Chinese Character Bites – #34 – 要

Our character for today is 要 Simplified Chinese character: 要 Traditional Chinese character: 要 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced yào in the 4th tone, except in 要求 yāoqiú (demand) What it means: 要 means to want, to wish, main, essential or will (indicating that something will happen in the near future) You'll see it in words like 想要 (to want) 需要 (to need) 主要 (main/principle) and 概要 Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #33 – 那

Our character for today is 那 Simplified Chinese character: 那 Traditional Chinese character: 那 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced nà in the 4th tone. What it means: 那 means 'that', for example in 那个 (that one). When it has this meaning, it is sometimes pronounced nèi in northern China. You'll also see it is 那里 and 那儿, which mean 'there', and 那么, which means 'in that case'. Let’s break it Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #32 – 就

Our character for today is 就 Simplified Chinese character: 就 Traditional Chinese character: 就 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced jiù in the 4th tone. How to use 就 就 is used in a number of different ways. It can be translated as  'just / simply / right away / then' depending on the context, and it's best to understand the different ways it is used instead of just learning one translation. It is an Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #31 – 得

Our character for today is 得 Simplified Chinese character: 得 Traditional Chinese character: 得 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character has 3 different pronunciations. Most commonly, it is de in the neutral tone, but sometimes it can also be dé in the 2nd tone, or occasionally děi in the 3rd tone. It means a different thing with the 3 pronunciations (see below). What it means: de in the neutral tone is a grammatical Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #30 – 年

Our character for today is 年 Simplified Chinese character: 年 Traditional Chinese character: 年 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced nián in the 2nd tone. What it means: 年 means 'year'. For example: 今年  - This year 1980年 -1980 Let’s break it down: This character was originally 禾 (grain) over 人 (person), then it evolved to contain 千 (thousand). The modern character is almost like an Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #29 – 时

Our character for today is 时 Simplified Chinese character: 时 Traditional Chinese character: 時 (The right hand side of the traditional character is different) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced shí in the 2nd tone What it means: 时 means 'time'. You'll see it in words like 小时 (an hour - little unit of time) or 时候 (which also means time and is used in 的时候, the way you say 'when' in Chinese). Also, 时 can sometimes mean when on it's own. Let’s break it down: The left Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #28 – 也

Our character for today is 也 Simplified Chinese character: 也 Traditional Chinese character: 也 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced yě in the 3rd tone. What it means: 也 means 'also' or 'as well'. You'll also see it in 也许 (perhaps)   Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #27 – 道

Our character for today is 道 Simplified Chinese character: 道 Traditional Chinese character: 道 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced dào in the 4th tone What it means: 道 normally means 'path / road /channel' or Daoism. You'll also see it really commonly in the word 知道 (to know - or literally know 'the way') Let’s break it down: The left hand side of the character is the radical 辶 which means 'to Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #26 – 出

Our character for today is 出 Simplified Chinese character: 出 Traditional Chinese character: 出 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced chū in the 1st tone What it means: 出 means to come out, go out or exit. You'll see it in words like 出口 (exit), 出生 (to be born), 出去 (to go out) etc. Let’s break it down: This character originally came from a character for foot 止 coming out of an enclosure, but the Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #25 – 地

Our character for today is 地 Simplified Chinese character: 地 Traditional Chinese character: 地 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is sometimes pronounced dì in the 4th tone, and sometimes pronounced de in the neutral tone. What it means: When pronounced dì, it means 'earth', 'land', or 'place'. When pronounced de in the neutral tone, it usually comes after an adjective, and makes that word or adjective into an Continue Reading