Author Archives: mindworks

Chinese has two words for again: you4 又 (past) and zai4 再 (future)


Chinese has two words for again: you4 又 and 再 zai4

又 you4 is a highly simplified picture of the right hand, as a symbol of that which recurs, that which happens again and again. Since most people are right handed they use their right hand again and again. The fingers are on the top and left the arm is on the lower right.

You4 又 is used to refer exclusively  to events which have occurred in the past, and only in the past.

你又去机场!  You went to the airport – again! You went once, in the past, and you went yet again, also in the past.


is exclusively used for recurring past events, something that happened at least twice in the past.



zai is used to refer to the repetition of an event in the future. The characters origins are unclear. It appeared to be a person entering a house, or a person with a hand and tool at a house. It can be decomposed into 工 冂 and 一 which all look like elements from the oracle script. It is probably the idea of a person returning home in the future or working at their home or in a workplace in the future, they will return home AGAIN they will work at the workplace AGAIN but in the future.

is used exclusively for things which will occur at least once in the future and have occurred at least once in the past. For example 再见 means literally “see you again”: you see the person now and probably also in the past and plan or at least hope to see them again in the future. Thus 再 and not 又。

You 又 and  zai 再 are examples of context clues to tense intended in a Chinese sentence.

阜 邑 Fooey! F.ed U.p to my ears with ex-urban AND urban radicals!


This fu is the nearest hill or mountain range or ridgeline outside the city. In other words, it’s the outermost line of defense of the city, a defensible position outside the city walls. I think of it as ten 十 hills. As a determinant 阝fu4 is known as the left ear (zuo3 er3 bian5 左耳边) because it’s determinant looks like an ear. However, it does not represent the human ear even though it looks like one. As a determinant 阝 on the left side of a character represents the city’s nearest foothills: suburbs, exurbs, the rural area outside the city’s walls.


阜 fu4 abundant, mound


add attach

bu4 port, pier, wharf

yuan4 garden courtyard institution



This character represents the city’s gates, specifically the area just outside of the city gates where public notices are posted and people are granted or denied admission into the city.
The top mouth character 口  kou3 both represents the idea of the gate of the city but also the idea of messages posted at the city gate.
The lower character ba1 (desire expectation) used to be the ren2 人 person character. It was simplified to as a visual element. To my way of thought it represents the idea that those just outside the city walls Desire and even Expect and Look Forward to being admitted into the city, but also that such people are potentially as dangerous as snakes since they may be spies for the would be invaders. is the image of a snake (coBrA) and indicates desire: those Outside the city’s Inner Wall DESIRE and LOOK FORWARD to being admitted into the city. But people Outside the city are as dangerous as snakes and desire like snakes to enter the protected place.

As a determinant yi4 looks exactly like fu4’s determinant 阝but is called 友耳边 the right ear determinant not because it in any way represents the human ear but because it resembles one. When 阝is on the right it indicates urban things.

左耳胖是 外边 (丘,山)= outer defense wall

友耳胖是 里 = inner defense wall

you2=post office
滬 a venerated city by the sea that sounds like hu4 – Shanghai’s nickname.

都 猪 是 里。
也 是 里。

Pageface Doormouth 页 问 234

页 Pageface

ye4, Pageface, used as a stand-alone it means page of paper in modern Chinese but used as a character components still means face, which was its meaning in ancient Chinese.

问 Doormouth

wen4 Ask
Doormouth: W.ho E.nters N.ow? 門 + 口 = 问 Wen4 QUESTION
Pageface Doormouth is at your door asking question:
W.ho E.nters N.ow?

美 mei beautiful (..the men who stare at goats)

Mei3  美 is a fun character. It’s a picture of a beautiful girl with her hair adorned in great style. It’s composed of goat on top and big on the bottom. This is a picture of a goat 羊 yang2. And this 大 da4 is a picture of a person holding out their arms stretched wide “that fish was this BIG” and it means big! Ok so why Goat+Big = Beautiful (woman)? Well, in Chinese you can also call a VERY beautiful woman a 大美 which means “great beauty” as in supermodel. So da makes sense here it means grand not big like fat but giant tall imposing powerful. What about goat 羊? Well, han Chinese characters get simplified and recycled for ease of writing. It really was a picture of a very stylish hair-do and had dress, not of a goat, but got simplified to goat. So just remember: Hot chinese girls?

Hope it gets a laugh, you will sure remember now 大 da + yang 羊 = 美 mei big+goat=beautiful.

And it applies to anything beautiful so if it helps you to think of a big plate of lamb and mint jelly who am i to argue?

llustrious BEAUTIFUL MEI3

没问题 = no problem, i.e. no question

mei2 is originally the image of a person drowning to death. it came to mean NOT as in DOES NOT EXIST as a metaphoric extension of the original idea of drowning person. 没 is a picture of an abbreviated river 水 on the left (three dots 2 riverbanks and a watercourse between them), and on the right is the right hand you4 of the poor drowning person and above them is a stylized simplified picture of what was a whirlpool 几。Ji3 几 is a picture of a tea-table seen from the side. Like I said, it’s a stylistic simplification.


wen is a picture of a gate or door 門 门 men2 on top and around a mouth kou3 口. The idea is of a person at your door ASKING if you are at home!

Ti2 theme topic is To Be + the image of a persons face. To be is abstract 是 is composed of the solar disk ri on top of the word for upright which in turn is composed of 1 一 yi1 and stop 止 zhi3.
To be is the abstract idea of a person stopped standing upright underneath the sun. But if you put another persons face ye4 in the picture it turns into a dialogue of two people talking beneath the sun and thus becomes THEME TOPIC.
alone in modernity means a page of paper, a sheet of paper but it originally is a picture of a persons face (chopstick in the hair on top square is the outline of the head and the two lines are their eyes). When 页 is used alone it is a piece of paper, a page; but when used as a character component like in 问 it still means face.
I.ndicates TopIc, Theme
Breakdown of characters used to form 没问题 = 水几又, 门口, 日正页。



贵 = 中一贝

Above is 中 the idea of 中正, which is Public Rectitude.

The middle 一 denotes the idea of balanced equality, fairness, “1 for 1”.

The bottom clam character bei 贝 denotes riches, for shells were once money.


Public Right Equality Clam IOUs PRECIOUS EXPENSIVE

师 Shi1 Chief Meister Expert Master


On the left we see the abbreviated form of KNIFE, BLADE as the determinant (key). 刀 dao means knife. So we know this word has something to do with a sharp object, likely made of metal. Here, dao represents the master’s sword.
On the right we see a strip of cloth 巾 (fabric is represented with jiong 冂 which is a covering symbol for covering; support of the fabric is with gun a vertical line 丨)。
A master is a person with a sword and scabbard. Who has A SWORD and a SCABBARD? The Master.

I.ntelligence. MASTER


棒球= 王求一丶水木丰廾丰 qiu ming

Qiu 求 to bid for help is a hard and important one so I took my time. Let’s start with BANG instead 棒 bang means stick club cudgel. Let’s break it down!

丰 is our friend feng1 丰 Feng1 is the image of a FErtile floweriNG plant as symbol of that which is fertile productive and keen.
We see FENG1 reduplicated in 奉, first below abbreviated as 1 丨 choice of two sticks 二
On top of abbreviated feng1 and in the middle of bang are two hands clasped together 廾 raising up a second image of the fertile plant 丰 which is twisted left a bit and on top. This feng 奉 is the idea of OFFERING from one’s own Abundance.

棒 stick club cudgel BANG looks like a simple phono-semantic character. Wood radical on the left, “sounds like” on the right.

What’s MADE OF WOOD and
BANG! a Wooden Stick!

Qiu 求 to beg for help is a hard and very important wprd. qiuming means to beg for one’s l球命的球 is hard But SPHERE, GLOBE, BALL 球 is a fun and easy one! So let’s analyze globe to get to beg.

This 球 qiu  means Sphere Globe Ball. On the left we have the KING 王 One theory is 王 is a royal ax, another is the crown but personally I think it’s the imperial jade seal. Wang 王 if a picture of a tablet of jade says something like “empowered by the King”. Wang goes to royal things, precious metals and gems, it indicate solid structured and precious things.
So, 球 is the King on the left on on the right is ONE 一 DROP 丶 of WATER 水. 求, ONE DROP of WATER, means to beg for。 Why? Because ancient China sometimes had droughts! You would BEG for ONE DROP OF WATER 求 begging for your life。But when you put One Drop Water next to the King? 王+求=SPHERE GLOBE BALL We beg for our lives before the god, before the king, before the emperor. The oceans on the globe are but a drop of water to the emperor – the GLOBE 球 is the EMPERORS 王 TOY 玩。

Tone  colorization may follow.

Information Warfare

The essence of information warfare is to infiltrate the enemy’s decision making; to change the way the enemy views the world. Information warfare seeks to win a war not necessarily through armed struggle but by ideas and information.

Information warfare can be waged at the tactical or strategic levels. At a strategic level the objective is to deflect or distract to reframe issues and constrain possible answers thereby. At a tactical level it is to mask movements, to attain surprise through secrecy, to deceive through disinformation. Tactical and strategic information warfare actions and goals should be complementary such that the tactical and strategic actions and goals support each other. Deception warfare actions include masking, secrecy, disinformation, provocation.

Information warfare tends to be used by weaker states because it requires fewer resources and promises great benefits for few risks. Information warfare also tends to be waged by dictatorships rather than democracies due to a lower commitment to the idea of truth. Information warfare can however be waged by democracies and powerful states as well as by weak rigid dictatorships.

无 Character series

This character series consists entirely of words which have the sound WU.
Mouseover the characters below to see the meaning of each word.

Click the characters below to see the pronunciation of the word.
Double click the word for an explanation of the word.
Mouseout to restore the definition back to the hanzi character.

勿无乌物午五武舞误务雾 Arranged in a logical progression.

乌1. 无2? 午五武舞3~ 物勿误务雾4! Arranged by tone.
Try to form a sentence or sentences using all this vocabulary.
Remember Chinese sentences are formed in STPMVO:
Subject time place manner verb object.
Content more

废话 fei hua

All these words are homophones of fei.

