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.