My friend, Ruth, and I were discussing languages randomly one day earlier this year, and she mentioned that having been to Hong Kong, she found it absolutely fascinating how Chinese people were expected to learn and memorise around a set of 5,000 characters which seemed completely random in her mind. At this point, I started trying to explain to her that Chinese characters were not random at all, and that there are rules which form the basis of forming Chinese characters.
I had promised to teach her, but sadly she unexpectedly passed away in February this year, before I could start teaching her. And so stemming from that promise to Ruth, I will jot down my thoughts and my possible lesson notes which I would have gone through with her.
Below are links to the weekly “lessons” I will write, building upon one another as we cover more and more complex characters as the weeks go by. I will be working with traditional characters for this set of “lessons” as I find explanations of etymology more relatable to traditional characters rather than simplified characters, although that’s not to suggest that in future I won’t build upon this material and add simplification too, but for now, we’ll be working with traditional characters.
I hope that you all enjoy delving into the etymology of characters as did when I started reading up and researching various roots of the characters. I’ll also throw in some little tips which used when learning some of these characters to hopefully make learning characters easier.
- Introduction to the six tradition methods of character formation.
- Week 1 – 人, 女, 牛, 也, 他, 她, 牠, and 它.
- Week 2 – 了, 子, 好, 口, 十, and 田.
- Week 3 – 絲, 累, 艮, 很, 馬, and 嗎.
- Week 4 – 言, 隹, 誰, 手, 弋, 戈, 我, and 找.
- Week 5 – 門, 們, 尔, 你, and 大.
- Week 6 – 夫, 天, 夭, 尢 / 尤, 兀, and 元.
- Week 7 – 犬, 竹, 笑, 心, 您, 亡 and 忙.
- Week 8 – 鼠, 牛, 虎, 兔, 龍, 蛇, 馬, 羊, 猴, 雞, 狗, and 豬.