吠 barking dog fei4
肺 lung fei4
非 don’t no negation fei1
飞 fly fei1
肥 fat fei2
费 fee fei4 a cognate! hug it. it is VERY lonely!
菲 ancient radish fei3 now used as a metaphor for poor and not used literally anymore
废 aboilition fei4 kinda like a certain Bill which shalt remain nameless
匪 fucking bandit fei3
翡 kingfisher fei3
霏 falling snow fei1

SPINE ji3 脊 Backbone

Pictogram of the spine (backbone); two 二 characters are the shoulder-blades or ribs. 人 character is like an arrow pointing up to show the spine going up the back. 月 character is the two legs and two vertebrae. It’s a stylized picture of the human bones from the back.

二 人 二


Gee! J.oInts I.n SPiNE!


Translation 求佛 Beseech Buddha

when the moonlit dew fell on my face
i wished then i’d quickly change form
there is a type of soup called torn heart split lung
i drank it to have it’s magic power
闭上眼 看见天堂
close your eyes look to the sky
that’s the storehouse where you where your smile
I dodged from countless hunters’ guns
Drove from the tomb and climbed out of sorrows
为了你 我变成狼人模样
Because of you I became a werewolf
为了你 染上了疯狂
Because of you went insane
为了你 穿上厚厚的伪装
Because of you I wore a heavy disguise
为了你 换了心肠
Because of you – I changed my heart

We can or cannot return and see each other again
I bid bitter tears before buddah since 1000s of years
Willing to trade some of my lives for our one world of love
Hoping to move heaven’s heart
We cannot return or can we see each other again
I bid bitter tears before buddah  since 1000s of years
when i stepped on this bridge before
let me kiss your face again

闭上眼 看见天堂
close your eyes and look to the sky
that’s the storehouse where you where your smile
I dodged from countless hunters’ guns
Drove from the tomb and climbed out of sorrows

为了你 我变成狼人模样
Because of you I became a werewolf
为了你 染上了疯狂
Because of you went insane
为了你 穿上厚厚的伪装
Because of you I wore a heavy disguise
为了你 换了心肠
Because of you – I changed my heart
We can or cannot return and see each other again
I bid bitter tears before buddah many 1000s of years
Willing to trade some of my lives for our one world of love
Hoping to move — heaven’s heart
We cannot return or can we see each other again
I bid bitter tears before buddah many 1000s of years
when i stepped on this bridge before
let me kiss your face again
let me kiss your face again
let me kiss your face again


备 奋 Look alikes

备 and 奋 look alike but are different. You will most frequently encounter 备 in which means: get ready, be prepared.

zhun3 means allow grant permit. Ice determinant on the left, short tailed bird on the right.

biNg1 冰 + ZHui1 隹 = zhun3 准
frozen (ideograph of 2 dots for frozen) + water (pictograph seen from the sky two banks and river between) + short tailed bird (pictograph) = ALLOW GRANT PERMIT zhun3
When the ice freezes the water you GRANT the short tailed bird some food and ALLOW it to eat the stuble from the land you walk on otherwise it would starve and you would have insects all summer long and a poor harvest.


Short tailed bird but cold as ice
PERMITTED to do as she likes.


bei4 means to prepare to get ready 准备的备

= on top is 夂 zhi3, the image of a man walking around on his 田 tian2 field. He is walking around PREPARING his field for planting harvest or construction. This is an ideogram, not a phono-semantic character. There is no phonetic clue to the pronunciation of .

GET READY in German is BEreIt


fen means to exert.
= da+tiaN = feN



OMG! Is this FEN …  a slave plantation!?

BIG red Farmer in a FEN WORKING HARD is a friend!

系 System

System Xi4

The top character is not 一 yi1 which means 1. It is the falling left stroke as an ideogram of one of the two objects which are tied together by the middle character yao 幺1 which means one, small, and is an ideogram from a silk thread (the one small silk thread as the symbol of ONE and TINY, that is 幺 yao1). The bottom character  is an image of a bird as a symbol of the idea of small. yao1 幺 and xiao3 小 together make mi4 糸 which means silk.



single silk string small SYSTEM TO TIE



字幕 subtitles

Mu means curtain. let’s break it down! we see jin 巾 below which is a pictogram of a cloth on a rack. The rest of the character is simply “mo” a compound character which means “not yet”; mo is an ideogram of the great big sun which is still below the line of the grass i.e. the dawn, the sun has NOT YET risen. So this is “not yet” “curtain” i.e. a stage curtain, but also a drape. Here in 字幕 it is a curtain of text i.e. subtitles. of course means glyph character hieroglyph i.e. the zi of hanzi. It’s the image of a child beneath a roof with a book on his mind which s/he is learning to read (which is why and 学 xue study are related glyphs)U

Ds Drawn Strange
Underneath SUBTITLES 字幕

Uniform, CURTAIN 幕

莫 布 Mo bU MU 幕


参 can1/shen1 JOIN IN


In modern Chinese you will most often see this as 参加 can1jia1 to participate.
This character literally means ginger shen1 and is apparently also an ancient term for clique, party, fringe element. It thus can also carry the connotation of radical extremist fringe element depending on context. The shadow character at the bottom shan is the image of light beams and shadows. The middle character is a stretched out da which means big. The top character is si which means personal private secret. So the character’s idea may be private persons secretly assembling into a large shadowy group.


擦 安 参 Ca-An Can = wipe peace PARTICIPATE

Linkwords: Sane, Can

巢 Chao2 Nest

Chao2 NEST

Oriole’s NEST!

The three lines on top are the feathers of three birds living in the nest which is represented by the field character tian 田 which is on top of the tree character 木

叉凹 巢  Cha- -Ao  Fork Hollow NEST

吵的巢 chao de chao = a quarellsome nest!


Wong Fei

this is because once in a crowd i caught you by the eye
and because I can’t forget your face
in my dream by chance we can see ourselves again
since then i began to feel so alone
i miss you, you’re in the sky
i miss you, you’re ‘fore my eyes
i miss you, you’re in my mind
i miss you, you’re in my heart
I prefer believing in our past life.
The love story of this life will never change.
I would rather use this one life to wait for you to see
I am always right by your side
never going far

Steve Miller

A politico named Steve Miller has recently come into the limelight. Purportedly he ate glue as a 9 year old child.

Some people think it’s ok for teachers to divulge confidential information about their former students who were minor children. In fact that’s an abuse of confidence, a betrayal of trust and quite unfair. Divulging such stories by a person entrusted with guardianship shows a lack of good judgement and is evidence why such a person ought perhaps not be entrusted with small children.

But it gets worse. Do you know why children eat paper, glue, matches? Not boredom. Not gourmandise. Not to shock their elders. Children eat such things due to malnourishment.

The hypocritical false idealism and elitism of the U.S. political class explain why you have Trump as a backlash. People got tired of being sent to die and be broken in wars of choice. They got tired of seeing their friends or family die of opioids. And they got tired of being mocked by their self-appointed betters.

So: Although you *can* write TSPMVO you ought not to and this sentence shows why. Chinese people already have to put up with our incorrect tones and wrong measure words. Adding a potential grammar error by varying sentence order for style is foolish.
Chinese has no declensions or conjugation and so sentence order is fixed. STPMVO.
Also time is from most general to most specific, and place also is from largest to smallest. ALWAYS. Because: no declensions, no conjugation.

Wait, was that a non-sequitor? Something something.

撰 Zhuan4 Compile Compose


= tishoupang zhuan 撰

hand+pick up object together + already already = COMPILE COMPOSE

The abbreviated hand determinant is on the left. A pair of si4 snake symbols 巳  on top. In the oracle bone script these were clam shells representing the collected valuable objects. Beneath and to the right is the gong character which means 2 hands of at least 2 people picking up 1 object together. That gong means collective cooperative work. Compilation is the Collection of Works which have Already been realized.

Preview of Chinese Character Dictionary

This character series consists entirely of words which have the sound WU.
Mouseover the characters below to see the meaning of each word.

Click the characters below to see the pronunciation of the word.
Double click the word for an explanation of the word.
Mouseout to restore the definition back to the hanzi character.

勿无乌物午五武舞误务雾 Arranged in a logical progression.

乌1. 无2? 午五武舞3~ 物勿误务雾4! Arranged by tone.
Try to form a sentence or sentences using all this vocabulary.
Remember Chinese sentences are formed in STPMVO:
Subject time place manner verb object.

Chinese Sentence Order STPMVO

Chinese has no conjugations or declensions. Consequently word order is fixed and invariable. A Chinese sentence MUST be structured as follows.
STPMVO subject time place manner verb object.
The principle is: largest first, most specific last, i.e. the sentence moves from most geneal to most specific.
You’re not a native speaker don’t get poetic it will fail.
This difference between Sinitic and Indo-European languages also falsifies Chomsky’s theory of generative egrammar.

How to learn Chinese characters

How to learn Hanzi: 1) Learn the Kangxi radicals first. They are the alphabet (syllabry). then

2) Learn the pictograms and 3) learn the idograms. These are your base.
Pictograms are pictures of real things. Ideograms are abstract symbols.

a) The same picture element can be used to represent different visual things! 月 is a picture of the moon. It is ALSO a picture of a side of ribs! 厶 is a picture of a clenched fist and flexed arm. It is ALSO a picture of a silkworm!

b) phonetic and pictorial elements are mutually reinforcing. Phonetic clues are also semantic clues! Picture sound and meaning reinforce each other in complex characters! The phonetic clues are NOT arbitrary. No character is arbitrary.

c) Chinese is a RHYMING WRITING SYSTEM. So instead of spelling its a) syllables which b) RHYME. FINALS not Initials are what matter.

d) learn the six methods of forming characters (pictogram ideogram associative idea character, phono-semantic character, indicative transfer character, transliteration)

Learn characters in series of similar ones and relate them to each other. Example: 人认仁从众 Learn them as a group, much easier.

Use mnemonics. CAI collect all images 彩 pluck a some shade and light beside a tree!


If you want to understand the descendants of the dragon
then you have to study the scales and bones of the dragon

jia3 is the image of a turtle’s shell, on which ancient characters were written. SHELL, SCALES (of an animal or armor)

gu3 is the image of a skull on top of a ribcage, it is the bones on which ancient characters were written BONES

wen2 is the image of a person standing tall and stretching out proudly to describe CULTURE LANGUAGE
Jia gu wen is normally translated into English as: oracle bone script. The oracle bone script is the earliest and most complete writing on earth.
Let the scales fall from your eyes: learn to read Chinese.

How to remember Chinese words and characters? Repetition.

There is no royal road to learning; you can’t buy knowledge. The hammer to hammer characters and vocabulary into your brain is repetition.

But Repetition doesn’t have to be boring! In fact, the more interesting the repetition the more likely it is to be remembered. We don’t remember boring experiences well, and certainly not gladly.

