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 4

认识你高兴 = Pleased to meet you
ren4shi2 ni3 gao1 xing1

Workbook pages 18-20, # 1-8. This involves listening to the CD and writing. For #7, write characters, not pinyin.

Dec. 6: Go to Chinese restaurant? (I’ve heard from 7 out of 15 class emails: 2 have no pref, 2 can only do it 12/6, 1 can only do it 11/29, 2 say 11/29 or 12/6; it seems 12/6 wins unless I hear from others.)

Dec. 13: review for Final

Dec. 20: no class; take Final and go.

We took the midterm and the one character no one seemed to know was Ms. Mau’s name, because—as you’ll notice if you look over my notes—she has never shown us the character for her name, which is:
繆/缪 (Surname)
miao4

The silk radical on the left confers status, according to Ms. Mau. The discrepancy in spelling is because
officials spelled her family’s name incorrectly when they came to this country.

認/认 = to recognize; to know; to admit
ren4

識/识 = to know, knowledge
shi2

认识 = be acquainted with (a person); to know; to be familiar with; to recognize
ren4 shi2

高 = high, tall
gao1

榮/荣 = glory; honored
rong2

興/兴 = flourish; thrive, prosper
xing1

高兴 = (higher level of honor than 认识)
gao1 xing1

荣兴 = (higher level of honor than 高兴)
rong2 xing1

认识你高兴 = Pleased to meet you
ren4shi2 ni3 gao1 xing1

你认识他吗
ni3 ren4 shi2 ma? = Do you know him?

不认识
Bu4 ren4 shi2 = I don’t

很高兴认识你 = Very nice to meet you (Ms. Mau says this is more common)
Hen3 gao1 xing1 ren4 shi2 ni3

仁道
ren2 dao4 = benevolence

仁 = humaneness, benevolence, kindness
ren2

道 = path, road, street; method, way
dao4 or dao3

All of these characters mean “to come” and are pronounced “lai2”:

徠/徕來/来 = to come
lai2

他们来
ta1men lai2 San Francisco = They come [from] San Francisco

Directions are based on where you are at.

出 = to go out; to come out; to occur; to produce; to go beyond; to rise; to put forth; to occur; to happen; (a measure word for dramas, plays, or operas)

去 = to go, to leave, to remove
qu4

出去
Chu1 qu4 = go outside

進/进 = come in
jin4
Note same tones, different characters, different meanings:

进来
jin4 lai2 = come in

近来 = recently, lately
jin4 lai2

不可以 = may not
Bu4 ke3 yi3

可以 = can; may; possible; able to (think “okay” sort of backwards)
ke3 yi3

記/记 = to remember; to note; mark; sign; to record
ji4

者 = -ist, -er (person); person (who does something)
zhe3

记者 = reporter, journalist
ji4 zhe3

雄性
xiong2 xing4 = male

雄 = heroic; male
xiong2

性 = sex; nature; surname; suffix corresponding to -ness or -ity
xing4

學/学
xüe2 = learn; study; science; -ology

学生
xüe sheng = student

学校
xüe xiao4 = school


xiao4 = school or jiao4 = proofread; to check; to compare (same character for differing pronunciations/meanings)


li3 = reason; logic; science; inner principle or structure

学院
xüe yuan4 = college (but not university, literally “courtyard; institution”)


shang1 = commerce; consult

醫/医
yi1 = cure, heal, doctor, medical, medicine, to treat

语言
yu3 yan2 = (spoken) language

手语 
shou3 yu3 = sign language, used to be…

哑语
ya3 yu3 = mute language, but now politically incorrect

啞/哑 = dumb, mute, become hoarseya3

学习
xüe2 xi2 = to learn, to study

習/习 = to practice; to study; habit
xi2

好好学习,天天向上
hǎo hǎo xué xí , tiān tiān xiàng shàng
= study hard and things will get better everyday (a famous saying of Chairman Mao)

向 = direction; part; side; towards; to; guide; opposite toxiang4

我在学习日本
wo3 zai4 xüe2 xi2 ri4 ben3 = I am studying [or learning] Japanese.

Warning: Not politically correct:

倭 = Japanese, dwarf, short
wo1
(note that “woman” is at the bottom, so this is like calling all Japanese “you woman,” which we know is a universal insult).

出租车
chu1 zu1 che1 = taxi

租 = rent, lease; rental; tax
zu1/ju1

車/车 = car; a vehicle; machine; to shape with a lathe, cart
che1

的士
di2 shi4 – taxi (informal; literally “of knight,” perhaps a modern conveyance of a knight)

我的性的汪
wo3de xing4 de wang1 = I of Wang [family]

汪 = (surname); expanse of water; ooze

我姓汪
wo3 xing4 wang1= I of Wang [family]

我叫汪大卫
wo3 jiao4 wang1 da4 wei4 = I [am] called Wang, David.

From Ms. Lin:

性 xìng4 nature, character, sex

性別 xìng bié your sex, male or female.

last name is this 姓 xing4

姓 xìng surname; family name; name

姓名 xìng4 míng2 name and surname

姓氏 xìng4 shì4 family name

但是
dan4 shi4 = but, however

可是
ke3 shi4 = but


a (no tone) = I know
(short vowel)

From Ms. Lin:

啊 ā 1 = ah, exclamatory particle

啊 is a character used in many different ways.

For example,

啊 哈 ā hā, for example, in English, you say aha! I found it. It’s used the same way in Chinese.
for example,

啊哈,我明白了 translation: aha! I finally understand

啊呀 ā 1 yā 1 = exclamatory particle
for example,

啊呀,他跑得真快呀
a1 ya1, he runs so fast!

啊哟 ā1 yō1
for example,

啊哟,吓死我了
ā1 yō1, that scares the hell out of me…

use at the end of sentence ends with a question mark
你不去啊?

You are not going?
to put it in the right contex –
Jennifer: “I am going to the bookstore. Eva, you are not going a1yo1?”

哎呀
āi yā = Damn; Ah; My God

哎 = an interjection; hey; lookout; why etc.ai1

呀 = (final particle)
ya1

Chinese characters and definitions from:

http://ctext.org/dictionary
http://www.mandarintools.com/
http://www.google.translate
http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/8586/

Jennifer Ball

Leave a Comment