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If you are tired sit under a tree!

If I need something to lighten my day I continue my studies of Chinese writing. Even simple words tell little stories, which makes them easy to remember:

The Chinese word for man/person is rèn: 人. It looks like somebody standing there with legs spread (for an marital arts exercise?). The sign for tree is Mù and looks like a tree with roots and branches: 木. Now imagine, that you are a hard working peasant in ancient China and you get tired? You would seek shelter from the summer sun by sitting or leaning under a tree. This would look like: 休. And in deed this is the word Xiū which means rest.

Most of the little stories are as old as the Chinese language. Some of them told today would make excellent material for a discrimination law suite, but that is another story for another time.

Update 2013: for a complete list of this stories head over to Chineasy or check this book on Amazon:
Fun With Chinese Characters

Posted by on 04 December 2004 | Comments (0) | categories: Writing Chinese


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