We remember music best because of rhythm and rhyme, because of emotional intensity, and also because of repetition. Watch Chinese movies. Listen to and learn Chinese songs.

Keys to remembering vocabulary and characters:
Exposure – immerse yourself as much as possible in the language you are learning.
Meaning – information which is significant is likelier to be remembered.
Emotion – link words to feelings
Music – music raises emotional intensity augmenting likelihood of memory. Mnemonic
Biography – relate that which you wish to remember to that which you have personally experienced
Eselsbruecke – use mnemonics, limericks, witticisms and jokes as memory hooks
Relate new words to known words, new characters to known characters.

Associate characters with biographical, spatial, and social experiences.
Relate new information to known information.

I personally don’t use memory palaces or biographical memory. I link new information to known information. Rhythm rhyme and repetition and relating new to known are how I remember best it seems.

彩虹 caihong RAINBOW 32

cai3hong2 RAINBOW


Illumination = COLORS

菜彩踩 cai3/4

Pick, pluck; pick a vegetable (dish); pick a light and shadow (color), pedal.



Red serpent ribbon in the sky! Chong gong hong hong

虫工红虹chong2 gong1 hong2 hong2
creepy-crawly animal, worker, red/honor, rainbow

Pluck a color or a shade of the red serpent in the sky!

Pictogram Palace Supplement: Chinese Prefixes and Suffixes

Chinese has prefixes and suffixes, much like English does.  Here is  a list of them.

-们 (men): -s
-地 (de): -ly
可- (kě): -able
重- (chóng): re-
第- (dì): -st, -nd, -rd, -th 化 (hua4) -ise
-学 (xué): -logy
-家 (jiā): -ist, -er
-着 (zhe): -ing
-性 (xìng): -ness, -ability
-主义 (zhǔyì): -ism

者 -er -ist
无 un- -less

抗 kang anti
预 yu pre

变色龙 – Chameleon 2 successive fourth tones.


bian4 se4 long2

One of the reasons I love to stare at Chinese glyphs is because they often reveal interesting details about history and culture art and science.

For example, the Chinese word for Chameleon is literally “changing color dragon”.

Isn’t that amazing? What a wonderful word in a wonderous world! Dragons really exist!

But… what is the favorite color of the 天龙之女?


Happy Chinese Valentines Day! 快乐情人节.
(bonus cheng yu , )


Pictogram Palace: free supplement

It may be useful to study characters in sets which look alike but are in fact quite different. For example:

za1 on the left is the idea of a winding bucket carried up from a well on a spool of rope. The cloth character in the middle represents the cloth rope and the spindle (tambour) on which the rope is wound. The idea in modernity is around, round, circumference.

On the right is nao4 which means noisy. It’s the market character at the door character.

As a character set za1 recurs in

gu1 to bind with hoops

It’s also useful to learn characters which are antonyms. My favorite is qu to go and zhi to arrive

Qu4. it’s an arrow being launched into flight from earth

zhi4 it’s an arrow which has plunged from above and dug into the dirt 土. It’s arrived

It’s also useful to distinguish similar looking but different characters like 土 tu3 clump of earth (sideways x marks the spot) and shi master (he is sitting with his arms stretched wide head on top). The arms of shi are much wider than tu. Tu’s upper horizontal line is shorter than the width of the lower horizontal line. In contrast shis upper horizontal line is always longer than the lower horizontal line.

Decoding Liberty


At this time with similar hopes but dissimilar news
Willing to chase the moonlight, flowing flashing lord
the swan goose spreads, flies, limitless light
the sea serpent sinks, leaps – water becomes word

Plaintext: “And her name? Mother of Exiles.”

Seems like a remake of 青蛇 is coming out Tomorrow! :)


No one dares speak his name! Is there any who dare speak his name? The divine god protects and reveals!
Do not gasp desire is empty empty is desire desire changes empty space empty space becomes desire!
The end of an era is this moment of unchanging desire
This beautiful desire emerges, desire births desire asks who cannot love and cherish
Sing forth the song of cherished desire, the end of this era, the upright woman is me!
Do not dare speak his name! None dare speak his name! The divine god protects and reveals!
The divine dragon's daughter, a swirling song of the great mother, her heart's eye appears bewitched! 
Exhausted my role, consciousness of beautiful desire comes bidding you all to cherish and love
A good night again falls on the end of this world. man, treasure and cherish this night, remember me.

老百姓要求政治开放 (开放:解放)


laobaixing means “the people”. Laobaixing literally means “old 100 family-names” i.e. the denizens.

yaoqiu means request require ask demand. bid in the sense “i bid thee”. It literally means “want seek”


zheng means government (noun): it is 正 upright+armed hand on the right. i.e. the right use of force. Politische Gewalt.

治 zhi means to govern (verb)
government-to-govern is the literal translation of 政治

老 Lao means old. It is a highly stylized form of an old person using a cane. The cane is the horizontal slash. The old persons lousy legs are beneath. The cross is their head the horizontal line is their shoulders.

kai means to open.
fang means to release, to let go. It is a prisoner in stocks on the left, and a hand holding a hammer on the right.


CRIB: 老百姓要求政治开放.

MSS ENCRYPT: 生 SHENG4 (Pictogram Palace Wittastic Edition)

This is bigger than you or me.” -Humphrey Bogart

Today’s character is:

Let’s break it down!

On the left is the image of the crescent moon yue4. Yue is also the image of a side of ribs. It means moon, body, meat: The moon is a luminous body. in this character is a semantic element. here is the goddess of the moon, 嫦娥.

On the right is the image of a sprouting plant. 生 sheng1 which is the phonetic element in this character. Phonetic elements and semantic elements are mutually reinforcing! The characters were NOT arbitrarily chosen: they were selected by scribes with a view to the picture, the sound, and the meaning. All three elements are meant to be mutually reinforcing, so there is a purpose to careful scrutiny in deciphering Chinese characters.

is the image of the seed which has been planted and is now is sprouting: Thus, means birth. also means life. also means growth.

We see here by moonlight: or beside the human body.

is the victory of a woman giving birth. It is victory which has emerged after careful planning, planting, and patience.

! Sieg sheng de sheng! 申胜的胜! Fourth tone sheng!

Athena sprang forth fully formed from the brain of Zeus clad in armor crying  VICTORY!



凤凰 pictogram palace free supplement PHOENIX

Feng4 huang2 is the Chinese phoenix. It looks like this

Let’s break it down! The hand character is a stylization of an owl from oracle bone script. Owls are symbols of wisdom, vigilance, 360 vision, with vision penetrating the blackest night. The fan  character means ordinary and is related to feng wind Feng1 in this character is both phonetic and semantic
This is the bird that sounds like the wind itself!

And let’s talk about this NOT ordinary bird! (凡人 fan ren means ordinary person i.e. everyman). We know it is BRILLIANT BLINDING AND WHITE bai white is the sun itself with a ray of light. IT’S EYE IS THE SUN.
And it is NOBLE and ROYAL means king.
So? What bird is blindingly brilliant as the sun, with a song like the wind, and noble?
The phoenix!

凤凰 Flying hand, bright white bird-king! 就是凤凰!

Nine Heads

Brilliant White Royal PHOENIX
白 王 的 凰

Chinese Word of the Day: 机场 Airport! (pictogram palace free supplement)


ji1 chang3 means airport. It literally means “machine threshing-field”. Let’s break it down!
On the left we have the tree determinant 木 mu which is a picture of a tree. This character as a determinant (=concept key) designates structured, patterned, and/or wooden things. 木 is next to ji 几 the table character. 几 is a picture of a table seen from the side (2 legs and flat table top).
How does wood+table= machine? Well, the first machines were made of wood! And tended to be weapons. This particular machine is a crossbow, particularly its trigger. The crossbow is depicted here disassembled – unlike 尔 er, which is a picture of an assembled crossbow. Why? Because the idea of ji 机 here isn’t the weapon itself but rather the idea of a machine: a thing with parts which can be assembled and disassembled. So why “machine” for airplane? Basically it’s an abbreviation of 飞机 fei ji which means flying machine. 飞机 is a picture of a flying bird on the left (2 wings head on top tail below) next to machine. What kind of machine flies? An airplane! Well, you might know that German for airplane is “flying man-made thing”: Flugzeug. Chinese and German  here are similar, just like the Flugzeug is the Germany flying machine so also is fei ji the Chinese flying machine.



Ok, what about 场? The plus on the left which looks like a grave marker means “dirt clump, dirt wall, DIRT. It’s pronounced tu3. 土 On the right is yi 易 which means easy amiable, and is the image of the sun and moon in their mutual orbital relation which conveys the idea of mutuality and amity and also the exchange (of light of positions). The top part is the sun the lower vertical lines are the shadows or rays of sunlight cast onto the surface of the moon.

Why does it sound like Chang and nothing like tu or yi? Because this is an associative idea character NOT a phono-semantic character. It’s an associative idea character: earth (indicating  field)+exchanging changing (of wheat from chaff): two ideas are brought together to express a third different idea.
Why chang? Well, Chang E is the Chinese Goddess of the moon so perhaps that may help us remember the yi 易 amiable easy orbital exchang component of chang
From the idea of “threshing floor, threshing field” 场 the word chang extended its meaning to indicate fields and open spaces generally.


Character decomposition: 试 shi4

Character decomposition: let’s break it down to it’s components to figure it out. 试
yanzipang on the left is the abbreviated form of 言 which is a mouth sending out sound waves and means to say and looks like the western letter i in the simplified form of writing. This determinant tells us the character involves speaking or talking or words somehow, the idea of communication. When we TRY things we must talk about them both to learn the proper form and then to produce the proper form.
工 Gong1 is a work tool 工. It’s a picture of a Chinese two pronged pitch-fork with the handle on top and the tines below.
弋 yi4 is a retrievable throwing dart attached to a line.
working tool + retrievable throwing dart = form pattern style
式 shi4 mean form, pattern, style: I suppose it is a combined concept word (会议字) where two pictures/ideas come together to express a third.
Namely: Working with one’s hunting tools requires good form, proper pattern, a selective style.
式 is the phonetic element of 试. 试 is evidently a phono-semantic character.



练 Lian4 – Practice Train Drill Perfect

small silk selection collects attention catches the eyes it’s the perfect size.
Practice makes perfect!

In the oracle bone script the right character is an eye; selecting silk, which is on the left. Selecting silk requires training and practice to make it perfect.

