the source material for many a metaphor

Interesting Chinese Characters #6: To Shoot; To Spurt

㢩 to shoot; to spurt, (same as 的) target for archery di4 ( Cantonese: dik1 dim3 tiu4) 的 = of, “de” in Chinese and…

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Interesting Chinese Characters #4 and #5: Cunning involves holding something in one’s mouth

刁 tricky, sly, crafty, cunning diao1 (diu1) 叼 holding in mouth diao1 (diu1) http://ctext.org/dictionary In order to be cunning, what do you suppose one…

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tiger

Interesting Chinese Character #3: Ghost of One Devoured by Tiger

倀/伥 Ghost of one devoured by tiger; groping; rash; reckless Pinyin: chang1 Cantonese: coeng1, zaang1 http://ctext.org/dictionary.pl?if=en&char= 伥 http://www.mandarintools.com/

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Harem

Interesting Chinese Characters #2: “Profundity”: you know this has to mean “sex”—in the form of a harem

㽎 The profundity of the harem, the mysterious and profound of the forbidden palace, the flourishing and exuberant of the flame. Pinyin: dǎn tán.…

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Sexy Cow

Tarte de la vaca

Ms Lin’s corrections: The equivalent symbol for $ (US dollars) to yuan 元 is ¥  yuan 元 is the same as ¥ ¥ Renminbi…

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Statue in Shanghai

Who’s up for Mandarin II?

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class 12 Nov. 29, 2011 425 Market StreetSan Francisco, CAProfessor: Virginia Mau Mandarin II is now available for enrollment. I…

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Millet

Grain has symbolic meaning in China

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class – 11 – Nov. 22, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Homework: Menu Include:Name of…

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The word for “Eat” looks a lot like a head

Mandarin I – Berkeley Extension – Class 10 Nov. 15, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau 餐厅 can1 ting1 =…

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The sound “be” means “vagina” in Chinese. To be or not to be: up to the vagina

Mandarin Uncensored In which we discover that the worst word in English is the same part of the female body as the worst word…

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Japanese T-shirt

Why is “woman”女 in the character for “Japanese”倭? Is this an insult?

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class 8 Nov. 1, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Homework for next class 11/8: Lesson…

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Now we know why they have to be funny…

Clowns have breasts but no milk by Jennifer Ball 笨 笑 哭 Meaning: foolish laugh cry Characteristics crinkly eyes, funny face crinkly eyes, open…

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mythical animal eats mother in Chinese

Interesting Chinese Characters #1: Mythical Animal that Eats Its Mother

獍 A mythical animal that eats its mother when it is born; Manchurian tiger. Pinyin: jing4. Cantonese: ging3. Very few animals eat their mothers; occasionally some insects and…

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Puyi had a wet nurse (not shown) until age 14

Puyi had a wet nurse (not shown) until age 14

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension Class 7 Oct. 18, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Test 11/1 (next class): Comprehensive –…

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You say “gege,” I say “gugu”; you’re Chinese, I’m Akkadian, and we’re both talking about virgins

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 6 – Oct. 11, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau “Ge ge” (guh-guh) means…

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Rice congee looks a lot like semen

The roots of “Please 请” are kind of messy

请 Please qing3 = please   The right-hand phonetic 青 is also in the word for“semen”: 精 jing1. This makes sense: the bottom is the moon stand-in…

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"Cuckold" is "tortoise" in Chinese.

Wang ba is a cuckold which is a tortoise

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 5 – Oct. 4, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Notes taken and commentary…

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Bubble tea

Bubble Tea – Boba Nai Cha – and the biggest-breasted woman in China

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 4 – Sept. 27, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau Notes taken and commentary…

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Was Chinese simplification a way to make the characters look less like pictures?

Sept. 20, 2011 Class 3 Berkeley Extension 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Notes taken and commentary (marked by“Note:”)…

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Leopard hunting at night with yellow eyes

It takes sharp eyes 色 to see at night 晚

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 2 – Sept. 13, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Email: vmmauhk@yahoo.com…

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Mandarin Uncensored – Class 1

Mandarin I Berkeley Extension – Class 1 Sept. 6, 2011 425 Market Street San Francisco, CA Professor: Virginia Mau (pronounced “Mew”) Email: vmmauhk@yahoo.com Notes…

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