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Six methods of forming Chinese glyphs (han zi)

This post will only interest you if you are learning hanzi. If you don’t even know what a hanzi is don’t bother reading further. Here goes:

,xiang xing zi 象形字 pictogram 日 (an elephant never forgets!) (pictures)

zhi shi 指事 ideogram 上 (You put your finger right on it!) (symbols)

xing yi zi 形意字 picto-phonetic 明 also known as huì yì 会意 Combined Ideographs 明 (a meeting of ideas) (associative character)

yi yin zi 意音字 phono-semantic. example: 推 also known as xing sheng 形声 Determinative-Phonetic 推

转注 (zhuǎn zhù) Transfer Characters:
These are two characters which have the same meaning, and use the same glyph yet have different pronunciations. example: 爸 (bà) / 父 (fù) father.

jia jie 假借 Loan Characters (these are not lent from foreign languages like mai dan lao is): two homophones (sound-alikes) one is a literal object and primitive which literal object is later used to form the homophonic character with some other meaning.

莱 => 来 (lái).
其 => 其 (qí)
西 => 西 (“a bird in a nest went to sleep in the west)


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