Pictogram Palace Free Supplement: 弋戈成或

This character series deals with weapons of war. :/  China, like Europe, had a bloody feudal history of war after war. This is reflected in Chinese characters (hanzi) The following characters are all pictograms: pictures of literal objects.

yi4 is a picture of a retrievable throwing dart on a sling: the throwing dart could be drawn back by a rope. The dot is the dart’s head. The horizontal line is the retrieval rope. The vertical line is the sling bow or launcher.
It’s a

ge1 is a pole-arm, halbred, i.e. a long handled war ax. The vertical line is the ax pole. The bottom line is the pommel the top line and dot are the forward edge and backward edge of the two-edged pole-arm.
My big brother (哥哥 gege) the half-breed has a Giant Enormous HALBRED A DOUBLE-EDGED LONG AX.

cheng2 is pole-arm plus ding nail . Ding1 here is pictographic, it is a simplification of the city conquered by the ax-men on the right. Cheng2 originally meant conquest of a city. It has since been extended metaphorically to mean achievement, achieve, become: the metaphore has come to mean more than the original literal meaning.

huo4 means “or”. It is a phono-semantic character. The left hand kou is the phonetic element: in oracle bone scripts the square sign was used to indicate dwellings, enclosed spaces, i.e. buildings or even villages.. The right hand ge1 is the semantic idea of city from cheng2 . Either you defend the city or it falls!


I at first found these characters quite difficult: they are HIGHLY stylized and simplified pictures but are indeed pictures. I took solace in that they seem to follow a logical development and do in fact: we are looking at the evolution of the simplest of war-weapons, the slingshot, into more complex ones, axes and pole-arms resulting finally in the emergence of the greatest achievement of civilization: CIVITAS, The CITY



huo4 means “or”. It is a phono-semantic character. The left hand kou is the phonetic element: in oracle bone scripts the square sign was used to indicate dwellings, enclosed spaces, i.e. buildings or even villages.. The right hand ge1 is the semantic idea of city from cheng2 .

I at first found these characters quite difficult: they are HIGHLY stylized and simplified pictures but are indeed pictures. I took solace in that they seem to follow a logical development and do in fact: we are looking at the evolution of the simplest of war-weapons, the slingshot, into more complex ones, axes and pole-arms resulting finally in the emergence of the greatest achievement of civilization: CIVITAS, The CITY


Hanzi Character Series (Pictogram Palace)

Chinese characters exhibit a powerful attractive and compelling logic. E.g. 乂中史吏更
Let’s look at how this character series unfolds for it is logical, and thus memorable.

yi4 regulate govern control
Mnemonic: Yes It looks like x. X Marx the spot for government control!

zhong1/4 middle, within, center bullseye (it is the image of an archery target as symbol of “middle”)
Mnemonic: BULLSEYE! Zap! Hit it! One New Goal!

shi3 history: history is the record of governance of the middle kingdom. China is the middle kingdom.
Stories? Here It is! HISTORY
Stories? Hear It! HISTORY

li4 minor government official – for example a recorder of legal instruments, of official records, a historian, the recorder of history! Official government records are a central part of history.
Mnemonic: Licensing Inspector
Licensing Librarian

geng4 furthermore: this character is the records of history. Furthermore, The minister adds one more mark to the official record. In first tone is the Night watchman of the state.
Given Even Newer Grants MORE, STILL MORE, EVEN MORE research is possible.

Next time we will do

义 使便


辛苦 bitter (work)

ku3 means “bitter”: on top is the grass determinant, below is 10 mouths. The ten mouths symbolize ten generations and is the idea of old, ancient. gu 古。 Apparently in ancient Chinese “old plants” meant bitter; the plant dries out and loses its sweetness with age.

xin1 is the image of a dagger which was used to inflict punishment for crimes: branding or scarring the criminal in ancient societies is common, in China cutting of the nose e.g.. The top is li4 the standing man character

head is the dot on top line on the bottom is the dirt two vertical lines for legs and the top horizontal line is the arms。 beneath li is 10

This is the same as Roman numeral X but is tilted on it’s side in Chinese!

Xin is a pictogram; it’s a picture of a dagger but the pictogram is composed of two other characters, the
standing man+ten=dagger.
shi li  十 立

Ku is a symbol: this is called an associative idea character – two ideas are brought together to express a third
kou shi cao 口十草




Pictogram Palace Free Supplement 万事开头难

Mnemotechniques: 万事头难
literally: thousand matters begin head hard

wan4 shi4 kai1 tou4 nan2

wan thousand, as in wan thousand 1000 What A Number
shi So Here Is MATTER
kai Kick At It OPEN – the gate
tou tete french latin testus english HEAD
nan it’s Not Anything Nice or easy in fact it’s TOUGH to catch a BIRD WITH YOUR HAND
Slurred speech trick: “when she can too, n.a.n.”
(nan is an acronym for not a number; inane).

万事开头难 Aller Anfang ist Schwer. Iga Algus On Raske All Beginnings Are Hard

Sounding similar logical terms 计划 机会 Pictogram Palace Freebie

计划 jihua44 and ji hui 机会14 are both important terms. they are high frequency and decisional connectors. one means plan, the other means opportunity. let’s not screw this  up. how to remember them?

Let’s start with ji as in strateJI becase that’s what it is. Strategic thinking requires sharp timing. And what do we know that’s sharp and precise? A needle!  zhen1 means needle.

什 ren2 +shi2 =shen=what.

But ji is
yanzipang on the left tells us this is about speaking. shi tenon the right. speaking+10=calculating.

jihua 计划

划 hua on the right means plan.
Mnemonic: Judge It Here Upon Another

calculated plan = strategy.


jihui then means plan 机 this ji means trigger, as in trigger of a gun, specifically a crossbow and thus the idea of MACHINE. 会 on the right means an assembly or gathering; it is specifically the idea of a temple-county fair. The top ren is actually a mouth eating food pac man style (the food is the dot). The bottom arrow indicates the idea of motion movement arrival. also the top ren (which is really a mouth) may be seen as a roof. This shows that hanzi are sometimes polysemic but their polysemicity is reinforcing.
Mnemonic: Join In Under Anonymous Identity

Trigger Meeting = Opportunity.

Pictogram Palace Supplement: Look Alike Characters 亢 冗

Look alike characters are another way to think of hanzi. Today’s characters are kang4


which means arrogant, haughty, high and mighty; kang is powerful, knows his power, likes the thought of his power, and may abuse his power. 亢 can be a positive or negative word depending on context, like so many other Chinese words. There is also the sense of the joy of power, joy in the sense of awareness or memory of one’s capacities.
Kang is the image of a mounted KNiGht.


in contrast means superfluous, extraneous. 冗 rong’s image is of a table covered with a cloth. The cloth is superfluous.

Notice that a cloth has no handle.
But a cloth covering can have sides.
So rong has no dot but does have sides.
In contrast kang has a dot, which is the knight’s helmet.
The line under it are the knights arms.
His mount is the table character.


arrogant, powerful, the joy of power.


Red Orange Needlepoint
Gilded cloth mi4 on the
table! ji1

请保重 ; 走吧 character break-down (Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement)

Chinese characters are fundamentally built out from pictures. So for example bao3 保 indeed IS a picture of a guard!(人person口mouth木tree) Qing 请 is a pictophonetic compound character. On the left is the yanzipang which means to say or speak: in simplified yan is a mouth with sound waves 言. In modern it is the english letter i! because I the worker (工人) want to say something, something revolutionary. The phonetic element 青 is on the right that is a compound character. on top right is zhu 主 which is a column with a torch on it symbolizing the lordly manor. beneath that is the moon character yue 月 which here is symbol of that which is changeable (moon goes through phases). Qing itself is the shifting shade of blue-green which may be seen in the sea water or in the flame of a candle (see also zhu above). So qing is the idea of a color, then changeability, and thus by metaphore emotion (情). This Qing 请 exactly means the same as German “bitte”, I bid thee,
So “I bid thee guard”
guard what? Heavily!
Zhong 重 is a tougher one. On the bottom is tu3 土 the dirt character it means a clump of earth (in jia gu wen it is the clay wall of a primitive cave-house). Above tu3 is tian 田 the farmer field / rice paddy character. Tu3+Tian in that combination means 里 li, the hometown, the home village, your neighborhood, which is obviously something important.
But above 里 are 2 additional lines! What could they mean? qian 千 1000. It is the number 1000. I guess 1000 home-villages 1000 farmers houses and fields would be mighty important!

Chinese characters are combinations of pictures, symbols, some of which may also be phonetic clues as to pronunciation.

So: literally 请保重 means “I bid thee guard thy neighbor hood and they neighbors’ hoods”!

ba 巴 is a picture of a coBrA snake. It symbolizes the idea of alterity, the other. Here it is used as a phonetic element 吧 means ok.
zou 走 is a clump of earth tu3 土 on top of 正 zheng which means upright just or tu3 土 on top of 止 zhi which means stop. zhi 止 is a picture of a foot though i found it easier to think of it as a person on the left forced to stop by a tall high tree or wall on the right 上 shang means tall.
foot+dirt = go rhymes with zou
foot but no dirt means stop because you can’t walk without something to walk on, i guess.
hanzi are pictures and symbols which in turn are used as phonetic clues for more complex compound characters which are comprised of highly stylized pictures with abstract symbols and sound clues.

Pictogram Palace Freebie: Yan 颜 Color 颜色的颜

Freebie for Pictogram Palace 颜 yan2

Character break-down for yan2 颜:

li4 on the top left it means standing it’s the image of a person standing. and that person is right on top of han/chang3

a cliff. together

chan3 means production it’s the image of a factory on a cliff building standing on a cliff. there are shan shadows

cast onto that cliff. Beside the man on the cliff standing over shadows on the cliff is the image of a persons face ye4

(chopstick as a hair-tie).
This is the idea of color: colors on one’s face, the colors cast by shadows.
页 on the left is the phonetic clue to the initial sound Y shan 彡 on the left is the phonetic clue to the final sound. Imagery: A man standing on a cliff stroking his beard as shadows fall onto the cliff, we can clearly see the COLORS of his face the COLORS on the cliff.
Nuance =

楹 ying2 PILLAR(Pictogram Palace)

From the author of Pictogram Palace

Ying2 means pillar. a wood determinant 木 to the left (mu), so we know it’s either something wooden or a strong structured patterned object. on the top right is a pregnant woman yun 孕。 On the lower right is a dish or a pan min 皿.

ying2 is at least a phonetic clue. 盈 ying2 means overflowing, so the pillar here is a powerful pillar, imposing。The image on the right then is of a mother with overflowing nourishment for children.



Machiavelli versus Sun Tzu

Machiavelli: “You should lie cheat steal and kill for power so you can rule others in their best interest.”
Sun Tzu: “You really shouldn’t go to war, it’s quite destructive and you probably haven’t thought it out thoroughly. By the way, the war is over before the first shot is fired. Pro-tip: seize enemy resources.” Sun Tzu

仞 “MAN is the MEASURE of things” -Protogoras



ren+feng dao  = REN4

Renzipang on the left is a person it means “man” and sounds like REN. On the right is a knife with a dot on the blade to draw attention to that part of the knife. It too sounds like REN! So this character obviously says “REN”. It means MEASURE because it is the idea of a MAN touching the Edge of a Blade to get the MEASURE of how sharp it is, to use the tool as a MEASURE of length too.



Merciful 仁
Man 人
Recognizes 认
Measures 刃
Appointment 任

Baidu translates that as:
Benevolent people know the edge and shoulder their duties

鄭氏 Ching Shih (Sprachwitzenschach)

鄭氏 Ching Shih was the master 师 man
and she came from a drinking 酒 clan 民!
Shih had a heart of stone 石 shone like the great big sun 陽 above
what drove her hard was hate and love.
Given name: Stone Sun
War name: 鄭氏 Widow of Zheng

Her very name meant vengeance!
trust me men she did a death dance!

variants on 水 shui3 water (pictogram palace)

求 qiu2 
to be request ask beseeach
Is it

silk scroll snout shui3
Jade is the imperial stone, it is green, thus auspicious. auspicious records written in green liquid ink (moshui=ink)

record register
bristles+water=ink+pen=symbol of recordation.

球 qiu
sphere, globe, the world 地球 di qiu.

king's question is unimportant?
queen is uninformed.


Pictogram Palace Free Supplement: Tips to memorize Hanzi (Chinese Characters)

1) Learn the etymology of the characters. So you must study the oracle bones and then the seal script and bronze script to understand what the character is a simplified and stylized image of. Knowing what the character really depicts, really means, and its evolution via stylization and simplification makes it MUCH easier to remember the meaning of the character.
2) Study characters in series of related ones. Often the character originally had a literal meaning which then became a metaphor; radicals were then added to distinguish literary and metaphorical from literal meanings. No determinant means its probably a literal object.
3) nouns are also verbs in ancient Chinese. Often modern nouns are also verbs though even in modern chinese. this distinction may also explain the addition of determinants.
4) Make a mnemonic out of the pinyin: JIN J.ust I.nches N.ow =CLOSE 近
5) I like to learn characters which are sound-alikes and also characters which are look alikes.
夫大天未末禾米失木 look much alike are all basic characters and you must understand these are pictures of literal objects or symbols of literal objects. Fu is a rich man with a big hat. big is a man with his arms stretched out wide da. sky tian is a big man under 1 cloud. wei is a tree which has NOT YET grown fully. mo is the tip of that tree which is now fully grown. he is a grain stalk the top line is full ripe and drooping, rice is small grains on a bush mi, an arrow which misses its mark is shi and a tree has one three legs (roots, though i prefer to see it as 1 trunk and 2 lower branches)
this is an example of a character set. they all sound like pu.
普 谱 潽 镨 鐠
first is the root:
the determinants added distinguish other related words which are at least sound-alikes.
4) Semantic and phonetic and pictorial elements are reinforcing! there are so many homonyms that the scribes had plenty of choices and definite reasons for choosing THIS character to represent the meaning or THAT character as a phonetic AND/OR semantic and pictorial element.

Hanzi are sound-pictures. The semantic phonetic and pictorial elements are COMPLIMENTARY and not arbitrary!

则 Pictogram Palace Freebie ZE2 =Standard, Norm, Criteria

ZE2 is the image of an eye on legs to to the left; the right two lines are a sword. it means
standard norm regulation rule. It is an associative compound character: two literal objects are associated with each other to present a concept. 见 Jian on the left means vision, Dao 刀 on the right means sword so as far as I see there is no phonetic component here.  The dao character here appears in its abbreviated compressed form as it is a radical.
TSE This STANDARD’s Explanation (in Wade Gillis pinyin Z was Ts)
ZE Zero Exceptions STANDARD

It’s the idea of a rule to be sought, i.e. a norm, a goal, a standard; law as “ought” rather than “is”; an ex ante perspective.

Chinese Poetry



one’s-self as ancient nation
true love and friends abide
thousands of songs and ten thousand tomes
praise Lady Zhaojun
her political marriage put out
the fire and flame of war
this solemn verdant tomb
draws the present to past once more

English Law Vocabulary: Subborning Perjury (Free supplement for translator’s law dictionarY)

To subborn perjury means to entice, elicit, solicit, impel, whether by threat or promise, a false or misleading factual statement in or for a legal proceeding.
Perjury means: to swear a false oath, i.e. not merely lying or half truths, but also which are affirmed in some legal proceeding to be the truth.
Subbornation means to prompt, elicit, solicit, impel or compel, whether by threat or promise. See, e.g. 18 US Code Section 1622

Subornation of perjury can also constitute obstruction of justice (q.v.)

Translator’s Law Dictionary on Amazon

Translator’s Law Dictionary on Google Play

Free supplement! :) “Mandate of Heaven”

Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement

Mandate of Heavan:


Tian1Ming4 Literally means “heaven fate”. The mandate of heaven, similar to the divine right of kings.

This is the image of a man standing with his arms spread out under the clouds of the sky above
means big
 means one. Put them together and One Big Man under One sky/cloud/heaven。

Above is a roof, or a person 人. Below the roof is one Together make ji2 which means assembly (one group of people under one roof). MING4 FATE

Below is a mouth on the left kou4 and an obeisant person on the right. Together they make kou4 which means to get on one’s knees and bow to the floor in reverence.

An assembly of people bowing reverently to their FATE MING4

Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement!

Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement

Civitas, city, is the origin the idea of civil. Civil as in civilized originally meant “Roman” (da qin) then the states successors to Rome and then extended to the idea of those cultures which had escaped barbarism such as cannibalism, human sacrifice and other fundamental violations of human right.

节决 =

xi4 jie2 jue2 ding4 cheng2 bai4

xi4 means fine. it is a strand of silk next to a lattice work. silk itself is fine. to the right of the silk determinant is the character for field. hanzi may use the same shape to depict different physical objects! I believe this one is an embroidery. In any case the character means fine, detailed.

jie2 usually means festival; a festive occasion. It also means node joint section, its use here. Festivals are but one node, one section in the social fabric.
The grass determinant on top means the character is about vegetation somehow. the lower character 卩 is a royal seal, or the image of a person bowing, or of a person from the back with their right arm hooked. This festival has the royal seal of approval! xi+jie = positive details, details which require perhaps hard work but which are positive, happy!

jue2 is the image of a jade pendant worn at one’s waist symbol of ancestral and even royal power. the ice determinant emphasizes the idea of decisional royal and ancestral power.

ding4 means condition, state. It is the image of “to be upright” (zheng1) underneath 宀 “a roof”. It conveys the idea of a certain condition, the condition of certitude.

cheng2 is the image of ge1 halberd (military spear) at the cliffs han3 outside the city. it means by metaphor the idea of to make, to become, to succeed. Because the city (cheng shi) can only exist if the citizenry manning the ramparts, otherwise it is conquered and destroyed.

bai4 means defeat. on the left is a pictograph of a clam shell (bei4: shell on the outside, meat on the inside). beside bei clamshell/money is the image of a person’s hand (you2) holding a stick 攵(chinese pictographs are highly stylized and simple). Bai4 is an associative compound character: namely two ideas are brought together – a clam, which was MONEY in ancient china – and a man with a stick. Well, a good beat down will ruin the fine cowrie shells, huh! Stick beats Shell (and breaks it) as a symbol of the idea of defeat.

This phrase “details make the difference between success and defeat”.

Free supplement to Pictogram Palace: The Treasure House of Chinese Characters


Lemon Grass on
Chicken Claws on
Pine Tree Nuts make for a




A jug of wine fromt the former times is vinegar
A jug of win put under two clumps of earth for 20 years turns to vinegar


The Master holds a strip of Meat in his hand to make the dog GUESS what his command is.



Metal which has been under twenty clods of earth for twenty revolutions of the sun i.e. twenty years will rust out and is WRONG ERROR

former times the past

Two strips of meat which are hung up in the sun to dry for a long time as representation of FORMER TIMES THE PAST

Idea of

Hell in Chinese: Free Supplement to the Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary & Pictogram Palace

地狱 Hell 

Chinese hell is
1) a place on earth 土 with
2) two headed snakes 也
3) and dogs 狗
4) which talk 言
5) and are vicious 犬
And worst of all you have no phonetic clue as to how to pronounce ANYTHING you read there!

Inter = (Earthly, physical, and/or material) Place

Underground! = Jail
(associative idea character, no phonetic component)

(Hell, in China, is a Place of Imprisonment on earth…)

Both are di4 and yu4 are 4th tone.


Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement

Pictogram Palace: Free Supplement

To analyze

Tree on the left
Ax on the right

jin mu xi de xi is an ASSOCIATIVE IDEA CHARACTER (hui yi zi) it is NOT a phonosemantic compound character. It’s the idea of the ax chopping the tree to bits which is what ANALYSIS does: it breaks the thing down to its components to understand the object.
X-rays eXempify
Intensive = ANALYSIS

Pictogram Palace: Free supplement

剁手 duo shou literally “to chop off [one’s own] hands”
meaning: don’t touch it, particularly with regard to shopping

wo mei duo shou, suo yi wo dei chi tu
= I didn’t chop off [my] hands so I must eat dirt
=I could not resist shopping, so now I have no money.

Hanzi mnemonics:
朵 table top tree = flower bud
pictogram: it’s a picture of an inverted flower bud
Delightful Unusual Orchid BUD=DUO

剁 flower bud plus knife = chop
Dreadful Unpleasant Outrageous CHOP=DUO


More free samples:

Free Character Example from Pictogram Palace: 所

Episodic, biographical, and spatial memory are apparently humans’ strongest memories. In my case however, episodic and biographical memory are … problematic. I seem to have compensated by resorting to vocal memories, memories of words.

Episodic memory is the memory of a particular event in one’s own life. Spatial memory is memory of particular places and paths, also from one’s own actual experiences. Part of biographical memory is face recognition, where I am particularly bad.

I remember new words by relating them to known words. Most frequently I will use cognates, synonyms and alliteration. Infrequently, excepting in Chinese, I will use mnemonics. I take the pinyin of a Chinese word and turn it into a mnemonic as a memory key of the word.

For example the word suo: 所. Suo is the image of the name plate over a door 户 beside a workman’s digging tool (jin 斤). Suo means PLACE specifically a DWELLING PLACE. Home is the place you put your tools outside the door.

This word is an associative idea (hui yi zi). It does not have a sonic clue. zhu is the dot on top, the name plate. Shi is the body/corpse character and at least gives a hint that this word starts with S. Jin on the right provides no sound clue. But zhu+shi=hU. So we now have a U. I would like to solve the puzzle!


set up one’s PLACE

Image: one work tool beside one house door with the owner’s name plate on that door.

While this does use “props”, the actual material objects (a residential door with a registry name plate on it and a digging tool) There’s no action or biographical hooks here. There is however a mnemonic: set up one’s PLACE

More free samples:

BTW, 所有的人 = anyone, everyman, everyone, is a frequent phrase which uses 所 suoyouderen

set up one’s PLACE you own uh HAVE dear each OF really each new PERSON


I do not use transpositions to generate mnemonics. SUO can be transposed into


But I think trying to construct mnemonics from any of that would only lead to confusion.

Free supplement for Pictogram Palace

Free preview and supplement of pictogram palace

相 Xiang is a picture of a tree on the left 木 and an eye on the right 目. These two characters sound alike! They both sound like this: mu. Xiang is an associative-idea character. It represents a concept by presenting two pictograms which are associated together into the concept.
This Xiang means alike, mutuality, similarity. The idea is these two characters sound alike and together represent the idea of mutuality, alike, similarity.

Memory tricks:

“trees as far as the eye can see! and they all look ALIKE.


公 Gong:This Gong is the number 8 八 on top (two vertical lines) and beneath it is a clenched right arm with a fist 厶. This gong means work, power, masculine, male, bull, and public power.

Mutual+Public Power, Bull, Masculine = Sir


And just like that you know two more characters and a word and an idea about how many Chinese characters are formed: pictograms, ideograms, and associative idea characters are the basis from which the phonosemantic characters will be built.

智慧 zhi hui – wisdom – character decomposition and analysis (free supplement to Pictogram Palace)

Free supplement for Pictogram Palace 智慧

智 zhi is the left character. it means intelligence.
The top left part is a picture of a big man with an arrow going over his head. To his right is a picture of a mouth. The idea is spoken smart words. Without the mouth the idea is just an arrow, i.e., pointed, directed. Bottom left part is a picture of the sun. So this is sharp spoken words which are really bright. Intelligent!
Mnemotechnique: it went over his head.

The top of the right character is feng1 repeated twice which means fertile abundant. it’s a picture of a growing plant ripe with fruit and seed. Beneath it is a picture of the bristles of a broom. That changes the meaning and pronunciation to hui which means comet. Add the heart character below it (three dots on top and below a curve, that’s a picture of the heart) to transform the meaning a bit from comet to an idea which sweeps all clean in its path purifies. So this is purification by the super-abundant divine power which cleans all foolish ideas from its path in other words: WISE.

What’s wise and intelligent put together? Wisdom.

There is a very popular childrens program called “small wisdom tree” xiao zhi hui shu which uses these two characters.

Pronouncing Pinyin: Free supplement for Pictogram Palace

Did you ever notice how people from China generally have thick accents? Guess what that means? Right. Your accent in Chinese probably sounds terribly bad is thick and incomprehensible. If you actually want to communicate then you need to pronounce properly.
In Pictogram Palace (free sample) I did not discuss proper pinyin pronunciation. This is because I am obviously not a native speaker. I have however been reading what lots of native speakers write and listening to what they say. Problem pinyin initials follow in the table below.
Common pronunciation points for each row are on the right.
Common pronunciation points for each coloumn are at the final row.
My own romanization of these sounds is in bold italic because pinyin often does not correspond to English.








(it’s a heavily
aspirated j)
It is equal to pinyin T + pinyin X



X tip of tongue touching back of lower front teeth, middle top of tongue touching top of mouth at the hard palate. This sound doesn’t exist in English but can be approximated as HS or HSH
This sound should be easy to make while smiling, unlike pinyin sh.
hs, hsh, khs, khsh


these sounds stress
the surface of the tongue.they don’t exactly correspond to sounds in English. the tip of the tongue touches the back of the lower teeth. the top of the tongue is raised toward the roof of the mouth (hard palate)
(this is much gentler, subtler than the Russian Zh)
Ch Sh tip of tongue is
touching the top
of the teeth
(ds, tz, z)
tongue is flat
ASPIRATED sound is soft and prolonged

When in Rome do as the Romans do

ru guo wen jin, ru xiang1 sui2 su2
enter kingdom ask prohibit, enter countryside follow customs
kou men de wen, biao lin de jin, xiang cun de xiang, sui bian de sui, su gu de su

the People in the Valley follow their CUSTOMS

La vaca es muerte. CCC

Apparently, Beta O’Rourke was a member of the cult of the dead cow, a computer hacking group from the 1990s.

Some apparently think CotDC to be the oldest or first hacking group. It was not. Chaos Computer Club (CCC) was in fact the first hacking group, dating back to at least the 1980s and possibly even the 1970s.

Just look up back issues of 2600 and do your primary research.

Bad reporting follows:

Presidential Questions

Currently Warren is making all the wrong moves. More or less a social democrat, the fact is the US people are not social democrats, let alone communists, which is exactly what she will be painted into a corner by. Currently, I do not anticipate Warren to win the presidency. Whether she wins the Democratic nomination is still an open question.

Meanwhile, Biden still dreams of being a gerentocrat. In this election we are going to see millenials rejecting the gerontocracy. I do not expect Biden to win the presidency. He might not even win the democratic nomination.

All the other contenders for the democratic nomination are sufficiently young and “unknown quantities” to be capable of being nominated and elected. They have all the mistakes to make. Warren and Biden have probably both made sufficient mistakes to lose either the nomination or the election or both.

Fermi’s Paradox : Solved.

Enrico Fermi once famously asked something like this: <<If there are alien life forms out there in space, where are they all? Why aren’t they coming?>>

This famous quip generates a lot of thought. To me the answer seems rather obvious. Space is HUGE. The distances between stars are VAST and many probably most planets are uninhabitable. Other planets are years, even decades away, even moving at light speed, as electrical waves do.

Earthlings have been emitting radio waves for about 100 years now. So only planets within 100 light years have any chance at all of even knowing we are here. With each passing year however it becomes likelier that some alien civilization will discover us.

But wait! It gets worse! Even if “they” hear our faint 100 year old radio emissions, it would take them as many years to get back to us, at least, as we took to get to them!

Where are all the aliens? Simple. They don’t know we’re here. They can’t know we’re here till our radio waves reach them. And even then however long it takes for them to hear our faint old radio signals (and decode them): it will take that long for them just to get back to use using radio waves, to say nothing of their inevitably much slower space ships.

Likely we will discover or likelier be discovered within 1000 years. Maybe even as few as 100. But likely no quicker than that, unfortunately.

Public Power and Private Right

There is law and there is justice; the legal minded believe (public) law may work justice more effectively than private actions, whether blood feud, clan war, weregeld or other forms of private vengeance such as the secret Vehm courts. Public law experts argue that monopolizing lawful violence reduces violence and works justice more effectively. Thus acts of private vengeance, viewed in pre-modernity as the essence of retributive justice become, in modernity: crimes!

However, there is of course the opposite view; it is a view held by various mafia, many criminals, but also by clans, tribes, in short proto-states from the pre-scientific era. The idea that public law is better than private vengeance is definitively one aspect of modernity, the industrial era. So are cabinet wars, limited as opposed to total wars, and for similar reasons: the reduction of violence, through the use of violence, by a monopolist of violence – the state. Here the Marxist experiment at attaining the self-destruction of state power is instructive.

As to those who believe that private vengeance is better and more fair than public law, who am I to disagree? I am not the state. I am well aware of the failures of state power to attain justice. Then again, the statists argue in extremis, that the primary goal of state power is to impose the monopolization of violence, not to work substantive justice.

So there are sensible reasons for which one might take the side, e.g. of a given mafia, a group of so-called criminals, for it is only the state’s laws which make them criminals, no?

That is not my own view. I believe the better view is that substantive justice is better attained by public (criminal) law rather than private vengeance. Then again, in the face of the failure of state power, as was the case in Sicily some 200 years ago one can well understand why private persons might make private justice a private affair. The problem is, then they are, knowingly or not, contenders for state power. And like I point out: the state claims the monopoly of lawful violence.

Yet, substantive justice is an ideal; it can never be attained. Life is inherently unfair. Is it fair that people die? No. But we cling to the hope of justice, the promise of fairness in our dealings with other people precisely because sickness and death, natural disasters are so arbitrary and unfair. Yet we believe, perhaps are naive, that by regulating our affairs as to voluntary transactions we can best cope with a bad situation. For there is a fundamental difference between the death at the hands of a robber or rapist as opposed to a natural or even accidental death through the forces of nature, which until recently were ever more powerful even than the state.


Notes on Translation

Translation or interpretation can never be exact, complete, perfect, final. The facts of grammatical differences and lack of one-to-one vocabulary correspondence explain why there can never be a perfect translation. Words in different languages often do not have a one-to-one corresponding equivalence. This is particularly true of languages which are not in the same language grouping. Likewise, lack of grammatical parallelism is often most evident in unrelated languages. Clients often don’t understand these two basic facts of language.
Translating into English is often frustrating for this reason: since clients often think they know better how to use (abuse) the English language to express their own idea in their, the right, way. If they could do that then they would not need my services in the first place. They would themselves have authored dozens of published English language works, as I have. So I don’t do much paid translation anymore: clients sometimes don’t pay and are NEVER satisfied. It’s thankless and doesn’t pay well enough for the pain of dealing with people who really don’t speak English so well as they believe.

The points are:

  1. words in two different languages rarely perfectly correspond.
  2. grammatical structures in two different languages rarely exactly correspond
  3. Nonetheless, effective translation strives to attain parallelism in terminology and structure.
  4. This goal is imperfectly attainable, if at all.Don’t believe me? Google “boomerang translate” and have a lot of fun!

Biden his time: Dumb Power

“I challenge you: Name me one innovative project, one innovative change, one innovative product that has come out of China,” Joe Biden

This racist stupidity explains why Biden should not bother to run for President.
The stupid white idea that China / Japan / anyone who isn’t white cannot/does not invent or innovate is simply wrong. It panders to violent idiots and sets U.S. foreign policy up for more mistakes.

Historically, China is famous for four great inventions, which Biden is obviously ignorant of. Chinese inventions include paper, paper money, moveable type, the magnetic compass, gunpowder, rockets, fireworks. That’s is all prior to the industrial revolution. China has invented plenty of things since then.

Ignorant racists ought not to be President. People who pander to violent racists ought not to be President.

Bye-Bye Biden.

Free Legal Vocabulary Supplement for “Translator’s Law Dictionary”: Summary Execution, Drum Head Court Martial

Free Legal Vocabulary Supplement for “Translator’s Law Dictionary“:

Summary Execution: The imposition of death on a criminal after a perfunctory judicial hearing. Unlike extra-judicial execution. Summary executions claim to be done under color of law, i.e. they purport to be lawful acts by a state actor. See:
Kadic v. Karadzic, 70 F. 3d 232, 237 US Ct. App., 2nd Circuit (1995).

Drum Head Court Martial / Drum Head Execution: Drum head execution is a summary execution imposed on a criminal after a court martial, i.e. a military hearing. See: Luther v. Borden, 48 US 1, 62 US Supreme Court (1849).

Fact Pattern:
Paul Erickson, a Republiscam (q.v.) was recently indicted on 11 counts of money laundering and wire fraud, which are financial crimes I detail in this book.

Erickson’s long time girlfriend, one Mme. Butina, was a Russian spy who infiltrated the NRA. In other words, Erickson is an accomplice to espionage.

Espionage in the USA is a capital crime. Convicted spies in the USA may be lawfully hung by the neck until dead.
Erickson might be under a sealed indictment for any FISA related crimes.

In some countries traitors are taken out and shot, and then they make the criminal’s family pay for the bullet. Espionage in the USA is in fact a capital crime. So is high treason.

Were I were Erickson’s lawyer I would be advising him to flip, or flop. Confessing and turning state’s evidence is the smart move here because he can easily be indicted on much graver crimes.
Erickson’s out on bail – for now. I suppose they will put a hold on his passport. Let’s find out!

This is just one gun shot in a decades long war of intelligence, counter-intelligence, and organized crime prosecution. The circular firing squad is about to start: be sure to get some pop corn, munch munch.


Yes Virginia… Operation Bagration – The Destruction of Army Group Center

You dear reader have likely never heard of the most succesful military operation in human history: Operation Bagration. In the West, it tends to be “merely” called “the destruction of Army Group Center”.

To give you an idea: A division is around 10,000 men. A corps is around 2-3 divisions. An army is around 2-3 corps. And an army group is around 2-3 armies. The Germans sustained some 400,000 casualties, were out-numbered about 10 to 1 in tanks, 8 to 1 in aircraft and 17 to 1 in artillery. This is the European equivalent of the Mariana’s Turkey Shoot” a battle you might be familiar with in its enormous and lopsided outcome.

The real lessons of Bagration have never been absorbed by the west.
1) The Anglo-American’s had ULTRA. But the Soviets had Deza, Maskirovka, Tainost, and Aktivne Meropriyatie. Soviet intelligence services were every bit as effective as their western counterparts, albeit asymmetrically. The failure to notice this explains problems like Syria, Brexit, and electoral interference.
2) Artillery Artillery Artillery. The Soviets and Russians use mass artillery and much more effectively than their western counterparts. US doctrine must develop an effective counter-battery tactic, including eWar aspects as experiences in Ukraine since 2014 show.

During Bagration, the USSR destroyed an entire German army group: estimate that at 3x3x3x10,000 and that’s a minimal estimate. Basically the Soviets destroyed, utterly, more than 1/3 of the entire nazi war machine in Eastern Europe, about 1/4 of the ENTIRE nazi war machine in ONE operation.

The main reason they were able to do this was due to deception operations. The Germans were expecting to be attacked in the Ukraine, not Belarus, so all their tanks were out of position because of Soviet Deception and Secrecy. Added to this, Hitler himself issued  a “no retreat order” so many units which might have been able to escape were ordered to stand fast and die fighting, which they did.

What we are witnessing in Virginia currently is the political equivalent of the destruction of army group center.

Only this time it is the Virginia democratic party which is being shredded. This isn’t because the Russian’s objective is to keep Trump or the Republicans in power. They are indifferent to that. Their objective is to paralyze U.S. foreign policy and if possible to infiltrate and influence it. They have not been succesful at the latter.

Thing is… this apparent tactical rout.. it’s part of a much larger and impending political rout which will leave one or both major U.S. political parties incapable of winning the white house or governing effectively if they do. The Republican party is probably finished as a national party though that is not yet visible. The democrats likewise may be doomed as a national political party.

In ten years we will still be writing about the destruction of the U.S. political system and the conclusion of several decades of police operations against organized crime and counter-intelligence investigation.

Some will die violently in the streets under mysterious circumstances: “accidents” “suicides” and “heart attacks”. Still others will die in jail. The transformation of the global political stage will leave you a world which is from today’s perspective unrecognizeable.

These are some books I wrote which allude to or detail the above.

Strap yourself in, coz Kansas is going bye bye!

Free supplement! The Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary: Coonman, Con man, Coon, Governor Coonman

Free supplement! The Devil’s Diplomatic Dictionary: Coonman, Con man, Coon, Governor Coonman

Con Man: A liar, who deceives others for their own profit; generally by some variety of fraud. From “confidence”, i.e. the abuse of confidence. Also from “convict”, a person convicted of crime. Sometimes merely a trickster (q.v.).

Coonman: A clueless white man who thinks himself capable of further conning the public into believing him capable of holding public positions of trust.

Governor Coonman: Governor Northam of Virginia. So-called because this was his nickname at Virginia Military Institute, where he studied.

Coon: A derogatory term used to insult black people.  Probably from “Racoon” because racoons are dark, have striped fur (like a prisoner’s clothing) and rob things at night. Coon is really one of the worse racist terms.

An Interview with Old Nick’ hereto:

This was so important I felt it needful to interviewe Old Nick’ (q.v.) about it. Hereto, Cao Cao said this:

“Ah yes, race hate… one of my favorite weapons! I use it to set you at each others’ throats the better to enslave you. When my Nemesis created this world he made the white people to look like angels and the black people to look like … their Shadow. [q.v.]

I set to my task quickly of course. This was such an opportunity as so rarely comes!

First, I referred to them as ‘the beasts of the field’ then as ‘talking beasts’ … if only you mortal idiots would dare read the bible then you would see my hand in it… I can quote scripture to serve my purpose. But I Generallie prefer your ignorance… it’s more … useful.

The poisonous fruit of my careful cultivation of ignorance, fear, and distrust? Hatred! I was finally convince some of you that THEY were nought but my very agents on earth! Soon I had “white devils” enslaving and then lynching “black bastards”.

Millions of slaves. Hundreds of thousands of corpses. But above all so many souls of all colors reaped! The fruits of this strange harvest …ah, the things I ought not to tell you.

Results, my man, results are all that counts! Nothing succeeds like success, and the victors write history, don’t we?

But I diegress. Let me return to our topick…”

Whisps of hot smoke curled forth from his nostrils. His claws gently, pensively, scratched the table top… I could see blood under them. He looked deep within my eyes. Whether he saw nothing there worth seizing or was unable to seize whatever remnants rest within I do not know.

I bid him to depart. Our interview ended at this point.


Governor Northam of Virginia, pictured in his college year book wearing black makeup standing next to a man costumed up as a KKK member claims not to be in that picture, but to have impersonated Michael Jackson whilst wearing shoe polish. Well, how did his photo get into his year book, hm? Why couldn’t he remember Michael Jackson’s name?

When a witness contradicts themselves they are legally impeachable. Their testimony may be impeached since their contradiction renders their word worthless. Governor Coonman literally impeached himself due to his own stupid actions then and now.

One of Governor Northam’s nicknames was “coonman”.  “Coon” is a derogatory reference to black people, probably from “Racoon” because racoons are dark, have striped fur (like a prisoner’s clothing) and rob things at night so it’s really one of the worse racist terms. Some white people (generally rich)(often from the southern states) stole Africans and enslaved them. Their literal heirs and then blame the descendants of their victims, projecting their ancestors’ own crimes onto the descendants of the victims. It’s the same thing of profiting from exploitation and then pretending to somehow be the victim of it which had haunted Warren. Warren apologized, credibly, and hopefully will move on. Northam in contrast “apologized” and followed his “apology” up with a denial that is simply not credible.

Governor Coonman should resign. Has nothing to do with party politics. One cannot effectively execute laws when scandalized due to one’s bad judgments. Dressing up like Michael Jackson (probably not the only time), wearing black shoe polish,  and then telling obvious lies about it impugn his credibility. All this taken together is grounds for impeachment, and probably also removal from office.

Public power is a public trust. When people have proven themselves untrustworthy then they ought not be entrusted with public office.

Here endeth the lesson.

Free eBook for Chinese New Years! ^^ “Globalization with Chinese Characteristics”

春天在哪里? 春天在这里!
It’s Chinese New Year! The bad Nian beast has been chased away yet again! 😀

To celebrate and wish you an auspicious year of the sWINe here is a FREE ebook I wrote

Globalization with Chinese Characteristics
The code to unlock the book is [email protected] and should you have questions feel free to write me there.

This book is free JUST for 3 days: free rhymes with three rhymes with Bobby Three Sticks.

Enjoy! ^^


P.s. if you like the book and can leave a positive review I would be really glad.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren sensibly apologized, at least to the Cherokee nation. I expect this issue will not go away, but also will not haunt her or sink her candidacy.

In contrast,  white boys who claim that they don’t remember getting done up in black face – or a klan uniform – have a massive credibility problem. That’s especially if they admit having pretended to be Michael Jackson on other occasions. One story he claimed was he did not know which one was him, then he claims neither are him. Ok…well, how does a photograph of someone purportedly not you just turn up in your year book?

It doesn’t. Leaders are held to a higher standard. The first error in judgment was dressing up like a magical negro. The second error in judgment was making photographs. The third error in judgment was publishing the photographs. The first lie was not remembering who it was. The next lie was claiming neither of them are you. We don’t want leaders with who make repeated “mistakes”. We don’t want leaders who lie badly or even lie at all.

Newsflash: facial recognition technology is very advanced and can easily determine if the person wearing black face make up is you.

Here’s mud in your eye. Looking forward to your resignation.

Stability and Wealth Trump Warren 2020

Elizabeth Warren recently announced her candidacy for President of the United State of America. She is currently likely the leading candidate: she is younger and unlike Bernie Sanders is in fact a democrat. She, like Jill Stein, is also a woman. Meanwhile, both Stein and Sanders have unsavory Kremlin connections.

I have already rightly criticized Warren’s claim to be an Indian. She is — at best — “of Indian descent”. I have pointed out that were she in fact a Cherokee, a Delaware, then she would be recognized as such by either of those native nations through naturalization or have a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. Personally speaking, I don’t regard the CDIB very highly: it’s just another tool of assimilation and segregation determined not by the native nations but by the invader, the colonizer. I don’t think most tribal councils have a great opinion of the CDIB or tribal rolls, though that of course would vary from nation to nation. It is not for Elizabeth Warren to say she is or isn’t Indian: it is for any of the native nations to do so.

As I have earlier pointed out, Warren’s way forward on this issue is to simply apologize for over-stating her case. Magnanimous and gracious leaders are not above apologizing respectfully for their errors.

Politically, the campaign may well wind up Trump versus Warren. I analyze these political issues separately from the biographical question of Warren’s purported native descent which, again, is backed up by no native nation nor any concrete genealogical record. A DNA test literally produced by a former business partner or lover is just for that reason suspect, and frankly may easily be falsified, distorted.

Politically, Trump’s strongest suit is his claim to be winding down the failed bloody expensive and utterly unnecessary regime change wars which claimed to protect humans’ rights by killing them of the past two decades, the so-called “war on terror”. Behind the so-called war on terror is “colonialism” “imperialism” “war of occupation” and “war for profit”: Halliburton, KBR, no-bid contracts, Blackwater, “private military contractors”, punctuated by unnecessary and ineffective torture porn. The FBI would directly tell you torture does not work and that there are much more effective methods of interrogation.

Trump can, should, and does rightly claim to be ending the foolish idea of “nation building” exporting liberal democracy at gun-point to countries which really don’t want or need it. Security peace stability and wealth production frankly trump human rights concerns in each of the world’s poorest countries, which is why even Good Europeans like Hungary or even Poland are looking quite skeptically at e.g. gay rights. I have always pointed out that LGBTQ rights should never be excuses for wars, justifications for wars. It is less oppressive to live under Shariah than to be killed as “collateral damage” or in reprisal killings, tortured, etc.

Warren and Trump both exemplify a certain strand of social democracy. Each will claim to represent the middle class against liberal internationalist capitalists, the jet setting globe trotting elites.Trump and Warren alike will polarize and motivate each others’ political base.

I do not think Biden will have the physical vigor or emotional strength to fight through a winning campaign. His son died during the last election cycle and Biden is quite old. Biden has said some overtly racist and stupid things about the Chinese, which is why I would prefer him to not even bother running. The last thing the world needs is another racist who thinks that whites are creative, i.e. superior, and that Chinese are only good at copying others works, i.e. inferior. It is exactly what people said about Japan some fifty years ago: dinosaurs unwanted.

Some people believe Warren is in a weaker position than in the last cycle and that she shot herself in the foot with her claim to being an Indian. She did, but I do not regard that error as one which she cannot recover from. Obviously Trump has and will continue to call her Pocahontas, and rightly so. She claimed something that’s not true. She simply needs to acknowledge that, apologize, and move on to the issues. She probably will not however. Thus, she will likely lose in the general election: because a person so stubbornly inflexible when obviously caught out and wrong would make a bad President since they would well make the same kinds of errors on other far more important things. Her failure to recant or apologize will result in a lack of public’s trust or confidence in her, no matter how good her policies might be.

The election is currently Trump’s to lose: presuming he is not first impeached and removed for high crimes and misdemeanors such as tax evasion, money laundering, and whatnot. His personal attorney and his former campaign manager are both currently in prison. Trump’s smartest move might be to declare victory and retire as a one-term President.

I now advise publicly what I have consistently advised privately for the past three years:

“The Russians on the bus go under the bus,
under the bus
under the bus
the Russian’s on the bus go under the bus,
all through the town”.

Happy New Year! Be sure to say buh bye to Ded Moroz!

Where do Words come from? Color and Language

An interesting thing about human language is that color terms and variegation arose relatively late and are one of the more easily traced aspects of language for that reason.  Thus, some languages have shades in common use which are not commonly used in others. Russian — ordinary street Russian — has two words for blue, not “light blue” and “dark blue” (which they are) but two completely different words (голубой, goluboy and синий, siniy). Meanwhile the Chinese word qing (青) is a color which is by nature changeable: it originally referred to the point in a flame or fire where the fire shifted from red into blue-and-green and thus 青 means both blue and green and connotes the idea of mutability.

This is one example of the fact that Chinese etymology can be traced back much further to roots and sources than Indo-European etymology goes. We don’t know why tree and three rhyme, but we do theorize that 木 and 目, which are sound-alikes are so called, perhaps, because to the ancients there were trees as far as the eyes could see. 相 and since tree and eye are sound alikes put them together as the symbol for “alike”/”similar”.

There are many other examples of words in Chinese where we know that figurative uses arose out of literal things. I don’t see that level of specificity in origins of Indo-European words. From Chinese etymology however we can and should hypothesize that sound-alikes are figurative extensions from literal uses of the same term. Thus it is a valid hypothesis that mutter and mother are related words in that only your mother would understand whatever you mutter, e.g.

The more I study Chinese the more I beleive in proto-world.

Vignettes to Memorize Chinese Characters: 特 等 寺

I think one can use vignettes to associate related Chinese characters with each other and better remember them.
For Example:
特 等 寺
Te Deng Si
te bie de te
deng deng deng de deng
si miao de si

A Bull is Waiting beside Bamboo at a Temple. It is PARTICULARLY SPECIAL, AND SO ON.
特 等 寺:

I have noticed that I learn the meaning much quicker than the sound (since almost none of the sounds are cognate to English).

I would like to be able to write simple sentences using e.g. 特 等 寺 to relate the meanings and sounds of the characters in a meaningful way.

San dian shui on top?

Some characters have 3 dots on top and then kou 口

these characters often seem to rhyme with -ANG

Apparently this may be an instance of san dian shui…
deng deng deng…

Learning Chinese Characters? Confused? Here’s how to quickly learn hanzi well.

I think the best way to learn hanzi is
a) Start with pictographs
b) Then ideographs
c) Then the hui yi (associative compound characters)
e) Then learn the kangxi radicals (which are usually one of the above)
f) Then learn determinants (the abbreviated forms of characters san dian shui, yanzi pang etc).
d) Then add the phono-semantic characters.

If one knows the six methods of forming hanzi one learns them much more effectively.

Going in this order works best because the phono-semantic characters’ phonetic elements are almost always one or more of a) b) abd/or c)

I would never recommend using the HSK as a teaching or learning tool. All the HSK levels do is expose you to the most useful characters first; but it does NOTHING to teach HOW to learn them. I also think learning the actual etymology as you teach is the way to go since you can see the evolution of the characters form and meaning.

I also think learning the characters as semantic or phonetic series helps a lot.

I don’t think gimmicks work, unfortunately. Though I’m also really skeptical about copy books. I do however think that one can and should know what the pictographs in fact represent and then use that as a base for learning the ideographs then the associative compound characters and finally the phono semantic characters is effective. I know full well gan 干 is a dried out tree trunk and that if you put it on the walking radical it becomes to make or do as in ni gan 赶 shen me. I don’t think making up stories about gandalf is at all useful for learning what gan looks like sounds like or means especially since one must make up oh around 5000 such stories.

I also believe one is best to learn the MEANING and SHAPE of the character FIRST and then the sound. I notice that I learn the meaning and shapes of the characters much faster than the sounds of the characters.

Another problem with gimmicks is that the finals in pinyin frankly do not rhyme or alliterate well to much of ANYTHING in English. Let’s find a word that rhymes with -UANG or -IANG in English :/ Believe me I tried

Personally I try to always associate a new word in any language to some word I already know. So when I learned ZA as in fuza as in mixed up 复杂 and confuSEd today I remember its sound and meaning by association to that English word which sounds similar enough and means just the same thing. I also remember the sound clue from xiao at the bottom so 9-1-xiao = 九 一 小 = za = 杂 confused/mixed up as in fuza

Coming to Grips with Chinese Characters (Hanzi)

Chinese characters are picto-phonetic i.e. phono-semantic (usually both). This distinguishes them smartly from Western alphabets. Chinese can be most readily accessed as a syllabary (hello, Che-le-key! :D).
Hypothesis: Hanzi hesitated between transforming into a purely phonetic writing system between 1500 and 3000 years ago but retained its approach, which is based on pictographs which then are formed into phonemes.

My hypothesis is that we should try to read characters phonetically from right to left and from top to bottom; i also think we should look for finals rather than initials first, but that we should look for both initials and finals when searching for phonetic clues.
I do not think we should look at any phonetic choice as arbitrary. The logic of the choice may however be dependant on historic/dynastic conditions which are entirely irrelevant today! That, plus language drift, explains why some believe that phonetic character choicses are sometimes arbitrary.
Chinese was developed as a language for scholars, scribes, civil servants; not as a language for mass literacy. Opacity is inevitable for that reason.
I don’t think we can develop rules like we have in western languages as to proper orthography. “read this way, not that way”. When looking at a character we should first
1) Isolate phonetic element(s)
2) Isolate semantic element(s)
3) Use pictographic elements as a “fallback” “catchall”.
4) Try to figure out if/how semantic and phonetic elements are mutually reinforcing “not only does this MEAN x it ALSO sounds like y!”
Pictographics are a supplement for advanced characters but the base for basic characters.
My favorite picto-phonetic character is flag. It’s the man-in-stocks on the left and a tool on the right with a dashed-line on top. It’s the soldier (not freeman) on the left and his tool on the right is that god damned flag which is the top line (I believe the English word for top strips of a flag mounting is: penant). The top line (penant) is clearly pictographic. The other two elements are phono semantic but also pictographic.
Fang+qi+zhu-yi=Flag. Sounds like Fahne, which is German for flag. Looks like a flag-man.